AG's campaign defends conference appearance

MADISON, Wis. - Republican Attorney General Brad Schimel's campaign is defending Schimel's appearance at an anti-gay organization's conference.

Alliance Defending Freedom spent nearly $4,000 to cover Schimel's travel to the California conference in July. The statement indicates ADF also paid Schimel a $300 honorarium. Schimel's state spokesman, Johnny Koremenos, said Schimel participated in a panel discussion of states' rights.

The Southern Poverty Law Center has classified ADF as an extremist group that supports criminalizing homosexuality.

Schimel's Democratic challenger, Josh Kaul, says it's unacceptable for Schimel to participate in an ADF conference.

Schimel campaign manager Matthew Dobler reiterated that Schimel spoke about state sovereignty and free speech. He says Kaul should spend more time learning about the attorney general's job than hiding behind attacks on an organization working to preserve freedom of speech, religion and conscience.

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