Nobody knows that better than the Menomonee Tribe.
The tribe is flat out threatening Governor Walker’s political demise if he fails to meet their demands. Unfortunately they’ve found unlikely allies among some conservatives who believe any tribe should be able to build a casino whenever or wherever they want.
These same people who applaud Governor Walker for standing by his principles and keeping his campaign promises are asking him to abandon both in order to approve a casino. Some have even gone so far as to accuse the Governor of being bought off by a competing tribe.
The truth is that Governor Walker has held the same position on a Kenosha casino since 2006.
“As a candidate for governor, my view is fairly simple — I’m not a big fan of gambling anywhere,” said then-County Executive Walker as a 2006 candidate for Governor in a March 24th, 2006 Kenosha News Article. Continuing, he added he would take his cues from a 1993 statewide referendum in which voters indicated they would not like to see a net increase in the number of games available in Wisconsin.
In a meeting with tribal leaders in 2011, the Governor established a set of criteria for approving a new casino, including requiring no net increase in gaming.
Whether or not you agree with the Governor’s position on gaming or his criteria for approving a casino, he simply can’t abandon them at the first sign of political heat. That’s not who Scott Walker is. If you don’t believe us, ask the public employee unions who spent over a year and tens of millions of dollars trying to recall him.
For over a decade, the Menomonee Tribe has been pairing up with disreputable developers who literally tried to bribe their way to approval under Governor Jim Doyle.
For years, Governor Jim Doyle failed to provide any clear policy or ground rules for making a final decision on whether or not to approve a new casino in Wisconsin. Even as local officials and casino developers were charged with bribery and corruption, and charges of illegal campaign contributions and money laundering plagued Doyle’s own campaign, he refused to indicate any guidelines he might use in determining whether or not to expand gaming in Wisconsin.
For years, Wisconsin tribes engaged in a bidding war for Governor Doyle’s allegiance.
Governor Walker recognizes the consequences that result from having no policy, not only as a breeding ground for corruption but for starting wars among competing tribes now and in the future.
Sticking to his principles and keeping his promises are among the many qualities that distinguish Scott Walker from Jim Doyle. Nobody should expect Governor Walker to abandon those principles and break those promises just because they disagree with him.