Friday, April 27, 2007

Proposed Harsens Island development much more than 'condos'

Copyright ©2007 Times Herald

Based on this map published previously in the Times Herald, the development that Grande Pointe Development LLC (Lucky 7 Development LLC) has proposed for Harsens Island, MI is much more than “condos.”

Central to the proposed development is an island situated in the middle of a manmade lagoon feature which has direct access to the North Channel of the St. Clair River via a new canal -- the reason for the reroute of North Channel Dr. These elements make up almost 2/3rd of the overall project.

The main lagoon is bordered by 75 single family home sites (likely to have individual boat docks given the lagoon and canal features); 96 townhomes or "detached condos" built in clusters of six; and an island "clubhouse" (likely a yacht club-like facility given the development’s other features). None of the more traditional attached condos are on the main lagoon.

Entering the main lagoon via the proposed North Channel canal, one would see the Clubhouse directly ahead, situated on the point of the island.

The majority of the 348-unit "condo development" (somewhere between 175-250 units) is actually on the back 1/3rd of the project, clustered around a leg that comes off the main lagoon and is bisected (cut-off) by the proposed reroute/bypass of North Channel Drive.

The project oddly enough also incorporates a cemetery which backs to water-front single family home lots. Some have recently made both querry and comment to TVT about Indian burial grounds, or "mounds" on or near Harsens Island but there is nothing to indicate at the moment that there is any link with the cemetery called out on the graphic representation presented here.

Michael J. Malik, Sr., a casino developer, is the landowner and individual behind the plans for Harsens Island. He has been behind Indian casinos in Manistee and Port Huron as well as California and New York. He and a former partner had proposed nearly a decade ago that the former Harsens Island Boys & Girls Club site be developed as a commercial marina.

Last year Malik appealed a decision by the regional office of the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers that indicated his project would be subject to the Federal Rivers & Harbors Act and possibly the Federal Clean Water Act as well. Malik's appeal was denied so as of now, he will need various Federal approvals to move forward.

UPDATED 4.27.07

FPPC Enforcement Decisions: Casino syndicator's Major Donor violations revealed

Press Release

For Immediate Release
Contact: Jon Matthews, Whitney Barazoto at (916) 322-7761

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.

a stipulation, decision and order closing out the matter was signed by Michael J. Malik, Sr. as respondent for Barwest, LLC and is an admission of wrong doing and agreement to pay the subsequent fine.

Barwest LLC is a casino syndication based in Detroit, Michigan, which is involved in the financing, development and management of Indian gaming casinos proposed in Barstow, California.

Thursday, April 26, 2007

Indian gaming lines up powerful allies

Note: The writer below, an acknowledged adversary of the established gaming tribes, fails to acknowledge the millions that Organized Labor has showered on legislators over the years which is why Organized Labor may be able to block the Compacts in the Assembly absent any amended provisions to the gaming agreements addressing labor’s outstanding concerns. In 2006, Organized Labor contributed more than $13.5 million to candidates in California. In 2006 contributions from Organized Labor ranked second only to “Candidates Self-Financing” among the top ten sources of political campaign contributions by “industry.” More than $240,000 went to Fabian Núñez last year; and Albert Torrico received $140,000. In contrast, Speaker Núñez received $26,800 from Tribal Governments and Torrico, chair of the Assembly Governmental Organization Committee, received $34,400. Overall, Tribal Governments contributed $5.1 million to candidates in California.

Posted Wednesday, 04.25.07 - 6:00 pm at

Tribal Warfare
Indian gaming lines up powerful allies


Even with the current housing slump, a paltry $1.6 million still won’t buy you much of a house on the Westside. Maybe an older 3 + 2 with a fiberglass carport. Better to invest your money in Sacramento, where the same tidy sum can buy you an entire legislative house — in this case, the California state Senate, packed wall to wall with senators ready to serve your every desire. A million six is how much a conglomerate of wealthy Indian gambling tribes spent on recent campaign contributions to key members of the state Democratic leadership, and it garnered an almost instant return.

