The ethics report on Ryan Zinke has been released ahead of his confirmation hearing for interior secretary, and as cabinet picks go, Montana’s lone congressman is pretty low-budget.
Zinke’s net worth is between $601,002 and $2.3 million according to the U.S. Office of Government Ethics, which reports the income, assets and debts in a broad range. Financial disclosure estimates from Congress would put Zinke’s net worth at about $675,502. Forbes estimated Zinke’s worth to be $800,000 shortly before Christmas.
Forbes listed Zinke and Vice President-elect Mike Pence as the only two members of President-elect Donald Trump’s cabinet who were worth less than $1 million. The publication put the cabinet’s worth at $4.5 billion.
By comparison, the woman Ryan Zinke would replace, Interior Secretary Sally Jewell, had an estimated net worth of $6.6 million when she took office in 2013. Jewell was the former CEO of outdoor sporting goods retailer Recreational Equipment Inc. She was also a bank president or chief executive for 15 years.
Zinke, a Whitefish native, is a Navy SEAL veteran. He has had an interest in four different businesses but reports income from only two:
- Continental Divide International, a business development consulting company that also holds the title to Zinke’s house, is worth $500,000 to $1 million. Zinke is the corporation’s CEO and has drawn $15,001 to $50,000 income.
- Double Tap LLC is a microbrewery Zinke formed with his sister in 2011. Zinke reported rent or royalties from Double Tap worth $15,001 or less, though business records show the company has dissolved.
The two other business interests he had ended in 2014:
- Save the World Air was a California-registered oil pipeline company, of which Zinke was a board member. He is no longer involved in STWA.
- On Point Montana was a consulting business of which Zinke was president.
The Representative reported an art and auto collection worth $150,000 to $500,000. House personal financial disclosure records show that the auto collection includes a 1938 Series 65 Cadillac and a 2004 Harley Davidson motorcycle.
He lists some rental properties and $61,000 to $265,000 in bank accounts and investment funds.
Zinke’s liabilities are $200,000 to $550,000, from two 30-year mortgages and a personal truck loan.
Zinke signed an agreement to resign from his business positions and become a nonmanaging member, not to participate in the decision making of his two businesses and also to resign from the Great Northern Veterans Peace Park Foundation, which converted part of the Whitefish cemetery into a park.
Zinke acknowledged potential profit from his new book “American Commander: Serving a Country Worth Fighting For and Training the Brave Soldiers Who Lead the Way.” However, the book was released Nov. 29, and he reported no profit.
Zinke agreed not to participate personally or substantially in any matters concerning his publisher, Thomas Nelson. He also agreed not to participate in anything involving the financial interests of his wife’s family trust, which consists of several California rental properties and a vacant lot.
Zinke's staff said they could not comment Thursday.