Saturday, July 07, 2007

UPDATED: Here's how others describe Michael Malik and his pals who seek to exploit Indians for personal financial gain

Michael J. Malik Sr. and Mrs. Marian Ilitch have been behind various proposals for the Bay Mills Indians to locate an off-reservation casino in an urban location since the mid-1990s.

This is how others described the people behind the Bay Mills Indian Tribe in testimony before the U.S. Senate Committee on Indian Affairs:

It is another step in the hijacking of federal Indian policy by non-Indian gaming interests, and would further distort the federal-tribal relationship in a way that tarnishes tribes to their future detriment.”

Bay Mills is apparently fronting for a group of non-Indian movers and shakers who have carried Bay Mills along on their casino quest.”

It is the shame of current federal Indian policymaking that powerful non-Indian gaming interests, or those who want to become involved in gaming, have latched on to tribes who have proven all too willing to lend themselves out to such interests. Bay Mills is just one of many examples around the country.”

There is a surge of groups seeking federal recognition as tribes in Michigan, and all have deals with outside interests. In fact, it seems that they are seeking federal recognition at the instigation of those outside interests.”

Federal Indian policy has been hijacked by these interests, who are increasingly to be found behind every tribal recognition effort, every “settlement” of a land claim, every “restoration” of tribal lands. This distorts Indian policy in favor of these interests and weakens the voice of those tribes who have not been enlisted to front for such interests.

"Such exploitation travels a familiar path in Indian affairs. Before them others used Indian tribes for their own purposes: there were the coal, oil, and gas interests; before that, land speculators; and before that, the fur traders.

You may want to review these additional posts:

(originally published 4.17.07)

Los Coyotes Reservation is home to one of San Diego County's 22 freshwater fisheries

as published 7.07.07 in the San Diego Union-Tribune:


Time to dip into county's lakes

We are blessed in this massive county of ours to have 22 freshwater fisheries within a short drive.

An accompanying map details the location of these lakes and one pond and shows the incredible size of San Diego County, which stretches 65 miles north to south, 86 miles east to west and covers 4,261 square miles. The next time you meet someone from Connecticut, say, “No offense, but our county is as big as your little state, pal.”
We go from sea level at Torrey Pines to 6,533 feet at Hot Springs Mountain on the Los Coyotes Indian Reservation above Warner Springs...

Friday, July 06, 2007

Amended lobbying registration suggests contracts with California tribes are being managed in Detroit, Michigan

An amended lobbying registration form filed with the California Secretary of State by Governmenal Advocates, Inc. on June 18, 2007 indicates the firm represents both the Big Lagoon Rancheria and the Los Coyotes Band of Cahuilla Indians.

Although the Big Lagoon Rancheria's official address is in Trinidad, Humboldt County, CA; and the Los Coyotes Band of Indian's official address is in Warner Springs, San Diego County, CA; GAI's amended filing report provides an address for both in Detroit, Michigan 48201. Both tribes have indicated they are represented by attorneys with California addresses.

However, the out-of-state casino syndicators (Barwest LLC) who devised the scheme to locate two off-reservation Indian casinos side-by-side in Barstow, CA have their headquarters -- and those of a number of other entities that form their entertainment, gambling, dining and sports conglomerate -- at an address in Detroit, Michigan 48201. Barwest LLC has agreements with the tribes to develop and manage each of the two casinos and in the early years of operation could receive as much as 30 percent of the profits from the combined casinos and resorts.

Barwest LLC and its principals have made significant political contributions in California the last four years; however, neither the organization nor its two principals (Michael J. Malik, Sr. or Mrs. Marian Ilitch) have registered as lobbyists or lobbyist employers. It is represented that Barwest LLC or those behind Barwest LLC are paying all or nearly all of the lobbying expenses for both tribes which appear to be fronting for the backers interests as well.

You may want to review these additional posts:

Tribe's casino backers have paid DC lobbyists at least three-quarters of a million dollars

According to for the Center for Responsive Politics, developer/casino syndicators behind the Bay Mills Indian Community's quest for a third off-reservation casino has paid Capitol Hill lobbyists $520,000 and $250,000 using two different entities (respectively MJM Enterprises & Development and Blue Water Resorts):

Federal lobbying disclosure records available at indicate the Bay Mills Indian Community has paid D.C. lobbyists more than $1.32 million in addition.

The tribe and its developer (Michael J. Malik, Sr.; Michael Malik; Mike Malik) have collectively shelled out $2.09 million during their quest for a third casino location in a more lucrative market away from the tribe's Upper Peninsula reservation in northern Michigan.

details accessible

Bay Mills Indian Community has paid Capitol Hill Lobbyists $1.32 million

According to for the Center for Responsive Politics, during its quest for a third casino location -- this one hundreds of miles off-reservation -- the Bay Mills Indian Community has paid Capitol Hill lobbying firms $1,320,060.

