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Constitution Party of Wisconsin opposes gaming on Menominee Native American reservation

In the midst of a legal battle over a new casino in Wisconsin, the state’s Constitution Party issued a short but forceful statement opposing the casino.  This places the Party on the side of Governor Scott Walker, who this past week refused to approve the casino, and against the Menominee tribe’s efforts to open the casino.  

The press release:

CPoW Rejects the Kenosha Casino for All the Right Reasons!

The Constitution Party of Wisconsin (CPoW) rejects all forms of gambling.    Our platform states:

“Gambling promotes an increase in crime, destruction of family values, and a decline in the moral fiber of our country. We are opposed to government sponsorship, involvement in, or promotion of gambling, such as lotteries, or subsidization of Native American casinos in the name of economic development.”

If you are in favor of gambling, you are an “easy money” liberal.  If you are mad about the Potowotomi Nation bullying the State of Wisconsin, remember this: there was a time before they ran gaming operations, when they did not have the economic muscle to engage in such tactics. To complain now in light of your long-term gambling support should make you think about the long-term consequences of your immorality.  CPoW is glad the Kenosha Casino is not going to open;  we opposed it when it was a dog track.  We oppose all gambling on principal.


  1. Andy Craig Andy Craig February 23, 2015

    Assuming he can’t get the Feds on his side, and under their current position he wouldn’t, then the tribe would still need some kind of compact with the state to ship it anywhere else (the Menominee reservation, co-extant with the county of the same name, is entirely surrounded by non-reservation Wisconsin land. You can’t get in or out without going through total-prohibition territory.)

    So while they could theoretically allow marijuana tourists to come to a small county in the middle of rural northern WI to smoke some Menominee-grown bud, they couldn’t tap into the main cash cow they’re looking at, which would be exporting to legal medical & recreational states. That’s what they really want, to replace the casino revenue. Not to turn their county/reservation with less than 5,000 people in it, into some kind of upper-Midwest marijuana tourist destination.

    I think they’re more just continuing their public relations game against Walker, not seriously considering legalizing some sort of marijuana on the reservation any time soon. It keeps the issue in the headlines and lets them continue to draw it out, and also gets some parts of the liberal-left in the state more firmly behind them.

  2. paulie paulie February 23, 2015

    I wonder if Walker will go to war with them if they do?

  3. Andy Craig Andy Craig February 23, 2015

    Re: my explanation of state/tribal law in Wisconsin, apparently the Menominee are one of a handful of counter-exemptions from the policy that WI state law applies on reservations. I did not know that. So now they are openly talking about legalizing marijuana on their reservation in response to the casino being nixed. See above story for details.

  4. Cody Quirk Cody Quirk February 22, 2015

    Exactly, especially since they want to outlaw Islam too.

  5. langa langa February 22, 2015

    While I’m not really that big a fan of most casino-style gambling (like roulette, craps, etc.), I love playing poker, and I also like betting on sports, as well as the occasional game of blackjack.

    Anyway, it obviously isn’t any of the government’s business how people spend their money, and it’s mentioned nowhere in the Constitution, further demonstrating that the CP is more interested in ramming their own morality down people’s throats than actually adhering to the Constitution.

    Oh, and good for the Wisconsin LP for their statement, and for pointing out that Walker doesn’t really have a leg to stand on.

  6. paulie paulie February 22, 2015

    Yes, I suppose everything is relative.

  7. Cody Quirk Cody Quirk February 21, 2015

    I guess to them, the Nevada IAP is a liberal, immoral political party then.

  8. paulie paulie February 21, 2015

    His reasons sound disingenuous.

  9. Andy Craig Andy Craig February 21, 2015

    It’s also worth pointing out, that even though a lot of people are assuming (probably correctly) that Walker made his decision to appeal to Iowa social conservatives, his stated reason wasn’t moral opposition to gambling, a la the CPoW line.

