Saturday, June 30, 2007

Rep. Stupak again introduces bill for off-reservation casino; developer's 7th attempt at Port Huron casino scheme approvals

Rep. Bart Stupak (D MI-1st) has introduced yet another bill (HR 2176) intended to allow the Bay Mills Indian Community to develop an 0ff-reservation casino -- the tribe was among the first to open a casino in Michigan and has two casinos on its existing reservation.

Disguised as a "Land Claims Settlement," HR 2176 would allow the Bay Mills Indians to build a casino more than 300 miles from their reservation in Port Huron. The bill is co-sponsored by Rep. Candice Miller (R-MI 10th), herself an author of one of more than six such earlier attempts in almost a decade to approve an off-reservation casino for a tribe that already has two casinos on its existing reservation. Given the shift of power in Congress to the Democrats, Stupak is author this time.

Rep. Miller has previously received campaign support and more than $75,000 from those bankrolling the plans to relocate a casino to Port Huron, in Miller's district.

Over the years, Rep. Stupak too has been the recipient of campaign funds from those pushing the tribal casino. The Bay Mills Indian Community reservation is located in Stupak's district.

Previously those bankrolling the casino plans have contributed more than $115,000 to Michigan's Senator Debbie Stabenow; and on March 30th they helped raise almost $100,000 for Michigan's other Senator Carl Levin.

HR 2176 was introduced May 3rd and referred to the House Natural Resources Committee.

In addition to the six other failed bills previously introduced, on at least two occassions backers of the off-reservation Indian casino attempted to slip language into Transportation Bills that would have granted approvals for the casino project; those attempts failed too.

Former Michigan Governor John Engler, in a suprising reversal of his long-held opposition to off-reservation casinos, signed a land claims settlement agreement with the Bay Mills Indians just months before his last term in office was about to end. The claims, however, had previously been tossed out in a court claim and have never been ajudicated. Another tribe claims the same area, a small subdivision known as Charlotte Beach.

Backers and those reporedly bankrolling the casino plans include Detroit casino syndicator Michael J. Malik and Mrs. Marian Ilitch who along with her husband Mike founded Little Caesars Pizza. The family also owns the Detroit Tigers, Detroit Red Wings and MotorCity Casino.

The tribe and its developers have spent millions in recent years on Capitol Hill lobbyists trying to convince Members of Congress to approve their plans.

Malik established new entities, possibly to bring in new funding sources for ongoing Port Huron casino scheme

Approximately two weeks before supporters of an off-reservation Indian casino helped raise $96,000 for Senator Carl Levin; one of those said to be bankrolling the casino syndication, Michael J. Malik, Sr., set up several new corporate entities presumably associated with the financing of an off-reservation Indian casino (Bay Mills Indians) and resort in Port Huron or something related to the project:

Each of the entities is registered at:
    10th Floor Fox Theater Bldg.
    2211 Woodward Ave.
    Detroit, MI 48201.
That address specifically is also the executive office suite of Ilitch Holdings, Inc. Mike Ilitch and his wife Marian Ilitch are chair and vice-chairwoman of the holding company that includes Little Caesars Pizza, the Detroit Tiger and Detroit Red Wings. Their son Christopher Ilitch is CEO of Ilitch Holdings. Marian Ilitch is also the owner of Detroit’s MotorCity Casino.

Their were several newer notable donors also contributing to Sen. Levin on March 30th including James Acheson, president of Acheson Ventures LLC, who is rumored to be one of Malik's new backers in the Port Huron off-reservation Indian casino scheme -- possibly the reason for the new "Blue Water" entities. Acheson only recently started to make federal political contributions and all of them have been directed at those most staunchly behind the casino venture:

Tribe hoped language slipped into Transportation Bill would grant approvals for Port Huron casino

The Bay Mills News reported in March 2004, that language to win Congressional approval of a Bay Mills Indian Community off-reservation casino 300+ miles away in Port Huron had been buried in a Transportation Spending Bill. Tribal leaders were hopeful that this strategy would get the approvals needed.

as published 3.25.04 in the Bay Mills News:
"A Sault Tribe-Bay Mills agreement presented by Chairman Parker was approved. The agreement puts in writing that the two tribes will work together. Language has been drafted in the Transportation Bill now in Congress and Sault Tribe has already signed off, added Parker.

"Vice Chairman Allyn Cameron said the agreement takes Vanderbilt out of play for both tribes, provides a global solution and puts sites like Flint out of play — it's a win-win across the board for Bay Mills and halts some potentially dangerous things."

