#1Citizen: Let us all not forget the Chris*Craft property once owned by the City of Algonac was a Mike Malik fiasco when he was an Algonac Council Member. (Although he resided in his Mother's Clay Township home due to his pending divorce - therefore not a true resident of Algonac).
The Chris*Craft property was donated to the City of Algonac but Malik pushed the sale to become the Algonac Harbor Club while he also worked for a local real estate agent.
Plans approved by the city were to include taxable housing developments, i.e. CONDOS. If memory serves me correctly, their soil expert claimed that nothing could be built on that property because the soil was "unstable."
Seems odd that a manufacturing plant had stood on that same unstable soil for many years.
The condos were removed from the plans and replaced by open boat slips. Not an equivalent tax base for the City of Algonac.
I would warn all citizens of Clay Twp. to be wary of the same scams. Homes have been built along the waterfront and still stand and the Chris*Craft property is no different than anywhere else these homes have been built.
I'm not an advocate of the development of Harsens Island but I am an opponent of deceptive measures to fill a few pockets of unscrupulous people.
So remember, the proposed CONDOS may end up being nothing more than boat wells with a road around them so we can all view their boats.
Diverting the road gives private, clear access to the river for their own personal gain and non-public use. Similar to the Algonac Harbor Club but totally private.
Being a 40 year resident I'm familiar with the dishonesty of Mike Malik and those involved with him for their own personal financial gain.
Saturday, March 31, 2007
Friday, March 30, 2007
March 19, 2007
Tiger Stadium back in limbo
Score another one for Detroit's unchallenged title as vacant lot supplier to America: Nine months after Mayor Kwame Kilpatrick announced plans to raze most of the stadium and build condos in its place comes word that not a single developer has come up with a 'viable' plan to do so. The city still plans to go ahead and demolish the home of the Tigers from 1912 to 1999 - Detroit wouldn't let a little thing like a lack of a use for the land stand in the way of a good building-wreckin' - but without money from a developer, it's unclear where it will raise the cash to do so.
Detroit News blogger Richard Burr suggests another alternative:Let's cut through the baloney and try something Detroit businessman Steve Thomas, who owns a sporting apparel and memorabilia store near the old stadium, proposed five months ago: Sell Tiger Stadium and its land to the highest bidder (see the proposal here). That group or individual could then closely assess the stadium's condition and decide how best to use the land.
It's an interesting idea, but it'll happen when Jose Mesa flies for one reason: Someone might try to buy Tiger Stadium to use as a baseball stadium, and Tigers owner Mike Ilitch would not be happy. And we can't have that."
You may want to review these posts:
--The Verifiable Truth:
- State Subsidizing Plans for Detroit Hockey Arena
- Blogger questions Detroit Arena assumptions
- Family that built fortune on Detroit Sports and Little Caesars Pizza directed $900k to these political committees while expanding gambling ventures
- As most of Michigan continues to struggle financially, 11 make Forbes List of World's Richest Billionaires
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Mar 30, 2007
Islanders raise development objections
Developer seeks to reroute road as a first step
By NICOLE GERRING
HARSENS ISLAND -At an informational meeting Thursday night at the island Lions Club, residents raised objections to rerouting North Channel Road around a proposed 380 acre, 348-unit housing and condominium project.
The meeting was called to discuss the potential rerouting, which must be approved by the St. Clair County Road Commission.
However, it gave island residents the chance to discuss the potential development's impact on their quality of life, traffic, wetlands and the island's ecosystem.
Rerouting the road is a necessary first step, said Tim Stoepker, spokesman for Grande Pointe Development, LLC.
Developers also wanted to wait until later in the year to include more island residents in public meetings. Many island residents live elsewhere in winter months.
The development firm is managed by Michael Malik, a former Clay Township resident and casino investor.
Malik owns the potential development site, the former Boys & Girls Club property on North Channel Road.
He did not attend the meeting because … (Full Story).
he was out of town but plans to be at future meetings, Stoepker said.
Developers will ask the road commission to abandon North Channel Road, a county road, and for permission to build a new road around the proposed project.
Residents on the northeast end of the island use North Channel Road to get to Champion's Auto Ferry, the islanders' only access to mainland Clay Township.
The road bypass will be about 1½ miles long, Stoepker said.
"You can't do anything without doing the road first," he said.
The rerouting would add about 3½ minutes of drive time for motorists traveling at the road's 25 mph speed limit, Stoepker said.
Alice Szulborski, who lives at Orchid Boulevard and North Channel Road, asked developers if they had considered a drawbridge.
Developers rejected plans for a fixed bridge because of concerns about right of way and view but had not thought about a drawbridge, Stoepker said.