With little media notice, and certainly with no real public debate, the state Senate fast-tracked a package of five new gambling deals with California’s richest tribes and overwhelmingly voted 22-10 to approve them last week

The ram-roding of these measures through the Senate, with an able assist from Governor Schwarzenegger, in no way guarantees their approval in the Assembly, where resistance remains fierce. At the end of last year’s legislative session, the Assembly refused to vote on the agreements. Sticking points were less-than-full rights by labor to organize the low-wage casino workers and lack of sufficient regulatory and fiscal oversight of the casinos. That was the argument put forth by one of the few Democratic senators who voted against the compacts. “I can’t vote for an expansion of gambling,” Senator Sheila Kuehl, D–Santa Monica, said. “I can’t vote for organizations that now refuse to take care of their workers in any fair way that we require of virtually everyone else in the state.”

After last Thursday’s vote in the Senate, prospects in the Assembly were still far from rosy. Northern California Assemblyman Alberto Torrico, a Democrat, said the gambling deals that sprinted through the Senate in no way softened the stiff opposition in the Assembly, led by himself and Democratic House Speaker Fabian Núñez. “Those five compacts... do not have the votes to be ratified... on the Assembly floor,” Torrico said. “I’m certain of that.”

The next few months may see a dramatic standoff develop between the Senate’s Democratic leadership, allied with the high-roller tribes, and the Assembly Democrats led by Núñez, who is allied with the powerful hotel workers union that opposes the deal. Núñez has been trying to piece together a side agreement between the tribes and the unions that would deflate the organizing-rights issue and open the way for ratification of the compacts.

But now it looks like the tribes aren’t going to sit patiently to work things out with Núñez. Starting this week, the wealthy Morongo tribe, near Palm Springs (which stands to triple its number of slot machines if the deal is approved), has launched a $1.25-million-a-week campaign of TV advertising spots aimed at winning the hearts and minds of California voters. With the Assembly taking as much as a month or more to get around to considering the compacts, outside observers expect the eventual ad buy from the Morongos to run from $3 million to $5 million as deliberations stretch out...

Their latest rumored threat seems ominous. Reports now circulate that if the tribes don’t get their way with the Assembly, they will directly intervene with millions of dollars in next February’s special balloting on the issue of extending legislative term limits. This is Fabian Núñez’s pet project — one on which he is banking the extension of his own career. He knows that to come out ahead, this might be the time to go to the mats against the tribes. (Full Story)

PoliticalMoneyLine: Rep. Don Young pays Akin Gump $25,000 & gets $100,000 GOP refund

as posted at PoliticalMoneyLine:

Rep. Don Young & Legal Fees & $100,000

Rep. Don Young reported paying $25,000 to Akin Gump Strauss Hauer for legal services in the first quarter of 2007. The committee also received $100,000 "refund" from the National Republican Congressional Committee (NRCC)

PoliticalMoneyLine also reports that Michael J. Malik, Sr. contributed $10,000 to the NRCC during the first quarter of 2007 (2/28/07).

PoliticalMoneyLine: Rep. Doolittle pays legal bills, payments to his wife with campaign contributions

posted at PoliticalMoneyLine:

Doolittle Legal Fees

John T. Doolittle for Congress reported paying Wiley Rein & Fielding LLP $13,516 in legal fees during the first quarter of 2007. The committee paid Mrs. Julie Doolittle's firm, Sierra Dominion Financial Solutions, $10,500 for “fundraising fee.”

PoliticalMoneyLine: Rep. Jerry Lewis pays legal bills and taxes with political campaign money

posted at PoliticalMoneyLine:

Lewis Pays $12K in Legal Fees and $136K in Taxes

Rep. Jerry Lewis reported paying $11,806 for legal services in the first quarter 2007, including $$10,306 to Gibson Dunn & Crutcher LLP and $1,500 to Blank Rome LLP. The committee paid $108,190 in federal taxes and $28,677 in state taxes. The committee has $936,962 in cash on hand.

Wednesday, April 25, 2007

Recapping the Shinnecock Drug & Weapons Raid

Shinnecock Drug, Weapons Bust Shocker

Loaded handguns. Rifles. Shotguns. Heroin. Crack cocaine. Stolen property.

