The Billings Outpost

Where is Zinke on abortion?

In an article published in Lee Enterprises newspapers on May 4, Ryan Zinke called two other women and me liars. Now it’s time to set the record straight.

On March 11, three representatives from Concerned Women for America Legislative Action Committee met with Ryan Zinke and his adviser Randy Vogel at Zinke’s office in Billings. The meeting was at Zinke’s request; he expressed a desire to know more about CWALAC. In that meeting we shared who our organization is and what we do.

Early on in the conversation, I asked Mr. Zinke what his stance was on abortion. He furrowed his brow, thought for a minute and replied, “I’m OK with it up to, oh, 20 weeks.” My poker face disappeared. “20 weeks?” I asked.

“Yes” he replied. Meanwhile, Mr. Vogel, sitting in a chair set slightly behind us with his arms crossed, was shaking his head “no” as if to say “Shut up now - wrong answer.” We continued to discuss other issues, and toward the end of the meeting Kristi Miller (one of the other ladies at the meeting) said, “OK, so I just want to be sure we are clear. You DO in fact support abortion up to 20 weeks without restrictions?” and for the third time he answered, “Yes.” We left the meeting perplexed.

The Republican National Committee Platform states “Faithful to the ‘self-evident’ truths enshrined in the Declaration of Independence, we assert the sanctity of human life and affirm that the unborn child has a fundamental individual right to life which cannot be infringed.” Zinke is running as a member of the party that supports this platform statement.

Therein lies the problem. Ryan Zinke is claiming to be the “true conservative for Montana.” In 2009 Zinke’s NARAL rating was 65 percent and in 2011 it was 0 percent. Did he have a change of heart or was he trying to redeem himself among conservatives?

The Montana Democratic Party recently called into question Zinke’s true beliefs via Twitter and their website. Many members of the Republican establishment have spoken out against Zinke. Are we all lying? Is this some intricate plot meant to thwart the Zinke campaign?

The question that begs to be asked is why are both conservatives and liberals calling into question Zinke’s stance on the same issue? Why can’t we get a straight answer from Zinke when Corey Stapleton, Elsie Arntzen, Matt Rosendale and Drew Turiano all answer “Yes” when asked if they are pro-life?

Montanans simply want the truth. Montanans want to know where the candidates stand on this issue. It is time citizens hold every candidate accountable not only for what they say but also for their voting record.

In the spirit of truth, transparency and accountability, CWA of Montana has sent out a pro-life pledge to every candidate seeking the U.S. House seat.  We will post the signed pledges as they are returned on our website at I encourage every citizen to look up each candidate’s past voting record on the internet.  There are a plethora of tools available if we check the facts.

We are offended at having been called liars, but instead of just ranting about it, we are offering all of the candidates a chance to make their stand on the pro-life issue very clear. Words do matter.

Kari Zeier

Concerned Women for America Legislative Action Committee

Last Updated on Thursday, 29 May 2014 12:14

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Impressed by Zinke

I met Ryan Zinke recently, and he impressed me that he is a man of integrity. Not the “integrity when expedient” variety of politician that is so common, but the sort of non-negotiable character that America desperately seeks. His handshake was firm, his mannerism gentle, his speech soft and respectful. He projected conviction, saying, “I know and I won’t forget who I work for,” meaning Montanans, not a political party or the politically powerful.

I asked him if he had been inoculated against “Potomac fever,” the political illness that infects people when they get to D.C. His answer was rock solid saying, “I don’t back down.”

As a former SEAL Team 6 member, mission commander and director of Naval Special Warfare Technology, I suspect he knows the meaning of those words.

Nowadays when the federal government is characterized by septic scandals on a near-daily basis, I am impressed that Montanans have the  opportunity to BEGIN cleaning up our often out-of-control and unaccountable government. No, I don’t think he can transform Washington’s sordid mess alone or cowboy up the “cleansing creams” politicians we live with, but I hope Ryan can begin the process. I’ll vote for binding integrity this time.

Craig Byington


Last Updated on Thursday, 29 May 2014 12:13

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Daines for the rich

Mr. [Steve] Daines claims to be a fifth-generation Montanan, which is not true; he was born in Van Nuys, Calif.

We need to check Daines’ voting record.

Daines voted against the Obamacare act, but it has more than 8 million supporters and is still growing.

Thanks to Daines, the Tea Party and the Republican-controlled House, there are thousands of poor Montanans who still don’t have health insurance.

Daines voted against the minimum wage, to prioritize Medicare, cut taxes for the wealthy, to shut down the federal government that hurt the lower-income people, cut food stamps.