Szulborski is concerned about increased traffic density as the population grows.
"You're going to add 250 houses - that's 600 cars back and forth," she said.
Others worried about the effects on the local watershed, the possibility of flooding and the source of the development's sewer and water systems.
"We've done a detailed soil and water analysis on the entire site," Stoepker said.
Developers plan on boring under the St. Clair River to connect with Algonac's water and sewer lines, he said.
Not all residents are opposed to the plans.
"They have as much right to develop as anybody else," said Philip Spoutz, owner of Harsens Island Bed and Breakfast. "People don't want change. Ten years, and I've seen no changes out here. I've seen three houses built."
Developers will submit plans and an economic analysis of the development proposal to Clay Township officials today.
To have a road- abandonment hearing, developers must get signatures from seven property owners in Clay Township, said Donald Maronde, road commission managing director.
If the developers are granted a public hearing, the road commission will vote on whether to approve the bypass.
"Typically our commission wants to know how the township feels before it decides on a road abandonment," he said.
Contact Nicole Gerring at (810) 989-6270 or firstname.lastname@example.org.
Thursday, March 29, 2007
Casino developer resurecting plans for land he failed to get approved for a marina nearly a dozen years ago
Mar 29, 2007
Islanders face condo project
Development would reroute riverfront road
By NICOLE GERRING
HARSENS ISLAND - Casino developer Michael Malik has asked the St. Clair County Road Commission to consider rerouting North Channel Road to accommodate a 348-unit, 380-acre condominium project.
The development group, Grande Pointe Development LLC, would pay for bypassing the road and any other infrastructure changes, said Tim Stoepker, the group's spokesman.
The road would be rerouted around the $170 million condominium project, which would include a manmade canal and lagoon. It also would add three to five minutes of drive time for some residents traveling to Champion's Auto Ferry, the islanders' only access to mainland Clay Township.
The project would be developed on the old Boys & Girls Club property on the island, bought by Malik and developer Fred Smith of Mount Clemens in the late 1980s.
The pair tried to build a 1,348-slip boat marina on the property in the mid- and late 1990s. Their plans never came to fruition because of environmental concerns from residents and the state Department of Natural Resources.
The plans were rejected in January 1996 by the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers because an updated proposal had not been submitted.
Malik became the sole owner of the property in 2000, after he ... (Full Story )
March 28, 2007
ACROSS THE BLUE WATER AREA
HARSENS ISLAND: Developer to present condominium proposal
A developer will present plans for a condominium project that would require a rerouting of North Channel Road. The meeting will be held at 7 p.m. Thursday at the Lions Club, 230 La Croix Road. Grande Pointe Development will present the plans, which include creating an artificial lagoon on the property that was formerly owned by the Boys & Girls Club of Detroit. Members of the St. Clair County Road Commission and the public are invited to the meeting. The road commission must approve the proposed changes and bypass of the road. A public hearing is planned for the future. The land is owned by Michael Malik, a developer who has invested in casinos throughout the United States. Malik and fellow developer Fred Smith proposed building a marina on the site in the early and mid 90s, but those plans never came to fruition. According to St. Clair County's Web site, the land is owned by Lucky 7 [Luck 7 Development LLC], located at 2211 Woodward Ave., Detroit, the address of Ilitch Holdings, Inc. Michael Ilitch and his family own a number of businesses, including the Little Caesar's franchise, the Detroit Tigers and the Detroit Red Wings.
*** Background ***
Genesis of Lucky 7
Lucky 7 Development LLC was originally formed by Denise Ilitch Lites, her then husband Jim Lites and his brother Scott Lites in mid-October 1996. Jim Lites (former Red Wings executive and the president of the Dallas Stars Hockey Club ) was married at the time to Denise Ilitch (she is the daughter of Mike and Marian Ilitch, owners of the Red Wings). That would make Scott Lites at one time Denise Ilitch’s brother in-law.
Denise Ilitch and the Lites brothers appear to have transferred ownership to Michael Malik in 1999. It was in 1999 that Malik found out he was going to be denied a license by the Michigan Gaming Control Board and transferred his Motorcity interests to Marian Ilitch. Since then, Malik’s been based out of the Ilitch Holdings, Inc. executive offices in Foxtown. He has been day to day point man for other casino ventures with the Ilitch Family
Ironically it was at the very same time that Marian Ilitch, Mike Malik and Tom Celani formed Z.R.X. LLC; the entity they hurriedly put together a $5 million syndication needed to bankroll an 11th hour advertising campaign promoting a statewide ballot measure to approve casinos in Detroit. It’s said the advertising effort pushed Proposal-E to a narrow victory and permitted Detroit’s three casino properties. Financing the advertising campaign won Ilitch-Malik-Celani the greatest local share of what would eventually become Detroit Entertainment doing business as MotorCity Casino.