Casino syndicators looking to exploit a loophole in the Indian Gaming Regulatory Act (IGRA) in order to develop and manage a third Bay Mills Indian Community casino in a market hundreds of miles away from the tribe's Upper Peninsula reservation in northern Michigan have ponied up more than three-quarters of a million dollars in lobbying fees as well.

The collective total spent on Capitol Hill lobbyists by the Bay Mills Indian Community and its backers is more than $2.09 million.

details accessible

Detroit close to snagging Quicken Headquarters

Detroit News Online -Detroit Close to snagging Quicken:

"A blockbuster deal valued north of $200 million to deliver Dan Gilbert's Quicken Loans Inc. headquarters to downtown Detroit isn't yet done, but it looks like it could be as early as this month.

All the signs are there:

Gilbert, promising something 'big' should Quicken green-light the move, told me last month that 'before Aug. 1, we will have something to talk about. We're still going through things.'

At last week's rooftop party downtown to view holiday fireworks, the chairman of the mortgage lender and owner of the Cleveland Cavaliers hung with Detroit Mayor Kwame Kilpatrick and chatted with Paul W. Smith on 760-WJR, hardly the behavior of a CEO trying to quash speculation.

The mayor visited Gilbert's suite at an Eastern Conference Finals game in Cleveland. And the mayor, deeply involved in talks to woo Quicken, its 45-year-old co-founder and 5,000 employees from Livonia, can't say enough good things about Gilbert.

'Dan Gilbert is a person who dives in head first,' Kilpatrick told me Thursday. 'He's not one of those business leaders who won't be involved. He's special, and we need a lot of that energy in the business community. If he decides to move his company here, he could be integral to our transformation.' " (Complete Story)

Seven attempts by tribe's backers to win congressional approval for off-reservation casino using IGRA loophole

A May 3rd introduction of HR 2176 by Rep. Bart Stupak, marks the seventh attempt to exploit an IGRA loophole by backers of a third casino (off-reservation), for the Bay Mills Indian Community. The first of the seven bills disguised as "land claims settlements" was introduced in 1999. Two of the seven bills have had formal hearings before congressional committees, none since 2004.

These "claims" to 110 acres in the Charlotte Beach subdivision of Barbeau, Michigan, were denied by both federal and state courts previously; but nevertheless acknowledged by former Michigan Governor John Engler in an 11th hour Settlement Agreement between the Bay Mills Tribe and the State of Michigan just months before Engler's final term of office was set to expire in 2002.

106th Congress
  • HR 3412 (Stupak introduced 11/16/99)

  • 107th Congress
  • HR 1634 (Stupak)
  • HR 2495 (Stupak)
  • HR 5459 (Bonior)
  • S 2986 (Stabenow)
  • Transcripts - Senate Committee on Indian Affairs; Hearing on S 2986 - October 10, 2002

  • 108th Congress
  • HR 831 (C. Miller)
  • Transcripts - House Committee on Resources; Hearing on HR 831 - June 24, 2004

  • 110th Congress
  • HR 2176 (Stupak - introduced 5/03/07)

  • See also: Six bills in Congress, over six years & political gifts in the six figures: That's what Ilitch Family has invested in Port Huron Casino deal

    Click on the "labels" below for related posts.

    Port Huron lacking a group to promote Casino?


    Countywide committee could lead community's casino bid

    by Cliff Schrader
    Acheson Ventures recently pulled together a group it believed to be representative of the players who promote the Blue Water Area, especially Port Huron.

    This formation of about 20 people included representatives of MainStreet Port Huron, the Greater Port Huron Area Chamber of Commerce, the Blue Water Area Convention and Visitors Bureau, the City of Port Huron, other communities and several individuals who seem to have their fingerprints on anything allowed to happen here.

    Apparently, John Hill has produced a promotional video for Acheson titled, Port Huron Adventure. While some participants say it is hard to figure out why AV decided to have this meeting, it appears that AV, which spent $400,000 promoting Port Huron last year, is looking to defray some of the costs of putting this promotion on the streets of Michigan.

    The pitch seemed to be to find community ownership and financial support for this film to be marketed throughout the state by a variety of media outlets in Detroit and elsewhere. Will others pony up with their checkbooks?

    Reports say this was not necessarily a "Kumbaya" event. While there was cautious support for AV's media blitz, there also was careful questioning and some hostility.

    Participants from other communities said their areas are growing and developing just fine, thank you. They believe only Port Huron's glass is half- empty with a growing hole in the bottom. Why should they bail out Port Huron's failed leadership?

    Others suggested money spent on this project would be better used to build attractions that would become a draw to the Port Huron area. What happens, though, when this promotion brings thousands here, but our downtown is closed or vacant and there is nothing to do but stare at the water for a couple of hours?

    A casino entertainment complex would inject a considerable "WOW" factor into the Blue Water Area, and it would bring a host of new leaders - new blood, new successful developers with talent and track records. Just think of how downtown Port Huron, positioned in the middle, would be transformed by a casino entertainment complex on the Thomas Edison Inn site and continued development of Acheson Ventures' Desmond Landing.

