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Scott Walker's flights

Gov. Scott Walker has taken 869 flights on state planes since dropping out of the presidential race in 2015.

Gov. Scott Walker took 869 flights on state-owned airplanes over a two-and-a-half-year period while he was reconnecting with voters after his failed presidential run, costing taxpayers about $818,000, a liberal advocacy group reported Monday.

The flights included eight trips of less than 40 miles, including from Appleton to Green Bay, though that was part of a busy day on Sept. 7, 2016, in which Walker attended a ribbon-cutting ceremony in Neenah before promoting his sales tax holiday proposal in Green Bay and Menomonee Falls. The four flights he took that day each covered less than 75 miles and cost a total of $1,667.51.

In nine cases, he flew out of Madison round trip, covering distances of less than 75 miles, with each trip costing on average $819. The destinations included Burlington, West Bend and Oshkosh.

About 41 percent of the flights Walker took between September 2015, when he dropped out of the presidential race, and April 2018 covered distances of less than 100 miles, according to research by liberal advocacy group One Wisconsin Now.

“Scott Walker will say, do and spend anything to get re-elected,” One Wisconsin Now executive director Scot Ross said at a news conference in the State Capitol on Monday.

Walker spokeswoman Amy Hasenberg called Ross’ research “a gross mischaracterization of Governor Walker’s dedication to visiting with the people of Wisconsin.”

“Governor Walker has shown an unparalleled level of commitment in supporting, listening to, and meeting with hard-working families in every corner of the state,” Hasenberg said. “From visiting communities recovering from disasters, to attending funerals of fallen officers and public officials, to discussing the positive things getting done throughout the state, Governor Walker has shown he stands ready to support Wisconsin and our citizens at any time.”

Ross said the group hadn’t determined whether it would file a complaint about Walker’s use of state resources with the state Ethics Commission. He acknowledged most of the cases he flagged raised issues of whether Walker was making the wisest use of taxpayer dollars, not whether it was inappropriate to use taxpayer-funded transportation to attend an event in his official capacity.

Ross highlighted one trip in which the state plane picked up Walker in Milwaukee after he attended a funeral in Wauwatosa to take him to a National Rifle Association convention in Wausau and then back to Madison. The flights cost $2,586.72.

Hasenberg noted Walker attended the NRA event to sign a bill allowing the concealed carry of switchblades and other knives with a concealed firearms permit.

Ross also noted a couple of examples where he said the use of a state plane for an official event helped facilitate Walker’s attendance at a separate political event for which he didn’t use a state plane.

On Nov. 1, 2016, Walker flew round trip the 175 miles from Madison to Menomonie for an invite-only listening session at a cost of $1,832.48. Later that day he attended a rally in Eau Claire with Donald Trump, a trip not paid for by taxpayers. Two days later he flew 81 miles to Kenosha for a Veterans Day program at a private religious school and back at a cost of $855.12 and then attended a campaign event in La Crosse later in the day.

The research found Walker had spent about $825,000 total and reimbursed the state roughly $6,760 over the period reviewed.

In 2016, he took 351 flights covering 44,114 miles and in 2017 he took 322 flights covering 45,317 miles. He spent on average $318,340 in each of those two years on flights.

As a point of comparison, a February 2006 report from The Associated Press found Democratic Gov. Jim Doyle flew 28,900 miles in one year toward the end of his first term costing the state $164,000.

His predecessor, Republican Gov. Scott McCallum, took 277 flights over a roughly 18-month period in 2001-02, according to press reports during the 2002 election, when Doyle’s and McCallum’s use of state planes came under scrutiny. Doyle had taken flights as attorney general prior to becoming governor in 2003.

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(17) comments

Climatehoax

Wis. Democrats Flee To Prevent Vote On Union Bill

How much did this cost WI taxpayers??

capedcrusader

Why don't you tell us? You know so much about weather and climate I'm sure you have all the other answers as well.

LaCrosse Lady

As for the Madison to Funeral to NRA to Madison flight - maybe like the rest of us plebs - choose one and drive.

LaCrosse Lady

So when is he cutting the state a check for that? Also - why is it even legal to do that. He should campaign on his own $$$$ - not OURS!

martian2

$818,000 seems quite high for a governor. He wants to drug test those getting a few hundred a month for food assistance, yet he lives on the tax payers dime to excess. time for him and the rest of the politicians in Madison to be on the drug testing list also.

ou812

As a business owner I used to advertise heavily in the La crosse trib, not any more FAR TO LIBERAL!!!!!!!!!

capedcrusader

Why are you here then?

Vicky

Rick, where did you go to school? Wisconsin schools have CONSISTENTLY ranked some of the highest in the nation, including outstanding graduation rates and SAT and ACT scores. Walker has not supported our public schools one iota. He sucks up to big donors and supports only voucher schools, which have proven to be under-performing compared to public schools.

capedcrusader

Thank you!

Rick Czeczok

What did Doyle cost us? Once again trib twisting and only reporting how they want there party of choice to look good. Give me a break.
Jonny the closest you made it to a rock start, was playing records by rock stars. Not quite the same thing.

shameless

You should look it up with all of your time Rick. Get back to us with a number so we can compare. The number I got after a 3 minute search as around $105,000 over a two year period. I'm not a mathematician, but $810,000 seems a bit higher.

capedcrusader

Where did you teach? Care to finally answer?

johnnybragatti

Walker"s a Rock Star , self proclaimed , though one the Nation"s worst Governors.
$ 818,000 for travels?
Wisconsin has mucho money.
Just ask him.

canman

Scooter is just living up to the elitist attitude of his financial backers, the Kookie brothers.

Rick Czeczok

And Doyle was under the WEA thumb. Costing us more then ever for some of the worst educational systems in the country. I love great teachers, and back them unequivocally but don't believe karappy teachers should have any protection under a union. Not against unions, just some of the people they protect.

shameless

Worst educational systems in the country? Must have been a fluke that the state rates high year after year in the test score race that the GOP loves to rely upon.

capedcrusader

You don't believe teachers should have any protection "under" a union... So, you don't believe workers should have any protection? Is that what you are saying? You don't believe teachers should be able to belong to a union? Is that what you are saying? What about cops? Should they be able to belong to a union?

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