Wednesday, September 2, 2015

Walker security fiasco is another waste of taxpayer dollars

Even before the last week, there were concerns in Wisconsin over Scott Walker’s heavy bills for security as he travels around the country. The amount of money that Wisconsin taxpayers were paying for Walker's 10-person (!) security staff kept increasing as Walker fundraised for his 2014 campaign for governor, and made other attempts to raise his nationwide profile.

The anger from voters resulted in Gov Unintimidated announcing in April that he was finally going to force his campaign to pay for the travel costs of the Dignitary Protection Unit (part of the Wisconsin State Patrol), but also still making taxpayers pick up the tab for the salaries and benefits for those workers. At that time, the Milwaukee Journal-Sentinel laid out the costs that Wisconsinites have had to pay for this security in this report from Spring.
Meanwhile Friday [April 24], new state documents showed the cost of providing security for Walker, his family and for Lt. Gov. Rebecca Kleefisch reached a new high in 2014, with the total spending reaching $2.3 million.

The security costs are more than triple than what they were during the final year in office of Democratic Gov. Jim Doyle, according to the documents released under a state open records request.

Last year's security spending for the Republican governor was dominated by expenses for salaries and fringe benefits of the State Patrol officers who protect the governor.

Walker's security costs included lodging and other expenses when the governor is traveling outside Wisconsin. Those expenses also have risen in recent years.
Well, all of that out-of-state hustling by Governor Walker required a lot of man-hours to stick with the guv, and we found out last Friday that his administration had been stiffing his own security staff out of pay they were entitled to for more than 2 years.
- A 27 News investigation has found the U.S. Department of Labor (USDOL) is requiring the Wisconsin Department of Transportation (WISDOT) to award retroactive overtime pay dating back to May 19, 2013 to nine Wisconsin State Patrol officers who serve as bodyguards for Gov. Scott Walker (R-Wisconsin) and other state dignitaries.

Those officers comprise the state's Dignitary Protection Unit (DPU), which provides security for Gov. Walker 24 hours a day, seven days a week. That includes his protection on the presidential campaign trail. Since the State Patrol is a division of WISDOT, the officers are paid out of that agency's budget.

WISDOT Spokesperson Peg Schmitt told 27 News the agency was verbally notified of the decision by USDOL on Monday, August 24, but said officials have not yet determined how much it will cost state taxpayers.
So what is Scotty’s administration doing after getting caught cheating the security staff out of their pay? STICKING IT TO THE EMPLOYEES WHO WERE MERELY DOING THEIR JOBS!
The state is cutting in half the security team that protects Gov. Scott Walker, agreeing to pay overtime and rescinding a $4-per-hour raise after the federal government ordered back pay for unpaid overtime.

Members of the Dignitary Protection Unit will now be paid time-and-a-half for working any hours beyond 40 per week, said Peg Schmitt, spokeswoman for the Department of Transportation, which oversees the State Patrol.

The security team includes a captain (currently vacant), a lieutenant and eight sergeants, but starting Sept. 20 it will be reduced to one lieutenant and four sergeants, Schmitt said.

Other members of the State Patrol will fill in to provide security when needed, she added.
Oh, so we’ll also have State Patrol officers taken off the roads when Gov Unintimidated feels he needs more people around him? That’s the mark of a "public servant", don’t you think?

And don’t forget that this back pay will come out of a Transportation Fund that will already borrow between $500 milion and $850 million from over the next two years. It makes you wonder if these extra security costs (before the OT pay issue came up) were baked into that budget, or if that’s an additional cost that has to be taken on as well.

What an absolute pile of wasteful, arrogant incompetence. Seriously, how can anyone who values fiscally responsible and responsive government stand with these bums anymore?


  1. More proof that Walker is a complete idiot or a typical extreme republican who is fiscally irresponsible. Reminds me of the time as Milwaukee County Executive he required County workers to be furloughed, unlike Dane County who negotiated furlough days with the union, Walkers requirement ended up having the county pay for the days not worked. Thus costing taxpayers for no work preformed.

  2. And his net worth. Digging holes everywhere.

  3. Walker is a moron and needs to get a clue. The people of Wisconsin deserve so much better and don't want him here. Too bad he didn't go further with wanting to be POTUS because at least Wisconsin would have been rid of him.