Another lie, Ryan. 350 Montana Doesn’t Want to Defund the Police

350 Federal Reserve Rally

I came in from weeding onions and turned on my computer to stream the congressional debate. Retired duffers get to do that in the middle of the day. My favorite part of the debate was seeing the look on Ryan Zinke’s face when he realized the debate wasn’t going to be a slam dunk.

That was presumably the same expression when he learned the Navy was investigating “a pattern of travel fraud” at the end of his military career. And perhaps a similar expression crossed his face when the FBI probed his Whitefish business dealings with the chairman of Halliburton, a company he was supposed to regulate as Interior Secretary. The investigation by the Justice Department resulted in his early “you’re fired” resignation, and the subsequent investigation found Zinke guilty of misusing his office for personal gain and lying to cover it up. I was disappointed we didn’t get to see him ride his horse into the sunset.

But I digress.

In his mind, on stage during the debate, perhaps he began seeing the sunset as he watched Monica prowl the stage. It was almost as if she was slapping a pinball and millions of points were lighting up behind the stage. She combined facts, anecdotes from the campaign, applicable laws, policy proposals, and it felt like she would have gone on forever if the moderator hadn’t taken away her microphone after two minutes.

Zinke’s answers were dog whistles to loyalists. Close the border. Stay beholden to only oil and gas energy. Blah. Blah. Blah. He was devolving to one-word answers until … I could almost see the dim bulb go off in his head … an odd piece of opposition research recalled. He would slander his opponent with a mention of the organization … Montana 350!

I scared the bejesus out of my wife by bursting out laughing. 350 Montana has advocated defunding the police? Another Zinke lie.

Monica represented 350 Montana in a successful lawsuit against NorthWestern Energy and the Montana Public Service Commission over a law passed by the Legislature giving the company a loophole it’s been driving a truck through, the “pre-approval” law. Using that law has resulted in at least a half-a-billion dollars of overcharges for NorthWestern’s ratepayers. Monica and her partner in the lawsuit, Tom Tosdal, won on all counts. Judge Jason Marks declared the law unconstitutional.

Between them, Monica and Tom spent thousands of hours on our case, and never charged us a dime. It was a clean sweep, a brilliant piece of lawyering that saves Montanans real money – millions. Excuse me, but isn’t that the kind of person we need in Congress right now? As opposed to Zinke who took at least $500,000 consulting for oil companies.

350 Montana is an all-volunteer climate change group, an affiliate of the international organization,, which was started by Bill McKibben, whose 1989 book, The End of Nature, described the perils of greenhouse gasses, warming temperatures, and damage to the Earth’s natural system. Our mission is to transition as quickly as possible to a 100 percent clean energy system. The research we commissioned (look to proves a clean energy system is not only feasible, it’s cheaper than fossil fuels in Montana.

I’m sorry to suggest this to Ryan, but he might want to pay his opposition researchers more money to get the facts right. Defunding the police is not what we do at 350 Montana. I just can’t see how it helps with fighting global warming. Now it’s time to head back into the garden. The onions are calling, and I’m tired of the Zinke lies.