Thursday, July 25, 2013

Scott Walker’s Luxe Life on the Road

By Lisa Kaiser
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Wisconsinites have gotten precious little information about the travels of Gov. Scott Walker. We know from second-hand sources that he’s constantly crisscrossing the country as he sets up a run for president in 2016 (and, oh yeah, get re-elected governor in 2014). 

And that’s all that we knew. Until now.

Walker’s just-released 1,695-page campaign finance report reveals a bit more about Walker’s life on the road.

And I’ve got to tell you: Scott Walker spared no expense while he raised $3 million in the past six months.

I doubt that Walker wants Wisconsinites to know that their “brown bag” governor, the son of a minister, has racked up more than $120,000 on private planes in the first six months of this year. Or that his campaign has paid for a handful of golf trips at exclusive resorts around the country. Or that his campaign footed a $35 meal (or something) at what appears to be a Hooters in West Palm Beach, Fla.

I cannot assume that all of the charges cover Walker’s expenses, since he seems to keep a full staff on the payroll, foots the bill for a slew of consultants, and is covering some travel expenses incurred by Wisconsin GOP Chair Brad Courtney as well.

That said, the Walker campaign is burning through a ton of cash on the road as he pursues the presidency (sorry—“re-election”).

Here’s what I’ve been able to piece together from the latest campaign finance report. The dates don’t necessarily match his travels, since his campaign may be paying the bills long after his trips. Here goes:

January 2013

Jan.8: The campaign pays for roughly $200 in restaurant bills in southern California. (Walker had given a speech at the Ronald Reagan Presidential Library in Simi Valley, Calif., in November 2012.)

Jan. 21: The campaign reimburses the state Department of Administration (DOA) $10,510.41 for “candidate expenses-mileage.” I’m going to assume that this was for use of the state-owned plane. Or is he just driving around alot?

February 2013

Feb. 1: The campaign reimburses the state DOA for $908.90 in campaign expenses-mileage.

Feb. 20: The campaign pays AirTran $1,775.20 for “staff-travel.”

Feb. 20: The campaign reimburses Wisconsin GOP chief Brad Courtney 618.90 for lodging at the Westin Hotel in Charlotte, N.C., and $44 for parking at Mitchell Airport in Milwaukee. 

Feb. 20: The campaign reimburses Brad Courtney $403 for an American Airlines ticket. Destination unknown.

Feb. 20: The campaign reimburses Brad Courtney $309.70 for a Southwest Airlines ticket. Destination unknown.

Feb. 25: Walker spoke at a Republican Governors Association news conference after meeting with President Obama in Washington, D.C.

March 2013

March 2: The campaign spends $259.42 at a Staybridge Suites in McLean, Va.

March 2: The campaign pays AirTran $1,107.20 for “staff-travel.”

March 6: The campaign pays Corporate Aircraft Consulting of Oshkosh $1,600 and Sitatunga Springs LLC of River Hills $13,980.67 for “candidate expenses-travel.”

March 9-10: Walker attends the Republican National Committee quarterly finance meeting at the Biltmore Hotel in Coral Gables, Fla. 

March 12: The campaign pays Corporate Aircraft Consulting $3,200 and Sitatunga Springs LLC $17,430.00 for “candidate expenses-travel.”

March 13: The campaign spends $2,516.18 for a fundraiser at the Naples Yacht Club in Naples, Fla.

March 14: Walker speaks at the Conservative Political Action Conference in Washington, D.C. 

March 23: Walker speaks at the Dallas County Republican Party’s Reagan Day Dinner at the Omni Dallas Hotel.

March 26: The campaign pays four separate charges to AirTran for “staff-travel.” Total: $1,746.20.

March 26: The campaign pays for two charges totaling $784.46 at the Biltmore Hotel and Suites in Coral Gables, Fla. 

March 26: Someone enjoyed a golf weekend at the Sea Palms Golf and Tennis Resort, courtesy of the campaign, on Simons Island, Ga. The dining, golf and resort charges totaled $1,396.34.

March 26: The campaign paid for a luxury stay at The Breakers Hotel in Palm Beach, Fla., along with some golf at the President Country Club and a visit to Hooters (LTP Management at 2020 Palm Beach Lakes Blvd., according to the campaign statement) in West Palm Beach. Total cost: $2,512.25. 

March 26: The campaign spends $4,966.87 at the Marriott on Pennsylvania Avenue in Washington, D.C.

April 2013

April 19: The campaign pays Sitatunga Springs $36,009.60 for candidate expenses-travel.

April 30: The campaign reimburses the state DOA $7,375.01 for campaign expenses-mileage.

May 2013

May 6: The campaign pays Corporate Aircraft Consulting $2,000 and Sitatunga Springs LLC $12,478.20 for “candidate expenses-travel.”

May 6: The campaign pays $323 in staff-travel expenses to AirTran.

May 6: The campaign pays for food and lodging in Washington, D.C., to the tune of $1,913.73.

May 6: The campaign pays for a slew of hotel, dining and golf charges in Dallas, Houston, Katy, Midland and Sugarland, Texas. I’m not sure if these charges were only racked up during the Dallas trip in March, or if his campaign paid for a few trips to the Lone Star State, but the Texas expenses paid on this date total $2,957.49.

May 6: The campaign reimburses Brad Courtney $899 for a stay at Loews in Hollywood, plus other expenses (mostly airport fast food). Someone racks up some charges in Carson City, Nev., and Salt Lake City, Utah, as well, that are paid on this date. 

May 18: The campaign reimburses the state DOA $1,216.81 for campaign expenses-mileage.

May 21: The campaign pays Corporate Aircraft Consulting $1,600 and Sitatunga Springs LLC $12,842.91 for “candidate expenses-travel.”

May 30: The campaign pays Corporate Aircraft Consulting $1,600 and Sitatunga Springs LLC $13,104 for “candidate expenses-travel.”

Walker’s taken more campaign trips since filing this report.

Beats work, hey?

 

 

 

 

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