- Associated Press - Wednesday, March 4, 2015

MADISON, Wis. (AP) - A Democratic state senator says taxpayers shouldn’t have to foot the bill for Republican Gov. Scott Walker’s State Patrol bodyguards on trips to address conservative powerbrokers.

Walker, a likely 2016 presidential candidate, has been appearing at conservative gatherings around the country.

Sen. Jon Erpenbach told Department of Transportation Secretary Mark Gottlieb during a hearing before the Legislature’s budget committee he believes Walker’s recent trips are political and his campaign, not taxpayers, should cover his guards’ expenses.

Gottlieb, a Walker appointee, said the governor is the governor regardless of where he is. Former state Department of Administration Secretary Mike Huebsch told Erpenbach this week that the state and Walker’s campaign decide how to divvy up protection costs.

Gottlieb said the bodyguards’ cost came to $1.75 million in the last fiscal year.

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