The now-failed Presidential aspirations of Wisconsin Republican Gov. Scott Walker are believed by some to be at the core of the once presidential candidate’s denial of the Menominee Nation’s bid for an off-reservation casino at the defunct Dairyland Greyhound Park in Kenosha.
Twitter was the forum Menominee tribal legislator Craig Corn chose to vent his frustration over Walker’s announcement on Monday that he was ending a 2016 presidential campaign that was headed into debt and riddled with internal issues. In a series of Tweets including, ““He put his presidential bid before what was best for Wisconsin, “Corn expressed his belief that Walker’s rejection earlier this year of the $800 million casino proposal by the Menominee Indian Tribe and Hard Rock International which was approved by the federal Bureau of Indian Affairs, cost the tribe a significant number of badly needed jobs as well as revenue that would have been generated by the casino, according to a Kenosha News report.
Walker unofficially threw his hat into the 2016 presidential race the day after he effectively killed the casino proposal after reportedly receiving a petition against gambling expansion signed by 600 Republicans just days beforehand from Consumer Credit of Des Moines. Walker claimed he believed the economic risk to taxpayers would be too great citing the possibility of exposing the state to $100 million in lost revenue that existing gaming compacts would create; even though the tribe promised to make good on any lost revenue.
However, it is the belief of some, according to the report, that the denial by Walker was an attempt to gain support from Sheldon Adelson, Las Vegas billionaire, and the Potawatomi tribe which operates the recently expanded Potowatomi Bingo Casino Resort in Milwaukee that would directly compete with the proposed Kenosha casino, and who fought for its denial.
Not long after the denial a letter asking the governor to reconsider his decision was sent to Walker by several Wisconsin legislators, in addition to a promise in February by the Hard Rock and Menominee to pay the state’s share -$220 million-of a new home for the Milwaukee Bucks upon approval of the casino. However, in a letter to the tribe Walker stood firm in his assertion that such a deal “would face serious legal challenges, as it would circumvent the role of the Legislature in appropriating state revenue.”
An off-reservation casino in Beloit, Wisconsin is being sought by the Ho-Chunk Nation, the only other federally recognized Indian tribe in the state, which currently operates six casinos in Wisconsin, and Walker who has three years remaining in his term has veto authority.