Skip to content

Scott Suder Crossed Ethical Lines By Purchasing Personal Items With Campaign Cash

February 4, 2014

Carvey Church Lady

I know that if the money I sent to a politician were used on a personal steak dinner or the purchase of a second computer within the span of a year I would be very disappointed.  As such I am certain there are a number of constituents in former State Representative Scott Suder’s district who are downright miffed at the news reported on Tuesday.

After announcing he was leaving the Legislature last fall, then Assembly Majority Leader Scott Suder splurged and spent the remaining $5,700 in his campaign account on items like a new Apple computer, $2,000 in mileage money to himself and a steakhouse dinner, a review of candidate filings shows.

By law, spending from a state campaign account must be for a political purpose and not for a candidate’s personal benefit, though the lines between those ends can be blurry. Hardware such as the computer — Suder bought it a month and a half after leaving the Legislature — must be used primarily for political purposes. The computer was the second that Suder bought last year with his campaign funds

There will be those who will defend the actions of Suder, and even bring some legal angle to the argument about why it is all proper and above board.  But from my perspective what he did was not right, ethical, or what constitutes fair play when it comes to the political process.  Every day there seems to be another example as to why the people who are asked to play by all the rules made by legislators are then presented with the double standards from the rule-makers themselves.  Is it any wonder that polling continually shows politicians rank low among the electorate when asked to rank them?

After all, consider how Suder spent money that people donated, thinking it was going to be used for a political operation or cause.

$1,837 on Oct. 15 on a campaign computer from the Apple Store in Madison. Suder spent $2,806 on two purchases from the Apple Store in January 2013, or less than a year earlier.

As lawmakers, members of the Assembly are given a state laptop that they have to return when they leave office.

Suder told the website WisPolitics last year that he had bought the computer in October to store materials from past Assembly campaigns in case he decided to run for office again or needed it to help a former colleague seeking campaign help.

Suder also used the campaign account to pay cellphone charges through late October, including a $580 charge from Verizon on Sept. 23 that didn’t match other regular bills from that carrier.

■ An even $2,000 to reimburse himself for mileage as a candidate and legislative leader charged with helping with other campaigns. Suder has taken large mileage reimbursements in even amounts at least one other time, when he received $5,500 a few days after the November 2012 election.

Suder cleaned out his campaign account on Oct. 29 by reimbursing himself for a final $21.46 in gas.

■ $106 on Sept. 25 at Fleming’s, a high-end steakhouse in Madison.



  1. February 5, 2014 8:14 PM

    Excellent comment, Solly.

  2. Solly permalink
    February 5, 2014 7:34 PM

    Skip, more similarities to another Chicago Pol, Jesse Jackson Jr. using campaign funds to buy a $43,000 Rolex (a pol needs to know what time it is doesn’t he?) and Michael Jackson’s fedora for $4,600 (you don’t want him to get cold do you?). Scott Suder was suspected of having a ghost job at the Capitol after he was elected in 1998. See, the retiring Assemblyman in another district thought he was saving the state money, so after he announced his retirement and his secretary took another job, he left the position vacant. Turns out, the “slimey scotts” were at work and negated the savings. See, Ethically Challenged Scott Jensen was speaker, and Ethically Challenged Scott Suder was an aide to a third Assemblyman before SS resigned to run for that seat. He won in November, but what to do, what to do,his salary and insurance didn’t kick in until January 99. So Scott Jensen put him on the payroll for November and December, using the vacant position that the first Assemblyman was keeping vacant. No one remembers seeing Suder at the Capitol, and Suder couldn’t remember or say what he worked on for Jensen. CONservative Gubment!!!!!

  3. skip1930 permalink
    February 5, 2014 5:24 PM

    My first boss who employed me to pick up paper at Lincoln Park Zoo when I lived Chicago, was Alderman Dan Rostenkowski.

    Mr. Rostenkowski had to go to a Federal Prison because he had little too much Federal furniture in the basement in Chicago. After his release from prison, he obtained his job again and collected his back pay. Dan recently passed away.

  4. rjn permalink
    February 5, 2014 9:28 AM

    If he needed to store documents he could have bought a thumb drive with gigs of storage for under 50 bucks.

Comments are closed.

%d bloggers like this: