WisDems: Scott Walker used taxpayer money to film controversial Three Lakes campaign ad

Contact: Courtney Beyer, courtneyb@wisdems.org

State flight records uncovered by a One Wisconsin Now investigation have added even more fuel to the controversy surrounding Scott Walker’s Three Lakes campaign ad: Scott Walker abused $2,017 in taxpayer money to fly his state plane to Rhinelander to shoot the commercial.

The ad features testimony from local residents who claimed they were tricked into filming the ad and who promptly called on Scott Walker to retract the spot when they saw it on television. He has refused.

It gets worse: Scott Walker went to Three Lakes to tout funding despite the fact that the district was forced to ask voters to approve a $15 million referendum in order to keep its doors open.

“Today’s report is just another example in the long trend of Scott Walker putting himself and his political ambitions before the needs of our state,” said Courtney Beyer, DPW spokesperson. “Walker didn’t care enough to make sure Three Lakes had adequate funding and resources, but he sure didn’t mind spending taxpayer money to jet off to their district and film a campaign video. He owes Three Lakes an apology for improperly using their district for his own partisan games, and he owes Wisconsin taxpayers an apology for abusing their hard-earned dollars.”

ICYMI: Statements from Three Lake School District residents calling on Governor Walker to retract his campaign ad and apologize

“Was this all a big mistake? The ad gives the impression that Walker was responsible for the success of the Three Lakes school, and that is questionable. It’s wrong for a governor to use school property for his political gain.” — Patricia Radke, resident of Three Lakes

“Politics don’t belong in the public schools. How would you feel if your taxpayer money was going to help promote candidate you disagree with? The law says that campaign activity is not appropriate in government buildings, and that’s what’s upsetting me. We are very proud of the school district, our kids went there, and it’s not that we don’t want the good aspects of the school to be promoted. It’s just not ethical to do a campaign ad.”  — Deana Bigley, resident of Sugar Camp

“I find it highly offensive that a school board member would try to speak on behalf of the entire community in the ad. We’re very proud of that Fab Lab. What we didn’t like was that it was being used to support Governor Walker, when we are asked to pass referendums to keep our schools open. It wasn’t the governor’s money, it was taxpayer money. We are underfunded and Walker gives very little back into the schools.” — John Bigley, resident of Sugar Camp

“People have very short memories. it was only 9 months that the $15 million bond issue was on the ballot. it passed with flying colors, it wasn’t even close. but nobody that I’m aware of remembers Scott Walker coming to Three Lakesto offer to help bail out the school. He wasn’t here, it was the voters in the district that helped bail out Three Lakes school district. We are owed a retraction and an apology that is shared statewide. The ad was viewed statewide and so should the retraction.” — Gretchen Hoover, resident of Sugar Camp

“It’s presumptuous to assume that everyone in the district supports the governor. I was offended. Organizations like school boards are not supposed to be partisan. It’s not enough to stop running the ad, it needs to be made clear that the ad misstated the district’s position. We need to get a full retraction.” — Kathy Noel, resident of Sugar Camp

“Most offensive to me was to use the kids as political pawns. The kids deserve the best education possible. In this area, we have had continual referendums to keep the school open because the funding has not been coming from the state. Most offensive is that the apology was ‘sorry I didn’t mean to do it’ but I think we’ve heard enough of that. This ad was not about education, it was about giving Scott Walker political clout. It’s another move to divide people.” — Mary Schoeneck, resident of Three Lakes

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