At the same time other media confirmed the same and reported that:

"A deal that would allow new Indian casinos in Port Huron and Romulus is part of a massive transportation spending bill that has won approval from a key House committee. Reps. Candice Miller and John Dingell on Thursday said they persuaded the GOP chairman [Rep. Don Young (R-AK)] and top-ranking Democrat [Rep. Jim Oberstar (D-Mn)] on the House Transportation and Infrastructure Committee to include the casino deal in the transportation bill approved late Wednesday."
Previously Don Young had been the only co-sponsor of a bill (HR 831) also intended to give Bay Mills approval for an off-reservation casino when the bill was introduced in Congress on February 13, 2003 by freshman Congresswoman Candice Miller (R-MI).

Rep. Richard Pombo, chair of the House Resources Committee during 2003-04 asked Rep. Young to remove the languages from the Transportation Bill. At a Resources hearing on HR 831 held June 24, 2004 Rep. Pombo reported:
"A few months ago, our distinguished former chairman of this Committee, Mr. Young of Alaska, added similar legislation to H.R. 3550 during the Transportation Committee's mark-up of that bill. Because such legislation is within the Resources Committee's jurisdiction, at my request the Gentleman from Alaska was kind enough to withdraw the land claims language from TEA-LU when it reached the Floor. As everyone should know by now, I made the request because it is my policy to protect this Committee's jurisdiction in the most aggressive manner possible."

Tribe to borrow $4 million to fund federal grant requirement, other investments in Plastics venture

from a report of the 3.12.07 Bay Mills Indian Community Executive Council meeting published at

The next agenda item to be discussed was the authorization to borrow funds from National City Bank. Chairman Jeffrey Parker said the money the tribe is looking to borrow, between $3 and $4 million, would serve several different purposes.

Although Parker said the money would be used primarily to refinance the tribe's current debt, he added that a portion of it ($650,000) would be used to fund assets the tribe will be acquiring from FiberForm for the Great Lakes Composites Institute, in addition to any future licenses it may need. Another portion ($600,000) is needed for the match on the Economic Development Administration Grant the tribe was recently awarded for the construction of that institute, he added.

Parker said the purchasing of the equipment for the institute is a necessity since there are already a number of applications for research and development services "waiting in the wings." He added the money could possibly be used to buy out one of PolyComp's shareholders within the next couple of years should the opportunity arise.

Bay Mills Chief Financial Officer Mike Brooks said the amount requested would cost the tribe $35,700 for the first two years, after which they could renegotiate. After a brief discussion, a resolution to borrow the funds from National City Bank was approved.

Funds borrowed by the tribe are said to be directed toward these and other possible entities:
  1. Fiberform, Inc. (development of processes, equipment and production of specialty fiber reinforced thermoplastic materials) was incorporated in 2004 by:
    • Timothy L. Collins, President
    • Joel A. Dyksterhouse, Vice President
    • Anthony E. Andary

  2. Great Lakes Composites Institute is not registered with the Michigan Department of Labor and Economic Growth.

  3. Polycomp, Inc. was incorporated by R. Charles Balmer of Royal Oak, MI, in 1998; his attorney was Gregory Kudela. From 1999-2003, the corporation filed documents indicating Balmer was President and Treasurer; Joel Dyksterhouse was Secretary. In 2004 it was noted Dyksterhouse had become President; Jane Balmer was Secretary; and Timothy L. Collins was Vice President & Treasurer. Jane Balmer was dropped in 2005.

  4. In May 2007, documents were filed naming Allyn J. Cameron as President and resident agent of Polycomp Inc. at an address in Brimley, MI.

  5. International Composites Institute of Michigan was formed in November 2004 by:
    • Anthony E. Andary; and
    • Joel Dyksterhouse

    Andary is recorded as president in a 2005 filing.

    • Integrated Composites, LLC was formed in September 2003, by Jeffrey Parker. Anthony Andary was managing member in 2004, 2006 & 2007. Jeffrey Parker was managing member in 2005.

    NOTE: It was previously reported by Bay Mills General Tribal Council Chairman Jeff Parker that Michael J. Malik, Sr. owns 49% of the tribe's plastics venture. It is not clear which entity(ies) Malik is bankrolling.

    you may also want to review these additional posts or click on the "labels" below for other related posts:

    Doolittle Earmarked $300,000 For Client Of Former Aide

    as posted 6.29.07 at

    On Wednesday, Pete Evich, the former legislative director for scandal-plagued Rep. John Doolittle (R-CA), said “he was recently contacted by federal investigators in their probe of Doolittle’s ties to jailed lobbyist Jack Abramoff.”

    Evich is currently a lobbyist representing Sierra College. CQ reports today that perhaps not coincidentally, Doolittle requested a $300,000 earmark for Sierra College in the 2008 Financial Services appropriations bill.

    Rep. John T. Doolittle, who’s been caught up in the Jack Abramoff lobbying scandal, has requested a substantial earmark for a college represented by one of his former aides, who, coincidentally, has just been contacted by the FBI.

    Pete Evich, a lobbyist and Doolittle’s legislative director until 2002, has been representing Sierra College, which could end up receiving $300,000 if the congressman’s request is approved.

