Ryan Zinke and the Interior Dept in the Trump Era

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Kendra
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Ryan Zinke and the Interior Dept in the Trump Era

#1

Post by Kendra »

Oh heck, let's give him his own thread.

http://www.politico.com/story/2017/10/2 ... 4?cmpid=sf
Interior Secretary Ryan Zinke has directed millions of dollars in political contributions since 2014 to a network of Washington operatives that prominent conservatives have accused of profiting by misleading donors.

Beneficiaries of Zinke’s largesse include groups linked to Washington-area political operative Scott Mackenzie, organizer of a Virgin Islands GOP political action committee that hosted the secretary at a St. Croix fundraiser in March. Before that, when Zinke was a Republican congressman from Montana, his political operation steered significant portions of its spending to a handful of Washington, D.C.-area consulting firms that also have had ties to Mackenzie and his associates.

Zinke has continued this relationship even as other Republicans have recoiled from dealing with Mackenzie, whose critics say he operates "scam PACs" that raise small-dollar donations from conservative voters but then spend the bulk of the money on consultants and overhead. The critics include former Virginia Attorney General Ken Cuccinelli, who filed a suit accusing Mackenzie and other defendants of running a “national fundraising scam” after they gave his 2013 campaign for governor less than a half percent of the money they had raised in his name.

Similarly, Zinke’s own leadership PAC also relied heavily on small donors while spending heavily on consultants, in a departure from how most members of Congress operate those kinds of groups.
Lots more at the link.

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Patagoniagirl
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Re: Ryan Zinke

#2

Post by Patagoniagirl »

Thank you Kendra!

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RTH10260
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Re: Ryan Zinke

#3

Post by RTH10260 »

Interior secretary has not been keeping proper travel records: Watchdog
By STEPHANIE EBBS Nov 16, 2017, 5:53 PM ET

The office of Secretary of the Interior Ryan Zinke was warned Wednesday that an investigation into Zinke's official travel was delayed by "absent, or incomplete documentation," the latest snag in the months-long controversy over Trump administration officials' travel.

The Interior Department's inspector general issued the management advisory to Zinke's office, explaining that paperwork for the secretary's travel was insufficient and that the department's ethics office had not included sufficient documentation in its trip reviewing process. Such warnings are given when the department needs to be made aware of a deficiency immediately, so it may begin working to correct it, according to a spokesperson.

The advisory further notes that the inspector general has been unable to determine the number of trips by which Zinke was accompanied by his wife, Lolita Zinke, due to the incomplete records. It does state that, aside from the documentation issue, the department has cooperated with the probe.

http://abcnews.go.com/Politics/interior ... d=51205731

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Kendra
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Re: Ryan Zinke

#4

Post by Kendra »

https://www.rawstory.com/2017/12/trumps ... remacists/

:jawdrop:
President Donald Trump’s interior secretary seems to be the nexus for a shady government energy deal, a proposed private spy agency and white supremacists all based in a Montana town.

:snippity:

The interior secretary is also linked through his sons to a notorious part-time resident of Whitefish.

White nationalist Richard Spencer, head of the National Policy Institute, is reportedly friends with Zinke’s two sons.

According to journalist Wayne Madsen, the alt-right figurehead moved to Washington after Trump’s election to be closer to the Zinkes and another friend, senior White House adviser Stephen Miller.

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Re: Ryan Zinke

#5

Post by Tiredretiredlawyer »

https://thinkprogress.org/zinke-helicop ... ssion=true
Ryan Zinke taps almost $40,000 from wildfire preparedness fund to pay for a helicopter trip

Over the past year, President Donald Trump and his top officials have made a habit of refusing to admit they make mistakes.

In a rare acknowledgement of error, the Trump administration’s Department of the Interior admitted it made a mistake by trying to use wildfire preparedness funds to pay for helicopter rides taken by Interior Secretary Ryan Zinke that had nothing to do with wildfires. The admission came only after a news organization inquired about the account used to pay for the trip.

