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Democratic Sen. Tammy Baldwin changes her mind, repays taxpayer-funded personal trip

 August 29, 2023

Democratic Sen. Tammy Baldwin from Wisconsin recently repaid a taxpayer-funded personal trip she took to New York City in November 2020.

The reimbursement followed inquiries from the media, as Fox News reported.

Background on the Expense

On Monday, the Milwaukee Journal-Sentinel revealed that Baldwin, currently campaigning for her third term in the crucial state of Wisconsin, reimbursed the $630 expense for her journey from Madison to New York City, where she visited her partner, financial consultant Maria Brisbane.

This reimbursement was initiated following questions posed by the outlet. According to Baldwin's team, the trip had been mistakenly labeled as an official engagement.

Baldwin's office stated that the senator voluntarily made the federal repayment out of prudence without any external request.

A spokesperson from Senator Baldwin's office, Andrew Mamo, commented to the Journal-Sentinel: "Tammy Baldwin goes above and beyond to ensure her office is in compliance with ethics policies, including as it relates to her travel."

Notably, just a few weeks after her NYC trip, Sen. Baldwin recommended that Wisconsin residents refrain from traveling during the holiday season due to the COVID-19 pandemic.

The National Republican Senatorial Committee's spokesperson, Tate Mitchell, pointed out this seeming discrepancy: "It takes a special kind of arrogance to tell Wisconsin taxpayers not to see their loved ones for the holidays while you bill them for a vacation to see your girlfriend."

Context and Controversies

Senator Baldwin's NYC trip took place during a period when both Wisconsin and New York were experiencing spikes in COVID-19 cases.

2024 will be a critical year in the Senate, with the Democrats' slender majority hanging in the balance.

Baldwin is seeking re-election, with her campaign aligning with the larger Democratic agenda championed by President Joe Biden.

In June, Baldwin faced criticism for attending a notably private fundraiser organized by a prominent left-wing politician.

The individual in question endorses groups like the Sisters of Perpetual Indulgence and concepts such as Critical Race Theory (CRT).

These groups have a track record of expressing anti-police sentiments and hold the view that "White supremacy" profoundly impacts society.

At a San Francisco reception, Baldwin received praise from hosts known for their extensive history in left-wing activism, as mentioned in the fundraiser's flyer.

The gathering aimed to garner individual donations ranging from $250 to $3,300 in support of the Democratic senator.

Carolyn Wysinger, a Bay Area city council member who was among the co-hosts of the event, has been associated with multiple contentious groups and has criticized the Los Angeles Dodgers for their decision to exclude the Sisters of Perpetual Indulgence, a group known for its anti-Catholic stance, from their June Pride event.