DOA officials mum on status of reimbursement from Walker campaign on security costs
By Greg Neumann, WKOW.com
MADISON (WKOW) -- Officials with the Wisconsin Department of Administration are not saying anything about whether Gov. Scott Walker's presidential campaign has reimbursed them for travel-related expenses incurred by members of his state security detail.
In April, AshLee Strong - then the spokesperson for Our American Revival and later for the Walker campaign - said the campaign would reimburse the state for all costs associated with the Dignitary Protection Unit (DPU) member's travel, with the exception of their salaries.
On August 29, Walker campaign spokesperson Stacy Day told 27 News in an email that the campaign would make its first reimbursement payment for second quarter (April-June) DPU travel-related expenses upon receipt of an invoice from the DOA.
Two subsequent emails, the most recent sent from 27 News to DOA Spokesperson Cullen Werwie on Monday asking about the status of that second quarter invoice and what the cost of the reimbursement will be, have not been answered.
The question over the cost of the DPU travel expense reimbursement comes on the heels of Walker ending his presidential campaign due, in part, to debt concerns. Campaign manager Rick Wiley told the Washington Post on Tuesday that the campaign racked up $700,000 in debt in just two months.
Late Wednesday morning, two Democratic lawmakers called on the Walker campaign to reimburse the state.
“The governor should never have relied on taxpayer dollars to fly him around the country and world for his presidential ambitions. Now that his campaign is suspended, we want Wisconsin taxpayers immediately reimbursed for the travel and security costs the governor has bankrolled on their dime,” said Rep. Katrina Shankland (D-Stevens Point).
“Most Wisconsinites did not want Governor Walker to run. I imagine even fewer of them wanted to be footing any part of the bill for his presidential ambitions,” said Sen. Dave Hansen (D-Green Bay). “Not another campaign related expense should be paid until the taxpayers are given an honest and through accounting and paid back in full.”