Oh, the places Secretary Ryan Zinke will go (for political fundraisers and speeches)
Secretary of the Interior Ryan Zinke has been all over the news in recent weeks — and it hasn’t been the kind of media attention politicians crave. Reports (here, here, here, here, here, and here) highlight the secretary’s questionable use of private charter flights and his unethical — and possibly illegal — habit of mixing politics with his official job as Interior Secretary.
Secretary Zinke has tried to cultivate an image of the hardened cowboy, more comfortable wrangling bulls in Montana than schmoozing donors at fancy fundraisers. Sometimes a politician’s image doesn’t align with his (or her) personality and priorities. Since joining the Trump administration in February, we know of at least 7 fundraisers or political events the secretary has attended at high-end resort destinations. The Interior Department has provided no receipts or evidence that Secretary Zinke repaid taxpayers for his government-funded flights to these locations.
For those of us not lucky enough to travel in style and dine with America’s wealthy elite, we can at least live vicariously through Secretary Zinke’s travels. Here are a handful of the luxurious destinations we know Secretary Zinke’s been to since taking over at Interior:
Fundraiser at the Yellowstone Club, Montana — March 17th, 2017
Fundraiser, Big Sky Resort, Montana — March 18th, 2017
Fundraiser, Lone Mountain Ranch, Montana — March 18
Fundraiser, Club Comanche Hotel, St. Croix — March 30th, 2017
Republican National Committee Meeting, Hotel Coronado, San Diego — May 11th, 2017
Political Speech to Young America’s Foundation, Reagan Ranch, Santa Barbara — April 17th, 2017
Speech to Rule of Law Defense Fund, Hyatt Regency Lake Tahoe Resort — June 25
It’s not a bad life when you’re flying on taxpayers’ dime.