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Chief of Staff to the Secretary of the Interior

Scott Hommel is the “Chief of Staff to the Secretary.”

Scott Hommel, a marine veteran, began his political career working in Governor George Pataki’s administration in the New York State Division of Military and Naval Affairs. He then became a lobbyist for the National Guard Association before joining lobbying firm Peduzzi Associates Ltd. He founded his own consulting firm, Battle Plan Strategies, and was simultaneously the treasurer for Special Operations for America PAC, a super PAC founded by Ryan Zinke that helped fund Zinke’s 2014 congressional race. Several complaints were filed against Hommel’s PAC during that race. Shortly after, once Zinke was elected to Congress, he appointed Hommel to be his Chief of Staff.

Sources: [Department of the Interior, Press Release, 05/26/17, LinkedIn Profile for Scott Hommel, accessed 05/24/17, Legistorm Profile for Scott Hommel, accessed 05/25/17, “Etc.,” Missoula Independent, 11/07/13, “Zinke announces offices, key staff,” Helena Independent Record, 01/05/15, and “Democrats File Election Complaint Against Zinke,” Associated Press, 06/30/14]

Background Information

Previous Employers

Additional Background on Employers of Note:

Scott Hommel has lobbied on behalf of the National Guard Association of the United States as well as various manufacturing companies.

From 2005 to 2010, Scott Hommel was a registered lobbyist for the National Guard Association and Peduzzi Associates. While at Peduzzi Associates, he lobbied the federal government on behalf multiple manufacturing companies including Avalex Technologies, Telephonics Corporation, American Defense Systems and Sikorsky Aircraft Corporation.

[Legistorm Profile for Scott Hommel, accessed 05/25/17]

Scott Hommel founded and owned a “consulting firm” called Battle Plan Strategies.

[“Zinke announces offices, key staff,” Helena Independent Record, 01/05/15, and “Etc.,” Missoula Independent, 11/07/13]

Scott Hommel was the treasurer of the Special Operations for America Political Action Committee, a Super PAC founded by Ryan Zinke that was the target of FEC complaints after it “spent nearly $200,000 in support of Zinke’s candidacy.”

While Hommel was treasurer of Special Operations for America PAC, SOFA PAC paid over $86,000 to Hommel’s company, Battle Plan Strategies. After Zinke was elected, he appointed Hommel as his congressional chief of staff.

Scott Hommel was the treasurer of Special Operations for America PAC, a “right-wing super PAC focused on Swift Boat-style attacks on President Obama’s foreign policy.” SOFA PAC was founded in 2010 by Ryan Zinke, and “spent nearly $200,000 in support of Zinke’s candidacy.”

[“Zinke Announces Hiring Top Staff,” Flathead Beacon, 01/06/15, Josh Israel, “Super Bait-And-Switch: Super PAC Spending Big To Elect Its Founder To Congress,” ThinkProgress, 02/04/14, and Matt Volz, “Zinke touts advancing bills, Juneau takes aim at super PACs,” Associated Press, 09/08/16]

In 2014, two advocacy groups and the Montana Democratic Party filed complaints with the Federal Election Commission “seeking an investigation into connections” between Ryan Zinke and SOFA PAC. While super PACs can “spend money to support or oppose candidates in elections… it is illegal for them to coordinate spending with the candidates they are trying to help.” Zinke denied any wrongdoing.

[“Democrats File Election Complaint Against Zinke,” Associated Press, 06/30/14, and Charles Johnson, “Democrats blast Zinke’s pick of former super PAC treasurer as chief of staff,” Montana Standard, 01/08/15]

While he was treasurer of Special Operations for America PAC, Scott Hommel owned Battle Plan Strategies, a “consulting firm” based in New York. From 2012 to 2013, while Hommel was the treasurer, SOFA PAC paid Battle Plan Strategies $86,499.85 for “‘administrative consulting,’ ‘administration’ and ‘strategy consulting.'”

[“Etc.,” Missoula Independent, 11/07/13, and “Zinke announces offices, key staff,” Helena Independent Record, 01/05/15]

Financials

Financial Disclosure

Department of the Interior salary: $170,000

[Scott Hommel, ProPublica’s Trump Town, accessed 03/15/18]