AP's Bauer Covers Whining About Walker's Security Costs, But Not 'John Doe' Thuggery

The Associated Press is one of many national establishment press outlets which has from all appearances utterly ignored National Review's chronicling of police-state tactics used by law enforcement in a "John Doe" investigation targeting Republican Governor Scott Walker in Wisconsin. Milwaukee County District Attorney John Chisholm's fishing expedition, which began in 2012, has attempted but thus far failed to find evidence of illegal "coordination" between conservative political advocacy groups and Walker during his recall election campaign.

A search on Chisholm's last name at the AP's main national site at 9 PM ET this evening returned nothing relevant; ditto at its "Big Story" site. But the wire service's Scott Bauer found the time on Friday to relay opponents' petty, hypocritical complaint that the state is spending too much money protecting Walker, his family and his lieutenant governor from potentially violent fever-swamp leftists who Democrats could arguably be accused of encouraging (bolds are mine throughout this post; numbered tags are mine):

COST TO PROTECT WALKER MORE THAN TRIPLED SINCE PREDECESSOR

Security costs for Wisconsin Republican Gov. Scott Walker and Lt. Gov. Rebecca Kleefisch last year were more than three times what it cost to protect Walker's Democratic predecessor in 2010 [1], records released Friday to The Associated Press show.

Walker provided the security detail costs in response to an open records request. They came a day after his political committee, Our American Revival, said it would pick up the tab for Walker's security detail when it travels with him to purely political events, such as a gathering of likely Republican presidential candidates this weekend in Iowa.

Walker has been traveling the country - and the world - in advance of an all-but-certain 2016 presidential bid. That has generated criticism from Wisconsin Democrats about the cost to taxpayers for members of the state patrol to provide security. [2]

The numbers released Friday show that in 2014, when Walker was traveling throughout Wisconsin while running for re-election, security costs for him, first lady Tonette Walker and Kleefisch totaled $2.3 million. That was up 47 percent from Walker's first year in office, when costs were nearly $1.6 million.

The 2011 costs were more than double what it took to protect Walker's predecessor, Jim Doyle, in 2010, before the lieutenant governor also had protection. [3] That year, taxpayers spent $657,000 on security for Doyle.

Security costs for Walker were more than quadrupled since 2009. [4]

... "He's buying an entourage and the taxpayers are paying for it," said Democratic state Sen. Jon Erpenbach, of Middleton.

... Walker faced death threats in 2011 [5] when he proposed effectively ending collective bargaining for most public workers. He bolstered security as up to 100,000 people protested at the Capitol.

Extra security was justifiable then, Erpenbach said, but not now. [6]

Notes:

[1] — Note that both Walker and his Lieutenant Governor have security details now. Most readers of this opening paragraph won't catch the fact, revealed later and discussed in Item [3], that Democrat Jim Doyle's Lieutenant Governor didn't have — or need — one.

[2] — Democrats in Wisconsin didn't seem to have a problem with the monumentally higher levels of state spending which caused Walker to have to deal with a $3.6 billion budget shortfall as he entered office in 2011.

[3] — It took Bauer five paragraphs to make it clear that two people, both Walker and Kleefisch, need security protection now. There are significant fixed costs associated with having a security detail. Thanks to threats from violence-prone leftists, the state has had to take on those costs for a second person. Also, see Items [5] and [6].

[4] — This sentence is incoherent, both grammatically and factually. Walker didn't become governor until Janary 2011. So who could have been engaged in this "quadrupling" of security costs "for Walker"?

[5] — The reference to 2011 is deliberately and deceptively incomplete. Walker indeed faced death threats in 2011. Those who made them were arguably egged on by people like Congressman Michael Capuano of Massachusetts, who in February of that year encouraged unions to "get a little bloody when necessary" in fighting Wisconsin-like reforms. Some of the extraordinarily graphic death threats that year were directed at Walker's wife Tonette (one threatened to gut her "like a deer") and their children.

But Walker also faced death threats law enforcement took seriously in June 2012 after his recall campaign victory. The violent rhetoric directed at Walker from the left, including the highest levels of the Democratic Party, has never really subsided. It certainly won't let up if he chooses to formalize his presidential run or as he moves through the GOP primary process.

[6] — I would ask Wisconsin Democrat Jon Erpenbech whether he'd be willing trim back security to pre-threat levels on himself and his loved ones four years later if he still held the same political position and had received a torrent of death threats similar in nature to the following:

Has Wisconsin ever had a governor assassinated? Scotts heading that way. Or maybe one of your sons getting killed would hurt him more. I want him to feel the pain. I already follow them when they went to school in Wauwatosa, so it won’t be too hard to find them in Mad. Town. Big change from that house by [BLANK] Ave. to what you got now. Just let him know that it’s not right to [EXPLETIVE] over all those people. Or maybe I could find one of the Tarantinos [Tonette’s parents] back here.

State police told Walker that his "entire family was apparently being stalked." Given the content of the letter above, that stalking may have included his and his wife's extended family.

Much more recently, in mid-February, protesters went "so far as to harass Governor Walker’s elderly parents by unloading a bus of union toughs to protest outside the home in which they live."

It would be breathtakingly irresponsible to cut security back to where it was before Walker took office, and it's certainly not his fault that it has be what it is now.

As to Scott Bauer, he's clearly perfectly willing to serve as de facto press release provider for Democrats who appear to have run out of substantive complaints about Scott Walker. It's equally clear, given that he has failed for several days to report on it, that Bauer doesn't consider the actions directed by an out-of-control prosecutor who would seemingly be more at home in a totalitarian state than the United States as problematic, or even newsworthy.

Yes they are, Scott — and if a Republican prosecutor had engaged in such activities targeting an important Democratic Party politician, you'd be all over it.

Cross-posted at BizzyBlog.com.

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