Zinke, Gianforte and Air Travel Concerns

Many hailed Trump’s appointment of Secretary Zinke to lead the Department of the Interior as savvy move that put a man from the American West in charge of an agency that oversees our nation’s most precious lands and monuments. Zinke was pegged as a moderate from a rural state with small town values that reflected the work needed to lead this important agency. Values of respect, honesty, and fiscal responsibility with taxpayer dollars.

But since he has moved to the swamp and taken up residence in the administration, Zinke has been anything but respectful, honest, or responsible with taxpayer dollars.

Yesterday, it came out that Secretary Zinke spent over $14,000 on two helicopters trips to political or non-official events. This comes on the heels of the Department of the Interior’s Inspector General investigating Zinke for his other political joy rides on taxpayer-funded chartered flights to Montana and Las Vegas.

Zinke wanted to be at the swearing in ceremony of disgraced political ally Greg Gianfote so he spent $8,000 taxpayer dollars on one helicopter ride from D.C. Zinke chose to support his disgraced political ally Greg Gianforte at a meaningless swearing-in ceremony instead of doing his job and saving Americans money.

Zinke also spent nearly $6,000 on a helicopter flight to Yorktown, VA to ride horses with Vice President Mike Pence. Why not just carpool with the VP to go play cowboy?

The irony of this situation is that Gianforte and the Montana Republican Party made taxpayer-funded air travel by an elected official the pillar of Gianforte’s failed run for governor. They made so much hay over this issue, that Gianforte vowed to sell the Governor’s plane, and charter all flights if he was elected. We now know that Gianforte wanted to have his own private jets charted and have the taxpayers pay him for using his own plane, sounds like a nice GOP scam.

Beneath the typical hypocrisy of Zinke, Gianforte, and Montana Republicans over aircraft use is actually their truly cynical views on elected office. Republicans believe they need to get theirs, at all costs, as quickly as they can, despite the expense or damage it will cause others. This is because they feel they are entitled to it. They won the office, they made more money than you, they deserve it more than you, they are obviously better than you.

This cynical view of public service that Zinke and Gianforte have is they do not run for office to humbly serve the people of this state or nation, they run to serve themselves. Public office or a federal appointment is just another check on their corporate resume, the next step to gain more wealth, contacts, or favors. Serving is not to help better your life, it is to better theirs.

Interior spokeswoman Heather Swift said in an email, “The swearing in of the Congressman is absolutely an official event, as is emergency management training. Shame on you for not respecting the office of a Member of Congress.”

Shame on us? Why must we be shamed when the very act of swearing in Gianforte was disrespectful towards the institution of Congress and all who humbly serve there. The day Gianforte was sworn into office was a shameful day for every member of Congress as well as the people of Montana. No one should have attended this event, especially when it cost the taxpayers $8,000 for Zinke to chopper in.

So, shame on you Zinke and Gianforte. Shame on you for making Montanans look like a bunch of yokels who are irresponsible at best, dangerous at worst. That’s not Montana and these two don’t represent Montanans with their dangerous and fiscally irresponsible and immoral behavior.


16 Comments on "Zinke, Gianforte and Air Travel Concerns"

  1. You left out Mr. Zinke’s comment “wild departure from reality.” They say plagiarism is the most sincere form flattery so I comment. Use the locker room / bathroom you want based on your personal determined gender identify (try that at MSU when the women’s volleyball team is there and get the hell beat out of you), “wild departure from reality.” Open boarders, “wild departure from reality.” Sanctuary Cities, “wild departure from reality.” Single Payer Health Care, “wild departure from reality.” Main stream media and late night shows, “wild departure from reality.” No travel ban, “wild departure from reality.” Tax cuts and we all are going to die, “wild departure from reality.”

  2. English MuthF$%ker! Speak it!!

  3. As a columnist recently wrote, Zinke is a clown posing as a cowboy, but now he is performing quite the raid on the U.S. treasury. Some conservative. Makes Montana voters look pretty damn dumb since we elected him to the House to begin with.

  4. Dear Santa, I want a Gulfstream ($5,000/hr) for Christmas like Nancy Pelosi.

    • https://www.snopes.com/politics/pelosi/jet.asp

      Your sad little attempts at deflection are as transparent as your tiny brain.

      • Vik, from your link? Speaker Pelosi making 20 trips between Washington and California in 2007 and 2008, but always on the smaller C-20B and C-37A aircraft. The C-20B is a Gulfstream III and the C-37A is a Gulfstream V. They make a Learjet look like a go-cart.

        The C-32 is a 757 that the VP, the First Lady and the Secretary of State. On rare occasions, other members of the U.S. Cabinet and Congressional leaders have been authorized to fly aboard the C-32 for various missions. An aircraft good for overseas missions.

        Moreover, the Air Force weekly travel reports reproduced in that report disprove the claim made in the e-mail stated at the head of this article: They show Speaker Pelosi making 20 trips between Washington and California in 2007 and 2008, but always on the smaller C-20B and C-37A aircraft, never on the “big fat 200-seat” [sic] C-32 jet the e-mail claims she uses weekly.

        • Windblower, this is not about Nancy Pelosi no matter how hard you wish for it to be.

          This is about Ryan Zinke. You can engage in Whataboutism until the cows come home from Jersey, it still doesn’t change the facts about what a shitty choice for a leader Zinke was. Just like Donal Turnip, just like Greg Gianforte, just like Steve Daines. But you keep right on with your little games. Because I am this close (holds hands WAAAAAAAAAAAy apart) to believing you.

    • Dear Santa, I want a brain transplant for windy. The one he has now has apparently stopped working; or maybe his immune system just rejected it as incompatible with rational behavior.

  5. Hey windwalker, guess you did not get the FACTS message. After 9-11 the Bush administration set up a jet just for the speaker of the house (third in line of Presidential succession). When Pelosi became speaker of the house, SHE RARELY used the jet as she preferred taking a commercial jet, as it was much cheaper and she could interact with regular people. If you do a FACT CHECK, you will find that the post you are referring to is a lie, plain (plane) and simple. The republicans have used that jet way, WAY more the any democrat.

  6. Zinke was always going to be for sale to the highest bidders in DC. He’s been attempting to cash in on government service since he was a Seal. The second he touched down in DC for his job with the Dept of Interior; Big Oil and Natural Resource Exploitation came a “runnin” with cash, trips, and gifts in hand. His wife is there to make sure they exploit this financial opportunity to the max!

    • Exactly. well said. I think theres A gene for narcissism that runs in repug families.

      • From the Mayo Clinic: Narcissistic personality disorder is a mental condition in which people have an inflated sense of their own importance, a deep need for excessive attention and admiration, and a lack of empathy for others. But behind this mask of extreme confidence lies a fragile self-esteem that’s vulnerable to the slightest criticism. This describes Zinke and Trump perfectly.

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