The massive amount of evidence crowding the table at the New York State Police barracks in Riverhead last week was a staggering testament to a pre-dawn raid on the Shinnecock Indian Reservation raid in Southampton last Thursday that resulted in what officials say is one of the "most extensive wiretap" investigations in the history of Suffolk County.

The early morning raid resulted in 14 arrests, including eight residents of the Shinnecock Nation. Arrested after being identified as the primary supplier of cocaine to the reservation and surrounding area was Awan Gumbs, 26, son of Shinnecock Nation Tribal Trustee Lance A. Gumbs. Also arrested was a law enforcement official.According to Major Walter Heesch, Troop L Commander of the New York State Police New York City corrections officer Gary Morton of Queens was arrested last Friday by state police.Morton was identified as one of those selling drugs on the Shinnecock Indian Reservation in the early stages of the seven-month wiretap investigation.

The bust resulted in the arrest of major suppliers of drugs to the East End, said Suffolk County District Attorney Thomas Spota, individuals responsible for trafficking "12 or more kilos of narcotics on a two-week basis.

"Two suppliers of large quantities of cocaine to Gumbs were identified as John A. Miles of Mastic and Terrill Latney of Mastic Beach, both of whom were arrested after search warrants were conducted at their residences.

According to Spota, the narcotics investigation was sparked after he received a letter in May from the Shinnecock trustees, asking for assistance with "serious matters" that were "impacting their quality of life" on the reservation.

"The people of the Shinnecock Indian Nation have repeatedly asked its leadership to take action against possible criminal activities on our lands, which threaten our way of life," wrote the Shinnecock Nation Board of Trustees in a statement after the raid. "The board of trustees stands with the Nation in its resolute determination to provide a safe, drug-free and crime-free environment for our children to grow and develop, for their parents to live in peace and for our elders to enjoy the fruits of their lifetime labors. We asked for the assistance of outside law enforcement agencies to help us accomplish these important goals.

"What resulted was a joint effort of the New York State police, Suffolk County District Attorney's Office, the Suffolk County Police Department, the Suffolk County Sheriff's Department, the DEA, Secret Service, and the Suffolk County Probation Department that resulted in the execution of nine court-ordered search warrants, five of those on the Shinnecock Indian Reservation. The raid was the "largest coordinated law enforcement" effort in Suffolk County history, involving 120 state police officers, mobile response teams, and state police helicopters.

Some of the narcotics sales conducted by Gumbs, 26, took place inside his father's place of business, the Shinnecock Smoke Shop on Montauk Highway.

The bust, said Spota, resulted in the "dismantling of a major narcotics distribution network. There was blatant and open drug dealing and gun possession on the reservation."

Added one official, "The level of drug activity and firearms was alarming."

Although he did not give actual numbers regarding the level of gun and drug activity involved, Spota said, "This operation was massive.

During the wiretap investigation, one deadly incident was averted when investigators heard a member of the Bloods gang calling from Brooklyn in an attempt to purchase handguns with the intention of committing a murder.

The call was intercepted and the subject was arrested. Spota assured that the incident was isolated and there is no evidence of other gang activity being investigated.And, added the district attorney, although his son was arrested, Lance Gumbs is not under investigation.

Thursday's raid was a unified effort, said Suffolk County Sheriff Vincent DeMarco. "The amount of guns was absolutely stunning." Law enforcement, he added, is "not easy work," with officers taking their lives in their hands to protect the public.

The raid, officials said, was done in a "magnificent, swift" manner, with no gunfire.

The law enforcement official arrested, New York City Corrections Officer Gary Morton, 25, of Jamaica, who worked at Rikers Island, was arrested by state police investigators conducting the investigation for conspiracy in the second degree.

Morton, a member of the Shinnecock Tribe, assisted his uncle Michael Morton, who was arrested in the raid with the sale of heroin on the reservation. Michael Morton was allegedly the main source of supply for heroin on the reservation; the Mortons would also supply heroin to customers in the surrounding area. According to the New York State police, if Michael Morton was unable to conduct drug sales, he would contact Gary Morton, who would complete the transaction.

