Saturday, May 05, 2007

Sacramento lawmakers and journalists aren't getting the whole truth from Los Coyotes tribe's elder nor her partners


comments by Catherine Siva Saubel attacking fellow leaders of other Cahuilla Indian Tribes:

"They (lawmakers) really listen to them," said Saubel, who contends her tribe's remote, mountainous land in San Diego County is unsuitable for a casino. "We're ignored. They have all the lawyers and the money. We don't have anything. "They call themselves Indians. I call them greedy." Click here for article

Certainly Catherine Saubel, the elder of the Los Coyotes Band of Cahuilla and Cupeno Indians has heard the saying about people in glass houses, or the one about the pot calling the kettle black. And someone ought to tell her the story of Pinocchio -- the wooden puppet whose nose grew longer with each false story he told.

Let's examine what she said ... and didn't say with her published comments.

Saubel’s not telling the whole truth. Her tribe is free to develop a modest sized casino on their reservation lands and could have done so by now but that’s not good enough. The tribe could open a class II casino like the Hard Rock Casinos in Florida with very little outside approval.

Saubel says her reservation is "unsuitable for a casino." Perhaps unsuitable for the kind of casino Barwest wants to build; or needs to build in order to satisfy the return the investors in their syndicate require. With the current Barstow Plan, her partners get to develop and manage two full-scale Las Vegas style resorts with a 5,000 total slots, two spas, convention faclilities, two hotels and more right beside Interstate-15 between Las Vegas and Southern California.

The Los Coyotes Indians have a 25,000 acre reservation. Their casino in Barstow was originally approved for 20 acres. Is she suggesting that there's no where on that entire reservation (the largest in San Diego County) with a 20 acre site suitable for construction? If that's the case, how will the reservation ever be a viable home for her people? And how is it that the Los Coyotes' neigbors at Santa Ysabel have been able to do it on a similar remote, mountainous ... and smaller reservation.

Most Disadvantaged?
Saubel often tells the story of how her tribe didn’t have electricity on the reservation until 1998.
Guess what ... the neighboring Santa Ysabel Tribe didn’t get electricity until five years later and they’ve got three times the number of people living there. They opted to build a modest casino on their reservation, within existing guidelines, because they see it as a way to finance additional electricity, water and road improvements on their reservation lands. And it means jobs right there in their own backyard, not two or three hours away.

She talks about how her “home” doesn’t have running water of electricity. What she’s talking about is some place her family once called "home" on the vast 25,000 acre reservation back in the earlier part of the 20th Century. She hasn’t lived on the Los Coyotes Reservation since she was 4 years old. In fact she built her Museum and her home on the Morongo Reservation, 2 hours away by car, in Riverside County.

While Saubel has lived at the Morongo Reservation, and traveled the world, a new generation of leaders at the neighboring Santa Ysabel Tribe moved backed to their ancestral homelands and have built a brand new casino resort right in their own backyard; it’s less than 10-miles from the Los Coyotes Reservation.

The Santa Ysabel Reservation faces similar geographical challenges (and both reservations are similar drive times from Los Angeles); yet this week they opened their $27 million, 35,000-square-foot casino project which has 349 slot machines and was financed with a bank loan guaranteed by the Yavapai-Apache Nation of Arizona. Certainly the Arizona tribe and the lenders wouldn’t fund a project that didn’t appear to be feasible.

Who's greedy?
Apparently a modest casino is not satisfactory to Saubel; or those Detroiters who have adopted her tribe in order to exploit the opportunity to develop and manage her casino. Her tribe and their well-healed Detroit business partners seek to build a $168 million, 210,000 square foot casino, hotel, spa and convention complex with 2,546 slots, plus 48 table games and several poker rooms on land off-reservation and outside of the Los Coyotes Band's ancestral territory.

The Los Coyotes Reservation is the largest, by far, in San Diego County with 25,000 acres. Certainly there's a contiguous 10-20 acre parcel suitable for development.

Who's stepping on toes?
In relocating to Barstow, Saubel doesn’t think twice about squeezing out San Bernardino County tribes and others whose ancestors have survived the Mojave Desert for centuries -- tribes like the Chemehuevi or the Shoshone and others.

Who's spending $ Millions on lawyers, political campaigns and lobbying activity?
In fact, with her blessings, her development partners have spent at least half a million dollars this past year alone on political campaigns and lawyers in order to block San Bernardino County tribes and others from pursuing plans to develop a casino in Barstow. Those tribes have circumstances equal to or greater than Saubel’s tribe. There are no records to indicate they've had half a million dollars of out of state money spent to protect their ancestral claims this past year.

And the people behind Saubel have paid three lobbying firms more than $500,000.00 to represent Los Coyotes' interests in Sacramento this past year and another $100,000.00 the first 90-days of 2007 -- their objectives, trying to convince legislators that this move is good public policy; and damage the credibility of southern California based tribes including Saubel's Cahuilla brothers and sisters.

Let's not forget the $1.1 million Saubel's Los Coyotes Tribe gets from the established gaming tribes' trust fund each year.

Where's that check going and how's that money being managed?

The individiual representing herself as a wise and measured elder who questions the fellowship and integrity of other regional tribes should look deep within her own soul before she makes sensational comments in the future. In doing so today she brings shame to all parties including herself, her tribe and fellow Cahuilla people and perpetuates an unfortunate stereotype.