    Unfortunately, that's currently out of our hands!

    Everyone knows what really needs to be done. It's all about money.

    Years ahead of local leadership was Don Reynolds. He foresaw the future financial problems Port Huron would face, and led his band of volunteers, the Casino Committee, with a plan to put some "WOW" into Port Huron. The goal was to provide a destination attraction that would generate hundreds of millions of dollars for Port Huron.

    Isn't a countywide "WOW" committee what we really need? Such an organization could bring all the players together, especially Acheson Ventures. It could inject some new blood, new ideas and, most important, new money and talent to build complexes that are real attractions.

    Instead of media happy faces trying to cover up serious issues, shouldn't we put our time and resources into creating some "WOW" for the Blue Water Area? That could relieve us from trying to fake it.

    Cliff Schrader is a radio columnist on WGRT-FM 102.3. His Friday columns are part of a cooperative agreement between the radio station and the Times Herald. His opinions are his own and not those of the Times Herald or WGRT.

    Tuesday, July 03, 2007

    Given Yurok model, Big Lagoon Rancheria would get 1/3rd of one slot machine total

    Check out this guy’s mathematical assertions posted at the comparing the Big Lagoon Rancheria tribe's Compact for an Indian casino in Barstow with that recently awarded to the Yurok tribe for a small casino on its reservation. The Yurok are reported to be California's largest and poorest tribe.

    "There are 18 members of the Big Lagoon Rancheria according to documents they have filed with the BIA to take land into trust. If the Yurok got 99 slot machines for a tribe of 5,000 -- that's 50.5 members per slot machine. At those rates Big Lagoon Rancheria should get approved for 1/3rd of one slot machine!!! They don't need no stinkin' $70 million anyway.

    Mike M. 07.03.07 - 3:59 pm # "

    "The deal Big Lagoon's got would give it almost 139 slots per every one registered member of the Big Lagoon Rancheria; whereas the Yurok got a deal that's the equivalent of 50.5 members per every one slot machine.

    Mike M. 07.03.07 - 10:44 pm # "

    Michigan Courts tossed out Bay Mills tribe's land claims to Charlotte Beach subdivision

    In its opinion published March 2, 2001, the Michigan Court of Appeals, having considered an appeal in the case of:

    Bay Mills Indian Community
    State of Michigan, State Board of Agriculture, Governor of Michigan, and Michigan State Universtiy Board of Trustees

    (No. 218580, Claims Court, LC No. 96-016482-CM)

    the court found:
    "Factual background

    "In 1855, the United States entered into a treaty with plaintiff 's predecessors, reserving certain land for them in Chippewa County. On June 16, 1856, before Congress ratified the treaty and before the land in this dispute could be withdrawn, the federal government issued land patents for the property to a non-Indian individual, Boziel Paul. These patents moved the land from the public domain to fee simple absolute private ownership.

    "On October 12, 1857, Boziel Paul and his wife deeded the property to Kinsley S. Bingham, then Governor of Michigan, to be held in trust for the use and benefit of plaintiff 's predecessors, two bands of Ottawa and Chippewa Indians. The land was subsequently subjected to real property taxes, and the taxes went unpaid. In 1884 and 1885, Chippewa County brought suit for nonpayment of taxes. The auditor general then deeded the land to the third parties who had purchased the property at the tax sales.

    "Over one hundred years later, on November 6, 1996, plaintiff, the successor of those Indians for whom the land was to be held in trust, brought an action in the Court of Claims, seeking monetary damages for the loss of enjoyment, use, rents, and profits of the land. The Court of Claims essentially concluded that the land was taxable, that its transfer at tax sale was proper, and that neither plaintiff nor its predecessors had been wrongfully deprived of the property and, accordingly, granted summary disposition for defendants."

    And the Michigan Court of Appeals affirmed the Court of Claims earlier decision.

      Release Date: 3/2/2001
      Judge(s): PDO BKZ BBM
      Lower Court: COURT OF CLAIMS
      Lower Court No. 96-16482-CM
      COA Published Opinion - Authored - Published
      Official reported version loaded: 4/18/2001

    Stupak testified land claims are a cloud over Charlotte Beach property; Tribe's backers picking up devalued property

    At a hearing on Capitol Hill before the House of Representatives Committee on Resources held 6.24.04 to consider HR 831; a bill to approve the settlement of land claims alleged by the Bay Mills Indian Community over property (110 acres) in the Charlotte Beach subdivision east of Barbeau, Michigan; Rep. Bart Stupak testified as follows,

    "I first became involved in this land issue at the request of the property owners, not the tribes. With a "cloud" on their title the Charlotte Beach property owners have been sued, have a difficult time trying to secure real estate loans, and have experienced lost real estate sales as well as significantly lower property values."

    The Bay Mills Indian scheme is being encouraged and financed by Michael J. Malik, Sr. and several enterprising lawyers who originally recognized the potential of land claims as leverage for an off-reservation casino. In essence they're responsible for the "cloud" that Rep. Stupak acknowledges.

