‘UGH!’: Zinke’s wife’s travel caused headaches for Interior staff

Source:  politico.com

Newly released records shed light on the outsize profile Lola Zinke has established compared with the typical Cabinet secretary’s spouse.

Secretary Ryan Zinke bringing his wife Lola along on official trips isn’t illegal as long as the government doesn’t pay for her expenses. | Jim Watson/AFP/Getty Images

Interior Secretary Ryan Zinke’s wife has frustrated department staffers by saddling them with extra work when she traveled with him on official business, according to new records that a liberal watchdog group says uncover the potential misuse of government resources.

The records document Lola Zinke’s last-minute requests to join high-level dinners and additions to the guest list for a conservative group’s event near their home in Southern California earlier this year. The Western Values Project filed a Freedom of Information Act lawsuit last month to force Interior to release more than 100 pages of documents related to Lola Zinke’s trips with her husband and interactions with Interior staff.

Shared first with POLITICO, the documents shed new light on the outsize profile Lola Zinke has established compared with the typical Cabinet secretary’s spouse, including her dictating people to invite to a town hall hosted by the conservative Young America’s Foundation for her husband.

New emails also reveal a celebratory dinner the Zinkes attended that was organized in part by a major GOP donor who gave heavily to Ryan Zinke’s congressional campaigns. And they show Interior staffers had to accommodate a last-minute request for her to join the secretary at an official dinner with Alaska’s governor. The records cover two trips Lola Zinke joined in the first three months of her husband’s tenure as well as some other interactions with Interior staff, such as coordinating her attendance at a White House briefing for Cabinet members’ spouses.

While the department says Lola Zinke paid her own way, the records show Interior used staff time to coordinate some of her activities while traveling with her husband. And the trips gave her access to high-level politicians and GOP activists and donors who could benefit her as a political operator in her own right.

“These emails show that the leadership at the Department of Interior treats basic ethical standards like an inconvenience,” Western Values Project Executive Director Chris Saeger said. “If Secretary Zinke is willing to be so sloppy with something as elementary as this, then God only knows how they’re handling big decisions about energy and public lands behind closed doors.”


Interior Department Spent $138,670 On A Door For Zinke’s Office

Secretary of the Interior, Ryan Zinke

Source:  Huffington Post

The office features a slew of taxidermied animals and a knife collection.

WASHINGTON — The Interior Department spent $138,670 on a door at Interior Secretary Ryan Zinke’s office, according to records first uncovered by The Associated Press and reviewed by HuffPost.

The department awarded the contract to Conquest Solutions LLC, a Greenbelt, Maryland-based company that specializes in automation systems. A contract summary available online lists the purchase as “Secretary’s Door.”

Conquest Solutions could not be reached for comment late Thursday. The Interior Department did not immediately respond to HuffPost’s request for comment Thursday.

However, department spokeswoman Heather Swift did confirm the purchase to the AP, saying that Zinke was not aware of the contract and that the purchase is part of a long-running modernization of the historic headquarters building in Washington, D.C.


Another Zinke cover-up?

In an article in Outside Magazine, reporter Elliott Woods noticed that Ryan Zinke, the Secretary of the Department of the Interior, had rigged his fly fishing reel backwards.   This was also discussed on Outside Magazine’s twitter page.

The photo on the left below shows how a fly fishing reel is correctly rigged (with the line farther from the pole).  The photo on the right shows how Zinke rigged his reel (with the line closer to the pole).

Recently, the Department of Interior’s website featured the photo below of Ryan Zinke fly fishing.  In the photo below, the line is closer to the pole, and is, again, rigged backwards.

This is a closer view of his reel.

Somebody else may have noticed this, because a box with a quote has conveniently been placed over the reel, in essence, covering up Zinke’s ineptness as a fly fisherman.

In the lower part of the diagram below, you can see that the line from the reel is farther away from the pole.

In the Outside Magazine article, Elliott Woods wrote:

“As Zinke and I casted over the ice-cold water, I noticed something funny about his setup. He kept struggling to strip line out of the bottom of the reel. For a while, I thought he was simply having trouble concentrating on our conversation while casting. No, there was something wrong, and when I asked him to stand for a portrait, I finally saw what the problem was. He had rigged his reel backward, so that the line was coming out of the top of the reel. Every so often when he went to strip line out, he would grasp air where the line should’ve been.

Seems like an inconsequential thing, but in Montana, it’s everything.”

Interior Secretary Zinke Bans Outside magazine reporter from conference call after the reporter noted Zinke rigged his fly fishing reel backwards

Apparently, Secretary of the Interior Ryan Zinke, besides lacking fly fishing skills, doesn’t have a sense of humor.

Source:  The Montana Post

“The fishing incident would be a comical encounter if not for the dangerous precedent set to ban reporters who tell the truth.”

Secretary Zinke Bans Reporter for Honest Coverage of His Terrible Fishing Ability

A reporter from Outside Magazine wrote a profile on Secretary of the Interior Ryan Zinke after they went fly-fishing together. Towards the end of a very worthwhile piece he noticed something worth mentioning:

As Zinke and I casted over the ice-cold water, I noticed something funny about his setup. He kept struggling to strip line out of the bottom of the reel. For a while, I thought he was simply having trouble concentrating on our conversation while casting. No, there was something wrong, and when I asked him to stand for a portrait, I finally saw what the problem was. He had rigged his reel backward, so that the line was coming out of the top of the reel. Every so often when he went to strip line out, he would grasp air where the line should’ve been.

Seems like an inconsequential thing, but in Montana, it’s everything.

After mentioning this at the end of the article the editor of Outside Magazine was banned from the next conference call held by the Department of the Interior where Secretary Zinke was busy attacking the outdoor clothing company, Patagonia, for daring to stand up to him and his illegal action of shrinking National Monuments. Outside Magazine reported:

Ryan Zinke, the secretary of the interior, was not pleased. On a Tuesday conference call with reporters he called Patagonia “a special interest group.” (Outside was not on the call. Despite repeated efforts to join, one of our editors was blocked. The previous day, the magazine had published a critical profile of Zinke by Elliott Woods that illustrated, among other issues, the secretary’s struggles to properly rig a fly rod.)

Read the rest of this article HERE.

What does Zinke have in common with the Queen?

SOURCE:  The Washington Post

“We’re talking about Cabinet members and federal buildings, not the Queen of England and Buckingham Palace,” said Chris Lu, deputy Labor secretary in the Barack Obama administration, referring to the British tradition of announcing the queen’s presence by raising her personal heraldic flag.”

The flag of the Interior Department’s deputy secretary, bottom, flew last week above the headquarters building in downtown Washington. (Jonathan Newton/The Washington Post)

Where’s Zinke?  The Interior Secretary’s flag offers clues

At the Interior Department’s headquarters in downtown Washington, Secretary Ryan Zinke has revived an arcane military ritual that no one can remember ever happening in the federal government.

A security staffer takes the elevator to the seventh floor, climbs the stairs to the roof and hoists a special secretarial flag whenever Zinke enters the building.  When the secretary goes home for the day or travels, the flag — a blue banner emblazoned with the agency’s bison seal flanked by seven white stars representing the Interior bureaus — comes down.

In Zinke’s absence, the ritual is repeated to raise an equally obscure flag for Deputy Secretary David Bernhardt.

Interior Secretary Ryan Zinke commissioned commemorative coins with his name on them to give to staff and visitors. (Obtained by The Washington Post)



The United Horse Killers of America! Part 2- Interior Secretary, Ryan Zinke

SOURCE:  Equine Advocates

In the youtube video below, the section on Secretary of the Interior, Ryan Zinke, starts about 11:47 minutes into it through about 14:05, and includes Zinke’s recent trips using taxpayer dollars, and also how Zinke got in big trouble while he was in the Navy because he “fiddled with his expenses in order to get the government to pay for his personal travel.”

 Watch the section regarding Sec of the Interior, Ryan Zinke, 11:47 minutes into this through about 14:05


The United Horse Killers of America!  Part 2- Interior Secretary, Ryan Zinke

The countdown is on as to whether horse slaughter will return to U.S. soil and whether Wild Horse & Burros will be sold off to slaughter and become extinct. Right now, the very existences of wild and domestic equines hang in the balance as we await the Senate Appropriations Committee’s decision to either disagree with the House of Representatives’ deadly decision to destroy and slaughter horses or go along with it. If the Senate does go along with the House, then all will be lost.

Ryan Zinke, a former Congressman from Montana who was confirmed as the new Secretary of the Interior, is one of the ringleaders of this movement to slaughter horses and exterminate America’s remaining Wild Horse & Burro herds.