At last week's press conference, officials indicated that another member of law enforcement was being questioned. No arrests were made, however. A New York Post article reported that a Southampton Village Police Department officer resigned after the raid. When asked whether the alleged resignation was related to the bust, Southampton Village Mayor Mark Epley said, "It's an employment issue. I'm not going to respond right now."

"Today, our people walk with tears in their eyes knowing that some members of our Family will suffer, but hopeful that the scourge we have been living with is about to come to an end, our community restored to its natural beauty and balance," wrote the Shinnecock Nation Board of Trustees.

Today the Shinnecock Reservation is a much safer place," said Spota.

Former congressional aide linked to Reps. John Doolittle and Don Young pleads guilty

April 24, 2007

Abramoff acquaintance pleads guilty; Doolittle awaits government's next move

By David Whitney - Bee Washington Bureau

WASHINGTON - They both were in their ascendancy, blind to the troubles ahead. And both were involved in an issue that helped a mutual friend, superlobbyist Jack Abramoff, and one of his lucrative clients, the Commonwealth of the
Northern Mariana Islands.

On Tuesday, Mark D. Zachares pleaded guilty to conspiracy in federal court in connection with his association with Abramoff, while Rep. John Doolittle, R-Roseville, awaited the next move from the Department of Justice after FBI agents raided his Virginia home on April 13.

Nearly eight years ago, on Sept. 16, 1999, Doolittle and Zachares crossed paths as the House Resources Committee debated the Mariana Islands issue.

The hearing ostensibly was to look into reports of worker abuse in garment factories in the commonwealth. Critics, including the Clinton administration, said lax federal immigration policies had permitted Asian-owned companies to open low-wage plants there using immigrant labor and to sell their goods in the United States under a Made in the USA label.

The critics said fundamental immigration and labor reforms were necessary because the plants had become prison-like sweatshops. Reports of worker abuses alarmed human rights organizations.

But Republican leaders believed what was going on in the commonwealth was, as former Rep. Tom DeLay, R-Texas, said in its defense, a Petri dish for capitalism.

At the hearing, Doolittle questioned Zachares, then a CNMI immigration official, in an effort to make the point that lax U.S. law enforcement was to blame for the problems in the U.S. territory.

Zachares was a key witness. He cited the Occupational Health and Safety Administration and the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission as among the U.S. agencies that could have done more to stop the abuses.

"And yet are these not two of the agencies making some of the most serious charges?" asked Doolittle.

"Yes, sir," Zachares replied.

"Doesn't that strike you as odd?" Doolittle asked.

"Yes, sir, I would agree with you," Zachares said under oath.

Richard Robinson, Doolittle's chief of staff, said Tuesday that the congressman had no recollection of Zachares, including any relationship he had with Abramoff.

According to Zachares' plea agreement, however, by the time of that hearing he and Abramoff were "personal and professional acquaintances" - close enough that the next year, in 2000, Abramoff tried hard - but in vain - to win Zachares a job with the Interior Department in Washington, D.C. In 2002, Abramoff had more success, landing Zachares a job with the House Transportation and Infrastructure Committee [Chaired by Rep Don Young (R-AK) at the time]. Twice in 2002 Abramoff sent $5,000 checks to Zachares, using the checkbook of a bogus charity for whom Doolittle's wife, Julie, later would be hired to raise money.

Within weeks of the 1999 hearing, Doolittle took steps that ultimately helped Abramoff renew his contract representing the commonwealth, and then met with Abramoff associate Kevin Ring to plan how to defeat reform legislation and fund Abramoff initiatives on the islands. During that period, Abramoff made his only direct political contributions to Doolittle, totaling $14,000.

Doolittle insists he has done nothing wrong, and will fight any charges the federal government brings against him in the Abramoff investigation.

Tuesday, April 24, 2007

Doolittle legal defense fund?

posted on 04.20.07 by Hank Shaw | Recordnet Blogs:

Doolittle legal defense fund?
So it appears Rep. John Doolittle has set up a legal defense fund. Can't wait to see who donates to it. Wonder if Richard Pombo will chip in? He's got several thousand dollars left in his RICH PAC account. And remember that the former Tracy congressman chipped in for former Majority Leader Tom DeLay's fund...My crystal ball says that if Doolittle's having a tough time getting enough campaign contributions to pay off his 'debt' to his wife for, ahem, fundraising, then getting enough cash to pay his soon-to-be-astronomical legal bills might be a shade tougher...

