Fri September 13, 2013
Governor Says He Did Not Know Details Of Outdoors Grant Language
Governor Walker says that during the budget process, he wasn't specifically aware of the language around the now-canceled grant given to United Sportsmen, and declined to critique the architect of the grant, former state Rep. Scott Suder.
Last week, Walker rescinded the half-million dollar state budget grant for the group to do outreach about hunting and fishing. The group has ties to state Republicans, and also misrepresented its not-for-profit tax status during the application process.
Walker has been out of the state since last week, but yesterday afternoon in Milwaukee told reporters he didn't know the state budget language had set up an extremely narrow grant process that resulted in United Sportsmen being the only applicant.
Q: Did you know the money was going to United Sportsmen? When you approved this in the budget, what was your knowledge of United Sportsmen?
Walker: No, in our case we just looked at hundreds of things. We don't go through ... I didn't know the details of that particular thing other than to say that something that would be promoting something very specific to our heritage in this state was important.
Walker says he did make a partial veto to make sure the state grant would not jeopardize some federal funds.
United Sportsmen is closely linked to former Assembly Majority Leader Scott Suder, who has since gone on to a high-ranking job at the state Public Service Commission. Walker was asked if Suder should be allowed to keep his new job. “How the legislature practices, what they do on the hundreds of different budget motions, is really something they ultimately have to talk about,” Walker said. “From our standpoint, someone's record of service for nearly two decades in the state legislature, I think, speaks pretty strongly. It's why his colleagues elected him [Suder] majority leader.”
State Democrats have called for more investigation of the budget item, and contend the Walker administration has had too many ethical problems.