Earlier in 2015, Wisconsin Governor Scott Walker stopped the Menominee Nation from opening an off-reservation casino. On Monday, July 13, 2015, he officially announced his 2016 presidential campaign for the Republican Party. Walker had to face a lot of pressure from the tribe, lawmakers, and the public when he voted against approving the Kenosha planned casino.
He delayed his decision all through 2014, and finally gave a rejection in January. He also refused to meet Chairman Gary Besaw to discuss the project further. Tribal leaders believe the rejection of their casino project rests with his campaign desires. It is thought that Walker is going on a more conservative approach with this political campaign, instead of looking at the economic and job opportunities the casino can bring to the area.
The rejection of the casino and the tribal statements are not going to have an effect on his presidential campaign based on historical situations. Native American gaming decisions have never been an issue with presidential elections. Walker may face opposition and a resurgence of the casino request before his time in the governor’s office is over, though. The Ho-Chunk Nation is waiting for the Bureau of Indian Affairs to decide on the casino, the governor still has veto authority to stop the decision due to the Indian Gaming Regulatory Act.