Mike Browne, Deputy Director
Records Show Walker Has Spent $33,000 Using the State Plane for Foxconn-Related Flying Days
MADISON, Wis. — In his continuing campaign to save his 25 year political career, Gov. Scott Walker is making an announcement this afternoon in Milwaukee related to his disastrous deal sending up to $4.5 billion of Wisconsin tax dollars to Taiwanese electronics manufacturer Foxconn. One Wisconsin Now Executive Director Scot Ross asked if taxpayers will be footing the bill to fly Gov. Walker from Madison to Milwaukee for the event.
“Gov. Walker wants to give away billions of our tax dollars to subsidize the bottom line of a massive foreign corporation with his Foxconn deal,” said Ross. “If that wasn’t outrageous enough, we’ve been picking up the tab to the tune of nearly $33,000 in just 2017 to fly him around to try to sell this disastrous deal.”
According to One Wisconsin Now’s investigation of Walker’s serial misuse and abuse of air travel on state planes, taxpayers picked up a nearly $33,000 tab in 2017 alone for Foxconn related fly-arounds by Wisconsin’s leading air travel aficionado. One Wisconsin Now has requested additional information under the state open records law about the Governor’s frequent flying in recent months, but the Walker administration has not yet turned over responsive records.
Today’s Milwaukee event is the latest in a series of campaign season announcements from Walker and Foxconn, the beneficiary of Wisconsin taxpayers’ largesse. Most recently Foxconn announced a challenge grant for the University of Wisconsin Madison. According to reports, the university must raise $100 million before being eligible for matching funds from the corporation in line to get $4.5 billion is state and local tax subsidies. The university yesterday refused to release a copy of any contract they may have with Foxconn.
Previous campaign season announcements by Foxconn regarding their intentions to purchase property in areas critical to Walker’s re-election prospects also lacked disclosure of critical details. Foxconn, already scaling back the scope of their subsidized Southeastern Wisconsin project and notorious worldwide for over promising and under delivering, has not disclosed purchase prices, closing dates or other facts that would confirm they actually intend to follow through on their announced plans.
Also unknown is how much campaign cash Foxconn may be funneling to boost Walker’s desperate reelection bid. Over his quarter century career Scott Walker has been a transactional politician, leveraging public policy for political campaign donations. He has also been intimately involved in fundraising for outside groups that spend millions more to boost his electoral prospects. For example, it was reported an individual cut a $10,000 check to a group controlled by a close aide to Walker, writing in the memo line, “Because Scott Walker asked.”
And, as part of the investigations into improper conduct by Walker’s campaigns, documents showed that an organization run by a long-time top Walker campaign operative was given a $700,000 contribution by a mining company for whom Walker had bent over backward to change the law, giving them the opportunity to develop the world’s largest open pit mine next to the largest body of freshwater on the planet.
Ross concluded, “There’s a lot of uncertainty and unknowns when it comes to Scott Walker’s corporate giveaway. The only thing that’s certain is that he’s sticking us with the bill, for Foxconn and for his fly arounds.”