It will certainly be interesting to see who chips in ... When Pombo and the others gave to DeLay the scene was much different. This is another chapter and those who went out on a limb then, aren't likely going to do it in these times; number of them aren't around or find themselves needing support today. But Hank does bring up an interesting topic, what will Pombo do with the RICH PAC money? And what about all of those donors he cultivated?

YouTube: Doolittle - Abramoff "Bad boys, bad boys"

The suburban Washington, D.C. home of Republican John Doolittle (CA-04) was recently raided by the FBI. Rep. Doolittle and his wife have been under investigation for their relationship with convicted GOP super-lobbyist Jack Abramoff.

Abramoff now resides in federal prison on a litany of fraud, bribery, and money laundering convictions. In addition to his questionable ties to Abramoff, the Congressman also took contributions from indicted defense contractor Brent Wilkes and his associates.

In addition, investigationsn are underway to determine any wrong doing that may have occured when Abramoff's "charities" hired Mrs. Julie Doolittle (John's wife) to assist with various fundraising and event planning activities.

Despite gaming agreements, Tribe could pursue commercial development at Big Lagoon

Proponents for ratification of state Gaming Agreements with the Big Lagoon Rancheria say approval will forever block commercial development by the Tribe on the southern end of the Big Lagoon in Humboldt County, CA; and they say that is a positive move because it will help to maintain the integrity of the Big Lagoon, part of the Humboldt Lagoons State Park.

That’s not the whole truth.

The Agreements do virtually prohibit commercial development on the Tribe’s current sovereign reservation lands – two parcels of approximately 20 acres – referenced in the Agreements as Parcels A and B. However, since those agreements were struck in 2005, the tribe has acquired several other parcels within the Big Lagoon Subdivision along the southern shoreline of the Big Lagoon. Those parcels, more than 16 acres in all, are not yet held in Trust by the U.S. Government but are eligible for consideration at some point in the future. Those parcels are currently zoned for commercial uses and are not encumbered by the gaming Compact or related Settlement Agreement.

Xxx Current Trust Lands (Reservation) - held by the U.S. Government for the Big Lagoon Rancheria

Xxx Non-Trust Lands - held by the Big Lagoon Rancheria and zoned for commercial uses; eligible for trust consideration at a later date

zoom view

click for additional detail & larger view

'Disadvantaged' Tribe has amassed additional property valued at $2.65 million

The so-called “disadvantaged” Big Lagoon Rancheria Indians (approximately 24 members of tribal Chairman Virgil Moorehead's family who reported living below the poverty level at the 2000 Census) have managed to acquire additional commercial property in Humboldt County apart from their 20-acre Reservation valued at more than $2.6 million. One of those properties generates revenue of almost $1,000,000.00 annually. The properties are located at the Big Lagoon, and in the towns of Arcata and McKinleyville.

Big Lagoon (517-131-006 & 017) – two contiguous parcels of 16-acres or more; on the southern shoreline of the Big Lagoon; zoned commercial; separated from the 20-acre reservation lands by California park lands; acquired in January 2007.

(517-281-004) -- an additional parcel of approximately 5 acres; located at Highway 101 and Big Lagoon Park Road; which the tribe intends to have taken into trust by the U.S. Government; the subject of dispute, currently under appeal, with the California Coastal Commission; 284 Big Lagoon Park Rd Trinidad, Ca 95570-9622; acquired in January 2000.

McKinleyville (508-061-025 & 027) – two parcels of unknown total acreage; zoned commercial; located between Central Ave and Highway 101 at the School Road exit; possibly the location of the tribe’s planned commercial health club facility.

Arcata (021-106-004) – a parcel of unknown acreage; site of historic 32-room Hotel Arcata; in central Arcata; located at 915 G St Arcata, Ca 95521-6217. Acquired in 1989. (Dunn & Bradstreet estimates annual revenues for Hotel Arcata to be at least $990,000.00).

