Wisconsin News

Wis. legislator walks out of tribal speech

MADISON, Wis. (AP) - The state Assembly's speaker pro tem is fuming over remarks Lac Courte Oreilles Band of Lake Superior Chippewa Chairman Gordon Thayer made during the annual State of the Tribes speech.

Rep. Bill Kramer, a Waukesha Republican, walked out of the speech as Thayer was talking about tribal opposition to a Republican law relaxing mining regulations. The law is designed to help Gogebic Taconite open a giant iron mine near the Bad River Chippewa's reservation.

Thayer said the state and tribes should have collaborated on the law.

Kramer said after the speech Thayer is talking out of both sides of his mouth. He says Republicans approached the Bad River about the law but the tribe refused to confer, saying only they opposed the mine.

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