It was never quite clear if Malik got cash from Marian; or some other sort of payment (like property in question); or if Marian arranged to hold the paper shares in MotorCity Casino once owned by Malik with a guarantee to invest them in ventures Malik wanted to pursue (as if she's trustee of his original shares).
It's true Malik and Ilitch Family have chased a half dozen or so gambling ventures the last decade. There are only two which have ever come to pass, MotorCity Casino (originally -- after the ballot campaign -- driven and managed by Mandalay Resort Group) and The Little River Casino in Manistee. BOTH of these ventures also involved Tom Celani. While Celani has been successful in subsequent ventures, absent Celani, we're not aware of any like succeses Malik can brag about.
Malik denied Michigan Gaming License; acquires Lucky 7 Development LLC
Denise Ilitch and the Lites brothers appear to have transferred ownership to Michael Malik in 1999. It was in 1999 that Malik found out he was going to be denied a license by the Michigan Gaming Control Board and transferred his Motorcity interests to Marian Ilitch. Since then, Malik’s been based out of the Ilitch Holdings, Inc. executive offices in Foxtown. He has been day to day point man for other casino ventures with the Ilitch Family.
Wednesday, March 28, 2007
Eleven months ago, San Bernardino County's Sun newspaper reported that key legislative aides, willing to go on the record, were saying the compacts were in fact dead.
Ilitch and her crew kept their plans for twin casino resorts in Barstow on life support since then with sophisticated use of theater and nearly $1 million dollars spent on lawyers, lobbying, propoganda and political campaigns. Her agents consistently gave the public false hopes when they new their plans were terminal; they paid people associated with the Los Coyotes Reservation to help them make their case.
In January, Marian's crew staged a press conference to suggest their plans had been revived and that there was legislative interest where none had ever existed before. By their own estimation, Barwest spokespersons indicated they had three months to build a ground swell of support in both houses of the legislature. They had three votes and needed approximatley 60 more.
It's been two months since the Team Ilitch dog and pony show and nothing new has been reported since (no press releases, no media events, no protests on the Capitol lawn or other manufactured hoopla) -- You can bet if they had even a handful of new commitments from legislators willing to state their support publicly, the Ilitch Detroit PR machine would be exploiting the heck out of that "news." But they don't.
For those keeping score; back in January Ilitch operatives needed to recruit two new legislators approximately every three days. And now, they would have to recruit nearly two new legislators every day and that includes weekends and the days the legislature is out on Spring Break. If they couldn't do it in 18 months -- after throwing $500,000 at lobbying, $75,000 at state political candidates, $200,000 on local political activity and staging a hunger strike on the Capitol grounds -- what are the odds they are going to get their act together anytime in the next thirty days?
The Barwest compacts are DEAD; they have been lifeless for quite some time. And by perpetuating a fraud to the contrary, Barwest guarantees Barstow's hopes for a casino and economic development are DEAD too.
The only people who to possibly benefit from the continuing the Barwest sham are Nevada interests fearful of competition and those in the Barstow area who are trying to unload property at artificially inflated prices. ... People who like Marian Ilitch already have more than they know what to do with.
CA Tribes prepared to push for ratification of amended Compacts when the legislature returns from "Spring Break"
posted on INDIANZ.com
California tribes renew push for gaming compacts
Six California tribes are renewing their push to have their amended gaming compacts ratified by the state Legislature.
The Agua Caliente Band of Cahuilla Indians, the Morongo Band of Mission Indians, the Pechanga Band of Luiseño Indians, the Pechanga Band of Luiseño Indians, the Sycuan Band of Kumeyaay Nation and the Yurok Tribe signed deals last year with Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger (R). In most cases, the tribes would be able to break the 2,000 limit on slot machines in exchange for sharing more revenues.
The tribes are lining up sponsors for their compacts in order to get them passes after the upcoming spring recess.
Get the Story: Senator set to carry tribe's bill (The Palm Springs Desert Sun 3/28)
Wheat is on the books representing various affiliates and partners of Marian Ilitch and Mike Malik. Wheat turns around and has passed through more than $515,000.000 from those entities to Kessler. Kessler keeps an arms distance from Ilitch/Malik entities by using Wheat as the middleman.
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" ...Named to direct the PAC was Julia Willis-Leon, a former Las Vegas wedding planner. Willis-Leon is [Rep. Jerry]Lewis’s stepdaughter by dint of Lewis’s marriage to her mother, Arlene Willis. Arlene Willis is also Lewis’s staff director.