Daines is a pawn for the Tea Party, Americans for Prosperity, Ted Cruz and Paul Ryan. Daines and the Republican/Tea Party are strictly for the rich and don’t care about the middle or poor class.

Daines and his fellow Republicans want a two-class system, the real rich and the real poor, so they can control everything.

I would like to know why people who have so little to give are willing to give so much and yet the people like Daines and his fellow Republicans with so much to give are only willing to give a little, except for things that help the rich.

We don’t need people like Daines, Ted Cruz and Paul Ryan or the Republican Party to tell us how to live our lives. We need to stand up for what the middle class stands for and not let “Big Money” control our future.

Ron Kuneff


Last Updated on Thursday, 29 May 2014 12:07

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Route bypasses nothing

I went to the open house where an engineering firm out of Denver gave a presentation about the latest chosen Billings bypass route.

The bypass a presented was nothing but a ring of “baloney.” It is not a bypass by any stretch of the imagination.

The proposed highway would go straight through a residential zoned single-family area for at least two miles with no buffer zone from interstate traffic. It ruins a nature park and wildlife refuge at the end of Mary Street where there are hiking paths, bike paths and a scenic view of the Yellowstone River.

The plane ride I reviewed revealed the new interstate truck route that would connect Highway 312 where it will meet Billings Heights Main Street, already the busiest street in Montana.

This is “not” a bypass route. It bypasses nothing. It will ruin the lifestyles for all homes on Mary Street and many streets nearby.

George Graham



Last Updated on Thursday, 29 May 2014 12:06

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War for GOP’s soul

There is a war for the soul of the Republican Party in Montana. Responsible Republicans have shown leadership with conservative solutions and is the path I hope voters take on June 3.

Option 2 is a Montana Republican Party fueled by dark money, emulating Washington, D.C., gridlock, the party of no, guns on campuses and shooting drones.

The state of Montana is in the enviable financial position with a structurally balanced budget and a $350 million ending fund balance.

Montana is one of a few states that addressed their overdue bills from the Great Recession without raising taxes.

Responsible Republicans working within the constraints of the legislative system and the guidelines outlined by the Montana Constitution have been able to cut taxes, fund a world class K-12 school system, freeze tuition at our universities, fairly pay our hardworking state employees and build infrastructure, all while maintaining a balanced budget.

Government in Montana has grown at a pace less than population growth plus inflation since 1993, much less than the growth of wages because responsible Republicans have made hard choices and set priorities.

The 2015 session of the Montana Legislature will feature some big issues that need reflection and hard work.

To grow our economy we must address the issues of income tax simplification/lower rates, working with our health care providers to reform Medicare and Medicaid, property tax reappraisal, workers’ compensation system changes, meeting Montana’s expanding infrastructure needs and getting more federal logs on trucks.

Responsible Republicans have worked hard to deliver a Montana that is a great place to live, work and play. Many primary races provide a choice for the voter, D.C. style gridlock or a hardworking team looking for solutions to make government work. If the Legislature fails to function, the bureaucracy will govern.

Sen. Bruce Tutvedt


Last Updated on Thursday, 29 May 2014 12:05

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Rosendale smears Zinke

As the smears against Ryan Zinke continue to arrive in our mail, we feel it’s time to put some perspective on the congressional race.

It’s pretty easy to represent yourself as the true American in the race, but it’s a whole lot tougher to put your life on the line to defend the principles of freedom in the fight against terrorism.

Congressional candidate Matt Rosendale pretends to shoot down a drone aircraft in his television ad to prove how tough he is. But Rosendale’s negative gimmickry pales in comparison to Zinke’s decorated record of defending this nation’s freedoms. Zinke’s patriotism is no act.

While Rosendale was making his millions in Maryland, Zinke was risking his life for our nation as a Navy Seal. It is deeply offensive for us, all military veterans who have known Ryan for most of his life, to see him attacked by someone who has never worn the uniform of this great country.

It’s also extremely revealing to compare campaigns. Typical of someone whose character is proven through his life experiences, Zinke has remained positive, while Rosendale stoops to new lows with each vicious attack.

Earlier this spring, Ryan Zinke stood up and delivered a fitting and moving eulogy for his mentor, Sen. Bob DePratu, a true Montana statesman. It seems only fitting that we who were friends of Bob’s now stand up as DePratu would have done in a forthright defense of Zinke, as fine, brave and capable a man as any of us have known.

We will vote for real character over character assassination. Ryan Zinke is a genuine and proven leader with the guts to think independently and the will to fight to get this country back on track. He is exactly who we need in Congress.

Charlie Abell

Bill Beck

Bob Brown

Bob Lawson

Last Updated on Thursday, 22 May 2014 23:01

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