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Friday, October 9, 2015

 5:07 PM 

Records: $125K in state expenses for Walker campaign security in first half of year

Gov. Scott Walker and the first lady racked up $125,144 in security and political expenses over the first half of the year during his failed bid for the presidency, according to records released today following a WisPolitics.com open records request.

The records also show Walker, whose campaign pledged to cover his security costs while on political trips, has paid less than half of what he owed the state through the end of June.

Walker dropped out of the race last month, and those expenses for the third quarter of the year are still being calculated, adding to his outstanding bill, according to DOA.

The costs to provide security for Walker during his exploration of a presidential bid first drew criticism from Dems earlier this year as he upped his out-of-state travels. His organization Our American Revival then pledged to cover the cost to provide security to Walker, and his presidential campaign picked up that promise after he started formally testing the waters.

Immediately after Walker dropped out of the race, Dems called on him to cut a check to cover his security costs, saying the state should get first draw of whatever was left of his campaign funds amid reports he blew through money at a high clip during his bid.

DOA spokesman Cullen Werwie said, "We're confident they're going to pay," but referred other questions to Walker's campaign.

The documents show:

*Of the $125,144 in expenses through the end of June, Walker's various organizations have paid $57,864. That leaves a balance of $67,280. The payments include $41,051 from Our American Revival, $14,377 from Scott Walker Inc. and $2,434 from Friends of Scott Walker, the guv's state campaign.

*The bulk of the expenses -- $107,273 -- covered the cost of providing security for the Walkers through the Dignitary Protection Unit, which provides protection to the governor and the first lady regardless of whether they are on state or political business. That included: $79,959 for hotels, airfare and car rentals while protecting Walker; $22,745 in meals while with the guv; $4,108 for travel with the first lady; and $461 for meals while with Tonette Walker.

*The campaign will also pick up $651 for Internet service at the executive residence over the period. According to the records, executive residence Internet may be used for office, personal and political purposes.

According to DOA, if less than four hours of political business was conducted on a day that was billed to the campaign, Walker was invoiced for 50 percent of the security costs. He received the full bill for any day with four or more hours of political activity.

The costs also do not include the salary and fringe benefits paid to the troopers in the DPU.

-- By JR Ross

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