MADISON, Wis. — Milwaukee County Executive Scott Walker will be riding across the state on a thinly-disguised campaign junket paid for by AirTran Airways just as the county is negotiating with them, and other airlines, for a new lease at General Mitchell International Airport. This is the first master lease renegotiation in 25 years. A report from Walker’s interim Director of Transportation and Public Works on the new master lease agreement for the airlines was the subject of a closed session county board committee meeting Wednesday of this week.
“Does Scott Walker have any ethics whatsoever?” asked Scot Ross, One Wisconsin Now Executive Director. “This is even more evidence why Scott Walker’s fake county promotional tour is an ethical road to perdition.”
According to an agenda from the May 12 Milwaukee County Committee on Transportation, Public Works and Transit meeting, members were to review an informational report from Walker’s Interim Director of Transportation and Public Works “on the negotiations for a new master lease agreement with the airlines serving General Mitchell International Airport.” A link to the agenda for Wednesday’s meeting is available here.
AirTran Airways, one of the largest airlines serving the airport, is set to pay much of Walker’s motorcycle jaunt, estimated to cost around $3,000. Walker moved his tour, held previously in the summer, to immediately precede the state Republican convention, scheduled to begin next Friday. Critics argue the trip is little more than a corporate-financed campaign swing.
Walker claims a county ethics letter exonerates him from improperly accepting something of value from AirTran; however, the letter only refers to AirTran having a contract with the County and mentions nothing about the propriety of Walker’s ride being sponsored by a corporation in the midst of negotiations with the county on a new lease agreement.
“With all those tax breaks for rich people and big business, it looks like Scott Walker can’t fit any ethics into that brown bag of his,” said Ross. “He needs to cancel this campaign tour and apologize to the people of Milwaukee for violating the public trust.”