PEOPLE-Local 645

  • Quality of Life Alliance

Who Is Paying For Walker’s Campaign Bike Ride?

Posted by Chris Liebenthal on June 26, 2009

Walker wrapped up his five day campaign tour of the state, along with hitting up potential campaign contributors in neighboring states. Unlike previous campaign tours, which were funded by tax payer dollars, Walker went ahead and got illegal corporate sponsorship for this year’s tour. He claimed that it was so that he wouldn’t be using tax payer dollars.

To further muddy the waters, Walker, using the County website to promote his campaign tour, lists his personal secretary, Dorothy Moore, as the coordinator, but instead of using a county email address and a county phone number, she uses her personal ones. If this ride was on the up and up, why is she using her private information. That makes it look more than a little suspicious, namely that Walker is trying to hide something. I know that in his last campaign tour, he used campaign staff to do the actual coordination and then pretended that it was all county business.

Now, if Walker’s ethical problems with the corporate sponsorship wasn’t bad enough, I’ve learned that tax payer money was indeed used on the trip. How can this be? Walker bragged that no taxpayer dollars were spent, right?

Well, just follow the money.

Walker, on the site promoting his campaign bike ride (which is hosted on the county website, by the way), Walker makes note that said campaign bike ride is presented by Air Tran Airways and ChooseMilwaukee.com. Walker is even kind enough to provide a hyperlink to each company’s web site.

ChooseMilwaukee.com is one of the promotional aspects of The Milwaukee 7. Interestingly, and I’m sure is just a coincidence, Milwaukee County is listed as being an “investor” and gives Milwaukee 7 and thus ChooseMilwaukee.com $25,000 each year. In another amazing coincidence, Walker is a member of the advisory panel for this group.

So, Walker arranges giving this group tax payer money, via the county budget. Then as part of the advisory panel, directs said money right back to his campaign bike ride. But I’m sure it is all a coincidence. Yeah, right. It sure seems like Walker keeps having a lot of these types of convenient coincidences.

To add insult to injury, Walker’s campaign bike ride, which he wants us to believe is strictly going to be promote tourism in Milwaukee County via media interviews has resulted in only a handful of articles. And as Cory Liebmann reports:

Walker’s little bike ride ends today and I am actually quite surprised at how little coverage the stunt has received outstate. I’m talking about coverage at all. So far I have found 3 stories that mention his campaign for governor and only 2 stories that mention strictly tourism in Milwaukee County. With a wink and a nod you can check one more in the fail column for Walker.

I’m sure that any competent promotional agency could have made much better use of the $25,000 than sending Walker around on a bike, who gained more mention for his campaign than he did for Milwaukee County.

Now, I don’t know all the ins and outs of filing ethics complaints, but I certainly hope that Supervisors Weishan, Dimitrijevic and Larson can either submit and addendum or a supplementary complaint to the ethics complaint they already filed regarding Walker’s getting illegal corporate donations for his campaign ride.

ADDENDUM: Can someone please poke Chris Kleismet, Orville Seymour and the gang at CRG. Now that there is a real abuse of office and unethical behavior by a politician, they are no where to be found. I guess they really aren’t what they pretend to be. Actually, we already knew that.

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