United Tribes of Wisconsin Express Disappointment Over Website Cartoon

United Tribes of Wisconsin
For Immediate Release: April 17, 2003
For more information contact:
Bobbi Webster - (920)819-8357

(United Tribes, WI) - Tribal leaders reacted with anger and indignation at the lack of sensitivity and ignorance of the Republican Party in featuring a stereotyped Indian throwing a tomahawk at the Wisconsin Taxpayers on their website with the voiceover, "As taxpayers, we got scalped."

“Native Americans are taxpayers too,” said Tribal leader, Lewis Taylor, “We should not be the subject of racist political cartoons sponsored by the Republican party. The Wisconsin Constitution opens the declaration of rights with the following, All people are born equally, free and independent, and have certain inherent rights, governments are instituted, deriving their just powers from the consent of the governed.

The Republican lawmakers have a responsibility to uphold the constitution and represent all the people in this state. It is clear the Republican guard does not feel the Native Americans are citizens that deserve their representation honorably,” said Taylor.

The United Tribes of Wisconsin have demonstrated their willingness to help the state of Wisconsin out of a $3.2 billion dollar deficit and have continually been rebuffed by the Republican leadership. The United Tribes of Wisconsin are growing increasingly skeptical of discerning the value of committing millions of dollars to the State of Wisconsin when the state’s good faith efforts are not reciprocal.

Stockbridge Chairman Bob Chicks said, “We are not sitting on our reservations with bottomless pockets of money waiting to be taken by the State of Wisconsin. We have needs in our community which are being hampered by our effort to pay for gaming compacts which we hope will secure a more stable economy in our communities in longer terms than five years at a time.”

Smaller Tribes that have marginal profits have been chastised by Republican Representative John Gard for not being able to make annual payments to the state. Gard has deprecated those governments for wanting to use meager profits to improve the quality of life in their communities. Through his ignorance he compares the sovereign Tribal governments to poor individuals who are not sovereigns.

“The Tribes of Wisconsin are not responsible for the States’ budget deficit,” stated Lac du Flambeau President Henry “Butch” St. Germain. “The Tribes of Wisconsin have offered financial assistance to the State through their gaming compacts. I am angered by the remarks and bigoted statements made recently in the media. It is very disturbing that people who have been voted into such leadership positions are making racist remarks. These representatives and senators are responsible for representing all citizens of the State regardless of their race. I think it’s a sad day in Wisconsin history and its relationship with Native American citizens.”

"Republicans have taken their ideological differences with the Governor into the realm of the KKK. The cartoon reflects ignorance and an open dislike of Native Americans. We are demonized again. Ironically, this is done at a time when we are offering to relieve taxpayers of paying $200 million in governmental costs. The Republican party needs to publicly apologize for
this insult to the thousands of taxpaying Native American voters in this state and the buffoon who thought it up needs to resign. This is Trent Lott all over again. If this is the big tent the Republicans have for us, it looks like they want Native American's camping outside," said, Greg Garvin, Ho-Chunk Nation Executive Administrative Officer. “Simply removing the offensive cartoon is not enough. The person or persons responsible should step down.”

Governor Doyle promised not to raise taxes when he campaigned last year. He has worked to culminate the State resources to address the budget deficit without raising taxes. If the Tribes do not get compacts, they will not make payments. That will cost the state more than $200 million. The Governor will be faced to raise taxes because the legislature has refused to cooperate and support his budget proposal and initiatives aimed at cutting costs. A month ago they were attacking the Governor for his attempts to secure $237 million from Tribes, now they are once again attacking the $200 million he is seeking. Republicans like John Gard will not be satisfied until the Tribes pay nothing and the deficit continues to grow.

The only plan Representative Gard may have offered to save the state money is in mileage and per-diem by living in Sun Prairie and representing a district 150 miles north. Perhaps the entire legislature can live within 25 miles of the capitol and represent all of Wisconsin honestly.

ARTICLE: Republicans remove cartoon from Web site saying taxpayers 'scalped' by tribal compact