Parcel No



Assessed Value


915 G St Arcata, Ca 95521-6217; Hotel Arcata




Vacant Land Or N/A; Zoned Commercial; McKinleyville




Vacant Land Or N/A; Zoned Commercial; McKinleyville




271 Lynda Ln Trinidad, Ca 95570-9644; Original 9-acres (Parcel A)



(Parcel A)


Vacant Land; Acquired 1/04/00, Zoned Commercial; shoreline




Vacant Land; Additional 11-acre Casino Site (Parcel B)



(Parcel B)


Vacant Land; 16-acres acquired 1/04/07, Zoned Commercial




284 Big Lagoon Park Rd Trinidad, Ca 95570-9622; 5-acres acquired 04/07/00



Total assessed value of non-reservation fee property


Monday, April 23, 2007

Public Citizen exposes Kessler, Ripon and the free junkets for Members of Congress

posted at Public Citizen | Congress Watch

Richard Kessler and the Ripon Groups:
How a Washington Lobbyist Gives Lawmakers Free Trips
Despite the Ban on Lobbyist-Funded Travel

Elaborate schemes concocted by prominent Washington lobbyist Richard Kessler, head of Kessler Business Services [aka Kessler & Associates], have allowed registered lobbyists to spend millions of dollars taking members of Congress on luxurious trips to Europe and U.S. resorts without technically violating congressional ethics rules that forbid registered lobbyists from paying for congressional travel.

Read the full report [PDF]
Read the press release
Lobbyist paid $515,000, secretly representing Ilitch... Lobbyists Help Fund Ripon Travel

Another shoe drops in GOP Scandal

posted 04.23.07 at ( )

Former Aide to GOP Rep To Plead Guilty

Yet another shoe drops in the Jack Abramoff investigation. A former aide to Rep. Don Young (R-AK), Mark Zachares, looks set to plead guilty to corruption charges.

The Justice Department filed a criminal information today on Zachares, laying out the facts to which he'll be pleading guilty. You can read it here. A plea hearing has been scheduled for tomorrow.

The document does not implicate Rep. Young, but it does mention that in 2002, Abramoff "assisted Zachares in obtaining his position as a staffer on the House Transportation and Infrastructure Committee," which Young chaired. And Young has come up often in the course of the Abramoff scandal.

Though Rep. Don Young (R-AK) has claimed that he's had "no personal or professional relationship" with Jack Abramoff, there is a multitude of evidence reflecting a relationship between the two.

Since 1973, Don Young has served as Alaska's only House Representative. He chaired the Transportation and Infrastructure Committee (currently a senior member) and was vice chair (& the former chairman) of the House Resources Committee (currently ranking member). The Resources Committee was very important to Abramoff's clients, since it oversees tribal affairs and the U.S. territories.

View TV ads

posted at the Sacramento Bee's CapitolAlert:

Watch the Morongo tribe ad
Last Updated 2:33 pm PDT Monday, April 23, 2007

By Shane Goldmacher - Capitol Alert

The Morongo Band of Mission Indians has released its television ad, pressing for legislative approval of its gambling compact. The ad is expected to begin airing statewide tomorrow.
Watch the ad here. And read the transcript:

"California And California Indian Tribes. Together, We Soar.

"Not So Long Ago, Our tribes Were But A Small Part Of California's Economy. And Now, We Soar.

"Indian Communities Are Good, Responsible Neighbors ... That Bring Thousands Of Jobs To All Californians.

"Governor Schwarzenegger And California Indian Tribes Have Reached Historic Agreements That Bring California Hundreds Of Millions Of Dollars A Year To Help Balance The Budget, Improve Education, And Provide Quality Healthcare For Those Who Need It Most.

"Tell Your Legislator That California's Future Depends On It.

"Don't Let Special Interests Stand In The Way.

"California And California Indian Tribes. Together We Soar". launched to support gaming compacts re-negotiated by Gov. Schwarzenegger

Organized Labor has vowed to wage all out war against California's leading gaming tribes as five amended gaming compacts move to the Assembly for approvals. Labor wants further concessions amended into the amended compacts Governor Arnold Schwarzenegger re-negotiated. The Democratic controlled state Senate also approved the compacts last week. Given Organized Labor's heavy political influence, financial resources and army of professional field organizers, Tribal leaders are taking their appeal directly to the state's voters and they have launched

California is Facing a Serious Budget Deficit
California is facing a fiscal crisis. Vital services like healthcare and education are being threatened. State controller John Chiang and non-partisan Legislative Analyst Elizabeth Hill are forecasting a dire fiscal storm on the horizon with state tax revenues falling $1.3 billion below expectations.