    So, it's rather ironic that Malik's primary business attorney, William Serwer ("Bill") filed documents forming several entities including CB Property Investments, LLC; and that since 2002, CB Property Investments has acquired several parcels in the Charlotte Beach subdivision.

    If what Rep. Stupak suggests is true, it seems rather curious that the primary attorney for the casino syndicator financing, stiring up, the "cloud" may now be picking up property in the area at discounted rates or under other artificial circumstances favorable to the buyer.

    See also:

    DISCOVERY: Historic Plat Maps for Charlotte Beach subdivision on Michigan's Upper Peninsula

    Land records in Chippewa County, Michigan aren't easy to come by; however, these links in the chart connect to historic plat maps for the Charlotte Beach subdivision located east of the Barbeau, Bruce Township, Michigan on the U.P.; these documents are on file with the Michigan Bureau of Construction Codes.

    An entity, CB Property Investments, LLC, formed by an attorney for Michael J. Malik, Sr. the casino syndicator bankrolling the Bay Mills Indian Community's plans for an off-reservation casino, has acquired at least two parcels in the Charlotte Beach subdivision which are believed to be Lots 25 & 72. (Partial List of Charlotte Beach Property Ownersby parcel).

    The Charlotte Beach subdivision of Michigan is not a well recognized “place.” You’ll be hard pressed to find the subdivision on any map, or a list of place names in Michigan. The only references to Charlotte Beach are either in Florida or documentation generally associated with land claims settlement proposals by two of Michigan’s Indian Tribes: the Bay Mills Indian Community and the Sault Ste. Marie Tribe of Chippewa Indians; or on the several tract maps filed in the early part of the 20th Century (noted in the chart above).

    Formal legal documents describe the 110 acres of “Charlotte Beach” as:

    “Government Lots 1, 2, 3, and 4 of Section 7, T45N, R2E, and Lot 1 of Section 18, T45N, R2E, Chippewa County, State of Michigan.”

    Located on Michigan’s Upper Peninsula approximately 15 miles south of Sault Ste Marie, in the small north eastern community of Barbeau, Bruce Township* (ZIP code 49710), the 110-acre area referred to as “Charlotte Beach” is a sliver of property that lies along the St. Mary’s River; approximately two football fields deep, bordered by S. Scenic Drive on the west and the waterfront of the West Neebish Channel on the east; beginning at the mouth of the Charlotte River on the north (E. 13 Mile Road), it extends south approximately 1.25 miles toward the Barbeau Oak Ridge Park Ferry Crossing (E. 15 Mile Road/Cork Town Road.).

    * Not to be confused with Bruce Township in Macomb County, Michigan.

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

    Town raises demands on casino - The Boston Globe

    MIDDLEBOROUGH -- Local officials, facing criticism from residents that their tentative deal with the Mashpee Wampanoag Indian tribe was vague and failed to bring enough money to town coffers, are now demanding that the tribe pay hundreds of millions of dollars to locate a casino in this sprawling municipality.

    The revised proposal in Middleborough would require the tribe, which is exempt from local taxes due to its sovereign status, to pay the equivalent of property, hotel and meal, and motor vehicle excise taxes, all in exchange for the town's support in seeking state and federal approval for the casino.

    The revised proposal lists the following costs to be paid by the tribe: $172 million for road improvements, $26 million for electrical upgrades, $10 million in gas system expansion, $22.5 million for water service and satellite wells, $26.3 million for waste- water system improvements, and $8 million to $10 million for a new police station.

    The town is also demanding that the tribe underwrite the cost of a new police cruiser, two new ambulances, four additional police officers, plus additional staffing in various town departments. Officials would also require the tribe to compensate any abutters who can prove the casino has hurt their property values. And they want a $40,000 contribution to a gambling addiction treatment facility, along with yearly payments of $20,000.

    read more | digg story

    Planners skeptical of casino - The Boston Globe

    Planners in Southeastern Massachusetts agree that widening Route 44, and eliminating the troublesome Middleborough rotary, would vastly improve traffic flow. But they also say the $150 million that the Mashpee Wampanoags have offered to sink into those improvements if they build a casino in Middleborough would fall far short of what is needed.

    read more | digg story

    Seneca Nation opens controversial off-reservation casino in temporary facility; for now



    By Sharon Linstedt
    News Staff Reporter

    The Seneca Nation of Indians made a surprise opening of its temporary casino in Buffalo's Cobblestone District shortly after 8 this morning, acting without authority from a federal judge who had temporarily halted the controversial gambling site.

    The small blue building, marked "CASINO" in understated lettering on its exterior, came alive with the blinking and beeping of some 119 slot machines, marking a moment the Senecas have dreamed of since 2002.

    "I'm elated over this day," said Barry E. Snyder Sr., chairman of Seneca Gaming Corp. "This casino is maybe small, but it's a big step for what we want to do in the City of Buffalo."

    Seneca Nation Treasurer Kevin Seneca made the first official recorded bet shortly after 8 a.m., dropping a penny into a slot machine.

