Zinke breaks the bank; Juneau Announces

Denise Juneau has announced formally that she will run for Congress in 2016. This is welcome news. Juneau has a distinguished career chief of Montana’s schools. This means she understands budgeting, and that’s important if you consider the recently reported news that Ryan Zinke, our current incumbent, has spent an astonishing $1.4 million in campaign money from his re-election account since January. That is a mind boggling and utterly bewildering amount. What in god’s name could he be spending campaign money on when he has not even formed a re-election campaign, run a TV ad or sent a campaign mailer out?

The answer is anything and everything. For example, he’s spent $1400 at Amazon, for “books,” and $100 for “airline meals” at United, and $5,000 at Staples in Bozeman for “supplies.”

He’s spent tens of thousands for “catering” and “credit card fees.” Most unusually, he has “lodging” for $1,900 at the Willard Hotel and $2300 at the Ritz Carlton. Such expenditures are listed over and over again on his FEC report, along with major expenditures to political consultants, dozens of them as much as $15,000 a pop.

None of this makes any sense, and further inquiry is in order.

In the meantime, this seat has always been an uphill battle, to say the least. Jon Tester was the first  new Democrat to be sent to Washington since 1979, and few democratic House candidates have cracked 40% in recent times. Juneau, who is both beloved by base voters and has the populist appeal that will win independents and undecideds to her side, will do much to generate enthusiasm this election cycle. This will help bolster turnout for all races, which is important given that Obama is at a very low 33% percent job approval among Montana voters. We will be rooting for Denise.

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10 Comments on "Zinke breaks the bank; Juneau Announces"

  1. Cowgirl, only a man would give Zinke top billing in the headline. This post is a poor promotion of Juneau, who could become the first American Indian Congresswoman.

  2. High Point has a Good Point about the headline. But all the info IS good to know. Please keep us apprised of this odd spending pattern as more is known! But meanwhile, more on Denise Juneau!! Proud of her!!

  3. The headline is perfectly acceptable. Bloggers have different styles and the right to employ them as they see fit.

    I’m glad Juneau is running, incidentally. She’s a good candidate and will give a good account of herself.

    Now, if Democrats could just understand that because Tim Fox might lose the primary, they should have a legitimate candidate for AG — a candidate who needs to start running now and never slows below warp speed.

  4. Wow! You say he spent $1,900 at the Willard Hotel and $2,300 at the Ritz Carlton, two of the most luxurious hotels in the District of Columbia? For whom? Yes, Cowgirl and all, please keep an eye on this man’s spending and on who is giving him the money.

    • This is cool. Does anyone happen to know where she stands on campaign finance reform? Zinke hasn’t come out in favor of it.

      I’d love to pass some version of the Citizen’s Equality Act (http://citizenequality.us/), which includes changing the way that we fund political campaigns.

  5. And he wanted to be ‘Speaker’ of the house?

  6. I’d be happy if they would just pass the disclose act-let those 175 families spend all the money they want as long as politicians wear their sponsor badges! As it is what little regulation we have is ignored-the FEC is like a 70 year-old bear-looks kinda scary but teeth and claws are better for a tickle than a tear.

  7. Juneau is a perfect candidate for the Dems – another 60/40 loser. As sexist as the National Dems are, she’ll learn what other female national candidates from Montana have learned, that while Jon Tester can expect $10 million dollars in help, they’ll reluctantly pick up the phone when she calls, and at best pay her lip service. You’ll probably doing posts next October, about how she’s closing the gap on Zinke and how good she is, like you did Amanda Curtis, and in November, you can put up another post about Dems picking up their heads. Out of 1,000,000 Montanans, can’t the Dems find somebody new rather than retreaded, termed out politicians who don’t want to have to go back to work?

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