    Rather it was the fact that the state (supposedly, this is heavily disputed) has a contract with the Potawatomi tribe, who have a large casino in Milwaukee, and claim they would be owed losses if the state doesn’t guarantee them a 50-mile monopoly. The Menominee have offered to fully indemnify any such judgement against the state, which they can afford to do in part because any attempt by Potawatomi to enforce that provision would require a reversion to an older compact. Under that older agreement, half of their current business (slots, bingo) wouldn’t be allowed, so Potawatomi couldn’t ever realistically do that. Walker can’t even get an actual lawyer to say the state would have to make such a payment, instead he points to a memo from a non-lawyer political adviser claiming it.

    So basically the Menominee have offered to 1) pay for their competitor’s loss of a state-guaranteed monopoly and 2) pay for an unrelated major capital project for an unrelated business in a different city. Neither of which they should have to pay for, of course. But they’re still being denied because the state’s Governor is more worried about appealing to Iowa caucus-goers in 2016 than he is Wisconsin voters. In part because he’ll probably never have to answer to Wisconsin voters again (WI doesn’t have term limits, but nobody expects him to run for a third term in 2018, or for US Senate.).

    Sounds less like the tribe is bullying the state, and more like the tribe is being extorted by the state, or in particular the Governor, who doesn’t even have state-legislature Republicans on his side on this one.

  10. paulie paulie February 21, 2015

    Didn’t know that. Never mind the sovereignty angle. The Wisconsin tribes should become more independent.

  11. Andy Craig Andy Craig February 21, 2015

    re: “sovereign nation” – tribal sovereignty is a complicated basket of legalese, but in Wisconsin the matter is relatively straightforward, because we’re one of a handful of states where, under a federal law, state law *does* automatically apply, in full, within Indian reservations, basically in exchange for the state providing criminal justice and police services for the tribes. For the same reason a Wisconsin tribe couldn’t, for example, enact its own marijuana legalization within its reservation, like tribes in most other states could (in theory).

    Also the proposed casino is not in the Menominee reservation anyway, it’s several hours away (the reservation is in a thinly-populated part of northern Wisconsin, the proposed Hard Rock/Menominee casino is in Kenosha, a city south of Milwaukee.)

  12. paulie paulie February 21, 2015

    Gambling is that one “moral” issue that I’ve never understood at all. How is it immoral? What you do with your money is your own business, it’s no different than playing the stock market

    Same is true for the supposed immorality of getting high if you buy the drugs with your own money (basically the same thing gamblig does as both just trigger chemicals that are already in your brain). The supposed Biblical basis for drug prohibition is simlarly weak, it has to do with sorcery and witchcraft and says nothing about drugs per se.

    On the contrary, Genesis says that all seed-bearing plants are given to us to use, and there is speculation that the oil that was frequently used for anointing throughout the Bible was actually cannabis oil.

  13. Andy Craig Andy Craig February 21, 2015

    Paulie posted the link to our press release earlier, but I’ll re post this coverage of our LP-Milwaukee/Waukesha release here since it seems relevant:

  14. paulie paulie February 21, 2015

    They claim it’s because the soldiers gambled with Jesus’ clothes at the crucifixion. How that extends to any and all gambling…no idea.

  15. Jed Ziggler Jed Ziggler February 21, 2015

    Gambling is that one “moral” issue that I’ve never understood at all. How is it immoral? What you do with your money is your own business, it’s no different than playing the stock market.

  16. paulie paulie February 21, 2015

    Jill, gambling has definitely been one of my issues. It triggers adrenaline and other chemicals in the brain which cause chemical dependency exactly the same way as drug addiction, which I have also experienced. Nevertheless, it’s clearly none of the government’s business and has absolutely no element of initiation of force on the part of the gamblers or the house.

  17. Jill Pyeatt Jill Pyeatt February 21, 2015

    There’s nothing in the article above that I agree with. Although I definitely have some OCD issues, gambling has never been one of them I can’t imagine why someone could spend money gambling, but it’s something many people enjoy. I’m sick of nannies trying to tell everyone how to live.

  18. Bondurant Bondurant February 21, 2015

    I support gambling anywhere.

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