    Doolittle, R-Calif., asked for the money to be included in the 2008 Financial Services appropriations bill (HR 2829). It’s intended for a “mechatronics workforce training initiative,” according to the House Appropriations Committee.

    Doolittle repeatedly accepted large sums of money and expensive gifts from Abramoff and his clients. In return, he routed $400,000 to the lobbyist’s client and championed Abramoff’s interests to federal officials.

    Evich is the second Doolittle aide to acknowledge their contacts with the feds, suggesting “prosecutors are widening their investigation in the wake of an FBI raid on Doolittle’s home in April that led him to give up his seat on the powerful House Appropriations Committee.”

    TPMmuckaker also points out that Doolittle is now claiming that “he has no problem with his former aides talking to prosecutors because he thinks it might hasten his dismissal as a focus of the Abramoff probe.” “I’ve always believed that the truth vindicates us,” he said. “I am glad they are going to delve more into it.”

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    TPMmuckraker reveals Doolittle's refusal to plead guilty prompted Friday-the-13th FBI raid

    as posted 6.29.07 at :

    The thing is, prosecutors don't seem to need much encouragement (here are the reasons why). Doolittle has been in investigators' sights dating back to the very beginning of the Jack Abramoff investigation -- back in 2004, investigators subpoenaed records for Doolittle's wife's consulting firm due to her work for Abramoff.

    Finally, in April of this year, prosecutors offered Doolittle an opportunity to plead guilty. After he refused, FBI agents raided his Virginia home (for some reason, Doolittle wasn't happy about that).

    So it's apparent the Justice Department has taken Doolittle up on his offer to "come investigate me," and they've obviously much more than just "started." But I'm sure they appreciate the support.

    Friday, June 29, 2007

    Was it a law firm that first proposed Charlotte Beach land claims idea?

    from an account published in the Bay Mills News of a General Tribal Council meeting held in November 2003, shortly after the Tribe's elections:

    During a section of the meeting set aside for "Tribal Member Concerns" there was a dialogue about management practices and funding as well as past and future legal services, and this...

    "Jeff [a reference to then newly elected tribal Chairman Jeff Parker] said that it was Peninsula Legal Services, who came to the tribe with the Charlotte Beach idea. If successful, they would have gotten a percentage of revenue as a fee for five years."

    Peninsula Legal Services P.C. (PLCPC) was originally formed in 1996 for the purpose of providing "representation involving Native American issues and related topics." These attorneys founded and continue as part of PLCPC:

    • Robert Golden
    • Armand Kunz
    • Anthony Andary
    • Prentiss Brown

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

    Tribesman recognized Bush administrations opposition to off-reservation gaming

    from an April 2004 column written by Bryan Newland,a member of the Bay Mills Indian Community in the Bay Mills News:

    "President Bush and his administration have also voiced heavy reluctance to settling land claims for off-reservation gambling. This sure would make it tough for us if our Charlotte Beach legislation ever made it to his desk."

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

    Casino approvals a humbling defeat for Labor


    Analysis: Lawmakers' approval of casino expansions a humbling defeat for organized labor

    By Peter Hecht
    Bee Capitol Bureau

    As state lawmakers Thursday voted to allow four of California's richest casino gambling tribes to add a total of up to 17,000 new slot machines, the vote was a humbling defeat for organized labor.

    Before the final vote, Assembly Speaker Fabian Núñez declared that he had extracted verbal promises that unions could organize workers on tribal lands. But securing the last-minute statements - which have no force of law - was merely a face-saving gesture for many Democratic lawmakers long allied with labor.

    The result left Art Pulaski, executive secretary-treasurer of the California Labor Federation, fuming. Even before the final vote, Pulaski put out a statement saying Legislature had "abandoned California's 100,000 current and future casino workers who now risk languishing among the working poor."

    Unions have long been a muscular power player in the Democrat-controlled Legislature. But this time, labor's intense campaign to force union-friendly provisions on the tribes lost mightily in the face of the tribe's soaring political influence - and financial clout - in the Capitol.

    Pacing outside the Capitol, Pulaski said lawmakers had caved in out of fear that "money from those casinos will be spent against them" in election races.

    "You have to make a choice between the power of money and the authenticity of the grassroots people," he angrily said. "Because the people always win."

    But this time, at least for people who are union activists, the tribes won in a rout. (Complete Story)

    More news on former Doolittle aides


    Doolittle welcomes Justice Department contact with former aides over ties to lobbyist

    By David Whitney
    Bee Washington Bureau

    WASHINGTON - Rep. John Doolittle on Thursday said he is gratified that former aides are being sought out by the Justice Department in its investigation of the congressman's ties to convicted lobbyist Jack Abramoff.

    The embattled Roseville Republican's comments came as a former aide, Jason Larrabee, dropped his candidacy for a state Assembly seat Thursday.