Tribal Compacts Can Help Solve The State’s Fiscal Crisis
Last year Governor Schwarzenegger agreed to amend existing tribal compacts with five Southern California Native American Indian tribes allowing them to expand their gaming operations at a handful of casinos in Riverside, San Bernadino and San Diego Counties. Those tribes inlcude the Morongo Band of Mission Indians, Agua Caliente Tribe of Cahuilla Indians, Pechanga Band of Luiseño, San Manuel Band of Mission Indians and the Sycuan Band of the Kumeyaay Nation...

...According to the Governor's Office, in exchange for increasing the number of slot machines at their reservation casinos, the tribes will collectively contribute hundreds of millions of dollars annually to the state's general fund. This new revenue will help balance the budget, improve education and provide quality healthcare for those who need it most. In fact, California will receive billions in revenues throughout the life of the compacts...

Gaming tribes respond to lobbying attacks by Organized Labor

from the Sacramento Bee's CapitolAlert:

Morongo to hit the air

By Shane Goldmacher - Capitol Alert
Published 9:38 am PDT Monday, April 23, 2007

The Morongo Band of Mission Indians are launching a public relations offensive to push for approval of their gambling compact, airing television ads starting Tuesday across the state and launching a new Web site.

The Morongo gambling compact, which would allow for 5,500 new slot machines in their Indian casino, was approved by the state Senate earlier this week and now sits in the Assembly, where labor advocates are lobbying heavily to block its passage.

According to media-buying sources, the television buy by Morongo is slated to begin early next week, with time purchased in the biggest of California's media markets and ads scheduled to air for at least one week. In Los Angeles, the state's largest media market, the ad purchase was estimated at $225,000, according to one veteran media buyer.

"I can tell you that we are certainly, as this thing moves on to the Assembly, we're certainly going to tell the Morongo story and inform Californians about what these compacts will bring in new revenues," said Patrick Dorinson, a spokesman for the Morongo tribe. "As far as any announcements, when and if we're ready to announce something, we'll announce it."

The tribe's TV spots are expected to be positive in nature.

A new Web site recently launched by the Morongo tribe, called "Together California," touts the financial benefits of the compact and may be a hint on what the soon-to-air TV ads will look like.
"Right now California is facing a fiscal crisis," a petition on the site reads. "Vital services like healthcare and education are being threatened. New agreements between the Governor and five California Indian tribes will help solve the state's dire budget problems and provide much needed funding for healthcare and education."

When Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger first signed the compact in August of last year, his office estimated the Morongo compact would bring in between $2.8 billion and $5.2 billion over the life of the compact. If all five major compacts are signed, the state stands to gain $13.4 billion and $22.4 billion in casino revenue-sharing payments in the next 25 years.

'Promises, promises' ... local citizens skeptical about new economic development prospects

from a story originally published April 22, 2007 in the (

Promises, promises ...Why do area residents see only dark side of Chrysler's big news?

Times Herald

...Although past projects have brought prosperity to the area, a string of letdowns in the past decade could be responsible for local skepticism regarding new economic development.

Developers hoped to build a casino in Port Huron or in Port Huron Township, but those plans never materialized because of roadblocks.

It's been more than four years since then-Gov. John Engler gave the Bay Mills Indian Community the right to build a casino in Port Huron if it gave up a land claim in the Upper Peninsula. Congress has yet to approve the measure.

Local community leaders have said the casino could bring 2,500 to 3,000 permanent jobs to the area and 600 to 650 construction jobs...

...In March 2006, Clinton Township developer Tony DeFeo announced plans to build a casino, hotel and indoor water park in downtown Port Huron. He also promised to take over McMorran Place and expand the hockey arena.