We have quoted him many times, but his sentiments could not be any clearer:

“If a horse is too old to breed, too old to ride or too expensive to feed, a horse is disposed of,” he said.

Zinke may go down as the worst Interior Secretary in American history but he is taking our horses along with with him and destroying other species as well. He is also ruining our Public Lands and many of our national monuments as he is involved with special interests in the oil and gas industries, as well as the cattle ranchers who feel entitled to use that land for their own purposes that stickly enrich them.

Over the past 24 hours, Zinke has become embroiled in even more scandals than the ones he had hanging over his head when a clueless Congress confirmed him for the Cabinet post as Interior Secretary.

Now, we need to take those scandals and use them to fight for the horses. Just last night Friday, 9/29/17), Rachel Maddow skewered him on her show. Here is the link for it. Just fast forward to 11 minutes/48 seconds and you can view the part about Zinke here: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=CYbXASyx4b0

In addition, please see this link with regard to Zinke’s “pattern for fraud” when he was a Navy SEAL:

See his mounting scandals implicating him in Travelgate which just cost Tom Price his job: http://www.huffingtonpost.com/…/ryan-zinke-charter-plane_us…
(Zinke’s involvement goes way beyond this latest scandal which you will learn about from Rachel Maddow’s report.)

The estimated date for the Senate to mark up the language for the Horse Slaughter and Wild Horse issues has been moved to the week of October 10th which buys us some more. Our sources tell us that a focus should be on Senator Lisa Murkowski of Alaska who Zinke attacked, berated and threatened over her vote to oppose Trumpcare. She is a key Senator to contact along with Senator Tom Udall of New Mexico as they are the co-chairs of the Senate Interior Appropriations Committee. Also, be sure to contact your own two U.S. Senators and PLEASE keep the pressure on until the day that the Senate deals with these issues.

Here is a link with information on how to reach Senators Udall, Murkowski and your own two U.S. Senators: https://www.equineadvocates.org/19655-2/


(If you missed Part 1 of our United Horse Killers of America series, please click here to read about Rep. Adrian Smith: https://www.facebook.com/equineadvocates.org/photos/a.128854410471310.14855.119741951382556/1513158482040889/?type=3&theater )

Zinke looks to move 3 agencies’ headquarters to Denver

Source:  eenews.net

Interior Secretary Ryan Zinke reportedly has said Denver “will probably” become the headquarters for three major agencies within the department as part of an ambitious reorganization effort slated to get underway in fiscal 2019.

The Bureau of Land Management, Fish and Wildlife Service, and the Bureau of Reclamation could eventually move their headquarters operations from Washington to Denver, according to employee notes obtained by E&E News detailing a July meeting between Zinke and U.S. Geological Survey senior executives in Denver.

Zinke provided an overview of his reorganization plans to the senior executives during a July 21 lunch, USGS spokesman Dave Ozman confirmed. It included discussion of the secretary’s desire to shift more department resources and personnel from Washington to field offices across the country and empower front-line employees with more decisionmaking authority.

But more authority might not translate into higher salaries for employees outside the Beltway.

The notes indicated that Zinke believes Interior is too top-heavy with managers. He told senior executives during the Denver meeting that shrinking the workforce would be achieved without layoffs, something he has said publicly before.

“Zinke believes the DOI organization is an upside-down pyramid — there are too many high-graded employees,” the notes said. “There needs to be more lower grades, and they need to be in the field. Example, when a GS-14 retires, we should hire a GS-6 or 9.”

Zinke has told lawmakers that he wants to reduce the department workforce by 4,000 full-time jobs through a mix of attrition, separation incentives and reassignments to meet the recommendations of the Trump administration’s fiscal 2018 budget request.

The Montanan, a former Navy SEAL, also outlined for career managers his plan to have field offices report to regional joint management areas (JMAs) based on watershed and wildlife corridors. The idea is based on the military’s joint command structure. Leadership at the JMAs “could change or rotate between bureaus in the JMAs,” the notes said.

Read the rest of this article HERE.

