Casino Stalker | Opinion
Editorial: Gambling on a new administration

"The Menominee Nation has decided to gamble that a new administration in Washington will be more favorable to its proposal for a casino in Kenosha than the current head of the Department of the Interior. This week the Menominees asked for their application to be suspended until early next year, when the new administration, headed by either John McCain or Barack Obama, is in place.

The tribe said it was worried that Dirk Kempthorne, the current secretary of the Interior, would issue a "hasty, arbitrary and capricious end-of-term approval."

It's hard to imagine any decision about this project at Dairyland Greyhound Park being described as hasty. The proposal was approved in a countywide referendum in 2004, and has been under review by federal officials for several years. Whatever decision Kempthorne would make, "hasty" probably wouldn't describe it. He actually could have denied this application many months ago when several other off-reservation casino projects were denied.

The Dairyland project's survival after others were denied has to be taken as a sign that the Menominee proposal has some support inside the Bureau of Indian Affairs and the Department of the Interior. Evidently the tribe believes those supporters do not include Kempthorne, so it has asked for a delay of the decision.

No one knows, of course, who will be the next secretary of the Interior and how that person might feel about gambling in general or off-reservation casinos. Even if it is approved in Washington, the governor would still have to give his approval."

Get the Story:
Editorial: Who will decide casino's fate? (The Kenosha News 10/25)