Neither project has seen any progress... (Full Story)

Sunday, April 22, 2007

Malik named city's new development director

City of Tracy names Malik New Development and Engineering Services Director

(TRACY, CA) – Tracy City Manager Daniel Hobbs has announced Andrew Malik will take over the permanent position as Director of the Development and Engineering Services (DES) Department. Mr. Malik will officially begin the position effective Monday, April 9. As the DES director, he will oversee land use planning and development, engineering services, building inspection, housing and redevelopment, zoning and code enforcement programs. Mr. Malik will oversee a 53-person staff and an operational budget of $7.8 million.

Mr. Malik has been pulling double duty as the acting Director of DES and Director of the Economic Development Department since last fall. Mr. Malik began with the City of Tracy in 1996. Before joining the city, he worked for the General Growth Management Incorporated as the Director of Marketing for West Valley Mall, and the Downtown Sacramento Partnership

Former Congressman Richard Pombo resides in Tracey, CA. His family has a ranch and he has backed development plans in the area.

TVT has welcomed more than 178,000 unique vistors

TVT, founded in December 2006, has averaged more than 20,000 visitors annually. It is produced with the support of scores of individuals from coast-to-coast, each a volunteer citizen activist/jounalist, who review tips and compile the verifiable details and documents that are the hallmark of our content.

Since our first post, more than 178,000 visitors have accessed the details compiled uniquely at TVT.

The citizen activists behind TVT wish to extened a big "THANK YOU" to all those who have provided "tips" -- contributed pictures, documents, link suggestions, leads, reports, insight and comments. Your trust and confidence in TVT has allowed us to create a comprehensive resource that thousands of others -- including bloggers, journalists, Members of Congress and other local citizen activists around the country -- have come to rely upon.

We invite feedback and constructive comment and want you to know you are welcome to do that here in "comments" or by contacting us directly and confidentially via

Google News: Indian Gaming

NEWS: Bay Mills Indian Community & Casino Proposals

NEWS: Shinnecock Indian Nation (Gateway Casino Resorts) Casino Proposals

NY Times: Shinnecock Indian Nation

NEWS: Los Coyotes Indian Tribe

NEWS: Los Coyotes / Barwest Barstow Casino Proposals

NEWS: Michael J. Malik, Sr.

NEWS: Marian Ilitch Mapping Social Networks

Play with the interactive tool here or visit

TIP: Search for multiple entries in the database simultaneously by separating their names with the word and

certainly must reads!

Ilitch has backed loosing sports teams and pizza, but casinos in Detroit? 10.09.06 ● Marian Ilitch #1 on "25 Most Powerful People" to Watch 2006” global gaming business o1.oo.o5 ● My Kingdom for a Casino Forbes 05.08.06 ● Big Lagoon’s casino dream awakens north coast journal 07.28.05 ● Shinnecocks launch legal claim to Hamptons land 06.16.05 ● Ilitch Plans to Expand Casino Empire 07.05.05 ● Ilitch outbids partners 04.14.05 ● Ilitch enmeshed in NY casino dispute 03.20.05 ● Marian Ilitch, high roller 03.20.05 ● MGM Mirage to Decide on Offer for Casino in Detroit 04.16.05 ● Secret deal for MotorCity alleged 02.15.05 ● Los Coyotes get new developer 02.08.05 Detroit casino figure to finance Barstow project 07.07.03 ● Indian Band trying to put casino in Barstow 06.04.03 Pizza matriarch takes on casino roles 10.23.02 ● Vanderbilt gets short straw in negotiations for a casino Lansing Journal 10.06.02 ● Indians aim to drive family from tribe in vicious dispute san diego union tribune 04.09.00 ●Malik owns 2000 Michigan Quarter Horse of the Year 01.01.00 ● Detroit Team to run Michigan’s newest Indian casino 05.23.99 Tiger ties tangle Marian Ilitch 04.29.99 ● Three investors must sell their Detroit casino interests 04.25.99 ● Partners’ cash revived election; They say money was crucial to Prop-E 04.25.99 Investors have troubled histories las vegas review journal 04.27.99 ● Investor served probation for domestic assault on 12 year old boy 04.25.99 Can a pair win a jackpot?: local men hope to... 03.17.97

The Verifiable Truth