Zinke Lies about Service, Records show “Lapses in Judgment” and “Declining Performance Marks” in Leadership

Game Changer in US House Race, Records Reveal Zinke Is not Who He Says He Is

(Helena, MT) – After months of public pressure and a strong, steady drumbeat from Montana voters, Ryan Zinke finally released the 1999 Fitness Report, the Navy’s version of an employee review, that he’s been hiding for months. The newly released report proves the Ryan Zinke has been lying to the people of Montana and cites two “lapses in judgment” by Zinke and “declining performance marks in Military Bearing and Leadership”

Zinke Lies to Montanans: “To allege my military career was anything but extraordinary and distinguished as a SEAL I find an affront.” [SOURCE: MTN, October 22, 2014]
Zinke Lies to Montanans: "There is nothing in my record that does not distinguish myself from being in honorable service” [SOURCE: Great Falls Tribune, October, 23, 2014]
Zinke’s Spokeswoman Lies to Montanans: “The allegation that Ryan's military record is anything but stellar is completely false.” [SOURCE: MTN, October 22, 2014]
TRUTH: Zinke left the SEALs with remarks that include “declining performance” and “lapses in judgement.” 

Montana newspapers started calling for the release of his full record in August but it has taken him until October 27th, eight days before the election, to be transparent with the people of Montana.  Zinke’s former SEAL Team Six commander, Larry Bailey, alleged that this missing report showed why Zinke was forced out of SEAL Team Six.
“There is nothing honorable about using taxpayer dollars for personal use, regardless of the amount. Zinke lied to the people of Montana - he was pushed out of Seal Team Six for lapses in judgment that he's been covering up. The missions of SEAL Team Six were the foundation of Zinke's house of cards, including the creation of a super PAC and two runs for statewide office. Only after months of public pressure was Zinke willing to come clean about his ethical lapses with the people of Montana. Lapses in judgment, declining performance marks are evidence that Ryan Zinke is portraying himself to be something he is not,” said Bryan Watt, spokesperson for the Montana Democratic Party.
Zinke's campaign has been riddled questionable activities and allegations of wrongdoing. Zinke created and fundraised for his personal super PAC, which later spent hundreds of thousands of dollars on his behalf during the Primary Election. Zinke faces multiple FEC complaints for his ties to the super PAC including allegations of illegal coordination.

Timeline of Zinke's Ethical Lapses
  • March 5th: Formal FEC complaint filed against Zinke alleging illegal coordination between Zinke and SOFA PAC, the super PAC Zinke founded.
  • May 4th: Zinke calls three representative from Concerned Women for America Legilative Action Committee “liars”.
  • May 7th: The Huffington Post reports that the allegedly independent SOFA PAC is renting office space in a Zinke-owned rental and located across the street from the Zinke residence in Whitefish, further documenting potential illegal coordination.
  • June 30th: Second FEC complaint filed against Zinke campaign citing illegal coordination between Zinke for Congress and the super PAC Zinke founded, SOFA PAC.
  • July 2nd: Zinke insults Montanans claiming “they’re all poor” when asked why he receives most of his donations from out-of-state.
  • July 31st: Zinke campaign is forced to formally deny any coordination between SOFA PAC and Zinke for Congress.
  • August 9th: Zinke releases cherry-picked Navy Records leaving out the 1999 fitness report which details "lapses in judgment."
  • August 11th: The Montana Democratic Party calls on Zinke to release his entire military record and shows the process requesting it.
  • August 14th: In MTN interview, Ryan Zinke promises to release his full military record.
  • September 6th: Reports come out about Zinke making disparaging comments toward Native Americans.  Zinke said, “you need to teach a person how to fish,” when discussing Native issues in Montana.
  • October 21st: In a Great Falls Debate, Zinke is asked directly about the missing 1999 fitness report, he calls the panelist’s question  “shameless."
  • October 27th: Zinke releases 1999 fitness report that cites two “lapses in judgment” and “declining performance marks in Military Bearing and Leadership."

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