On the weekend before the presidential election in 2000, Republican Dick Cheney and Democrat John Kerry both made trips to La Crosse, but not at the same time or in the same location. Cheney was about to be elected vice president, and had a campaign rally at the La Crosse airport. Kerry campaigned for Democratic candidates, but he wouldn’t be his party’s presidential nominee until 2004. He was a Massachusetts Senator in 2000.
La Crosse County voters had a casino referendum to settle that November. The Ho-Chunk Nation had picked La Crosse as a potential site for a fourth Wisconsin casino. Foes of gambling argued that casinos pay no property tax, and predicted that a casino would drive down property values. Just as in a similar referendum five years earlier, voters in the county said no to a casino.
On TV in the fall of 2000, Bette Midler had her own sitcom. CBS revived “The Fugitive,” with Tim Daly playing Dr. Richard Kimble. And the hottest new show on the tube was the summer series “Survivor.” The tribe had spoken, 20 years ago, yesterday in La Crosse.