"The PAC, Barbara Bonfiglio was PAC treasurer, raised $121,550 during the 2006 election cycle and spent $88,498 (though October 18, 2006). Less than 20 percent of the PAC’s expenditures ($15,600) were for contributions to candidates or committees, while the rest was spent on overhead and fundraising. More than 60 percent of the expenditures ($56,012) went to Willis-Leon.
"...[Julia]Willis-Leon also received “$40,000 to $50,000” between mid-2005 and mid-2006 from lobbying firm Potomac Partners DC to provide strategic advice to the firm, according to Potomac Partners’ President Richard Alcade. As of mid-2006, at least six of Alcade’s 13 clients had business before Lewis’s committee...."
Marian Ilitch's casino syndication partner Michael J. Malik has history with these individuals:
- He's a donor/pal to Rep. Lewis and wants to build casinos in Barstow which is often part of Lewis' district.
- Barbara Bonfiglio signed him for lobbying representation by her firm Williams & Jensen but she was PAC treasurer for each of these members and others. She quit her firm abruptly and went into hiding. When Bonfiglio's name surfaced in various investigations Malik left her firm and went to Richard Alcalde, who had just formed Potomac Partners DC.
- As it ends up Alcalde's practices are under scrutiny as well. The Washington Post revealed Alcalde had retained Rep. Lewis step-daughter as an on-call consultant and that half of Alcalde's clients had business before House Appropriations which was chaired by Rep. Lewis at the time.
- Alcalde hired the young inexperienced son of Rep. John Doolittle's top political operative John Feliz (also a top advisor to former Rep. Richard Pombo) to help him represent Malik, Ilitch interests (MJM Enterprises and Shinnecock Indian Nation). Malik retained the young man under seperate cover to work on matters for Malik affiliate Blue Water Resorts too.
 Jerry Kammer, “Contractor Adds Layer to Rep. Lewis Sphere,” Copley News Service, June 24, 2006.
 Public Citizen analysis of Federal Election Commission records provided by the Center for Responsive Politics (available at www.opensecrets.org). See also, Jerry Kammer, “Contractor Adds Layer to Rep. Lewis Sphere,” Copley News Service, June 24, 2006.
 Charles R. Babcock, “Relative of Hill Panel Chairman Scrutinized,” Washington Post, June 18, 2006
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Richard Alcalde, long-time D.C. Lobbyist with ties to some of the most notorious Members of Congress including Rep. Don Young, Rep. Jerry Lewis, Rep. John Dolittle, Rep. Gary Miller, etc. was retained by Michael J. Malik, Sr. in 2005. Malik selected Alcalde after his then lobbyist Barbara Bonfiglio abruptly left her firm, Williams & Jensen, under a heavy cloud of suspicion tied to her additional role as PAC Treasurer for Tom DeLay, Rick Santorum, Richard Pombo and others.
Founded Potomac Partners D.C. in 2005.
Washington Post uncovers Alcalde hired Rep. Jerry Lewis step-daughter Julie Willis-Leon (she lives in Las Vegas) as a consultant and advisor to Alcalde's D.C. based lobbying firm while at the same time he has clients with matters before Rep. Lewis, then chair of House Appropriations.
Hires rookie son of Rep. Doolittle's longtime political aide John Feliz (the younger Daniel X. Feliz) to assist with representation for two of Potomac's biggest clients: MJM Enterprises Development Company (Malik); and Shinnecock Indian Nation (Malik's Partners). John Feliz was a central player in Rep. Richard's Pombo's re-election campaigns and was said to be one of Pombo's key fund raisers.
History of Political Contributions: $65,000 to Federal Candidates
BA, Florida State University; JD, Texas A & M University
Controversial News Stories:
Alcalde & Fay
Lobbying Firm Federal Government Private Sector
Monday, March 26, 2007
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Barwest LLC, an affiliate controlled by Detroiters Marian Ilitch and Michael J. Malik, Sr., was fined $6,500 by the California Fair Political Practices Commission (FPPC) in late 2006.
Barwest LLC made a curious last minute $26,600 contribution to Rep. Richard Pombo's San Joaquin County GOP Committee in late October 2004. Under California’s Political Reform Act, Barwest LLC was required to file a “late contribution report” within 24 hours of making the 11th hour contribution. Further by making a campaign contribution of $10,000 or more in the 2004 calendar year, Barwest qualified as a "major donor" committee. Barwest LLC failed to file a semi-annual “Major Donor” report as of January 31, 2005 and failed again to file a semi-annual report on July 31, 2005.