Zinke’s office initially told Newsweek that the costs of the Interior secretary’s July 30, 2017, helicopter ride in Nevada could be legally covered by the Bureau of Land Management (BLM) and the National Interagency Fire Center, even though Zinke did not visit fire zones that day. After follow-up questions by Newsweek, the Interior Department admitted in late December the helicopter rides, listed as costing $39,295, were charged to the wildfire account “in error” and that the flights would be charged to a more appropriate account.

Citizens for Responsibility and Ethics in Washington (CREW), a government watchdog group, views the accounting method initially used for Zinke’s helicopter ride as extremely troublesome. “Ryan Zinke’s caused a lot of controversy with his private flights, but none have been as egregious as using wildfire preparedness funding to pay for a trip that had nothing to do with wildfires, while a wildfire ravaged California,” CREW wrote in a tweet Monday.

(MOAR Zinke tax payer funds shenanigans in the article. His reaction?)

Zinke himself has refused to apologize for his use of private charter flights for government business. In fact, Zinke told reporters in October that criticism of his taxpayer-financed travel “complete and utter bullshit” and driven by politics.

A 19th Amendment Centennial Moment:
The 19th Amendment was first introduced to Congress in 1878, yet it was not approved by Congress until 1919 – 41 years later.
- https://legaldictionary.net/19th-amendment/

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AndyinPA
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Re: Ryan Zinke

#6

Post by AndyinPA »

45 made a lot of really bad appointments in his administration, but Zinke is just about the worst of them. :brickwallsmall:
"To argue with a person who has renounced the use of reason is like administering medicine to the dead." -- Thomas Paine

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pipistrelle
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Re: Ryan Zinke

#7

Post by pipistrelle »

More on Zinke and Spencer, from OLive. I thought Zinke was one of the least objectionable of Trump's appointments. Man, was I wrong.

https://www.dailykos.com/stories/2017/1 ... nd-The-CIA

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Kendra
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Re: Ryan Zinke

#8

Post by Kendra »



Thoughts?

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Sugar Magnolia
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Re: Ryan Zinke

#9

Post by Sugar Magnolia »

Kendra wrote:
Thu Jan 11, 2018 12:47 pm


Thoughts?
Considering they only have 70,000 employees total, moving "tens of thousands" of them around sounds a bit panic-y.

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Kendra
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Re: Ryan Zinke

#10

Post by Kendra »


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Kendra
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Re: Ryan Zinke

#11

Post by Kendra »

http://www.eastoregonian.com/eo/columni ... B.facebook
The emperor of the outdoors rode into town on a horse named Tonto, and soon demanded that his own special flag fly outside his headquarters whenever he was in Washington. He believes fracking is proof that “God loves us” and, despite being from Montana, doesn’t know how to properly set up his fly line when fishing in front of the cameras.

“He had rigged his reel backward,” Elliott D. Woods wrote of Interior Secretary Ryan Zinke in a wonderful profile in Outside Magazine. “Seems like an inconsequential thing, but in Montana, it’s everything.”

As it turned out, it was quite consequential. When the magazine next tried to dial into an Interior conference call, it was denied access.

You may think that Stormy Daniels is in charge of the natural world under Donald Trump. And yes, the boorish behavior of the president and the porn star makes for better reading than an account of the quack running Interior.
More at the link. Love a good scathing article on a Sunday morning.

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Kendra
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Re: Ryan Zinke

#12

Post by Kendra »

https://www.huffingtonpost.com/entry/zi ... f7fa12c397

Interior Secretary Ryan Zinke is a shareholder in a private Montana company that manufactures and sells firearms and advanced weapons materials, a financial interest he did not disclose when nominated last year.

In response to inquiries from HuffPost, both Zinke and the company, PROOF Research Inc., confirmed the secretary’s holdings, though the dollar value placed on them varied. This previously undisclosed holding comes to light after numerous decisions in his first year in office that benefited the hunting and gun industries.