Friday, May 04, 2007

YouTube: DCCC hammers GOP suspects with "Law & Disorder" TV spot

If you found humor in our previously uncovered post "Bad boys, bad boys" -- a take off on the FOX TV show "Cops" -- take a look at the latest out of the DCCC Rapid Response Team, it's a rip-off of NBC's hit show "Law & Order."

Law & Disorder

Doolittle says he's not alone, claims other lawmakers were also the targets of Friday the 13th Raids

as published at

Doolittle says other lawmakers also raided

By Dave Moller

4:01 a.m. PT May 4, 2007

Two other congressmen were raided by federal authorities when his home was invaded by FBI agents on Friday, April 13th, Rep. John Doolittle, R-Roseville, revealed Thursday.

'One's a Democrat and one's a Republican,' Doolittle said during a media conference call from Washington, D.C. He said the raids were related to the ongoing federal investigation of jailed lobbyist Jack Abramoff, who had business contacts with Doolittle's wife Julie Doolittle. She raises funds for her husband and others through her political consulting firm.

Doolittle said he would draw a page from media practice by only saying 'well-placed sources' had advised him of the raids, which had not become public until his pronouncement. He said he did not know the other congressmen's names. (Full Story)

Delay on casino security rules may spell trouble for compacts

As posted at large number of California tribes have expressed opposition to a proposal to implement minimum internal control standards at the state level, Copley News Service reports. Dozens of tribes met Wed to consider a proposal by the CA Gambling Control Commission and some of the more successful tribes to implement the MICS. But no agreement came came out of the meeting, except to schedule another meeting in two months. That could hinder efforts by some of the successful tribes to have their new gaming compacts approved. Democrats in the state Assembly say regulation is a big issue for them. The proposal came in response to a federal appeals court decision that struck down the National Indian Gaming Commission's MICS...

read more digg story

Various properties controlled by the current owners of the Thomas Edison Inn

The Thomas Edison Inn (TEI), in Port Huron, MI, is the site for the proposed Bay Mills Indian Community’s off-reservation casino. If approved this would be the third casino for the Bay Mills Tribe, the first off reservation. Thomas Edison Inn sits in the shadow of the Blue Water International Bridge Crossing near the Blue Water Visitor & Convention Bureau and the Port Huron Museum’s Thomas Edison Depot.

Thomas Edison Inn” is a d/b/a for Innkeepers Management LLC. William F. Ehinger is the LLC’s manager. Also associated with Innkeepers Management LLC is Donald W. Reynolds. The two bought back ownership control of the Thomas Edison Inn in 1998 from Meritage Hospitality Group Inc.

Here is a list of properties controlled by Innkeepers Management LLC in the vicinity of the Thomas Edison Inn. The City of Port Huron also owns adjacent property.

Parcel #




500 Thomas Edison Pkwy Port Huron, Mi 48060-8506

Innkeepers Management LLC


500 Thomas Edison Pkwy Port Huron, Mi 48060-8506

Innkeepers Management LLC


2200 Saint Clair St Port Huron, Mi 48060-3028

Innkeepers Management LLC


2200 Saint Clair St Port Huron, Mi 48060-3028

Innkeepers Management LLC


St Clair St Port Huron, Mi 48060

Innkeepers Management LLC


2108 Saint Clair St Port Huron, Mi 48060-3026

Innkeepers Management LLC


2100 Saint Clair St Port Huron, Mi 48060-3026

Innkeepers Management LLC


2000 Saint Clair St Port Huron, Mi 48060-3104

Innkeepers Management LLC


2000 Saint Clair St Port Huron, Mi 48060-3104

Innkeepers Management LLC


St Clair St Port Huron, Mi 48060

Innkeepers Management LLC


2000 Saint Clair St Port Huron, Mi 48060-3104

Innkeepers Management LLC

Thomas Edison Inn owners bought back controlling interest in 1998 for $12.2 million

The following was included in an 8-k filing to the Securities and Exchance Commission (SEC) by Meritage Hospitality Group Inc. September 1, 1998 relative to disposition of The Thomas Edison Inn.

On September 1, 1998, the Company's wholly-owned subsidiary, Thomas Edison Inn, Incorporated, sold real and personal property including (i) the hotel and restaurant facility (known as the Thomas Edison Inn) located at 500 Thomas Edison Parkway, Port Huron, Michigan (the "Hotel"), (ii) the fixtures, furniture, furnishings, equipment and supplies used in the operation of the Hotel, and (iii) certain other real and personal property owned by the subsidiary and located adjacent to the Hotel (collectively, the "Assets"). The Assets were sold to Innkeeper's Management, LLC and its affiliate, Reynolds/Ehinger Enterprises, LLC, both of whom have no relation to the Company. The Assets were sold for $12,200,000 pursuant to the terms of an agreement dated April 16, 1998 and amended on September 1, 1998. The purchase price was comprised of $10,200,000 in cash and a $2,000,000 one-year secured note bearing interest at 8.0% over the prime lending rate.

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--Port Huron :
--The Verifiable Truth:

Thursday, May 03, 2007

Do these people really believe Marian Ilitch is a "homemaker" or are they playing along with the game

Below's a partial list of the political committees to which Marian Ilitch has represented she is a "homemaker" rather than honestly disclose she is the Vice Chairwoman of Ilitch Holdings, Inc., or the sole proprietor of MotorCity Casino.

Then again, certainly these people know "homemaker" isn't accurate. ...For Martha Stewart maybe ... but not Marian Ilitch, the sole owner of the largest and most successful woman owned casino in the U.S.

