Scott Walker spent more than $6,400 of the taxpayers' money on his personal vehicle during the two-month period before he took office, Isthmus has learned.
Receipts provided by the state Department of Transportation show that Walker racked up more than 12,500 miles on a brand new 2011 GMC Yukon XL provided by the state for his personal use.
As reported in Isthmus ("Scott Walker's Rockin' New Ride," 12/24/10), the state leased the vehicle for 60 days, from just after the election to just after Walker's inauguration. The state was charged $1,596 per month plus 20 cents for every mile in excess of 3,000.
The receipts show the vehicle was driven 5,288 miles during the first 30-day period and 7,336 miles during the second, for a total of 12,624 miles (an average of 210 miles a day). The total cost was 4,517.80, not including gas, which DOT spokeswoman Peg Schmitt says was "paid for with a gas card issued by the state." Assuming an average of 20 miles per gallon (the Yukon XL is rated at 15 in the city and 21 on the highway), at $3 a gallon, that's an additional $1,894.
As a candidate, Walker ran an ad proclaiming: "I pack a brown bag lunch and drive my 1998 Saturn with over 100,000 miles to cut costs, and think government should do the same."
State officials and Walker spokesman Cullen Werwie say the Yukon XL was picked by the state's security staff. Since becoming governor, Walker has been using Gov. Jim Doyle's former ride - a 2010 Chevrolet Suburban, which the state leases for $935 per month, regardless of mileage.
Asked whether the car was used for others besides Walker, and why so many miles were logged, Werwie replies: "Gov. Walker has traveled extensively, and the only reason the vehicle was rented was to transport the governor. The security detail made all route-planning decisions on the vehicle that was provided to the transition team from Gov. Doyle."
Madison to Milwaukee by way of Green Bay?