PROOF Research Inc. was first established in 2011 in Zinke’s hometown of Whitefish, Montana, under the name Extreme Precision Armaments Inc., according to state of Montana business records. The company specializes in the production of lightweight rifles with high-precision carbon fiber barrels for hunting and military applications and was born as a merger of four smaller firearms and gun parts companies. It later changed its name to PROOF Research Inc. and moved to the nearby town of Columbia Falls.

According to the company’s website, its facility in Columbia Falls produces “the world’s finest composite barrels, stocks, and complete rifles.” A second facility in Dayton, Ohio, makes specialized high-temperature composite materials for the aerospace and defense industries, including components for the F-35 Joint Strike Fighter and B-2 stealth bomber.

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Re: Ryan Zinke

#13

Post by pipistrelle »

I missed that you'd posted this. Also of interest:
The Secretary is committed to the highest ethical standards and his first meeting as secretary was with the Department’s senior ethics officers,” Swift said via email, adding that Zinke owns 1,000 shares out of 57 million.

In a follow-up phone conversation, Murphy explained that the company met with Zinke last year mainly because of the “Montana connection,” in an attempt to determine “whether the Secretary knew of any needs in the government for the company’s products.

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Kendra
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Re: Ryan Zinke

#14

Post by Kendra »

Ethical standards, hah.

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Kendra
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Re: Ryan Zinke

#15

Post by Kendra »

https://www.deseretnews.com/article/900 ... ement.html
SALT LAKE CITY — Interior Secretary Ryan Zinke will once again visit Utah, making a special appearance at the Western Hunting & Conservation Expo on Friday at the Salt Palace Convention Center.

A release from the U.S. Department of Interior said Zinke will make a "major conservation announcement" and take questions from the media.

This will be Zinke's third visit to the Beehive State in under a year, with him first visiting last May to tour the Bears Ears and Grand Staircase national monuments as part of a review directed by President Donald Trump.

When Trump visited last December to issue proclamations downsizing the monuments, Zinke spoke at the state Capitol.

Zinke described the Bears Ears region as "drop-dead gorgeous" country and expressed concern over the size of the 1.35 million-acre monument declared by former President Barack Obama in December of 2016. He noted similar concerns about the size of Grand Staircase-Escalante National Monument at 1.9 million acres and devoted much of his time hearing concerns from Garfield and Kane county leaders.

The accompanying reductions are under legal challenge by multiple organizations.

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pipistrelle
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Re: Ryan Zinke

#16

Post by pipistrelle »

https://www.msn.com/en-us/video/wonder/ ... vp-BBJ69Xo
Interior Secretary Ryan Zinke Proposes Restrictions to Freedom of Information Act Requests

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Kendra
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Re: Ryan Zinke

#17

Post by Kendra »

Attn: Part of the budget the White House proposed this week, would forgo traditional funding and instead opt to finance up to $18 billion in backlogged infrastructure projects solely through the sale of mineral and fossil fuel extraction on public lands and waters. Zinke’s plan suggests creating a Public Lands Infrastructure Fund to pool new lease sale revenues for use exclusively by the Department of Interior. This would increase the amount of oil and gas drilling by nearly 250%. Our parks do need funding, but this route is unacceptable!

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Re: Ryan Zinke

#18

Post by Sterngard Friegen »

Zinke could also tap into those funds to bask in the taxpayer subsidized luxury to which he is becoming accustomed.

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Kendra
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Re: Ryan Zinke

#19

Post by Kendra »

https://www.politico.com/story/2018/02/ ... dog-356800
A government watchdog group asked the Federal Election Commission on Thursday to investigate Interior Secretary Ryan Zinke's appearance at Virgin Islands Fundraiser, and it plans to request that Interior's Inspector General probe what it contends is his "pattern of violations" of ethics regulations.

The complaint letters from the Campaign Legal Center, which cite several POLITICO investigations as evidence, increase the scrutiny the former Montana congressman has faced over his habit of mixing official travel and political events in the Virgin Islands and the mainland. The Interior inspector general's office is already conducting a review of Zinke’s travel and campaign finance practices, which it expects to release by April.

