The reason for not signing AB 461, according to the reports of the Governor’s office is that it “violates federal law”. AB 46 is to arrive on Gov. Doyle’s desk for reconsideration. This cannot but make you be puzzled. The Spokesperson for the previously supportive Doyle commented: “He has looked at this issue more carefully since becoming a governor”. The question is whether when Jim Doyle when being Wisconsin’s Attorney General looked at this issue carefully. Speaking to the US Supreme Court, he said: “Members of the Wisconsin Legislature, as representatives of citizens, should reclaim the power to ratify or negotiate gaming compacts”.
Brian J. Nemoir, Executive Director of Enough! said: “It is incredible to believe that then Attorney General Doyle testified before Congress on behalf of the people of Wisconsin without ‘carefully considering’’ his testimony. “Did the nearly $1 million in tribal money as well as a fact-finding mission at the Mohegan Sun Casino in Connecticut — the tribe partnering with the Menominee Tribe on the Kenosha Casino — help clarify this issue for him?”
Some True facts:
It has been admitted that AB 461 does not violate federal law. A recent court case, Lac Courte Oreilles Band of Lake Superior Chippewa Indians of Wisconsin v. United States, 367 F. 3d 650, 665 (7th Cir. 2004), validated that the Legislature can have a role. The Seventh Circuit Court of Appeals held:
Additionally, the Governor of Wisconsin’s power to respond to the Secretary of the Interior’s request for concurrence is not without a check in the Wisconsin Legislature. Indeed, on two occasions, the Wisconsin Legislature has attempted to cut down the Governor’s power to concur. See 1999 Wis. Act 9, sec. 7(q), and 2003 Assembly Bill 144. Although the Legislature did not override the Governor’s veto of either bill, the Wisconsin Constitution provides a mechanism for the Legislature to do so. See Wis. Const. Art. 5 sec. 10(2) (a).
“Of course, a governor’s power remains fully subject to state law, including limits imposed by the state legislature: if a legislature desires to place strictures on the governor’s communications with the Secretary, it is free to do so within the limits of applicable state law”, Wisconsin Attorney General Peg Lautenschlager on behalf of Gov. Doyle said in support of the Court’s finding. In fact, the power of a governor remains fully subject to state law. If a legislature desires criticize governor’s communications with the Secretary, it’s free to do so within the limits of applicable state law.
The impartial Wisconsin Council, in fact, has recently concluded that AB 461 would not violate the federal law.
Gov. Doyle! Enough excuses for not signing AB 461! Either remain consistent or admit by vetoing the bill that your position has been changed, not for any legal or policy reasons, but because of undue impact!
Enough! is a growing and diverse grassroots coalition opposed to the expansion of off-reservation gambling in Wisconsin. For more information please contact Brian J. Nemoir, Executive Director at 608.268.6777 or visit: http://www.enoughwi.com .