    The Senecas say they expect that casino opponents will immediately move to close the casino.

    "I expect they were ready for this day," said Barry Brandon,... (
    Complete Story)

    Mashpee Tribe controls or pursues options to acquire 525 acres in Town for billion dollar casino resort

    Investors (Herb Strather) for the Mashpee Wampanoag Indian tribe purchased 125 acres of town land at a public auction on April 27. The Wampanoags have options to purchase another 200 contiguous acres and have approached another abutting land owner about a 200-acre tract.

    The following Map has been distributed by the Town of Middleborough and was printed in the Boston Globe to demonstrate circumstances surrounding a proposaed casino site:.

    Monday, July 02, 2007

    Michael Malik, a casino syndicator, has never been approved for gaming license

    Michael J. Malik, Sr., failed to qualify for a gaming license with the Michigan Gaming Control Board (MGCB) in 1999 and was reportedly forced to transfer (or sell) his original shares in the MotorCity Casino venture to Marian Ilitch (details never disclosed).

    Susbsequently, a venture owned/controlled by Michael J. Malik, Paradice Hunt Club LLC, submitted a vendor licensing exception application to the MGCB but no exemption appears to have been granted.

    Malik, a recognized casino syndicator, is not known to have been granted a gambling license by any entity. Marian Ilitch has been licensed by the MGCB.

    Here's a check list provided by the National Indian Gaming Commission (NIGC) that's used in the investigation of licensing determinations for Indian casino management contracts it must approve.

    It 's reported that Malik and Ilitch have agreements with the Shinnecock Indian Nation, Bay Mills Indian Community, Big Lagoon Rancheria and Los Coyotes Band of Cahuilla and Cupeno Indians to not only develop any future casinos but also provide management services in the years immediately following opening of any gaming facilities established by these tribes.

    After two years, Sen. Roy Ashburn only legislative advocate for ill-conceived Barstow Compacts


    Ashburn boosts casino project

    Ashburn pushes Barstow casino hearing

    During debate about unrelated casino compacts on the state Senate floor on Thursday, June 28, Senator Roy Ashburn, R-Bakersfield, stood up to address the stalled Big Lagoon-Los Coyotes Barstow casino project.

    “There are Native Americans in two parts of California that seem to be invisible, the Los Coyotes members and the members of the Big Lagoon tribe,” Ashburn said, according to a press release. “They have a compact that they negotiated with the Governor, yet we don’t even have a hearing. These are Native Americans who are receiving none of the benefits for a proposed casino that is located in probably the most ideal location in all of California for a casino.”

    The compacts have been held up in Senate committees for months. Environmental groups worry that further delay will prompt the Big Lagoon tribe to begin construction of a casino on their reservation, an environmentally fragile area in northern California.

    Click on picture or link below to hear CA State Senator Roy Ashburn's impassioned, ill-informed comments.

    As you're listening, recall that, despite Ashburn's apparent memory loss at the time he made these remarks, both the Senate and Assembly Governmental Organization committees did hold hearings on the Barwest Compacts in 2006:

    • the Senate Committee chose politely "no further action,"

    • the Assembly Committee voted outright to reject the Compacts and only out of standard courtesy did Chairman Jerome Horton agreed to leave the door open for reconsideration (certainly Horton assumed, as would normally be the case, that if they were to return for a second round they would somehow be modified or renegotiated to address concerns voiced by legislators and opponents and of course they have not).

      After two years Roy Ashburn was the only person to rise in support of the ill-conceived Barstow Compacts.

    Senator Ashburn urges action on the Barstow Gaming compacts that were previously rejected in the Assembly during Senate Floor debate, June 28th (1.4mb, mp3)

    Ilitch Spokesman confirmed Wheat, Brown & Rossetti were on board for lobbying and consultation

    as pubished 10.20.04 in the Desert Dispatch:

    "...There are no guarantees that the state or federal government will approve the casino, but BarWest has an impressive team, including Alan Wheat, a former congressman from Kansas; Mike Rossetti, formerly a top aide to Interior Secretary Gale Norton; and Willie Brown, former mayor of San Francisco.

    "Shields said
    • Wheat is on board as a federal lobbyist,

    • Brown is doing state lobbying and

    • Rosetti, an attorney, is a consultant. Shields said Rosetti is an asset partly because he's well-respected at the Interior Department..."

    1. Wheat Government Relations has been retained by Barwest LLC as well as other Michael Malik/Marian Ilitch affiliates (Gateway Casino Resorts LLC, Blue Water Resorts LLC) and tribal partners (Little River Band of Ottawa Indians, Bay Mills Indian Community, Shinnecock Indian Nation). From 2002-2006 those entities paid Wheat Government Relations at least $1.4 million.

    2. While Barwest spokesman Tom Shields indicated Willie L. Brown, Jr. was a lobbyist for Barwest LLC and the Los Coyotes Band of Indians, Brown was never registered as their lobbyist with the California Secretary of State as would be required.

