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Dec
2012
19

GOLF-ERNOR WALKER: 54 Personal Days Off in 2012 “Didn’t Change Our Job”



With nearly two months off this year — not including weekends — Wisconsin Gov. Scott Walker is making the most of a state law that allows elected officials to take unlimited personal days.

This according to Wisconsin Reporter analysis shows that Walker had taken 54 personal days in 2012 as of November 30th. These personal days, which are counted as any day in which the Governor does not partake in a minimum of 90 minutes of official business, include a full week before the November elections.

Personal days were also taken in the lead up to the Recall election. Walker responded to the report during a recent appearance:

“In the middle of 2012 we had a (recall) campaign, we had to show up at forums and debates and campaign activities … around the state and it’s as simple as that, but it didn’t change our job,” Walker said during an appearance in Wisconsin Dells, the station reported. “We stayed focused on our job all throughout this just like we did in the past.”

State Statute 230 regulates time off for state employees in the state of Wisconsin. Language in the statute exempts elected officials from the same standards as other state employees.

“A state officer elected by the people may take vacation without loss of pay. No such state officer is entitled to payment for unused annual leave.”

We all know Walker to be the anti-Washington, always-in-Washington player of the year, but the degree to which he was not working is now more clear. Using taxpayer time to openly fund raise and campaign for Republican candidates to this degree is unacceptable.

Scott Furlong, political science professor at the University of Wisconsin-Green Bay, calls these actions “a sign of the times.”

“As the politics (have) changed, I think you are seeing more and more of these candidates are taking personal days — not that they’re not working but they’re not doing what they are elected to do,” the political scientist said. “We don’t elect the governor of Wisconsin to campaign for the presidential candidate of this country, but that’s been happening for some time now.”

While running for Governor in 2010, Walker took sharp criticism from his primary opponent Mark Neumann who accused him of working part-time as Milwaukee County Executive in order to fundraise. These accusations combined with the ongoing John Doe Investigation by the Milwaukee County District Attorney’s office into Walker team member indiscretions makes you wonder if anyone was working in Wisconsin on anything but the Governor’s political ascension at any point in the past fives years. According to the Neumann campaign Walker was taking an average of 17 hours a week of personal time during the lead up to the Gubernatorial election. From their release:

“Scott Walker is earning a six-figure salary to serve as county executive while actually working part-time hours as he runs around the state campaigning for Governor,” Neumann for Governor Campaign Manager Chip Englander said. “In Walker’s quest to move up the career politician ladder, the taxpayers of Milwaukee County are left holding the brown bag. At these hours he doesn’t even need to pack a lunch.

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