Tuesday, October 22, 2013

Casino Opponent Continues Big Contributions To Republican Electioneering Group

A Wisconsin Indian tribe that opposes another tribe’s $800 million Kenosha casino project contributed another $35,000 last month to an outside electioneering group that has spent more than $2 million since 2010 to help elect Republican legislators.

A fundraising and spending report filed by the Republican State Leadership Committee with the U.S. Internal Revenue Service shows the group received two contributions of $10,000 and $25,000 on September 27 from the Forest County Potawatomi Community.

The Potawatomi and the Ho-Chunk Nation have steadfastly opposed the Menominee Indian Tribe’s proposed casino. Republican Governor Scott Walker, who has the final say on the project, has set today as the final deadline for the Menominee to meet three conditions before he will OK it. Among the conditions was that the Menominee persuade Wisconsin’s 10 other Indian tribes approve it, but the Potawatomi and the Ho-Chunk continue to oppose it.

The latest Potawatomi contributions are in addition to $42,500 in contributions from the Potawatomi and the Ho-Chunk in the past two years to the Republican State Leadership Committee. The two tribes have also contributed $150,900 to another GOP outside electioneering group – the Republican Governors Association – in the past two years. The governor’s association spent more than $14 million to help Walker win the 2010 general and the 2012 recall elections.

So, the only two tribes that oppose the casino proposal and have asked Walker to reject it have contributed a total of $228,400 in about two years to secretive outside groups that have collectively spent nearly $17 million to help elect the governor and the GOP legislative majority.

Given the timing, the Potawatomi’s latest contributions could be used by the group to help support Republican candidates in three special elections in November and December for vacant Assembly seats that were held by Republicans.

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