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Fundraiser Held by United Sportsmen Group With Top DNR Official Before Grant was Received

Tuesday, October 1st, 2013 -- 8:21 AM

-A self-described sporting group with political ties featured a top Department of Natural Resources official at a May 9 fundraiser, just weeks before securing a budget provision that was expected to provide them with a $500,000 state grant, newly released records show.

According to the Milwaukee Journal, details about the fundraiser for the United Sportsmen of Wisconsin were included in hundreds of pages of documents released Monday by the DNR regarding the controversial grant.

The documents also show that on August 22nd, then-Assembly Majority Leader Scott Suder signed onto a letter with 17 other Republicans encouraging awarding the grant to United Sportsmen?s foundation. That?s the same day Suder began a fishing excursion with United Sportsmen?s executive director, a lobbyist for the National Rifle Association and a former NRA lobbyist involved with United Sportsmen.

United Sportsmen?s foundation won the grant soon after the letter was sent, but lost it a week later when Gov. Scott Walker rescinded it amid reports on the groups ties to Republicans and misrepresentations it made about its tax-exempt status.

But before the grant was slipped into the budget, the United Sportsmen held a $50-per-person fundraiser at a Madison steakhouse. In attendance was Matt Moroney, the DNR?s deputy secretary.

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