Issue of the Week: Taxpayers Are Footing Scott Walker’s Sky-High State Plane Flights and Security Costs
New state plane records exclusively obtained by the Shepherd Express show that the embattled governor billed taxpayers $223,579 for use of the state plane in the first six months of this year (through June 5).
That’s up from $133,106 he spent in the final six months of 2013 and the $160,000 he billed taxpayers in the first six months of 2013.
Then again, Walker wasn’t tied in the polls with Mary Burke, his likely Democratic challenger, last year and probably didn’t see the need to get out there in front of voters and cameras.
As in the past, Walker—or simply his aides without the governor himself—flew between Madison and Milwaukee frequently this year. But the flight records also show two trips with aides and security to Washington, D.C., totaling roughly $24,000, as well as a $12,500 trip to Denver with an aide and two security officers.
Speaking of security, news broke over the weekend that state taxpayers forked over $2.23 million for protecting Walker at his official residence, his Wauwatosa home and when he’s away. That’s almost quadruple the $657,457 cost to protect Democratic Gov. Jim Doyle in his last year in office.
As a candidate and elected official, Walker has portrayed himself as the humble Eagle Scout son of a minister who brown-bags it at work. But the opposite is true. Walker doesn’t hesitate to exploit state taxpayers so that he can surround himself in private luxury. The problem is that the truth comes out eventually, no matter how fast and far Walker wants to fly away from it.