    Larrabee, who had served two years as Doolittle's legislative director, could not be reached for comment. The Justice Department has been seeking out Doolittle's top aides, including those who have held the legislative director position at least as far back as 2000.

    Larrabee also had worked for former Rep. Doug Ose, R-Sacramento. Ose said Thursday that Larrabee had told him that he was abandoning the race because he and his wife Jill, an aide in Washington, D.C., for Sen. Jon Kyl, R-Ariz., wanted to start a family.

    "I do not believe it was related to that," Ose said when asked if there was any connection between Larrabee's decision and the ongoing Doolittle investigation. "But people are going to believe what they want."

    The Justice Department is believed to be trying to talk to as many as a half-dozen former Doolittle aides. Former legislative director Peter Evich has agreed to meet with department officials, and former chief of staff David Lopez has turned down the request, on the advice of his lawyer... (Complete Story)

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    State's largest & poorest tribe held to small 99 slots casino on reservation


    Yurok Tribe enters gaming world

    Jessie Faulkner
    The Times-Standard

    The state Assembly ratified the Yurok Tribe's gaming compact Thursday allowing the tribe to operate up to 99 slot machines.

    State Sen. Patricia Wiggins sponsored the legislation, Senate Bill 106, which the Senate approved without opposition on April 19. The Assembly approved the measure Thursday by a vote of 68 to 1, according to Wiggins' office.

    Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger and the Yurok Tribe signed the compact on Aug. 29, 2006.

    According to a news release from Wiggins' office, the Yurok Tribe's gaming enterprises are expected to generate less than $5 million per year.

    ”The tribe will continue to receive the $1.1 million annual payment from the Indian Gaming Revenue Sharing Trust Fund because it will be operating less than 350 machines,” the announcement stated.

    Meanwhile, the Big Lagoon Rancheria's gaming compact -- which would allow construction of a casino in Barstow -- has made little progress toward ratification.

    The rancheria agreed May 30 to extend the deadline for ratification of its compact. The state Legislature has until Sept. 17, the last day of the session, to ratify the measure.

    Yurok tribal officials were unavailable for comment late Thursday.

    Jessie Faulkner can be reached at 441-0517 or

    Schwarzenegger releases statement following Assembly ratification of compacts he negotiated almost a year ago

    Governor Schwarzenegger, yesterday, issued this statement after the state Assembly ratified four of five Tribal gaming Compacts he had negotiated with some of Southern California's most successful gaming tribes more than 10 months ago.

    The primary stumbling block had been opposition by Organized Labor lead by UNITE-Here's political director Jack Gribbon. While certain labor related concerns of key legislative caucuses were addressed in side agreements with the tribes; However, Labor's major desires were brushed aside in order to ratify the agreements before the close of the fiscal year. The agreements are estimated to bring hundreds of millions in much needed new revenue to the state's coffers.

    State of California - Office of the Governor, Arnold Schwarzenegger

    06/28/2007 ........................FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

    Gov. Schwarzenegger Issues Statement Regarding
    Legislative Votes on Tribal Gaming Compacts

    Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger issued the following statement following the Assembly votes on a new tribal gaming compact with the Yurok tribe and the amended tribal gaming compacts for the Pechanga Band of Luiseño Indians; the Sycuan Band of the Kumeyaay Nation; the Agua Caliente Band of Cahuilla Indians and the Morongo Band of Mission Indians tribes:

    “I applaud the legislature for working in the best interest of California by approving five compacts today. These compacts, which were negotiated in good faith with sovereign nations, enhance collaboration between local governments, offset environmental impacts and generate significant revenue for the state.

    “While this is a significant step forward, more work still needs to be done. I urge the Assembly to ratify the San Manuel compact, and the legislature to ratify the Big Lagoon and Los Coyotes compacts because every day of delay literally costs the state millions of dollars for the important programs Californians rely upon such as education, public safety and health care.”

    Tribes win Sacramento Compact ratification; defeat labor

    Casino pacts with Indians win approval

    10:00 PM PDT on Thursday, June 28, 2007

    The Press-Enterprise

    SACRAMENTO - California lawmakers approved major gambling deals with four Southern California tribes Thursday, paving the way for some of the world's largest casinos in the Inland area and dealing organized labor a major defeat.

    With no debate, the Assembly voted to ratify lucrative slot-machine agreements with the Pechanga Band of Luiseño Indians, the Agua Caliente Band of Cahuilla Indians, the Morongo Band of Mission Indians -- all from Riverside County -- and the Sycuan Band of Kumeyaay Indians in San Diego County.

    The votes end a 10-month battle between politically powerful tribes and unions, who claim that the deals fail to protect casino workers trying to organize.

    The 23-year agreements, known as compacts, still need federal approval before they can take effect next year.

    If the agreements are enacted, they would allow the tribes to nearly double the number of slot machines in Riverside and San Bernardino counties, bringing the total to about 30,000 and creating casinos with potentially twice as many slot machines as some of the biggest casinos in Las Vegas, such as the MGM Grand. In exchange, the state would get a share of the tribes' slot-machine profits, earning the state up to $800 million annually.