    3. Michael Rossetti's status as a "Consultant" to the Detroit casino syndicators, while employed at a law firm (Akin Gump) that also is one of the top three lobbying firms on Capitol Hill, is suspect. Although the Detroit Team has retained other Akin Gump attorneys who are not registered as their lobbyists either. Rossetti's post Interior role with the Seneca Nation which has come into question is similar to his role with Barwest and the Los Coyotes Band of Indians, although Rossetti earlier had intervened on the Seneca Nation's behalf while still at Interior.

    Members of Congress aren't the only elected officials flying around in the private aircraft of Detroit casino syndicators

    It seems Members of Congress like former Rep. Richard Pombo and Alaska's Rep. Don Young aren't the only elected officials Michael Malik and Marian Ilitch are shuttling around on their private or chartered jets...

    as published 6.14.05 in the Desert Dispatch, a letter to the editor from Patrick Aleman, Barstow:

    "...The proposal might have stalled but these players, including Mayor Dale and Ron Rector, have been "going places," for sure. In documents available online and through public records requests, and after listening to the tangled web woven by the key players in public reports and testimony, Mayor Dale and Ron Rector have been getting out of Barstow in high style.

    "In fact, Dale and Rector have been shuttling back and forth to San Francisco and elsewhere, sometimes in a private Lear Jet that takes off from Palm Springs, enjoying fancy food, and getting up close and personal experiences with privileges, all paid for or provided as gifts from BarWest. They're getting a taste of the privilege normally afforded to wealthy owners of major sports franchises, or those people who own major theaters, concert halls, or arenas that host major stars or musicians. The closest glimpse most of us here in Barstow will ever get of that privilege is what we might see when we're channel surfing and come across reruns of TV's "Lifestyles of the Rich and Famous."

    "I have raised questions about things like free trips on private Lear Jets and my questions go ignored by the mayor and senior staff. When I inquire about how many visits Mr. Rector has paid to the Detroit area, or if any of his expenses were reimbursed or paid for by BarWest or if he was taken out on the town or received tickets to sporting events or concerts or given VIP favors at the local casino, Rector gets red in the face, fuming red, and I get ignored. Rector carefully implies he is in Michigan on family trips and nothing more. The mayor nor any other official will confirm whether or not they've been hosted in Detroit.

    "Most offensive is the arrogance Dale and Rector exhibit when they fail to report these gifts or any others they might have received from these millionaires or their associates to the Fair Political Practices Commission (FPPC) as required by law.

    "It was the discovery of the random memo to file that pointed to one of the Lear Jet trips. The purpose: BarWest insisted the pair go along on the field trip to San Francisco to help convince former assembly speaker Willie Brown to accept Barwest's lucrative lobbing contract. Since when did Willie Brown need to be "convinced" to take anyone's money? Or worse yet, help me with the connection on just how Mayor Dale, a local GOP big-wig, was going to have any influence over fat-cat big deal Democrat Willie Brown. Oddly enough, there are no other records of expenses from that entire trip for the usual things like mileage reimbursements down to the Palm Springs airport and back, airport parking, dining, taxi or limousine service -- nothing accept the one random memo to file I stumbled upon."

    you may want to review these posts:

    SF Chronicle editors warned Willie Brown commands a high price and leaves little paper trail

    posted at 4.08.04 and previously published as an editorial in the San Francisco Chronicle:


    Bright lights, small city

    IT SEEMS only natural that Willie Brown, the charismatic, erudite former mayor of San Francisco would be attracted to the bright lights of a growing city. Now he has found a new town in which to make his mark -- booming Barstow.

    Brown, who during his career has shown a flair for high-level deal-making, has been hired as a lobbyist by the Los Coyotes Band of Cahuilla and Cupeo Indians in San Diego and the BarWest development company to help them bring an Indian casino to the thirsty desert town between Los Angeles and Las Vegas. It's a pact that shouldn't surprise anyone who has followed Brown's headline- grabbing career -- the only paper trail he leaves behind is one lined with money. [NOTE: Brown never registered as a Barwest or Los Coyotes lobbyist]

    The Los Coyotes Indians are one of the scores of tribes in California trying to cash in on the state's wildly expanding gambling industry. With gaming interests trying to turn every piece of "tribal'' land into 24-hour- slot-machine sanctuaries, it was only a matter of time before Barstow's tribes saw a dice-rich oasis in their corner of the desert.

    Who better to deliver the goods than a big-city gambler such as Willie? If the desert dwellers in Barstow haven't the foggiest notion of how Brown operates, they'll soon realize that this is one deal they shouldn't bet against.

    (This article appeared on page B - 8 of the San Francisco Chronicle )

    What was Willie Brown's role with Barwest's original Barstow casino proposal?

    In a reference to Willie L. Brown, Jr., the former Speaker of the California Assembly and later Mayor of San Francisco, the Berkley Daily Planet posted the following on 11.16.04:

    "Earlier this year, Brown has surfaced as a lobbyist for BarWest LLC, which is developing plans for a casino in the Barstow area with the Los Coyotes Band of the Cahuilla and Cupeno peoples.

