Zinke played dark money game to get elected, hire congressional staff
HELENA -- When it comes to special interests lining the pockets of politicians, you’ll find Congressman Zinke’s are pretty full.
Before he even took his first vote in 2015, Congressman Zinke hired the head of one of the Super PACs, Special Operations for America (SOFA) he benefitted from to be his chief of staff (Scott Hommel), receiving criticism far and wide for what is still perceived to be an illegal campaign coordination activity.
“Since day one Congressman Zinke has shown his first priority is not Montanans,” said Nancy Keenan, executive director of the Montana Democratic Party. “Rather than getting to work on the many issues that matter to Montanans, Congressman Zinke was handing out favors to his political cronies.”
Here’s what we know about the Super PAC SOFA:
- It was started in 2012 by Congressman Zinke and his buddy, Scott Hommel, who is now his chief of staff.
- Congressman Zinke benefitted from SOFA to the tune of nearly $200,000 in 2014.SOFA spent $3.4 million to try and buy elections in 2014.
- Before running for Congress, SOFA made $34,757 in payments to Zinke’s personal business, Continental Divide International.
- In 2014, national organizations such as the Campaign Legal Center and Democracy 21 filed a complaint with the FEC that SOFA and Zinke were using illegal campaign coordination tactics.
“Apparently, all it takes to become part of Congressman Zinke’s staff is a few million dollars of dark money and a lack of campaign ethics,” Keenan said. “Montana deserves better representation than someone who has been bought and sold by a Super PAC.”