    Thursday's votes come just two days before the start of the new fiscal year, with lawmakers anxious for any additional revenue.

    Story continues below
    2005 / The Press-Enterprise
    The new agreement would allow the Pechanga Resort and Casino in Temecula to add 5,500 slot machines. A poll in May showed that a majority of Inland residents did not support increasing the number of slot machines in their communities.

    Lawmakers also approved Thursday separate side deals negotiated in recent weeks to address Democrats' concerns about the compacts. The deals call for casino audits, enforcement of child-support orders, and other rules.

    Excluded from Thursday's action was the San Manuel Band of Mission Indians. The tribe, which has a casino near San Bernardino, refused to sign a side deal and still needs Assembly approval for a renegotiated compact to expand its casino by 5,500 slot machines.

    The renegotiated compacts generated intense lobbying and negotiating since emerging in August. A poll late last month by The Press-Enterprise showed that a majority of Inland residents did not support increasing the number of slot machines in their communities.

    All Inland lawmakers backed the compacts.

    Labor Outcry

    Thursday's votes marked a crushing loss for labor unions, who complain that the compacts do too little to ensure casino workers' right to organize. Dozens of union members worked the Capitol, contacting majority Democrats typically sympathetic to labor, but in the end not one Assembly member Thursday raised those concerns.

    Jack Gribbon, political director for Unite-Here, the hotel and restaurant employees union that would like to organize California casino workers, blasted Assembly Speaker Fabian Nunez, D-Los Angeles.

    Nunez told lawmakers that tribal leaders assured him that they would not retaliate against workers who wanted to unionize. But Gribbon called the pledges meaningless.

    "It's just more cover to make him seem like a good guy, like he actually accomplished something here, rather than turning his back on tens of thousands of the working poor," Gribbon said.

    "It's not over," Gribbon added.

    Union officials plan to meet today to talk about what to do next, he said. Possibilities range from challenging the compacts through a referendum to mounting a casino organizing push to test tribes' pledges of fairness, he said.

    Agua Caliente Chairman Richard Milanovich said he promised Nunez the tribe will follow the terms of tribal labor-union rules adopted in 2000, which remain in effect under the renegotiated agreements. He said he was frustrated by the lawmakers' insistence on the side deals.

    The tribe already does what is contained in the legislation, Milanovich said.

    "It was exasperating for all of us to go through the process once we got to this point," he said. "Why did it take so ... long? Why?"

    Nunez, who cut his teeth in the labor movement, rejected labor leaders' complaints that he had abandoned casino workers.

    "I support them and I support them going onto these tribal casinos and organizing their members," he said. "But I didn't negotiate the compacts. The governor negotiated the compacts."

    Gov. Schwarzenegger released a written statement praising the Assembly vote. He called on lawmakers, however, to ratify the compact with San Manuel and two other agreements pending in Sacramento.

    The Los Coyotes Band of Cahulla and Cupeno Indians in San Diego County and Big Lagoon Rancheria in Humboldt County want to build side-by-side casinos in Barstow, but have yet to get approval in either house.

    Side Deals

    Legislative advisers said the side deals between Schwarzenegger and the tribes likely are unprecedented in the history of Indian gambling, although the Department of Interior was unable to verify that. A spokeswoman for the Department of Interior's Bureau of Indian Affairs also would not comment on how the Interior Department might handle the side deals.

    I. Nelson Rose, an international gambling expert, said he was unaware of any tribes enacting similar memoranda with states "because the right way to do it is to put it in the compact." By not making these agreements part of the compact, Nelson said they may not be enforceable.

    Tribes have sovereign immunity. They would have to waive that in order for such an agreement to be binding and they need to have federal approval, he said.

    Howard Dickstein, an attorney for several tribes who signed renegotiated compacts in 2004, said the side agreements are not enforceable if they're not part of a compact. If lawmakers send the memoranda to the Interior Department, the Interior secretary may say the deals are nonbinding and ratify the compacts but not the side deals, known as memoranda of agreement.

    The Interior Department may decide "the MOAs are effectively a nullity, and the Legislature just got snookered," he said. "That's a real possibility."

    Thursday, June 28, 2007

    Map of Malik's proposed Harsens Island housing development failed to include all the adjacent property it appears he controls

    The editor of the Harsens Island news blog has discovered that an illustrative map of Michael J. Malik's proposed 348-unit housing development previously published in the Port Huron Times Herald (see bottom) does not include designation of another 50 acres or more of semi-contiguous property that's also owned by Michael Malik's Lucky 7 Development LLC.

    recently created by the editor of the Harsens Island news blog

    As previously reported here, Lucky 7 Development LLC owns 8 parcels of land on Harsens Island in St. Clair County, Michigan. A significant portion of those lands are known as the former "Boys Club" property. A decade earlier Malik and another partner had proposed a marina development for the property.

