What Did Brad Buy? Right-Wing State Supreme Court Candidate Brad Schimel Spends Campaign Cash on Travel, Meals, and Event Tickets for Himself

MADISON, Wis. — Current right-wing candidate for Wisconsin State Supreme Court Brad Schimel was widely criticized for his wasteful spending as state Attorney General in advance of losing his 2018 re-election bid for the office. Based on his latest campaign finance report, Schimel hasn’t changed his suspect spending habits. Records reveal he spent almost nothing on campaign activity like advertising, instead spending thousands of dollars on travel, reimbursements for mileage, meals, and event tickets for himself.

“Brad Schimel spent our tax dollars on candy and commemorative coins while he was Attorney General, before losing his re-election bid,” commented Mike Browne, deputy director at A Better Wisconsin Together. “Based on his latest campaign finance report, he hasn’t learned his lesson, frittering away his campaign donors’ cash on gas, food, and entertainment for himself, and much of it before he even was an announced candidate.”

As Wisconsin Attorney General, media reports uncovered Schimel spent $10,000 of state tax dollars on commemorative coins, emblazoned with his personal motto, K.A.E.D. (“Kicking Ass Every Day”) and over $80,000 on miscellaneous swag, including jelly beans and custom-made fortune cookies.

A review of Schimel’s most recent campaign finance report reveals roughly 65% of his expenditures have gone for things like reimbursing himself for mileage, meals, and phone bills and to pay for tickets to an array of right-wing events and a golf outing. In addition, Schimel spent campaign cash on memberships in organizations like the right-wing Federalist Society.

Among the events he attended were those hosted by right-wing extremist anti-abortion and anti-LGBTQ groups and local Republican party organizations. But perhaps the strangest of Schimel’s questionable expenditures was over $400 in “meeting expenses” spent at a company whose business is advertised as cleaning septic tanks.

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A Better Wisconsin Together is a state-based research and communications hub for progressives and is an affiliate of ProgressNow.