“In his short time in office, Secretary Zinke’s boundary-pushing — and, apparently, boundary-crossing — conduct has set a poor ethical example for the department’s staff,” the Campaign Legal Center wrote in a draft complaint it plans to send to the inspector general Monday. “He appears to have violated ethics-related laws and regulations on several occasions and wasted taxpayer funds on frivolities. As a cabinet-level official, he owes more to the public he serves.”

The center is a nonpartisan, nonprofit group that monitors lawmakers ethics. Its senior director, Walter Shaub Jr., was director of the U.S. Office of Government Ethics before stepping down after Donald Trump became president.

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Re: Ryan Zinke

#20

Post by pipistrelle »

I heart Walter Schaub on Twitter.

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Re: Ryan Zinke

#21

Post by Tiredretiredlawyer »

pipistrelle wrote:
Thu Feb 22, 2018 11:20 pm
I heart Walter Schaub on Twitter.
Me too. His sense of humor is wicked. :daydream:
A 19th Amendment Centennial Moment:
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- https://legaldictionary.net/19th-amendment/

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Re: Ryan Zinke

#22

Post by Volkonski »



Kyle Griffin

@kylegriffin1

Two senior U.S. Geological Survey officials have stepped down after Interior Secretary Ryan Zinke demanded that they provide his office with confidential data on the National Petroleum Reserve-Alaska before it was released to the general public.
https://www.
washingtonpost.com/news/energy-en
vironment/wp/2018/02/21/two-scientists-have-left-the-interior-department-after-zinke-demanded-confidential-energy-data/?utm_term=.9cf48b7bbcba

7:15 AM - Feb 24, 2018
Image“If everyone fought for their own convictions there would be no war.”
― Leo Tolstoy, War and Peace

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Kendra
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Re: Ryan Zinke

#23

Post by Kendra »

https://www.ecowatch.com/ryan-zinke-rub ... 26626.html
Ryan Zinke Wins 2017 Rubber Dodo Award

Interior Sec. Ryan Zinke is the winner of the Center for Biological Diversity's 2017 Rubber Dodo award. The statue is awarded each year to the person or group who has most aggressively sought to destroy America's natural heritage or drive endangered species extinct.

"Ryan Zinke seems to wake up every day wondering how he can tear apart America's public lands, ramp up oil and gas development and put endangered species on a fast track to extinction," said Kierán Suckling, the Center for Biological Diversity's executive director.

--------------------------------------------------------------------------------

Zinke and President Trump announced massive cuts to Bears Ears and Grand Staircase-Escalante national monuments in Utah. Days later his Interior Department opened bids for the largest oil lease-sale ever offered in Alaska's National Petroleum Reserve—potentially turning over more than 10 million acres of prime wilderness and wildlife habitat to oil development.

Zinke's Interior Department also proposed vastly ramping up offshore drilling in the Arctic, the Gulf of Mexico and along the West Coast and East Coast. If the plan is enacted, it could lead to more than 5,000 oil spills and contribute 49.5 gigatons of carbon dioxide pollution, the equivalent of the emissions from 10.6 billion cars driven for a year.

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Re: Ryan Zinke

#24

Post by RTH10260 »

Has no financial situational awareness
Zinke on track to be $200K over travel budget: report
BY JACQUELINE THOMSEN - 02/28/18 08:54 PM EST

Interior Secretary Ryan Zinke is on track to be $200,000 over his travel budget, CNN reports.

Documents obtained by Citizens for Responsibility and Ethics (CREW), a group that has been highly critical of the Trump administration, showed that his office was told of the overspending in October.

The office disputed the documents, telling CNN that it has spent less money on travel due to fewer staff members and that it was within the budget.

Interior press secretary Heather Swift declined to tell CNN how much the office spent on travel in 2017, saying there is "no set in stone budget for travel specifically."


http://thehill.com/policy/energy-enviro ... get-report

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Kendra
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Re: Ryan Zinke

#25

Post by Kendra »

I loathe the man. Loathe him.

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