    The editor of a Harsens Island news blog mapped those eight properties (see above) in comparison to a map previously printed in the Times Herald (see below) and discovered that three of the eight parcels owned by Lucky 7 Development LLC are not included in the illustrative map the newspaper published. The news blog reports the three unincluded parcels represent approximately 50 acres.

    While the Times Herald had reported as part of a story anticipating an upcoming public forum that the project was simply a "condo development;" in fact, 2/3rds of the property in the proposed development appears to be dedicated to a man-made lagoon surrounded by 75 single family home lots and 96 townhomes or "detached condos" built in clusters of six; the remaining units would be located in multi-story buildings on the back 1/3rd of the property. The lagoon feature would include a canal with unobstructed access to the North Channel of the St Clair River and a clubhouse is positioned on the point of an island in the lagoon.

    It's not clear how the Times Herald came to obtain or created the map previously published; neither the map nor the related stories are available on-line at the Times Herald any longer. But certainly the developer or his associates must have at least been consulted on the map given the level of details and may likely have even provided the newspaper with the graphic.

    previously published in the Times Herald

    Political blog suggests tribe's Sacramento PR stunt may be last ditch effort

    posted 6.28.07 at

    ...Meanwhile, two more tribes that signed a compact in 2005 aren't getting any attention. The Bee's Peter Hecht reports:

    "The Los Coyotes tribe and a Northern California partner -- the Big Lagoon Rancheria in Humboldt County -- have been trying to persuade lawmakers to approve a deal to allow them to build side-by-side gambling resorts in Barstow that would total 200 hotel rooms and more than 2,000 slot machines.

    "Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger signed gambling compacts with both tribes in 2005, hoping to keep Big Lagoon from opening a casino on a pristine coastal estuary while also giving Los Coyotes an economic opportunity in the depressed Mojave Desert town.

    "But despite Schwarzenegger's declaration May 31 that he still stands solidly behind this "unique collaboration," the Barstow casino development is getting nowhere in the Legislature -- which must ratify gambling compacts signed by the governor.

    "So Kupsch brought her trailer -- an 8-by-13-foot metal hull with a rusted stove and wooden slats for bunk beds -- to the Capitol. For 2- 1/2 years, without electricity or running water, Kupsch, her husband and three children lived in the trailer on the Los Coyotes reservation."

    Is the Bay Mills Tribe using Charlotte Beach land claims solely to leverage developer's off-reservation casino plans?

    The following report of comments by Bay Mills Indian Community Chairman Jeff Parker would suggest that tribal leaders have pursued the Charlotte Beach land claims solely for the purpose of creating leverage they need to acquire land for an off-reservation Indian casino in Port Huron.

    The comments reported by Parker and the tribe's attorney Candy Tierney would suggest that a financial settlement of the tribe's claims to lands in the small Charlotte Beach subdivision in a rural area on the eastern edge of Michigan's Upper Peninsula isn't an objective at all.

    reported by the Bay Mills News as proceedings of the Bay Mills General Tribal Council meeting of April 20, 2006:
    Tribal Chairman Jeff Parker "updated the GTC on the Charlotte Beach land claim. He said Bay Mills was having the same problem other tribes were having with their land claims. In order to disclose on the Charlotte Beach property it would take an act of Congress. Parker said the tribe has been attempting for years to get that language included in past bills, but to no avail. He said that very recently, in the wake of the Jack Abramoff scandal, Bay Mills learned that another tribe had spent millions of dollars to make sure this settlement didn't take place. Parker added that other congressmen have said they supported the project and said the council plans on a stand alone bill - The Bay Mills Land Claim Settlement Bill of 2006.

    "A tribal member asked if it would be plausible to "ruffle some feathers," so to speak, to speed up the settlement process. Parker said that if the tribe were to go that route, the only settlement the tribe would get would be cash and not land. Tribal Attorney Candy Tierney echoed Parker's statement, adding that the damages paid would be similar to a medical malpractice suit and that the compensation would be cash and not land..."
    It's also interesting to note that Parker attempts to create a boogeyman in Jack Abramoff as the excuse his tribe has yet to have its scheme approved and references the "millions of dollars" spent lobbying against the Bay Mills plan but never references the millions in political contributions and lobbying expenses that have been spent advancing the Bay Mills off-reservation casino plans the last decade .

