July 14, 2014

ICYMI: Taxpayers On the Hook for 239% Increase in Security Costs As Scott Walker Travels to RNC, Bahamas

As Scott Walker’s national profile – and campaign war chest – continues to grow among far-right special interests and conservative funders like the Koch brothers, so does the cost to taxpayers for Walker’s jet-setting, to include a 239% increase in security costs.

Documents released by the Walker administration Friday afternoon show that Walker’s security in 2013 was a staggering $2.23 million, compared to just $657,457 for Gov Jim Doyle in 2010. Overall, taxpayers have spent more than $5.75 million on security for Walker, to include at least 110 out-of-state trips to partisan events, a family vacation to the Bahamas, and on fundraising trips to places like New York, Georgia, and Arkansas.  

Incredibly, Walker even took 5 security guards with him to the Republican National Convention, a National Special Security Event under the protection of the U.S. Secret Service and the FBI.

The figure also includes 24/7 security for two homes.

While the documents give the most complete look to-date at Walker’s extensive out-of-state travel, they don’t answer all the questions about where Scott Walker was -- and who he was meeting with – on the taxpayers’ dime.

For example, Walker, who in 2010 famously promised to run the most transparent administration in the history of the world, hasn’t answered questions about whether his four trips to Colorado were tied to biannual donor retreats hosted by the Koch brothers.

“Every governor rightly has security provided by the state, but having the taxpayers foot the bill for Scott Walker to bag campaign cash, hawk his book, vacation in the Bahamas, and promote his presidential ambitions at the RNC is absurd,” Democratic Party of Wisconsin Chair Mike Tate said Monday. “It’s not fair, or fiscally responsible, for taxpayers to fund Scott Walker’s campaign-related expenses – and in fact, it’s potentially illegal. Walker should reimburse the state immediately for his political trips.”