Hearing for Ryan Zinke to be Secretary of the Interior

Source:  U.S. Senate Committee on Energy and Natural Resources

Both Trump and Zinke say they oppose the transfer of federal land to states, but when it came to vote last week, Zinke voted to make it easier to do land transfers.  This would not be good for the wild horses and burros.

natresourceshearing_032615Congressman Ryan Zinke (Montana)

Tuesday, Jan. 17 2017
11:15 Pacific Time, 12:15 Mountain Time, 1:15 Central Time, 2:15 Eastern Time
366 Dirksen 02:15 PM

This notice is to advise you of a hearing before the Committee on Energy and Natural Resources. The hearing will be held on Tuesday, January 17, 2017 at 2:15 p.m. in Room 366 Dirksen Senate Office Building in Washington, DC.
The purpose of the hearing is to consider the nomination of the Honorable Ryan Zinke to be the Secretary of the Interior.
The hearing will be webcast live on the committee’s website, and an archived video will be available shortly after the hearing is complete. Witness testimony will be available on the website at the start of the hearing.

BLM’s National Wild Horse & Burro Advisory Board to meet April 13-14 in Redmond, Oregon

The BLM is only allowing an hour and a half for public comment at this meeting, and the public comment period is the day BEFORE the BLM gives it’s “update” on the Wild Horse & Burro Program.        

By putting public comments early in the agenda, the BLM limits public comment about it’s current actions.

You can review meeting minutes and materials from past meetings HERE.


photo:  BLM

Source:  Federal Register

The Advisory Board will meet on Wednesday April 13, 2016, from 1 p.m. to 5 p.m. Pacific Time (PT) and Thursday April 14, 2016, from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. PT. This will be a one and a half day meeting.

This Advisory Board meeting will take place in Redmond, Oregon, at the Deschutes Fair & Expo, 3800 SW Airport Way, Redmond, OR 97756, http://expo.deschutes.org/, telephone: 541-548-2711.

The Wild Horse and Burro Advisory Board advises the Secretary of the Interior, the BLM Director, the Secretary of Agriculture, and the Chief of the Forest Service on matters pertaining to the management and protection of wild, free-roaming horses and burros on the Nation’s public lands. The Wild Horse and Burro Advisory Board operates under the authority of 43 CFR 1784. The tentative agenda for the meeting is:


Wednesday, April, 13, 2016 (1 p.m.-5 p.m.)

Welcome, Introductions, and Agenda Review

Approval of September 2015 Minutes

BLM Response to Advisory Board Recommendations

Wild Horse and Burro Program Update

Public Comment Period will take place from 3:15-4:45 p.m.


Thursday, April 14, 2016 (8 a.m.-5 p.m.)

Wild Horses and Burro Program Update

Working Group Reports

Advisory Board Discussion and Recommendations to the BLM


The meeting will be live-streamed. The meeting site is accessible to individuals with disabilities. An individual with a disability needing an auxiliary aid or service to participate in the meeting, such as an interpreting service, assistive listening device, or materials in an alternate format, must notify Ms. DeLorme 2 weeks before the scheduled meeting date. Although the BLM will attempt to meet a request received after that date, the requested auxiliary aid or service may not be available because of insufficient time to arrange it.

The Federal Advisory Committee Management Regulations at 41 CFR 101-6.1015(b), require the BLM to publish in the Federal Register notice of a public meeting 15 days prior to the meeting date.

On Wednesday, April 13 at 3:15 p.m. members of the public will have the opportunity to make comments to the Board on the Wild Horse and Burro Program. Persons wishing to make comments during the meeting should register in person with the BLM by 3 p.m. on April 13, 2016, at the meeting location. Depending on the number of commenters, the Advisory Board may limit the length of comments. At previous meetings, comments have been limited to 3 minutes in length; however, this time may vary. Speakers are requested to submit a written copy of their statement to the address listed in the ADDRESSES section above, email comments to whbadvisoryboard@blm.gov, or bring a written copy to the meeting. There may be a webcam present during the entire meeting and individual comments may be recorded.

Written comments pertaining to the April 13-14, 2016, Advisory Board meeting can be mailed to National Wild Horse and Burro Program, WO-260, Attention: Ramona DeLorme, 1340 Financial Boulevard, Reno, NV 89502-7147, or sent electronically to whbadvisoryboard@blm.gov. Please include “Advisory Board Comment” in the subject line of the email.

Ramona DeLorme, Wild Horse and Burro Administrative Assistant, at 775-861-6583. Persons who use a telecommunications device for the deaf (TDD) may call the Federal Information Relay Service (FIRS) at 1-800-877-8339 to contact the above individual during normal business hours. The FIRS is available 24 hours a day, 7 days a week, to leave a message or question with the above individual. You will receive a reply during normal business hours.