Former Potawatomi CFO tells Gov. Walker why he should approve new casino

CREATED Oct 31, 2013 - UPDATED: Oct 31, 2013

  • Print
  • Play
  • Play
  • The Menominee tribe awaits Gov. Scott Walker’s decision, which was originally set to come Friday, on the $800 million casino proposal for Kenosha. Image by Uncredited

MILWAUKEE - The Potawatomi have said all along they stand to lose millions of dollars and thousands of jobs with a Kenosha casino.

But the former Chief Financial Officer - who concedes he was asked to leave last year - says the casino's worries are significantly inflated.  
In a letter, Kurt Schmidt urges Governor Walker to approve the Kenosha Hard Rock project, saying any negative impact on the Potawatomi Casino would be minimal and easily overcome.
Schmidt: The increased jobs in Kenosha are going to significantly outweigh any negative impact in Milwaukee.   
Benson: Did the Menominee ask you to write this letter?
Schmidt: No.
Schmidt believes the job loss in Milwaukee is closer to 300, versus 3,000 that the Potawatomi claim. 
The tribe says Schmidt has his facts wrong and he's well aware the Kenosha Casino would have a, "$158 million dollar annual impact on Potawatomi," said Potawatomi's Attorney General Jeff Crawford.
Menominee's Chairman disputes Potawatomi's claim the market is saturated and that the Menominee can't keep their promises to help the opposing tribes.
"The market is not saturated. We are confident we can cover potential losses they may have. It's a win win situation," said Chairman Craig Corn.
Governor Walker hinted again the Menominee Nation have yet to meet his criteria for consent from all 11 tribes. The Potawatomi say they remain opposed.
What do you think? Go to our poll on Facebook. Hit like if you support the Kenosha casino - and share if you don't.

The full response from Potawatomi Attorney General Jeff Crawford reads as follows:

“Unfortunately Mr. Schmidt, a former employee of Potawatomi Bingo Casino, has his facts wrong. The impact this Kenosha casino would have on Milwaukee has been studied extensively by the Potawatomi, and we stand firmly by the information we have submitted to state and federal officials. 

Kurt Schmidt actively participated in the analysis of the impacts from this proposed Kenosha casino. He accepted the conclusions and findings of the 2012 Impact Study, including the $158 million annual impact on Potawatomi. 

Potawatomi is currently reviewing all of its options regarding Mr. Schmidt’s legal and contractual duties to determine if any additional action is necessary.” 

Click below to check out Web Extra coverage on this topic: