By Kyle Maichle, Editor of Wisconsin Election Watch,
MADISON – Governor Scott Walker (R-Wisconsin) tripled his outstanding personal debts in 2011, but has seen a decline since 2012. Wisconsin Election Watch has investigated the Statements of Economic of Interests of Wisconsin’s elected officials on file with the Wisconsin Government Accountability Board. The analysis of Governor Walker’s economic interest statements includes all data on file from when he ran for Governor in 2010 up to 2013.
Walker Had Nominal Debt in 2010
While running for Governor in 2010, Walker held at least $5,000 to $50,000 of investments. The only investment he held was a mutual fund from T. Rowe Price. His debts were at least $55,000 to $100,000 according to his 2010 economic interest statement. There were only two creditors disclosed on the Governor’s economic interest that year but the reason for the debts owed were not disclosed.
The Legal Bills Pile Up in 2011
One year later, the Governor reported debts at least $170,000 to $350,000 and did not disclose the T Rowe Price Mutual Fund listed on his 2010 economic interest statement. Legal bills to two law firms that include Terschan, Schile, and Nass in Milwaukee along with Sidley Austin LLP in Chicago was the reason his debts nearly tripled. The legal bils alone were at least $55,000 to $100,000. Four other creditors were disclosed in 2011 including two credit cards. Additionally, the Governor disclosed expense reimbursements of $704.68 from NBC News, $687.90 from the Goldwater Institute, and $1,177.66 from the Young America’s Foundation for the 2011 calendar year.
Governor Scott Walker’s Assets and Debts-2010-2013
DISCLAIMER-The numbers are disclosed in the statement of economic interest is a range and not as the exact amount.
Source: Wisconsin Government Accountability Board
Walker Paid Off Some Legal Bills in 2012
Walker paid off his outstanding legal fees from Terschan, Schile, and Nass in Milwaukee, but reported debts at least $160,000 to $250,000 on his 2012 economic interest statement. Some of those debts included credit cards that the Governor held. Governor Walker did disclose holdings in a T-Rowe Price Mutual Fund he held in 2012, but did not disclose in 2011. The T-Rowe Price Fund was the only investment he held during 2012.
2013-Legal Bills Paid in Full, More Investments Held
Governor Walker paid off all outstanding legal fees from Sidley Austin while increasing his investment holdings in 2013. The Governor obtained three additional investments in the 2013 calendar year in addition to the T-Rowe Price Mutual Fund he currently held. Those included two investments in the Wisconsin Deferred Compensation Program and a Washington Mutual R6 Fund. The Governor disclosed investments at least $20,000 to $200,000 while his debts dropped to at least $115,000 to $250,000. Two credit cards were reported by Governor Walker as outstanding debts for the 2013 calendar year.
Wisconsin’s Methodology on Financial Disclosure
All the numbers disclosed in the statements of economic interests are reported as a range and not the exact dollar amount. The Statement of Economic Interest does not display the value of the home owned by the Governor and his wife First Lady Tonette Walker located in Wauwatosa nor any outstanding mortgages. Wisconsin Election Watch talked to three accounting firms in the Madison Area to get a net worth valuation of the Governor, but declined our requests citing that the statement of economic interest alone does not provide sufficient information to determine an elected officials net worth.