Only after being confronted by FPPC officials did Michael J. Malik, Sr. file a major donor report on August 31, 2005 – seven months late.
The FPPC charged Barwest LLC with two counts of violating California’s Political Reform Act and on October 24, 2006 (nearly two years later) Michael Malik on behalf of Barwest LLC was fined $6,500 for failing to report the $26,600 contribution.
Major Donor Reporting Violations
In the Matter of Barwest, LLC, FPPC No. 05/548.
Staff: Chief of Enforcement Bill Williams and Political Reform Consultant Wayne Imberi. Respondent Barwest, LLC qualified as a major donor committee in the second six months of 2004. Respondent failed to file to timely disclose a late contribution in a late contribution report, in violation of section 84203, subdivision (a) of the Government Code (1 count); and failed to timely file a semi-annual campaign statement, in violation of section 84200, subdivision (b) of the Government Code (1 count). $6,500 fine.
The FPPC indicates, “Respondent Barwest LLC is a developer based in Detroit, Michigan, which is involved in the financing of an Indian gaming casino in Barstow, California.”
Barwest LLC had not previously made any contributions in California nor has it made any substantial contributions since. This was a unique and uniquely large amount by the Barwest principals’ standards.
Curious is that Congressman Richard Pombo hails from San Joaquin County. The GOP Committee there reports receiving three checks for $26,600 on October 25, 2004: Barwest LLC, Pombo’s RICH PAC (a committee that Barwest principals funded as well); and Jeff Denham for Senate (a committee Barwest principal Michael J. Malik, Sr. funded subsequently).
At the time Barwest made the contribution, Rep. Richard Pombo was chair of the House of Representatives’ Resources Committee which oversees Indian gaming matters. RICH PAC’s treasurer Barbara Bonfiglio had signed Malik (MJM Enterprises & Development) to a lobbying contract with her firm (Williams & Jensen). Barwest principals and their various affiliates and partners had various matters passing through the House resources committee.
Jeff Denham is currently vice chair of the California Senate’s Governmental Organization Committee and was on the committee in 2004 when Barwest made the contribution to the San Joaquin County GOP Committee. That committee traditionally takes up matters of Indian gaming compacts for review in the state Senate.
You may also want to review these posts:
Sunday, March 25, 2007
March 28, 2006
California Senate Committee on Governmental Organization
Hearing on Big Lagoon Rancheria Gaming Compact
"MR. BOLDREY: I’m Lance Boldrey. I am an attorney for BarWest, and I’m more than happy to take questions in a moment about our involvement in the project. But one of the things we did when we initially were approached by the City of Barstow to look at this possibility of locating a gaming facility there was engage a historical firm to review the pre-gaming scholarship and look at the actual, true ancestral ties to that area. The organization that performed that work is Historical Research Associates [HRA]. They’re a firm out of Missoula, Montana, that specializes in Indian historical work. They’ve done significant work with the State of California as well. We’re more than happy to provide you with the scholarship that they’ve developed on this point."
From the HRA website:
"HRA (Historical Research Associates) provides consulting services to public and private clients in the areas of Cultural Resource Management, Litigation Support, and Natural Resource History."
While it might be a part of some of their projects, there is little to indicate that HRA “specializes in Indian historical work” as Boldrey -- a Lansing, Michigan based attorney representing Detroit casino syndicators -- would have people believe.
The HRA website (under “sample project” located in the navigation links) features ten case studies as representative of their expertise, none of those suggests a specialization on Indian land claims or ancestral/historical territories.
It does not appear that any of HRA’s cultural resources or cultural landscape work in California indicates a “specialization” in Indian land claims, ancestral claims or historical territories. The experience of Montana-based HRA in California relative to Indian affairs has primarily focused on providing litigation support for various water related lawsuits; HRA has little relative experience in Southern California and no obvious experience in the Mohave Desert (there are scores of other consultants with significant experience in the region but Boldrey’s clients chose HRA to produce their study).
Among HRA’s extensive list of projects it’s unclear if any of their clients are Indian Tribes specifically or if their clients were adversarial interests; and there is no significant reference to work with or on behalf of the Bureau of Indian Affairs or with California’s Native American Heritage Commission. On a web page of links provided by HRA as resources related to their work, BIA is not included nor is NAHC.
Contrary to Boldrey’s representations before the Senate Governmental Organization Committee last year, an external monument at the Mohave River Valley Museum in Barstow, CA indicates the presence of Ute, Mohave, Chemehuevi and Paiute Indians in the area long before European explorers and settlers were present.
You may want to read these posts as well:
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