State Plane Use by Wisconsin Governor Cost $818,500 Since 2015
By Scott Bauer
Gov. Scott Walker’s use of the state airplane has increased since he ended his presidential bid in 2015, public records obtained by a liberal attack group released on Monday show.
The uptick in using the taxpayer-funded plane came as Walker refocused on Wisconsin amid lagging poll numbers in the wake of his failed presidential run in September 2015.
In total, between dropping out of the presidential race in September 2015 and April of this year, Walker has flown 114,390 miles on the state plan at a cost to taxpayers of about $818,500, the report from One Wisconsin Now showed.
On average, Walker’s flights annually cost taxpayers about $241,030 during his first term between 2011 and 2014. But that jumped to an annual average of about $317,000 between September 2015 and April.
Democratic Gov. Jim Doyle averaged $240,000 on state flights in his last two years in office, 2009 and 2010. When including 2006, the year Doyle ran for re-election, the average spent was $280,000.
Governors, cabinet members, state lawmakers and other state officials of both political parties routinely use the state airplane to more quickly and easily travel around Wisconsin and sometimes head out of state for official events. Their use of the plane, and the cost to taxpayers, is also frequently used by political opponents to attack them, especially as an election nears.