Now that his presidential campaign is over, Democrats are asking Governor Scott Walker’s campaign to make repaying any money it owes the state a top priority.
The governor’s campaign had previously said it would reimburse the state for the cost of his security detail traveling with Walker. The salaries for the State Patrol detail, which protect the governor around the clock no matter where he is, are still covered by the state.
State Sen. Dave Hansen (D-Green Bay) and Rep. Katrina Shankland (D-Stevens Point) argue repaying that money should be a top priority for the governor, based on reports that his main reason for dropping his bid for the Republican presidential nomination was that his campaign was on shaky financial ground. “Last April they said they’d repay the taxpayers for the cost they ran up in the campaign,” Hansen said. “Six months later, it looks like the hard-working men and women of this state are going to have to pay for it.”
Walker’s presidential campaign said Wednesday that it has paid the state about $14,000 so far and does plan to make good on the rest. The governor’s political committee, Our American Revival, also paid the state about $33,000 for security costs before Walker launched his presidential bid in July.
The campaign so far has only covered costs up through August 1, with invoices for costs beyond that date still being prepared. A Walker campaign spokeswoman said they will pay the additional costs after they are invoiced.
Hansen and Shankland have introduced legislation that would require state officials to make a clear and quick accounting of any state-related expenses incurred while they are on the campaign trail. The bill has not been scheduled for a hearing.
Larry Lee at WSAU contributed to this report.