Nearly each of these contributions made by Marian the "homemaker" can be tied directly to attempts to influence the outcome of certain casino proposals Ilitch and her partner, Michael J. Malik are backing at the time. And her contributions are usually bundled with a stack of other checks from Malik, Mike Ilitch, one or more of the couples seven children and sometimes their spouses.

Political beneficiaries of the "homemakers" generosity:

The Nature Conservancy has targeted Long Island's Central Pine Barrens for conservation

Long Island’s Central Pine Barrens

This region is a diverse mosaic of pitch pine woodlands, pitch pine-oak forests, coastal plain ponds, swamps, marshes, bogs and streams.

Ecological Importance

We have been given a rare op­portunity to pre­serve a large, con­tiguous, ecologically func­tional landscape in the midst of a heavily ur­banized area. It is our challenge to protect the hydrological and ecological integrity of the Long Is­land Pine Barrens, while recog­nizing human needs and accom­modating develop­ment in the adja­cent compatible growth area (Long Island Pine Barrens Protection Area). For a wealth of information, visit the Central Pine Barrens Commission website.

Conservation Concerns

Extensive residential and commer­cial devel­opment has consumed much of the Pine Bar­rens in recent decades. About 52,000 acres of relatively intact Pine Barrens still remain in what we call the core area. Much of this core is contigu­ous, expansive Pine Barrens. Al­though various roads cross the core area which also contains some houses, agricultural fields, golf courses, and limited commer­cial development. The surrounding area has a greater density of resi­dential, commercial, and agricul­tural devel­opment.

Wildland fires play a very prominent role in the Pine Barrens which are considered by Conser­vancy scientists and others as "fire dependent" natural communities.

Pine Barrens Facts

  • Size: 53,000 acre core area; 50,000 acre Compatible Growth Area

  • Location: Central Long Island

  • Animals: A variety of animals, birds, reptiles, and amphibians make use of the diverse and varied habitats of the Pine Barrens ranging from water dependent tiger salamanders to fire adapted Coastal Barrens Buckmoth. A long list of rare damselflies, lepidoptera as well as a variety of migratory and breeding bird species make the Pine Barrens a hotspot for naturalists of all interests.

  • Plants: Globally rare Dwarf Pine Plains with stunted pygmy pitch pines, Coastal Plain Pond shores host more than 50 species of state rare plants including numerous species of bladderworts the shrubby scrub oak, and smaller heath species such as huckleberry, blueberry, sheep laurel, wintergreen are also characteristic Pine Barrens plants.

Click for: Complete Details on Central Pine Barrens @ the Nature Conservancy’s website

© The Nature Conservancy 2007

Vice Chairwoman of a private company Forbes ranks at #316 reports she's a "homemaker" on political disclosures

Half of the 32 records on file with the Federal Election Commission backing up political campaign contributions made by Marian Ilitch since 2002 indicate she is simply a “Homemaker.”

Those records make no reference to Ilitch Holdings, Inc., MotorCity Casino nor any of her other business affiliations past or present (Little Caesars Pizza, Detroit Red Wings, Olympia Entertainment, Olympia Development, Detroit Tigers, etc.).

In March 2007 the National Association of Women Business Owners Greater Detroit Chapter honored Marian Ilitch as one of the Top 10 Michigan Business Women with the Pinnacle Award.

At, the corporate website for Ilitch Holdings, Inc., Marian Ilitch is described as “Vice Chairwoman.”

The website reads:

“Marian Ilitch is one of the leading entrepreneurs in the food and entertainment industry. As a first-generation American, the daughter of Macedonian immigrants raised on grit and hard work, Marian has been recognized as one of the most successful businesswomen in the country.”

“Marian purchased the MotorCity Casino in Detroit in April 2005. MotorCity Casino opened in December 1999 and the purchase by Marian keeps the casino ownership within the Detroit Community and makes Motor City Casino the largest and most successful casino in the country that is owned by a woman.”

Nothing on the corporate website describes her as a “homemaker” ... far from it.

This kind of deliberate dishonesty in campaign contribution disclosures is a clear sign there is something greater afoot.

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Failure to meet Governor's May 31st deadline could terminate Tribe's unratified gaming agreement

Based on terms negotiated by Governor Arnold Schwarzenegger back in 2004/05, the Big Lagoon Rancheria has just four weeks from today to complete the Federal "Fee to Trust" process that would take control of a 25-acre parcel in Barstow out of the hands of Detroit-based Barwest LLC and place it into trust held by the U.S. Government on behalf of the Tribe.

Sec. 14.2. Term of Compact; Termination.

If the 25 Acre Parcel is not taken into trust and determined eligible for Class III Gaming pursuant to section 20(b)(1)(A) of IGRA prior to May 31, 2007, the Compact shall be deemed null and void unless the Tribe and the State agree in writing to extend the date.
(see page 82)

Similar language relating to a 23-acre parcel is in the Tribal Gaming Compact the State negotiated with the Los Coyotes Band of Cahuilla and Cupeno Indians; which could mean an end to their Barstow casino quest as well.

Clearly Barwest professionals must have mislead the Governor's staff, or even been fooling themselves, to believe they could get the "Fee to Trust" process completed in this time frame.

Interior Department officials have previously signaled that tribes must have the land for off-reservation gaming held in trust before they begin the state Compacting process and before the Secretary of Interior (as Trustee) will even consider granting concurrence of any Compact.

