MADISON, Wis. — According to One Wisconsin Now Executive Director Scot Ross, time isn’t the only thing Gov. Walker is spending to promote his 2016 Republican Presidential ambitions. Tucked away in Gov. Walker’s 2013-15 budget is a provision allocating nearly $11 million in taxpayer funds for an advertising campaign, overseen by his quasi-private Wisconsin Economic Development Corporation (WEDC).
Ross commented, “Not only is Gov. Walker taking lots of time off from his job here in pursuit of his national political ambitions, he’s also willing to use his WEDC and our taxpayer dollars to further his cause. Why else, when we need jobs today, would Gov. Walker’s advertising budget to lure new business to the state nearly double the amount it spends in 2015?”
According to the nonpartisan Legislative Fiscal Bureau’s analysis of Gov. Walker’s proposed budget a total of $10.9 million in general purpose revenue is set aside for “increased marketing activities” to be overseen by the WEDC, chaired by Gov. Walker himself. Of the nearly $11 million in taxpayer funds to be used for the ad campaign, $3.75 million in set aside in state fiscal year 2014 and nearly twice that, $7.15 million, is slated to be spent in state fiscal year 2015.
Gov. Walker has most recently travelled to Florida and Washington D.C. for fundraising events and hosted an event for New Jersey Governor Chris Christie. This weekend he is again in Washington D.C addressing a gathering of some of the most extreme right wing elements of the GOP and raising money help Tea Party favorite Ken Cuccinelli’s bid for Virginia Governor. It has also been reported Gov. Walker will be travelling to Iowa in May to headline a major Republican event.
Ross concluded, “Gov. Walker’s policies have left us 42nd nationally in jobs. Spending over $7 million of our tax dollars in 2015 on ads now shows he more interested in burnishing image nationally than doing something to turn around his miserable record here.”