By Press Release Submitted to Published Feb 13, 2015 at 6:06 PM

The letter below was sent by the Menominee Indian Tribe of Wisconsin to Governor Scott Walker. The Tribe is asking Gov. Walker to meet with tribal leaders, Hard rock International and the project's New York financial advisers to walk through the Tribe's $1.7 billion offer to the state when he visits Kenosha for a small business announcement on Tuesday.

"Dear Governor Walker:

Welcome back to Wisconsin. We are hopeful that your trip overseas was successful in bringing jobs and tourists back to the Badger State. It is clear that we share compatible objectives for the State we both call home.

While you were overseas, the Menominee Indian Tribe of Wisconsin and our partners, Hard Rock International, announced a plan to assist in your laudable efforts to keep the Milwaukee Bucks in Wisconsin. I write to formally request an opportunity to meet and talk with you about the details of this offer to fully fund the State's share of a new, state-of-the-art Bucks arena in Downtown Milwaukee. We would not only pay the $220 million that you offered the Bucks, but also the interest. The total contribution would be $300 million in private-sector funding over a 25-year period. 

This proposal is similar to the offer we made to you in October 2014. Like that offer, it means that Wisconsin taxpayers would be relieved of the cost for a new NBA arena. In your absence earlier this week, Secretary Huebsch stated publicly that he did not think Menominee or Hard Rock could afford to make this offer. The facts say otherwise, and we are willing to bring our financial advisers to a meeting to walk you through the numbers.

We would very much appreciate the opportunity to meet with you prior to the current Feb. 19 Bureau of Indian Affairs deadline, particularly since we have been unable to schedule a meeting with you since October 2013, more than a year ago. We understand you might be in Kenosha on Tuesday to announce that a small Zion, Ill., company will be moving to the area. We are able to meet with you while you are in Kenosha. If that does not work with your schedule, we can meet in Madison or wherever else you may be traveling prior to the 19th. 

Because of your interested in Zion businesses, I wanted to share the attached email I received from the Economic Development Coordinator for the City of Zion inviting us to move the Menominee Hard Rock casino just a few miles south of the State line to their community. Hard Rock has received similar invitations. Obviously, we want to stay in Wisconsin, which has been our home for countless generations, or we would not have made this offer to ensure the Milwaukee Bucks stay here as well. 

We look forward to meeting and talking with you, ideally on Tuesday. 


Gary Besaw
Tribal Chairman"