MADISON, Wis. — In multiple interviews on right wing radio programs yesterday, Brad Schimel had a lot to say trying to justify his paid appearance before the hate group Alliance Defending Freedom (ADF). One Wisconsin Now Executive Director Scot Ross said the issue now is what did Schimel, appearing in his official capacity, say to the group that paid over $4,100 to host him at a luxury resort in California last summer? One Wisconsin Now filed a request under the state open records law for copies of the remarks but to date, Schimel has not turned over any records.
“Brad Schimel appeared in his official capacity as the Attorney General of the state of Wisconsin at a conference hosted by an anti-LGBTQ hate group,” said Ross. “We deserve to know what he said in exchange for the luxury resort accommodations and appearance fee they gave to him.”
On the Statement of Economic Interest Schimel is required by law to file, he disclosed, “… the sources of honoraria and payment of expenses related to your state government duties …” Among the 2017 junkets taken by the state’s top cop was an appearance at a conference sponsored by ADF. In total he received over $4,100 in airfare, meals, hotel, transportation and appearance fees.
According to Internal Revenue Service records, in the last two years available, the Alliance Defending Freedom raised and spent more than $100 million.
The ADF has been classified as a hate group by the Southern Poverty Law Center. In making the designation, they cite the ADF’s support for, “the recriminalization of homosexuality in the U.S. and criminalization abroad” and note the group “has defended state-sanctioned sterilization of trans people abroad; has linked homosexuality to pedophilia and claims that a “homosexual agenda” will destroy Christianity and society. ADF also works to develop “religious liberty” legislation and case law that will allow the denial of goods and services to LGBT people on the basis of religion.”
In addition to One Wisconsin Now’s call for Schimel to reveal what he told the hate group, the Human Rights Campaign yesterday called on Schimel to donate his appearance fee to a charitable organization providing services to LGBTQ youth.