    Tribe's chair reported two members were hired for its plastics business

    reported by the Bay Mills News as proceedings of the Bay Mills General Tribal Council meeting of April 20, 2006:

    Tribal Chairman Jeff Parker said "that two tribal members had accepted positions at the tribal plastics company and are currently being trained in the technology and production line. The company will be producing a green tape that will be used as a cufflink on black corrugated pipe. The business has sparked a lot of interest from other businesses and tribal organizations, Parker added."

    you may also want to review these additional posts or click on the "labels" below for other related posts:

    UPDATED: Tribal leader admits lobbyists were trying to sneak casino plans through Congress without alerting opposition

    Desperate to win Congressional approval of a third casino (this one in Port Huron 350-miles away from the two already in operation on the tribe’s Brimley area Reservation) Bay Mills Indian Community tribal leaders and their developer Michael Malik are hoping to devise some stealth strategy to slip through an Act of Congress needed as part of approvals for their off-reservation casino scheme without ever showing up on opponents’ radar screens.

    As reported in the Bay Mills News:


    Charlotte Beach land dispute remains unsettled
    Tribe’s agreement still in need of ratification from U.S. Congress

    "So in order for Bay Mills to relinquish any interest it has in the Charlotte Beach land, we need an Act of Congress," said [tribal chair Jeff] Parker One of the problems with going to Congress to get this settlement ratified is that the tribe has met considerable opposition in the matter. From the City of Detroit, to the Saginaw Chippewa Tribe in Mount Pleasant, as well as other tribes During the recent lame duck session of Congress the tribe had been working to get the land claim ratified, without notifying the opposition that something was going on "We didn't want to forewarn them and get them to get their forces to rally and defeat us." Parker went on to refute the speculation that the tribe is hiding issues from the membership by not publishing information on specific issues

    The irony is that those behind the Bay Mills Tribe’s casino plan have damned other Michigan tribe’s and politicians exploiting those tribes' unfortunate business relationships with former lobbyist Jack Abramoff; and yet Michael J. Malik, Sr., Tom Shields and other white men behind (bankrolling) the Port Huron proposal aren’t ashamed of using Abramoff-like tactics themselves.

    This two-faced effort should not only be a red-flag for those who oppose the Bay Mills Tribe’s Port Huron proposal but also those concerned about any projects being bankrolled by Detroit casino syndicators Michael J. Malik, Sr., Mrs. Marian Ilitch and their friends.

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    "Candice Miller for Congress" failed to provide appropriate donor records for near-anonymous casino related contributions

    March 11, 2003 was the second biggest fundraising day of Rep. Candice Miller's first term in the House of Representatives.

    On March 11, 2003 -- less than one month after freshman Rep. Candice Miller introduced a bill (H.R. 831) in the House of Representatives (she was backed by veteran Alaska Rep. Don Young) intended to win approval for a Bay Mills Indian Community off-reservation casino proposal in Port Huron, Michigan -- backers of the Bay Mills casino plan and their associates helped contribute $38,800 to Rep. Miller's campaign fund (30 contributions in all).

    Among the contributors: casino syndicator Michael J. Malik, Sr. and his alleged mistress Heather Lufkins; Marian Ilitch, Mike Ilitch, Christopher Ilitch; various attorneys from Ilitch/Malik law firms like Dykema Gossett and Miller Canfield; political consultants and lobbyists; plus insurance brokers, property managers and others involved with various Ilitch/Malik businesses and casino operations (Complete List).

    And these three odd contributions that have little or no back-up provided to the Federal Elections Commission (FEC) but which nevertheless were deposited in the "Candice Miller for Congress" bank account.

    24 . Menomenee, Kate
    3/11/2003 $1,000.00
    Transaction itemized by: CANDICE MILLER FOR CONGRESS
    [View Image]

    25 . Menomenee, Mary
    3/11/2003 $1,000.00
    Transaction itemized by: CANDICE MILLER FOR CONGRESS
    [View Image]

    26 . Menomenee, Yvonne
    3/11/2003 $1,000.00
    Transaction itemized by: CANDICE MILLER FOR CONGRESS
    [View Image]

    Rep. Miller, a former Michigan Secretary of State knows better than to deposit funds from near anonymous donors. These three donors have no history of giving to federal political committees before or after these 3/11/03 recorded contributions to Rep. Miller.

    Rep. Miller's committees (Primarily CANDICE PAC) received more than $74,000 from the Ilitch Family and Michael Malik between 2003 and 2005.

    CANDICE PAC = Conservative American Network Delivering Increased Congressional Excellence Political Action Committee

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    Resource: for Congressional Quarterly

    Wednesday, June 27, 2007

    Four of Five Tribes sign side deals with Schwarzenegger; Assembly still must ratify Compacts but not new MOAs

    posted 6.27.07 by John Myers at KQED's Capitol Notes:

    Governor, Tribes Sign Side Deals

    After weeks of private meetings and negotiations, Governor Schwarzenegger has signed agreements with four politically powerful Indian gaming tribes that are effectively side deals to the formal casino compacts negotiated last year.

    The agreements, technically known as 'memoranda of understanding,' (MOA) are between the state and the Agua Caliente Band of Cahuilla Indians, the Morongo Band of Mission Indians, the Pechanga Band of Luiseno Indians, and the Sycuan Band of Kumeyaay Indians.