Barwest and its partners have ignored that directive.

To blame the failure to meet this critical deadline on the circumstances of the stalled Compacts would be a smokescreen.

The Fee to Trust process should have preceded the Compacting process and could be completed regardless of the Compact's progress. Barwest could have begun the necessary steps to complete the Fee to Trust process a year or more before they did; further, they waited nearly six months after the Governor signed the Compacts to kick-off the Fee to Trust process.

YouTube: See just how concerned Detroit Casino syndicators are about the environment & preservation of "pristine natural resources"

In California, Michael J. Malik, Sr. and Mrs. Marian Ilitch have encouraged environmentalists who say the Detroit casino syndicators should be allowed to build twin casino resorts in Barstow in order to protect Humboldt County's Big Lagoon and the surrounding nature areas from the kind of negative impacts that are inevitable if the Detroit pair's Indian partners are allowed to build a modest casino on their existing Big Lagoon Rancheria, instead.

However, 3,000 miles away in New York the pair of Detroit business people shows much less concern for the environment and they are bankrolling plans to build a large scale Shinnecock Indian off-reservation casino resort on the Long Island shores of the Great Peconic Bay National Estuary and within the fragile and unique Long Island Pine Barrens-Peconic River zone; showing very little regard for what the Nature Conservancy has called one of the "Last Great" places in the Northern Hemisphere.

The following video is an excerpt from a longer feature opponents of the Shinnecock Casino Resort had produced to explain their concerns about the environment, traffic, crime, etc. (note: it references the tribe's previous financial partner/developer Ivy Ong).

Wednesday, May 02, 2007

UPDATE #2: Port Huron Casino backers help raise nearly $100,000 for Sen. Carl Levin

UPDATE #2 to : Casino Developer attempts to romance Senator Levin

Further digging through new Federal Election Commission (FEC) disclosures and analytical resources available from now suggests the backers of a proposal to build an off-reservation Indian casino in Port Huron, MI did more than bundle checks worth $18,400 for Senator Carl Levin on March 30, 2007; it appears that Michael J. Malik, Sr. and senior members of Detroit's Ilitch Family (Mike & Marian Ilitch and son Christopher Ilitch) undertook some serious fundraising for Sen. Levin that resulted in his political committee taking in nearly $100,000.00 in a single day.

Reports filed by Sen. Levin reveal Malik and the Ilitch Family likely called on a number of their contract attorneys, lobbyists, consultants, property managers, insurance companies, accountants, Port Huron business partners, food suppliers, vendors and employees' family members to write checks to Sen. Levin on March 30 -- because on that one day, Sen. Levin reports receiving 105 checks totaling $96,910.00.

Sen. Levin has been in Congress for almost 30-years; with the exception of a $500 check to Levin on March 31, 2002 -- Malik and these members of the Ilitch family appear to have no earlier record of contributions to Levin.

Although efforts to bring an Indian casino to Port Huron have been floated for nearly a decade, Levin has kept an arms distance from that matter and publicly has remained neutral. U.S. Senator Debbie Stabenow (D-MI) has been an active champion of the proposal since 2002 and Malik/Ilitch Family directed $117,000.00 to her re-election efforts.

However, after the November elections, it was reported that Sen. Stabenow (she is ranked only #32nd most powerful Democrat in the Senate) informed Malik & company they would need to win favor with Sen. Levin (#7th most powerful Democrat) if they wanted to make any progress toward congressional approvals of their Port Huron scheme in the 110th Congress.

Senator Carl Levin's 3/30/07 Donor List

UPDATE: Malik & Ilitch Family attempting to romance Senator Carl Levin up their anti doling out $18,400 on one day

UPDATE #1 to: Casino Developer attempts to romance Senator Levin

Records newly available from the Federal Election Commission (FEC) now indicate that in addition to the largest contributions developer and casino syndicator Michael J. Malik, Sr. gave to U.S. Senator Carl Levin (D-MI) on March 30th; Malik's casino syndication co-horts, members of Detroit's Ilitch Family, also made the maximum contributions allowable by law to Senator Levin on the same day. Their checks to Senator Levin's political campaign total $18,400. Before now, this group had only one member of this group had given $500 to Senator Levin and that was back on 3/31/02.

It has been reported that Malik was told by Senator Debbie Stabenow (D-MI) that he must win favor with Senator Levin if Malik and the Ilitch's are to win approvals for an Indian Casino they want to see built in Port Huron, MI. Stabenow had introduced legislation, S. 2986, in 2002 to, by Act of Congress, approve the proposal that would allow the Bay Mills Indian Community to develop a Port Huron Casino resort hundreds of miles from their reservation.

News accounts suggest Senator Harry Reid (D-NV) blocked that 2002 bill. It never made it out of the Senate Indian Affairs Committee.

Subsequently Malik & the Ilitch Family contributed $22,000 to Reid's political committees. They also directed more than $117,000 toward Stabenow's 2006 re-election.

