September 20, 2013
Governor Scott Walker
P.O. Box 7863
Madison, WI 53707-7863
Dear Governor Walker:
We are writing to thank you for putting forward family and job friendly criteria for evaluating Indian gaming operations in Wisconsin. While we understand that media elites and liberals in Washington are trying to get you to change your mind about the principled stand you’ve outlined, we want you to know that we stand with you.
Wisconsin has 24 casinos – more than there are in Illinois, Michigan, Iowa and Minnesota. In the case of Illinois – that state has double the population but less than half the number of casinos.
The proposed new casino in Wisconsin is bad for taxpayers, job seekers and families. In addition to the adverse impact the Menominee Tribe’s proposed facility would have on the community, it is planned as a union facility. Currently, there are no unionized tribal casinos in Wisconsin and the Menominee Tribe’s proposed facility would likely lead to unionization at gaming facilities throughout the state. Granting this union only effort is a back door unionization effort rewarding many of the very organizations and entities most opposed to the free-market, deregulatory, and pro-growth agenda that you have pursued as governor.
Last year the Wisconsin Policy Research Institute (WPRI) examined the claims of job creation by the proposed casino opening and found that the Wisconsin casino market is “saturated” and adding new casinos would result in “no net gain” for the people of Wisconsin.
Finally, the people of Wisconsin have spoken clearly on this. In a statewide referendum they voted to limit casino expansion and after a bruising recall fight over the governor’s mansion their views on forced unionization is clear as well.
Under current law, all new Indian casinos must receive the approval of the Interior secretary, whose department includes the United States Bureau of Indian Affairs, and the governor of the state where any new operations will be located. In the case of the Menominee tribe’s new mega-casino, the decision rests now with you.
The principles that you’ve outlined for evaluating any new casino application are sound and family friendly. Before approval of any request, you’ve pledged there must be an agreement among the tribes and any new construction and expansion must include closing or restricting existing casinos. This approach respects the Indian Tribes and the wishes of the people of Wisconsin.
We appreciate your commitment to free-market principles and the people of Wisconsin and urge you to stand firm.
Frontiers for Freedom
Institute for Liberty
Tea Party Network News
Let Freedom Ring
Freedom Foundation of Minnesota
James L. Martin
60 Plus Association
Organizations Listed for Identification Purposes