    "The casino plan is being floated by Marina Ilitch, who with her spouse owns the Little Caesars Enterprises (Little Caesars Pizza), the Detroit Redwings hockey team and a quarter-interest in the MotorCity Casino in Detroit."

    Willie L. Brown, Jr. never registered as a lobbyist for Barwest LLC nor the Los Coyotes Band of Cahuilla and Cupeno Indians.
    Plans for a Los Coyotes Indian Casino in Barstow were rejected by Governor Arnold Schwarzenegger in March 2004. Ilitch was reportedly encouraged by some in the Governor's office to consider talks reagarding a Barstow casino with a northern California tribe, the Big Lagoon Rancheria Indians.

    Chronicle columnists confirmed Barwest had hired Willie Brown as an advocate in Sacramento


    COLUMN: Matier & Ross

    Gamblin' man: Willie Brown has long had a fascination with gambling, and his latest bet is with the Los Coyotes Band of Cahuilla and Cupeno Indians of San Diego County and Detroit-based BarWest development.

    The two groups have hired the former San Francisco mayor to help pave the way for an off-reservation Indian casino they're planning to build in Barstow (San Bernardino County), of all places.

    "Basically, Brown was retained to help us through the state government process, and that includes working with the governor's office and the Legislature,'' said Tom Shields, spokesman for BarWest.

    "Obviously, he is one of the most well-known figures in state government, and he understands the process and can help guide us through it,'' Shields said.

    And he's not the only star in the mix -- one of BarWest's partners is Marian Ilitch, wife of Mike Ilitch, owner of the Little Caesars pizza chain, the Detroit Tigers and the Detroit Red Wings.

    The Los Coyotes Band is one of a number of tribes negotiating with Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger for compacts that would allow them to operate as many as 2,000 slot machines per casino in exchange for the state getting a slice of the revenue.

    Incidentally, if you're wondering why a San Diego-based tribe wants to put a casino in Barstow:

    "It's halfway between Los Angeles and Las Vegas,'' Shields said. “We figured it's the perfect location.''

    Brown declined to provide specifics about his new work because of attorney-client privilege, but said, "I'm a lawyer back practicing law, and I have a lot of clients . . . and I'm earning an honest living.''

    Questions surfacing again about former DOI official turned lobbyist Michael Rossetti

    NOTE: the Detroit-based team behind casino syndicators Michael J. Malik and Mrs. Marian Ilitch have previously boasted that former Interior Department official Michael G. Rossetti was a lobbyist for their projects as well although there are no registrations or disclosures to suggest Rossetti lobbied officially for their interests. The Detroit crew has also boasted of retaining Akins Gump expertise but again that firm has never registered as a lobbyists for any Malik/Ilitch affiliates familiar to TVT.

    as posted 7.02.07 at

    Seneca Nation hired DOI official who fought for casino

    An Interior Department official who overruled objections to the Seneca Nation's off-reservation casino in Buffalo, New York, was hired by the tribe as its lobbyist.

    Michael G. Rossetti served as counselor to former Secretary Gale Norton. He had authority over Indian gaming matters and led the fight to approve the Seneca casino despite objections from the Bureau of Indian Affairs, The Buffalo News reported.

    George Skibine and Paula Hart of the BIA's Office of Indian Gaming Management expressed concerns that the land to be used for the off-reservation casino did not quality for a casino. The site was taken into trust after 1988 but the tribe cited the land claim exception in Section 20 of the Indian Gaming Regulatory Act.

    The BIA also had concerns about the tribe's gaming compact. But in both instances, Rossetti and another Interior lawyer named Edith Blackwell overruled the agency, the paper said.

    Rossetti left the department to work for Akin Gump, which was the tribe's lobbying firm. He later told the Senate Indian Affairs Committee that former Interior deputy secretary J. Steven Griles intervened in a gaming matter at the behest of convicted lobbyist Jack Abramoff.

    Griles' responses to the committee led to his guilty plea in the Abramoff scandal. He was sentenced to serve 10 months in prison.

    Get the Story: Officials questioned Seneca’s practices (The Buffalo News 7/1)

    LETTER: Who would really benefit from Barstow casino project?


    Letters to the editor (as published and posted at

    Reference: Casino Update article

    We all know that the majority of the citizens want the Indian Casinos in our backyard. The hand-full of people who still disagree with it developing have been drowned out by the business community and the elected officials. The business community sees personal profits and the elected officials, probably see some personal profit as well.

    The “Casino Update” article appearing in the paper (6-28-07) is a sad display of desperation. What a pathetic dramatization of poverty to sanction panhandling. Dragging one’s old home to the steps of the State Capitol is truly sad. It is a real shame that family and many more on and off reservations have and continue to live in substandard conditions. I hope the legislators see this dismal display as begging. The spokesman, Tom Shields, is quoted as saying the tribe has been “left by the wayside”, and “The Barstow Project would provide a revenue stream and path to self-sufficiency.” “They’re really looking for an opportunity just to take care of their own.”