Michael J. Malik, Sr.
03/30/2007 - $2,300.00 - 27020120429
03/30/2007 - $2,300.00 - 27020120429

Christopher Ilitch
03/30/2007 - $2,300.00 - 27020120379
03/30/2007 - $2,300.00 - 27020120379

Marian Ilitch
N/A/HOMEMAKER (??? How 'bout "Owner, MotorCity Casino" or "Owner/Vice Chair, Ilitch Holdings, Inc.")
03/30/2007 - $2,300.00 - 27020120379
03/30/2007 - $2,300.00 - 27020120380

Michael Ilitch
03/30/2007 - $2,300.00 - 27020120380
03/30/2007 - $2,300.00 - 27020120380

Former Miss California lands job as lobbyist for D.C. health care association

We've been informed that MaryAnne Sapio, previously a lobbyist for Wheat Government Relations, has joined the American Health Care Association (AHCA) as Director of Government Relations and primary AHCA lobbyist in Washington, D.C..

AHCA, according to its website, is a non-profit federation of affiliated state health organizations, together representing more than 10,000 non-profit and for-profit assisted living, nursing facility, developmentally-disabled, and subacute care providers.

TVT had previously reported that Sapio, a former Miss California 1999, had left Wheat Government Relations (WheatGR) where she had been a lobbyist for the Bay Mills Indian Community, Blue Water Resorts, Gateway Casino Resorts, Barwest, and the Shinnecock Indian Nation, (each of these clients are casino venture affiliates of Michael J. Malik and Marian Ilitch). When TVT orignially reported on Sapio's departure, the circumstances and her new employer were unknown.

It is interesting to note that Sapio, while at Wheat, was registered as a lobbyist for other clients including lobbying firms U.S. Strategies and Kessler & Associates (Century Business Services Inc.) -- Richard Kessler is the president of the non-profit Ripon Society and the fous of congressional travel controversies). These lobbying firms curiously retained WheatGR as lobbyist.

During this same time, WheatGR had retained Kessler & Associates to represent Wheat on Indian Affairs and Indian Gaming matters and paid Kessler $515,000 -- slightly more than the total WheatGR was paid by its own clients for represenation on the same matters, during the same period. It appears that fees paid by the Ilitch/Malik affiliates to WheatGR were passed through to Kessler & Associates.

Sapio also represented Koch Equipment.

Cape Cod Today speculated in 2006 that it was coal and oil billionaire Bill Koch who used a tangled web of lobbying firms (including Kessler & U.S. Strategies) to get Rep. Don Young to insert an amendment in a Coast Guard Bill that was anticipated to kill the Cape's offshore wind power industry. If true, Sapio might know something about it.

sources: center for responsive politics,; and center for public integrity, lobbywatch.

Tuesday, May 01, 2007

Casino Developer attempts to romance Senator Levin

Michael J. Malik, Sr., a Detroit-based developer and casino syndicator, had never contributed to the campaign fund of Michigan's U.S. Senator Carl Levin, a man with a nearly 30-year history in Congress; although the 53-year-old Malik has lived a lifetime in Michigan and has been politically involved for years ...that is, Until Now.

On March 30, 2007 Malik made two contributions to the campaign committee of Senator Carl Levin; both for the maximum amounts allowable under federal campaign laws.


  1. 03/30/2007 - $2,300.00 - 27020120429
  2. 03/30/2007 - $2,300.00 - 27020120429
Malik has been pushing local, state and federal officials to approve his plans to re-locate an Indian casino in Port Huron for nearly a decade. His partners at the Bay Mills Indian Community have a reservation hundreds of miles from Port Huron and seek congressional approval of a questionable land claims settlement they negotiated with former Governor John Engler in 2003 that would pave the way for a Port Huron casino.

Michgan's other U.S. Senator Debbie Stabenow (D) and local Congresswoman Candice Miller (R) have both championed approvals of Malik's plan since 2003; around the same time Malik and his partners, Mike & Marian Ilitch and their children, made their first significant contributions to the ladies. Although both Stabenow and Miller had made careers in Michigan politics before they were elected to their current congressional seats, Malik and partners didn't have a track record supporting either lady.

With the shift of power in Congress in 2007, it has been reported that Malik came to understand, he was going to need Senator Levin's active support if he wanted to move approvals for his casino scheme through the congressional process.

Press reports suggest that now-Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid (D-NV) had blocked progress of Malik's plans in 2003. In January Malik's press agent told the Port Huron Times Herald that Reid had indicated he would not block the plans any longer. Since 2003, Malik and his partners have given $22,000 to Senator Reid's various political committees. However, Reid has strongly re-emphasized in public his blanket objections to "reservation-shopping" and "off-reservation" casinos since that Times Herald story appeared.

The congressional watch-dog group ranks Senator Reid obviously as the most powerful member of the U.S. Senate and now ranks Senator Levin as #8, previously he was ranked #29.

The shift in control of the Senate has Stabenow's power ranking at #42 and she ranks as #32 out of 49 Democrats in the Senate -- not a lot of political juice for such a controversial proposal -- and Miller dropped to #401 in the House of Representatives.

Malik and his partners directed more than $117,00o toward Stabenow's 2006 re-election; and more than $75,000 to Rep. Miller after each introduced legislation to advance approvals for Malik's casino plans; but nothing to Levin until now.

Casino Developer & Author of Legislation to approve dual Barstow casinos apparently violated political reform laws

$2,000 + $2,000 $3,000

TVT has learned that Detroit Casino Syndicator Michael J. Malik, Sr. may have once again violated California’s Political Reform Act when he forwarded two checks totaling $4,000 to Friends of Pat Wiggins on 10/21/06.

Malik and his affiliate MJM Enterprises & Development each contributed $2,000 to Wiggins and failed to report the contributions as a major donor before 1/31/07; an apparent violation of the Act.

