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Concerned with Funke's support for Zinke

| October 26, 2022 12:00 AM

A recent letter in the Montana Standard written by Ryan Funke made my decision much easier about who to cast my vote for in the upcoming sheriff’s race. In his letter he praises Ryan Zinke as being a “good guy” citing two minor examples that showcase Zinke’s accomplishments while spending most of his letter criticizing Monica Tranel and implying that she is some sort of criminal (i.e., “bad guy”).

The statements that Funke made about Tranel are vastly exaggerated. For example, “She works for 350 MT” implies that she is an employee for that group, which is not true. She did voluntarily help them overturn an unconstitutional statute that allowed NorthWestern Energy to pass the costs of poor choices on to YOU, the rate payers. He also states that 350MT advocates for “radically defunding the police and redistributing those funds elsewhere”. They did, in fact, speak in favor of a Missoula plan to have firefighter/EMTs respond to mental health emergencies, with some public safety funds to be appropriated to that program.

Additionally, Funke makes the statement that he learned through his research, that Tranel had sought to have a convicted child rapist released from prison; she did work as a part of a team from her firm but the appeal had nothing to do with the man’s guilt or innocence but rather whether it was a fair trial or not – which if not, then the man could be tried again. This is NOT the same as working to have someone released from prison (this court action was explained more fully in an LTE in last week’s local paper). This is not only an exaggeration but also a misrepresentation, as well as a poor understanding of the way our criminal justice system works.

Zinke is NOT a “good guy”. In a recent article in the Missoulian, he is quoted as claiming that “American values are at stake,” citing the reason for this is because of our government and the Democrats. Does he not realize that half the people in our country are Democrats and, despite all the problems we are facing today, that we have one of the best governments in the world? Most of us agree on what values are important to our citizens: our basic freedoms, our families, clean air and water, preservation of and access to our public lands, the right to make our own choices about the way we live, good education and health care for ourselves and our children, and much more.

Lastly, as a member of President Trump’s cabinet (Secretary of the Department of Interior), Zinke resigned in disgrace after two years due to actions he had taken during his appointment and his previous term in Congress, resulting in more than 15 federal investigations. This does not make for a “good guy”.

The fact that Ryan Funke would write a letter of support for such a questionable individual is truly concerning.

— Diane Magone, Superior

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