Ryan Zinke is a fraud. It is well documented on this website, by the Montana media, and by Zinke’s own ever-shifting moral and political compass. The man is a cheap catchphrase, phony smile, a patriotic platitude, and a tip of his backwards cowboy hat at every corner. It worked when he was in Montana. The Montana press didn’t have the time or the manpower to expose Zinke’s opportunistic journey from state legislator to Congressman for what it was: a craven desire to accrue more power–at any cost and without the requisite skill set. But now, Zinke has been exposed.
Zinke’s public statements in the past have always shown he believed Montana to be full of rubes. A non-answer here, a a platitude there, and everyone will hopefully remember he once was on SEAL TEAM SIX. Zinke’s arrogance traveled with him to Washington D.C and was on full display this past week.
President Trump’s cabinet has a well documented problem with travel. They take private planes, and military aircrafts when commercial air would have sufficed. It has already cost Health and Human Services Secretary Tom Price his job. Will Zinke be next?
Zinke’s crimes against the taxpayer have not yet met the level of his ex-colleague Price. But the way in which Zinke has tried to justify his trips show a lack of respect for the taxpayer’s mind, not just their money.
The publication E&E News discovered that Zinke took a private charter flight from Las Vegas to Montana and charged the taxpayer for it.
The story is worth a read, but to summarize: Zinke used over 12 thousand dollars of taxpayer money to fly from Vegas to Montana.
Was Zinke checking on one of the many national monuments he hopes to shrink?
Was Zinke checking on a Interior Department related situation in the Nevada dessert?
Maybe he was checking in on the Bundy’s in Nevada to see if they wanted to take any more public land as their own!
No, he was speaking to a NHL team. Yes, a professional hockey team.
What on earth could speaking to an NHL team have to do with being Interior Secretary?
Don’t worry, Zinke’s all-star spokeswoman Heather Swift clarified.
“As a former military officer and current government leader, the Secretary was asked to give a speech about leadership and the importance of teamwork,” Swift said in an email. “The Department’s career ethics officials determined this was well within the Department’s mission and it also was a key audience of people we are trying to target to use our public lands.”
Swift dismissed a question about whether Zinke’s attendance at the hockey dinner affected his ability to take a cheaper flight.
“Suggesting that by cancelling meetings and events the Secretary could make a different flight is not a valid argument,” she said. “That point could be made for every person who ever books flights. It’s important for the Secretary to be in the field talking with the American people and meeting with local and state officials, which was exactly what he was doing on both legs of that trip.”
I don’t know what “in the field” means to Ms. Swift, but the Interior Secretary has a lot more fields to worry about than an NHL team.
Also, for what it’s worth, the NHL team Zinke spoke to is predominantly Canadian. So unless Zinke has some super secret plan to trade Mt. Rushmore for a Tim Horton’s I don’t think Ms. Swift’s logic holds water.
With Tom Price resigning, could Zinke be far behind? I just hope that he returns to California instead of Montana, he’s already hurt us enough.
Zinke has always wanted to feel important. Whether it was floating his name for Speaker of the House, Vice President, and then begging Trump for a cabinet position, he’s always been too big for his britches. But now Zinke’s britches have fallen off, the Secretary has no clothes, and all that’s to cover his ass is that Cowboy hat he tries to wear. It’s about time it got some use other than for photo-ops.