ConocoPhillips finds itself in the middle of a muddy political situation involving former U.S. Interior Secretary Ryan Zinke who is running for a U.S. House seat in Montana.
Seems that his Democratic opponent Monica Tranel released a letter she had sent to ConocoPhillips Chief Executive Ryan Lance demanding that the company stop paying Zinke.
The letter was sent after Zinke’s financial disclosure form filed last year showed he had been paid $460,000 for “consulting” for the company over the past two years.
POLITICO reports that a Zinke campaign spokeswoman responded to the Tranel letter and stated that Zinke gave up his board seat months ago to focus on the campaign. That’s where the confusion arose—the reference to the “board seat.” What board seat?
Zinke had listed his income from the company as separate from what his consulting firm Continental Divide was paid. Conoco explained Zinke was not a member of the company’s board of directors but offered no details about the consultation for which he had been paid. A spokesperson said that the company had stopped working with Zinke “a few months ago,” according to POLITICO.
Zinke’s campaign report for the first quarter of this year showed he received $1.1 million in contributions, including $2,500 from ConocoPhillip’s political action committee.