    Now what part of any of those statements suggest taking care of the citizens of Barstow who are living in shanty conditions? What part of the comments speaks out about just how wholesome this is for the moral fiber of the community. It doesn’t, it simply shows a self-centered postured by the tribe of saying this is owed them. Draining money from other people for self gain under some loose statement that they can’t make it where they are.
    They need our land for no purpose than to make the “fat-cats” fatter.

    The casinos is more than just an issue for the citizens of Barstow, it should be of concern to all of those who live in the “Greater” Barstow area. Remember it has never been put on a ballot in simple language for the “greater” population to vote on. Just think approval of the casino in Barstow keeps it out of the tribe’s backyard so they don’t have to deal with the trash, it’s Barstow’s problem.

    Ron Paddack

    You may want to read these additional posts or click on the "labels" below for further information:

    Sunday, July 01, 2007

    Why would attorney for Tribe's Port Huron casino developer be acquiring property up north in Charlotte Beach?

    The Bay Mills Indian Community attempts to exploit a land claim over 200 acres in a remote subdivision east of Barbeau on Michigan’s Upper Peninsula. Although not designated as such on maps today, the subdivision is known as “Charlotte Beach.” In exchange for dropping its claims on the Charlotte Beach subdivision lands, the tribe wants the right to develop an off-reservation casino in Port Huron, more than 300 miles from its reservation lands.

    It has been reported that the looming land claims have negatively affected the property values and financing options of those private individuals who hold title on the property today making it a buyers market in Charlotte Beach.

    Detroit casino syndicators headed up by Michael J. Malik, Sr., have been bankrolling and managing the drive for a Bay Mills off-reservation casino for a decade or more.

    In 2002, an attorney who handles most of Malik’s personal business deals exclusively, William Serwer, formed CB Property Investments, LLC. Presumably “CB” is an abbreviation for “Charlotte Beach” because as it turns out CB Investment Properties, LLC, owns at least two parcels in the Charlotte Beach subdivision:

    • Parcel #0023250260000

    • Parcel #0023250730000
    Both are noted at this address: 3915 S 1 Cottage Rd., Barbeau, MI 49710. It’s unclear when the group represented by Malik’s attorney acquired the properties.

    In 2004 Malik’s attorney also set up MJM Charlotte Beach, LLC. Presumably “MJM” stands for Michael J. Malik. Serwer has set up numerous “MJM” entities over the years to represent Malik’s financial interests in other related ventures and real estate deals.

    Why would Malik or his attorney wish to acquire property in Charlotte Beach on the eastern shores of the Upper Peninsula? The Bay Mills Tribe has said they aren’t interested in taking the land away from those who live there now.

    Is it simply a case of buying depressed properties confident that their value will increase when a deal is finally struck? In which case aren’t they helping to drive prices down by perpetuating claims others contend have already been tossed out in court?

    Is there some hidden natural resource? Perhaps they believe at some point the government will be forced to acquire the lands from private property owners?

    These questions and more deserve answers.

    At the very least such investments should be red flags for everyone involved from Charlotte Beach to Capitol Hill.

    These entities are believed to be controlled or affiliated with Michael J. Malik, Sr. and related to the Bay Mills Indian Tribe, Charlotte Beach subdivision and/or proposed Port Huron Casino and Resort on the site of the current Thomas Edison Inn:

    CB Property Investments, LLC
    CB Property Holdings, Inc.
    MJM Charlotte Beach, LLC
    MJM Bay Mills, LLC
    MJM Blue Water Investors, LLC
    MJM Blue Water, L.L.C.
    Blue Water Resorts, L.L.C.
    Blue Water Resorts Manager, Inc.

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

    Senators told Attorney proposed exploiting Charlotte Beach land claim not tribe

    from testimony presented to the U.S. Senate Committee on Indian Affairs:

    "The Charlotte Beach claim did not originate with Bay Mills. It was the product of a Detroit area attorney who developed it specifically as a vehicle to obtain an IGRA casino. This attorney approached the Sault Tribe first with the claim, but we turned him down. He then took the claim to Bay Mills, who joined him up on his scheme. This attorney, Robert Golden, then represented Bay Mills in both court cases. The goal never was to recover the Charlotte Beach lands."
    Sault Ste. Marie Tribe of Chippewa Indians


    You may want to review these posts or click on the "labels" below:

    TVT has welcomed more than 178,000 unique vistors

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

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

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

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

    Google News: Indian Gaming

    NEWS: Bay Mills Indian Community & Casino Proposals

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

    NY Times: Shinnecock Indian Nation

    NEWS: Los Coyotes Indian Tribe

    NEWS: Los Coyotes / Barwest Barstow Casino Proposals

    NEWS: Michael J. Malik, Sr.

    NEWS: Marian Ilitch Mapping Social Networks

    Play with the interactive tool here or visit

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

    certainly must reads!

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

    The Verifiable Truth