Monday, January 30, 2006

ANOTHER SWEETHEART DEAL - SYKES WRITES


MONDAY, Feb. 24, 2003, 4:19 p.m.
ANOTHER SWEETHEART DEAL


Faced with the loss of his sole power to negotiate gaming compacts -- and hours after we posted the details of the McCallum-Potawatomi negotiations -- Governor Doyle rushed to announce his deal with the Potawatomi.

Assembly Speaker John Gard, issued this statement:

“Governor Doyle’s action to announce a sweetheart deal with the Potawatomi today is panicked, partisan and premature. The tribe’s current compact does not expire until June of 2004. His mishandling of this executive prerogative makes a compelling case for legislative oversight. We hope that the governor will act quickly to sign SB 41 and that Governor Doyle will live up to the lofty statements made by Attorney General Doyle and Candidate Doyle.”

Senator Bob Welch is even angrier:
“At no time during our discussions with Governor Doyle did he mention that this deal was close to being done,” said Welch. “Looking us in the eye in a meeting and not telling us about this is disingenuous. This deal is sleazy.”

Legislators filed an open records request to get details of ongoing negotiations between the tribes and Governor Doyle but no information was ever provided to legislators on this subject.

“Withholding information after an open records request was made is Nixonian at best, illegal at worst,” commented Welch.

“This move to secretly sign compacts in the middle of the night while the legislature’s bill to gain oversight is sitting on the Governor’s desk can be compared to ducking the landlord because you can’t pay the rent,” said Senator Scott Fitzgerald. “Governor Doyle’s absolute disregard for the legislative branch of government is a slap in the face to each and every citizen of Wisconsin.”

County Exec Scott Walker noted that Doyle deal did not include the economic development provisions that had been part of the original negotiations.

"[The Potawatomi] had previously placed an investment in creating jobs and cleaning up and developing the Valley on the table as a part of their compact negotiations,” said Walker. “Governor Doyle left the idea on the table and left the taxpayers of Milwaukee County holding a losing hand.”

Senate Republican Leader Mary Panzer:
"The Governor has sold the state’s future for a handful of magic beans. There is no going back, perpetuity is forever. He has sold the ability of future governors, future legislatures and future generations to negotiate new compacts."

I smell blood in the water.

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