Weeks after announcing he was leaving the Assembly to accept a high-paying political appointment in Scott Walker’s administration, Assembly Majority Leader Scott Suder today officially submitted his resignation.
Suder’s resignation comes as questions are swirling about his motivations in an award process that resulted in a $500,000 state grant made in perpetuity to a shadowy Tea Party organization with ties to the National Rifle Association.
A group calling itself United Sportsmen of Wisconsin, headed by Suder’s former chief of staff, Luke Hilgemann, who in recent years ran Wisconsin’s chapter of the Koch-funded Americans for Prosperity, was the lone applicant and ultimate recipient of the $500,000 grant inserted by Suder into the state budget for the purpose of promoting hunting, fishing and trapping in Wisconsin.
United Sportsmen of Wisconsin has no record of providing outdoor training in Wisconsin or anywhere else; however, they do have history of involvement in Wisconsin politics in recent years.
During the 2011 senate recalls, United Sportsmen faced backlash for their involvement in a series of misleading “Absentee Ballot Application” mailers and in 2012 they endorsed Scott Walker in the recall election, stating that, “The second amendment took on a new meaning in Wisconsin under Governor Scott Walker.”
United Sportsmen board members and their families contributed $2,500 last year to Scott Suder.
“Rigging a half-a-million dollar grant so it’s tailored specifically for his political backers? Sounds like Scott Suder is going to fit right in with the pay-to-play culture Scott Walker imported from his Milwaukee County office,” Democratic Party of Wisconsin Chair Mike Tate said Tuesday. “At least there’s good news for the people of Wisconsin’s 69th Assembly District – they’ll soon have the chance to elect a new representative who’s focused on getting Wisconsin’s economy back on track, not rewarding their special interest supporters.”