CONFLICT OF INTERESTS/ETHICS/INTERIOR/RYAN ZINKE: “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…
The details about Zinke’s fundraising and spending practices have not been previously reported, nor has his years-long relationship with Mackenzie’s Virgin Islands Republican Party, a group that some Republicans in the Caribbean island chain have accused of misrepresenting itself to donors. POLITICO’s analysis of Federal Election Commission filings, plus interviews with campaign finance lawyers and people familiar with the Virgin Islands group’s fundraising, offer a deeper picture of the political activism of the retired Navy SEAL who serves in President Donald Trump’s Cabinet.
None of the records indicate that Zinke violated the law or received any direct compensation from his association with Mackenzie, the Virgin Islands PAC or its consultants. But one campaign finance expert said the information shows that Zinke was not behaving like a typical politician.
An Interior Department spokeswoman declined to comment on the assistance Zinke has offered to the Virgin Islands group or his use of political consultants. Mackenzie declined to be interviewed, and officials from the Virgin Islands organization — also known as VIGOP — did not respond to requests for comment.
Zinke is separately facing investigations by Interior’s internal watchdog and the independent Office of Special Counsel over his habit of mixing politics and official business.”
-Ben Lefebvre and Nick Juliano, “Zinke funneled millions to questionable PACs,” Politico, Oct. 24, 2017 05:04am