Walker’s New Job Will Pay Plenty
National group he will run has lots of money. But Walker won’t be able to run for office.
The Scott Walker era is over in Wisconsin.
After threatening to run for either governor or senator in Wisconsin in upcoming elections, Walker has announced he will be taking a job as president of the Young America’s Foundation, a national non-profit based in the Washington D.C. area (northern Virginia) that works to promote conservative ideas among young people and is perhaps best known for running the Reagan Ranch.
“This would preclude me from running for governor in this next cycle or running for the U.S. Senate if Ron Johnson’s seat is open,” Walker told the Journal Sentinel. “I won’t be engaged in anything else. This will be my sole occupation.”
That’s because it’s a full-time job and Walker agreed to serve in the position for four years. But he won’t be starting the job until January 2021, when the group’s current president, Ron Robinson, steps down after more than 40 years.
Walker has campaigned for political office in 15 elections over 29 years. Why would he agree to abandon his political hopes, which still seemed to be burning as hotly as ever, and wait that long for this position?
But the money he will earn might also have something to do with his decision. Walker’s past financial disclosure statements show he’s not a wealthy man. Going into his 2016 reelection campaign for governor Walker “reported a Barclays credit card with a balance of $10,000 to $15,000 at a high interest rate of 27.2 percent; a Bank of America credit card also with debt of $10,000 to $15,000; and federal loans of up to $250,000 to pay for college for his two sons,” as Politico reported.
The salary for his current job, as fundraising chairman for the National Republican Redistricting Trust, is not known, but the likely compensation for the job with Young America’s Foundation will be quite lucrative. The group’s most recent federal tax form, for 2017, shows that Robinson earned slightly more $1 million a year in total compensation.
The group is very well funded, with total assets of $69.5 million in 2017, and a $23.7 million annual budget, with $5.9 million of that going to salaries and expenses. The group had some $24 million in investments, which earned $2.7 million in investment income in 2017.
The intended use of the endowment funds, the group notes on its tax form, is to support its program activities, including the Reagan Ranch, National Journalism Center and national conservative student programs and seminars.
Young America’s Foundation calls itself “the principal outreach organization of the Conservative Movement.” Founded in 1977, it merged in 2011 with Young Americans for Freedom, a group launched in 1960 by conservative icon, William F. Buckley. The group has been active in battles over speech at universities and in sending conservative speakers to college campuses.
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