NEW REPORT Confirms Secretary Dick Leinenkugel's Taxpayer-funded Campaign Kick-Off (5/20/10)

May 19, 2010

As Scott Walker’s County Staffer Resigns For Improper Campaign Activities, What Will Leinenkugel Do?

MADISON — A new report out yesterday by the Wisconsin State Journal confirms that former Democratic Commerce Secretary Dick Leinenkugel, who is running in the Republican primary for U.S. Senate, kicked-off his campaign on the taxpayer’s dime. Secretary Leinenkugel registered his campaign Web site with his state phone, at the Department of Commerce the same day he announced he’d be leaving the Doyle Administration.

Leinenkugel has refused to answer questions from the media on this issue.

Last week, an employee of Republican gubernatorial candidate, Milwaukee County Executive Scott Walker, resigned her county position after a Milwaukee Journal Sentinel report detailed her use of public resources for political purposes – an act prohibited by state law.

“Secretary Leinenkugel needs to come clean and detail exactly all of the state resources he used to kick-off his Senate primary campaign. Will he be reimbursing taxpayers for the time he spent engaging in campaign activities?” asked Mike Tate, Chair of the Democratic Party of Wisconsin.  

The Wisconsin State Journal obtained emails and other documents on Secretary Leinenkugel following an open records request. According to their report, upon learning of Secretary Leinenkugel’s actions, Governor Jim Doyle’s Chief of Staff, Susan Goodwin, scolded Leinenkugel, writing on April 9:

“I am required to remind you that any use of state phone numbers or state resources to engage in political activity is strictly prohibited under state ethics laws and we have zero tolerance for such activity.”

To view a picture of Secretary Leinenkugel and his campaign phone in the Commerce Department office, click here