Under the Act, the contributions must be taken in aggregate; and in 2006 an individual could not give more than $3,000 to a single candidate for state office. Malik used two different names to give Wiggins $4,000. Wiggins marked both contributions toward the November ’06 election cycle.

Wiggins received checks from both the Michael J. Malik, Sr. Trust and the Malik controlled affiliate MJM Enterprises & Development on the last day of a pre-election reporting cycle (10/21/06) but didn’t report them to the Secretary of State in the same disclosure report – Wiggins didn’t report the MJM Enterprises check for more than two months -- nor did her committee report it under late campaign disclosure requirements.

Wiggins apparently violated the Act when she accepted both checks from Malik, cashed them and failed to return $1,000.

Senator Patricia Wiggins had agreed sometime before a January 30, 2007 press party to be principal author of SB 157, a bill to approve gaming compacts for Malik’s casino partners. Wiggins is one of only three legislators who have indicated publicly that they support the bill since it was introduced in January.

In October 2006, California’s Fair Political Practices Commission fined Barwest LLC, Malik’s Detroit-based casino development and management company, for failing on two counts to report a $26,600 campaign contribution to then-Rep. Richard Pombo’s San Joaquin County GOP Committee.

You may also want to review these posts or click on the "labels" below for related information:

Alternative views of the Big Lagoon area

Proponents of the Big Lagoon gaming Compact for Barstow use glamor photography taken from perspectives that hide any blemishes to sugget that the Big Lagoon is "pristine" and an "untouched natural resource."

These pictures begin to provide a more balanced picture of the world that surrounds the Big Lagoon. While the Lagoon is certainly worthy of conservation and preservation of some form or another; it's not what proponents of the Big Lagoon Compacts would have legislators and reporters believe.

The Big Lagoon Rancheria is 8.3 miles by car from the Cher-ae Heights Casino also in Trinidad sitting on cliffs overlooking Northern California's coastline. Residences, trailer parks and camping areas straddle Highway 1o1 in between the two Reservations.

The Rancheria is adjacent to the Big Lagoon Subdivision on the southern edge of the Big Lagoon. The Subdivision is made up of 76 homes within the Big Lagoon Park Company (Big Lagoon Colony) and another 33 homes in the Big Lagoon Estates.

The majority of land not in public stewardship that surrounds the Big Lagoon/Big Lagoon Rancheria and most of Humboldt County's North Coast planning area is covered in active commercial timberlands. The Big Lagoon Sawmill, a commercial operation, was active upstream of the Big Lagoon for the better part of the 20th Century. The Hammond Log Pond is buffered from the Big Lagoon by marshlands and is still owned by Green Diamond/Simpson Timber Company. Evidence of active logging surrounds the pond.

The 20-acre Big Lagoon Rancheria (reservation trust land) is comprised of two parcels: the original 9-acre site where the tribe's members have erected homes (top of this photo) and the 11-acre site (the foreground of this photo) where the tribe had begun construction of a casino in the 1990s. Commercial development would be prohibited on these two parcels under terms of the current compact under consideration but not on another 20 acres or more that the tribe owns but which is not yet held in trust and lies between these current trust lands and the Big Lagoon Subdivision.

Editors say MotorCity Casino founder's Middleboro land purchase will create sprawl.


OUR VIEW: Casino belongs in city, if at all

In planning terms, putting a casino in Middleboro is like putting a resort in the middle of a farm field: It fills SouthCoast's remaining semi-rural landscape with sprawl.

Redeveloping a parcel in New Bedford would be wiser, because it would bring people to the city instead of encouraging — yet again — people and prosperity to flee our urban centers.

Still, it's easy to see why the Mashpee Wampanoag and their financial backers [Detroit-based Herb Strather, a founder of MotorCity Casino who was forced to sell his interests in the Casino because the Michigan Gaming Control Board "kicked" him out of the casino business] want the 125 acres in Middleboro they bought for a song. It's near Interstate 495, offering quick access from population centers to the north.

What is most troubling about the news of movement on a SouthCoast casino is the widespread attitude that a Connecticut-style casino is inevitable. True, the tribe already has the right to open a slot-like electronic bingo hall with only minimal federal paperwork. But the governor and Legislature hold the reins when it comes to a full-size casino.

Whatever your view, now is the time to speak up.

As in the past, we continue to have grave concerns about the value of casino gambling in Massachusetts. Opponents say gamers treat a casino as an all-inclusive destination and don't spend much money at surrounding businesses, which means its power as an economic engine, beyond bringing service-industry jobs, might be disappointing.

The Mashpee tribe and its business partners will be the ones making the largest profits, while the rest of the region is likely to face exacerbated social ills. SouthCoast residents, some of them poor and longing for a windfall, spend enough of their income on lottery tickets without the temptation of a casino.

Yet the plan would certainly bring jobs. Further study and reflection on what a casino could mean for New Bedford is warranted.

We support the tribe's right to status as a sovereign nation as a means of reparation for the genocide inflicted on their ancestors. But it's unfortunate that money makes them want to engage in a form of economic development with so many questionable — and perhaps harmful -- effects.

Detroit casino developer quietly paid Tribes' $111k lobbying bills

First quarter '07 Sacramento lobbying expenses for the Big Lagoon Rancheria and Los Coyotes Band of Indians totalled more than $111,000.00 according to reports filed with the California Secretary of State.

