Thanks to a tip sent our way, we have learned that Ryan Zinke is, yet again, off raising campaign money from groups outside of Montana. We have already reported on Zinke’s massive windfall from his Florida-based real estate and mortgage buddies, and this time, it looks like he’s visiting some TEA Party friends in California.
In fact, he will be having a fundraiser tonight in Carpinteria, California, that is being promoted by a local TEA Party group. You can see the event information right here.
Now, it is not unusual for federal candidates to raise some money from outside their district or state, especially in a smaller state like Montana. What is strange however, is how large Zinke’s out of state money is in comparison with what he has raised in Montana. According to his last finance report, less than a quarter of Zinke’s individual contributions came from Montana.
He and his campaign are clearly worried about how poorly Montanans will view all of this out of state money, because they tried to go on the defensive and explain it away, before his 2013 report was even public. Back in January, Zinke said “I spent the first two months going around the country, quite frankly, talking to successful business leaders that have assets that have a play in Montana. And that’s why I think you’ll see … that most of the donors were where I was, talking to the people who run industries at the national level”.
You have to hand it to Zinke – coming right out and admitting that he cares more about out of state business interests than folks in Montana is an interesting strategy, but a better idea may have been not to do all of his campaigning outside the state in the first place.
Ryan Zinke just keeps proving time and time again, that he is not what he claims to be. He tries to present himself as a moderate, then has events promoted by TEA Party groups; he acts as if he cares about Montana’s interests, then decides he’d rather fly around the country on all-expenses-paid trips to raise money from special interest groups than spend his time in Montana.
Ryan Zinke wants to have his cake and eat it too, but Montanans can see right through his attempts to trick voters.