For the second time in a week President Bush's interior officials rejected an off-reservation casino for Wisconsin. The US Bureau of Indian Affairs said a proposed Beloit casino was too far away from the reservations of the sponsoring tribes, the Saint Croix and Bad River Chippewa bands in northern Wisconsin. Tribal Spokesman Joe Hunt says Interior Secretary Dirk Kempthorne's has a history of being against casinos, including opposition to on-reservation casinos while Governor of Idaho.
Congresswoman Tammy Baldwin accuses the outgoing Kempthorne of using his personal bias when he adopted new rules a year ago for approving Indian casinos off their reservations. Hunt, Baldwin, and State Senator Judy Robson of Beloit all hope the new Obama administration will take a different stance.
Hunt says the Bad River and St Croix Chippewa Tribes will take new legal action to pursue the application.
Last week, the US Interior denied the Menominee tribe, located in Northeastern Wisconsin, a chance to build a casino in Kenosha.
Beth Wheelock-WCLO contributed to this report