It will be amusing to some that this old, grey, fat, slow and weak U.S. Army veteran of Vietnam would feel it necessary to come to the aid and assistance of a 21st century U.S. Navy S.E.A.L. The full-page ad in the Flathead Beacon of Jan. 2 paid for by Democratic Party money-laundering group known as the Montana Conservation Voters Education Fund made it necessary for this rebuttal to be stated. The ad claims that Ryan Zinke “embarrassed Montana in his short time as Interior Secretary.” It then proceeds to list a series of obfuscations, innuendos and outright lies; to wit:
- “Zinke let LWCF expire.” Secretary Zinke did no such thing. Congress did. The Land amd Water Conservation Fund (LWCF) was established by Congress in 1965 to establish land, water and easements to land and water for the benefit of all Americans. It’s primary source of revenue for the grants, etc., was to be the fees paid by companies drilling offshore for oil and gas. (Of course, if Democrats had their way, there wouldn’t be any offshore drilling, hence no revenue). Congress’ failure to renew was not due to any action of Secretary Zinke.
- “Shrunk the size of our national monuments.” This statement refers to the illegal land-grab of 1.4 million acres that President Barack Obama decreed in the dying days of his administration, on Dec. 28, 2016, of the Bears Ears National monument. Despite the opposition of the state of Utah, the entire congressional delegation of Utah, local elected officials and a majority of the citizens of Utah, Obama, in violation of the original statute with “a stroke of a pen” disregarded the will of the people. Secretary Zinke, upon review and President Trump’s approval, reduced the size of the monument. He did not abolish it, and all the land remains under federal ownership.
- “Paved the way for developers to build in our parks.” This is an outright lie. If they mean that private corporations are building, restoring and improving the public amenities in our parks, then this is true; however, implying that developers would be building subdivisions is asinine.
- “Spent hard earned taxpayer dollars on private jets.” This has been proved to be an exaggeration and the secretary has been cleared of any wrong-doing by the Inspector General. Incidentally, how many taxpayer dollars does Nancy Pelosi spend on her weekly trips from D.C. to San Francisco?
- “And is under investigation for inappropriate personal deals that padded his bank account …” This is once again the secretary’s enemies throwing bovine excrement on the wall to see if any of it sticks. No investigations have uncovered any illegal behavior.
So the question remains, why are the Democrats so afraid of Ryan Zinke? Are they jealous of a man who served his country honorably and bravely for close to 30 years? Are they simply vindictive, since now that Zinke has resigned they feel free to denigrate him? Or, are they so afraid that Ryan Zinke will not just fade away and will continue to advocate for a free and prosperous Montana and America?
Rep. John Fuller
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