Zinke boosted fortunes of ‘scam PAC’ operators

By: Ben Lefebvre and Nick Juliano, Politico, October 24, 2017

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.

Beneficiaries of Zinke’s largesse include groups linked to Washington-area political operative Scott Mackenzie, organizer of a Virgin Islands GOP political action committee that hosted the secretary at a St. Croix fundraiser in March. Before that, when Zinke was a Republican congressman from Montana, his political operation steered significant portions of its spending to a handful of Washington, D.C.-area consulting firms that also have had ties to Mackenzie and his associates.

Zinke also publicly endorsed ForthRight’s performance in his 2014 congressional race, offering a testimonial that was displayed on the firm’s website until this month, when the watchdog group Campaign for Accountability filed an ethics complaint.

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