In yet another indication the tribes are fronting for out of state casino interests, Detroit-based Barwest LLC apparently paid the $111,000.00 lobbying tab for the tribes. At least that's what's implied in annotated postcripts in several of the reports.

It's rumored that the leaders of the two tribes are also being paid by Barwest for their roles during this lobbying and entitlement phase which could be construed as lobbying payments as well; although there have been no disclosures of such to date.

The Tribes have signed away the exclusive development and management rights for their proposed casino to Barwest LLC; and Barwest owns the land in Barstow where the casinos and resorts would be built.

Barwest LLC was fined in October by California's Fair Political Practices Commission for failing to disclose a $26,600 contribution they made to Rep. Richard Pombo's San Joaquin County GOP Committee in October 2004.

In February a Superior Court Judge ordered another Barwest front group to pay the $110,000.00 legal bills that proponents of a barstow citizens' ballot measure had incurred defending their right to vote against a Barwest challenge in 2006.

The principals behind Barwest LLC, Mrs. Marian Ilitch and Michael J. Malik, Sr. were among the founders of Detroit's MotorCity Casino. Malik was disqualifed from receiving the necessary gaming license and forced to divest his interests. Ilitch was licensed and ultimately bought outstanding shares of MotorCity Casino from Mandalay Resort Group and various minor partners. Under Ilitch 100% ownership, MotorCity Casino is the largest and one of the only woman-owned casinos in the U.S.

Monday, April 30, 2007

All this talk in California about large tribes, small tribes, rich tribes and poor tribes...

There is much dialogue in the debate over the future of Indian gaming in California and frequent references to large tribes, small tribes, rich tribes, poor tribes and so on ...

In an attempt to bring some clarity and truth to the debate we've discovered the California Gambling Control Commission has published a list of the 55 tribal casinos in California with a count of each tribe's gaming devices as of March 2006.

We've expanded that chart and added data to indicate approximate number of residents living on reservation/tribal enrollment numbers. The source of that data was primarily gathered from the California State University's Infodome library resource; and as an alternative source the U.S. Census data.

There is no clear correlation between the size of a tribe and the size of its casino. To say the "large tribes" control things is not necessarily true. Nor is it true to suggest the "large" tribes stand in the way of the "smaller" tribes.

The larger non-gaming tribes (500+ members) are generally the tribes with the greatest economic and quality of life challenges.

California's RSTF makes it less likely that the "smaller" tribes are faced with poverty level living circumstances and so to refer to those tribe's as "poor" may no longer be accurate.

We don't refer to 99% of the U.S. population as "poor" just because relative to the other 1% who control 24% of the wealth that might be true.

Tribes with 50 members or less which benefit from California's RSTF would receive $22,000 per member tax free each year. On average, that's at least $44,000 tax free per household -- more if the tribe has less than 50 members. The median household income for families in California is $48,000 before taxes.

MotorCity Casino founder backing Mass Tribe's casino plans


$1.75M bet for tribe: Middleboro eyed as casino resort site

By Scott Van Voorhis
Boston Herald Business Reporter

The Mashpee Wampanoag tribe yesterday took a big step forward in its bid to open the Bay State’s first casino, with a deal for a large tract of land in Southeastern Massachusetts.

An attorney for a Midwest casino developer working with the Cape Cod tribe yesterday made the winning $1.75 million bid for a 120-acre tract in Middleboro, just off Route 44 and not far from Interstate 495, Scott Ferson, a spokesman for the tribe, confirmed.

The parcel is large enough for the casino resort project the tribe has been eyeing, Ferson said. Backed by Detroit casino developer Herb Strather, the tribe is talking about a large gambling complex that would include a 1,000-room hotel... (Full Story)

Sunday, April 29, 2007

US Army Corps of Engineers, Sacrameto District - Status of Formerly Used Defense Sites Clean Up

United States Army Corps of Engineers, Sacramento District

Formerly Used Defense Sites

· Current Projects

· Resources

· List of Sites

The Defense Environmental Restoration Program-Formerly Used Defense Site Program (DERP-FUDS) was established in 1984 by the United States Army with the mission to protect the environment and natural resources for present and future generations as well as human health and safety by removing hazardous material from the environment. The FUDS Program is responsible for environmental restoration of all properties that were formerly owned by, leased to, or otherwise possessed by the United States and under the jurisdiction of the Secretary of Defense.

Currently there are over 9,800 FUDS properties nationwide that have been reviewed for program eligibility and evidence of Department of Defense contamination. Over 2,650 of these properties have been determined to require environmental cleanup action with an estimated cost to cleanup over $18 billion. Within the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, Sacramento District (consisting of northern California, Utah and Nevada), there are approximately 457 properties alone and an estimated cleanup cost over $2 billion. The annual budget to clean up and closeout these sites vary every year, which extends the time for site restoration completion and prolongs the startup of sites that have yet to begin.

When it comes to the environment, Detroit Casino syndicator is two-faced with "green"

In California where they seek approvals for twin casino resorts in Barstow, Detroit casino syndicators argue it wouldn’t be prudent to build a casino resort on the shoreline of what’s said to be an environmentally sensitive and significant lagoon; but in New York they’re bankrolling plans that would develop a larger casino resort on the shores of the Great Peconic Bay – part of the Long Island Sound ecosystem. It's all about "green" but not Al Gore's "green."

