Mike Browne, Deputy Director
Special Interests and Taxpayers Will be Picking Up the Tab for Another Summer of Travel for ‘Boss‘ Vos
MADISON, Wis. — Speaker Robin Vos recently declared the state Assembly he oversees would be taking the summer off and not return to session work until October. A review by One Wisconsin Now of the calendar maintained by Vos’ state office sheds some light on why he’s shutting down the Assembly for July, August and September — he has travel plans.
“Robin Vos has never been shy about having special interests and Wisconsin taxpayers pick up the tab for his travel and his lifestyle,” commented One Wisconsin Now Executive Director Analiese Eicher. “Summer 2019 looks to be no different.”
From 2013 when Vos became Assembly Speaker through 2018 he has reported accepting travel and honoraria worth over $85,000 from outside groups on statements of economic interest he is required by law to file. Taxpayers have chipped in another $43,000 for state paid travel and reimbursements for mileage.
One Wisconsin Now’s review of Vos’ 2019 calendar reveals he’s already visited New Orleans, Washington D.C., Quebec, Denver and Charleston this year.
Summer 2019 finds Vos blocking out time in August for out-of-state trips to Nashville, Tennessee and Denver, Colorado. He also has a quick jaunt to Sand Valley resort in Central Wisconsin lined up, courtesy of the Jobs First Coalition. The group pays Vos’ third wife handsomely as a fundraiser and works to elect Republicans to the state Assembly for the benefit of Vos. In 2017 Vos helped pass a budget provision calling on state taxpayers to fork over $4 million to upgrade the runway at the area airport to better accommodate the private jets bringing millionaire and billionaire guests to Sand Valley.
After a busy August, it’s off to Italy in September. According to Vos’ schedule he’ll be spending two weeks there, making stops in Milan, Florence and Rome. Vos was married for the third time in Italy in Fall 2017 so celebrating his anniversary there will be made easier and cheaper by the “platinum” status corporate supporters who make a minimum $25,000 contribution to the organization sponsoring Vos’ travel.
The 2017 European junket Vos took preceding his Italian nuptials was steeped in sleaze and controversy. The predatory payday loan industry and other special interests were revealed to have picked up the tab for Vos and legislators from other states including the best man for his wedding, former Ohio House of Representatives Speaker Cliff Rosenberger, to visit Iceland, England and France. After the trip Rosenberger resigned from office amid an FBI investigation that was probing his trip with Vos among other alleged improprieties.
Rounding out the year, as the weather cools, Vos has trips to Florida, Hawaii and Texas listed on his schedule.