    The side deals have been a hot topic of discussion for some time, and have been seen as the key to getting the renegotiated casino compacts through the Legislature. Those compacts have been stalled in the Assembly on issues that have-- at one time or another-- ranged from organized labor criticisms to the auditing powers of casino profits.

    In recent days, the buzz has been that the deals were about to be struck, with much of the heavy lifting done by Assembly Speaker Fabian Nunez. But that buzz has always focused on the MOAs and how they would need to be approved by both chambers of the Legislature.

    This afternoon's announcement makes it clear that these are "government to government" agreements between Schwarzenegger and the tribes. So... do they need to be ratified by the Legislature?

    The governor's staff admits that while technically they don't need a legislative blessing, the governor is seeking to have them approved in the Assembly and Senate. And advisers say legislative approval will make the legality of the MOAs that much more certain.

    This is no small issue. In fact, it would seem quite possible that legislators... who have, at times, strongly disagreed with the content of any tribal side deals... could just take a pass on the MOAs and let them take effect without any formal votes. That would certainly sidestep, among many issues, the thorny problem of labor union opposition to both the MOAs and the revised compacts.

    The side deals' most important provisions pertain to the auditing of slot machines and other Vegas-style casino games... a process that was thrown ito question by a federal court ruling that seems to have taken auditing power away from the National Indian Gaming Commission. The MOAs say that the tribes will continue to maintain standards that are no less strict than those the NIGC has been imposing.

    It should be noted that the other big gaming tribe with a pending compact in the Legislature, the San Manuel Band of Mission Indians, did not agree to sign the new MOA.

    The new side deals are expected to be up for discussion tomorrow morning in a legislative hearing.

    Full details on the MOAs are here.

    Yet another former Doolittle aide intends to talk with Justice Department officials


    Feds Expand Lobby Probe to Former Aide

    Associated Press Writer

    WASHINGTON (AP) -- California GOP Rep. John Doolittle's former legislative director said Wednesday he was recently contacted by federal investigators in their probe of Doolittle's ties to jailed lobbyist Jack Abramoff.

    Pete Evich, Doolittle's legislative director from 1998 to 2002 and now a lobbyist, told The Associated Press that he plans to talk to the Justice Department.

    The news comes two days after an attorney for another ex-Doolittle aide, former chief of staff David Lopez, said he'd given documents to federal prosecutors under subpoena.

    Evich's disclosure suggests prosecutors are widening their investigation in the wake of an FBI raid on Doolittle's home in April that led him to give up his seat on the powerful House Appropriations Committee.

    "Representatives of the Department of Justice recently contacted me regarding their investigation of Congressman Doolittle," Evich said in a statement. "I have been told that I am not a focus of the investigation and I plan to voluntarily speak with them in the near future."

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    Legislative roller coaster to ratify five Tribal Gaming Compacts reportedly back on track


    Gambling compacts still need final OK

    By James P. Sweeney

    SACRAMENTO – A group of powerful Southern California Indian tribes have reached a tentative accord with Assembly Democrats that could clear the way for ratification of multibillion-dollar gambling compacts that have been stalled since August.

    The compromises on issues such as casino operating standards and workers' compensation are outlined in a five-page “memorandum of agreement” signed June 21 by Danny Tucker, chairman of the Sycuan band of El Cajon.

    That document and a similar one signed by Pechanga Chairman Mark Macarro appear to be awaiting the signature of Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger, who has been in Europe since Saturday. Schwarzenegger was scheduled to return to the Capitol today.

    The governor's attorneys have been involved in developing the side agreements and reportedly have signed off on them. A spokesman for the governor declined to comment.

    In addition to Sycuan and Pechanga of Temecula, the pending compacts were negotiated by Agua Caliente of Palm Springs, Morongo of Riverside County and San Manuel of San Bernardino County.

    All but San Manuel have embraced the basic terms of the side deals, tribal and Capitol sources said. (Complete Story)

    Los Coyotes Indians have received $4.8 million in federal grants since 2000

    According to resources available at, the Los Coyotes Band of Cahuilla and Cupeno Indians with 288 members (as acknowledged by DOI ) received more than $4.8 million in federal grants from FY 2000 - FY 2005.

    This does not include any entities that the Los Coyotes Band of Indians might benefit from or be affiliated with that do not include “Los Coyotes” in the organization’s name.


    a project of OMB Watch

    Los Coyotes Federal Grants

    FY 2000-2006

    Fiscal Year

    # Grants Recipients

    Total $

























    These Los Coyotes affiliates received grants:

    • Los Coyotes Band Location: 02
    • Los Coyotes Band of Cahuilla Mission Indians
    • Los Coyotes Band of Indians
    • Los Coyotes Band of Mission In
    • Los Coyotes Band of Mission Indians
    • Los Coyotes Indian Reservation

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    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

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    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

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