Playing the "green" card
Detroit casino syndicators lead by Marian Ilitch and Michael J. Malik, Sr. are bankrolling plans for twin casino sites in Barstow by arguing that even a modest Big Lagoon Rancheria Casino on the tribe’s existing reservation in Humboldt County would disturb the ecosystem of the Big Lagoon and “would potentially result in significant adverse impacts to off-reservation lands and resources…” They have failed to mention that the Big Lagoon is a former military bombing target practice range that remains on clean up lists maintained by the Army Corps of Engineers and the California Department of Toxic Substances Control.

They are exploiting environmental concerns to justify turning plans for one casino on the Big Lagoon Rancheria into a twin casino resorts jackpot in Barstow. That spin might be enough to persuade some that environmental protection is a sincere objective on their part…until you consider the following:

Without regard for "green" off Long Island Sound (WATCH VIDEO)
In New York these same Detroit gambling interests are bankrolling a billion dollar lawsuit ultimately intended to win approvals for the Shinnecock Indian Nation to develop the only casino resort, on Long Island’s East End (that’s the posh resort area called The Hamptons); that property (off reservation lands) sits along the shore of the Great Peconic Bay National Estuary and within the fragile and unique Long Island Pine Barrens – Peconic River Complex. The only development in the surrounding area today is low density residential similar to the Big Lagoon situation.

The Great Peconic Bay is the body of water between the North Fork and the South Fork of Long Island. It is bordered on the West by Flanders Bay and on the east by the Little Peconic Bay. The dividing line between the Great and Little Peconic Bays is Robins Island. The Shinnecock Canal provides access from the Great Peconic Bay to Shinnecock Bay. And it’s all part of the larger Long Island Sound ecosystem

The Nature Conservancy has named the East End of Long Island one of the "Last Great Places of the Western Hemisphere." The Peconic Bay system is recognized as one of 28 nationally significant estuaries and has been named as one of the nation's "Aquatic Great Places." The Pine Barrens is not only a unique and fragile ecosystem but a critical watershed supplying Eastern Long Island's sole water supply.

Nevertheless, the same developers who say they should be awarded the privilege to build two casinos in Barstow in order to preserve the environment in Northern California are fighting to build an unprecedented casino resort without regard for the environment on the East Coast raising serious credibility issues.

It seems the only thing "green" that these casino developers care about is made by cutting down trees and can be deposited in their bank accounts. These people are clearly comfortable talking out of both sides of their mouths.

Another North County Tribe Expands Gaming While Los Coyotes Lobbys for Special Treatment

Expanded Valley View casino opens

By: QUINN EASTMAN - Staff Writer

SAN PASQUAL INDIAN RESERVATION -- To thumping music and the cheers of San Pasqual tribal members, Valley View Casino opened its newly expanded gaming floor Friday morning.

Valley View, which opened in 2001 on a hill overlooking Valley Center Middle School, is in the middle of a $100 million expansion that will more than double its floor space.

The expansion will bring San Pasqual closer in gaming volume to other San Diego County tribal casinos such as Pala, Barona, Rincon, Sycuan and Viejas, all of which have more slot machines than Valley View's 1,300.

Valley View is part of a wave of North County casino construction that includes Santa Ysabel, whose smaller 349-slot facility opened earlier this week, and expected expansions on the Pala and Pauma reservations."

This is your casino," San Pasqual tribal Chairman Allen Lawson told tribal members. "This is what it's all about."

Lawson recalled the beginning of construction of the original casino on the San Pasqual reservation's rocky hillside several years before. "This was just brush and a couple of burned-out cars," he said.

Valley View's expansion will increase its floor area from 43,000 square feet to around 105,000, according to Joe Navarro, president of the San Pasqual Casino Development Group.

When construction began, the casino had around 575 employees, including at least 85 tribal members or descendants, Navarro said. Since then, the casino has added about 300 people to its payroll, he said.More restaurants -- a steakhouse, a 24-hour noodle house and a dessert cafe -- are scheduled to open later this year, along with a stage where live bands can play, which Valley View did not have before.

The original casino will be remodeled to create the eating and entertainment space. No hotel is planned.In November, the casino opened its six-story, 1,200-car parking structure, whose site was blasted out of the hills. Navarro said he hoped to obtain county permits next year for a 500-car employee parking lot at Valley Center and Lake Wohlford roads.

Valley View now has roughly 1,300 slot machines and plans to expand to its state limit of 1,572 slot licenses, Navarro said.

Last month, a federal judge dismissed a lawsuit by the San Pasqual tribe calling for the state Gambling Control Commission to issue more licenses for slot machines statewide.

Barely an hour after the old casino closed at 8 a.m., a crowd pushed through the new casino's doors, overlooking the inauspicious date of the 13th.

"Ten minutes after the opening, it's just like it's always been," said Jim Quisquis, Valley View's vice president of community relations, as he looked over the busy gaming floor.

Soon, a line extended from the Player's Club booth almost to the entrance.

"I like it very much," said Escondido resident Frank Fugate as he pushed buttons on one of the video slot machines. "I'm retired and this is my recreation, along with golf.

"When the new casino was opened, sculptor Johnny Bear Contreras unveiled three larger-than-life bronze statues of traditional "bird singers" who stand in a fountain pool near the entrance.

The dancers, shown wearing a dress, jeans and cowboy boots and a loose T-shirt, respectively, represent three generations of San Pasqual Indians, Contreras said.

Contreras, a San Pasqual tribal member, has crafted sculptures for the city of Poway, St. Stephen's Catholic Church in Valley Center and the Grant hotel in San Diego.

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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

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