Saturday, August 18, 2007

Is the Gulfstream G-IV private aircraft pictured on this postcard co-owned by the Ilitch Family?


Citizen Activist has just sent you a postcard, using the Electronic Postcard Service, of a private aircraft (1997 Gulfstream IV) believed to likely be co-owned by Detroit's Ilitch Family (Olympia Aviation, L.L.C.).

You can also get a copy of the postcard anytime during the next three weeks (until Sept. 7th) by clicking the link:

Is this the private plane the Ilitch Family and Michael J. Malik use to transport politicians like Alaska's Rep. Don Young, former Rep. Richard Pombo, other elected officals, mayors, people like Richard Cummings and tribal leaders?

Tell TVT about your personal experience aboard the Ilitch (Olympia Aviation) plane by leaving a comment here on or emailing TVT at

Some other related posts you might want to review:

Rep. McKeon secures $500,000 for Barstow sewer improvement project


Funds for community project expected to pass the U.S. House tonight

WASHINGTON, D.C. - U.S. House Representative Howard P. "Buck" McKeon (CA-25) today announced that federal dollars are set to be approved by the U.S. House tonight for the revival and advancement of the City of Barstow sewer system. The 2008 Department of the Interior, Environment, and Related Agencies Appropriations Act includes $500,000 specifically for the City of Barstow Sewer Master Plan Implementation, Phase II.

"The Mojave River Basin has been severely over-drafted throughout the years, and as a result, the quality of the drinking water has been severely declining," said McKeon. "While the directed funds for this community improvement project are modest by comparison, they will significantly improve the quality of life for the residents of Barstow."

City of Barstow Mayor Lawrence Dale, said he was thankful for Congressman McKeon's assistance in securing these funds, especially because of the firm timeline the city faces for water improvement.

"This money comes at a critical time." said Dale. "A Cease-and-Desist Order has been issued by the State Water Quality Control Board requiring us to have measures in place [to reduce contamination of the water table] by June or July of 2009."

Since the 1960s, the City of Barstow's Water Reclamation Facility (WRF) adjacent to the Mojave River has released secondary-treated runoff to seep back into back the water table. In order to comply with the State Water Quality Control Board, the City of Barstow is working to implement Phase II of its Sewer Master Plan. Phase II will expand and upgrade the city's WRF to Tertiary Treatment, allowing the reuse of up to two million of the three million gallons per day currently being treated, and alleviating both the serious overdraft of the Mojave River and contamination of the water table.

Dale went on to say that he "certainly appreciates Buck's efforts to secure funding for the City of Barstow Sewer Master Plan Implementation, and would like to thank him for all his efforts for the community."

House passage of the 2008 Department of the Interior, Environment, and Related Agencies Appropriations Act bill is expected Tuesday evening.

Submitted by Lindsey Mask, Press Secretary, Howard P. "Buck" McKeon (CA-25)
Posted at

Florida County turns down Alaska Rep. Don Young's $10 million road construction earmark


A Congressman’s $10 Million Gift for Road Is Rebuffed


WASHINGTON — It is not often that a local government tries to turn down $10 million in federal construction money.

But then it is not every day that an Alaska congressman surprises a Florida community with the gift of a highway interchange that just happens to abut the property of a major political fund-raiser.

The money for the interchange was the work of Representative Don Young, the Alaska Republican who was chairman of the transportation committee before the last election.

Officials of Lee County considered the project a low priority, environmental groups opposed it and the Republican congressman from the district never asked for it.

But the interchange, on Interstate 75 at a place called Coconut Road, would be a boon to Daniel J. Aronoff, a Michigan real estate developer with adjacent property who helped raise $40,000 in donations to Mr. Young at a fund-raiser in the region shortly before Mr. Young inserted an earmark for the project in a transportation bill.

The connections were too much for the Lee County Metropolitan Planning Organization, said Carla Johnston, its chairwoman and a Democrat.

On Friday, the members of the organization voted overwhelmingly to return the money in the hope that Congress would let them spend it elsewhere in the county.

Adding to the intrigue, a researcher commissioned by Ms. Johnston said Mr. Young had added the earmark for the interchange to a transportation bill after both chambers of Congress had approved it, at a time Congressional aides were cleaning up the bill for President Bush’s signature.

“People were really highly outraged at the process,” Ms. Johnston said. “It was a classic end run.”

A spokeswoman for Mr. Young did not return calls for comment.

A spokeswoman for Mr. Aronoff, the developer and fund-raiser, defended the project, saying a study had determined a need for the interchange in a building plan years ago, partly to help with hurricane evaluations.

“Unfortunately, the real story is getting lost in this funding debate,” the spokeswoman, Elizabeth Hirst, said.

Friday, August 17, 2007

Billionaire Adelson lobbying for Massachusetts casino


LAS VEGAS --Billionaire casino magnate Sheldon Adelson has been in his home state of Massachusetts lobbying to legalize casino gambling there, but the casino company he controls has no interest in partnering with Indian tribes to do so, an executive said Thursday.

"There's no reason for us to talk to the tribes, quite frankly," Las Vegas Sands Corp. president William Weidner said in a conference call with reporters Thursday. "We're not necessarily interested in helping them develop a form of Indian gaming because we do it ourselves."

Adelson, the 74-year-old son of a Boston cab driver and chief executive of Las Vegas Sands, has "deep relationships" with Massachusetts politicians and maintains a residence and pays taxes in the state, Weidner said.

"Yes, he's in the mix and he's had discussions with the governor, he's had discussions with the leaders of their Legislature about gaming there," he said.

Weidner argued that Massachusetts is missing out on taxing valuable casino revenues, which he suggested are heading out of state to places like the Foxwoods Resort Casino in Mashantucket, Conn., which is owned by the Mashantucket Pequot Tribal Nation.

"Why not open it up, why not tax it, why not control it? Rather than driving it underground or sticking it over on an Indian reservation somewhere," Weidner said.

The Massachusetts Legislature needs to approve expanded gambling in the state before a full-scale casino can be built.

as published in the Boston Globe

Washington Post blogger Paul Kane reviews the dismantling of the GOP leadership the past two years

from a post 08.17.07 by Paul Kane at the's blog "Capitol Briefing:"

About This Blog | Meet Paul Kane

The House GOP Leaders' Precipitous Fall

The dissolution of a once proud House Republican leadership team is near complete.

Dennis Hastert (Ill.), the affable wrestling-coach-turned-House-speaker, and Deborah Pryce (Ohio), the former head of the GOP Conference, both announced this week that they do not plan to stand for reelection next year, ending political careers that total more than 36 years combined.

Taken in isolation, these announcements aren't earth shattering. Hastert's retirement was long expected. And Pryce's announcement, made yesterday in Columbus, is somewhat of a surprise given how aggressively she had been assembling a campaign operation. Her departure reflects the fact that her central Ohio district had become one of the most competitive in the nation.

Taking the long view, these announcements are the latest in a series of shattering blows to a House Republican leadership team that, prior to 2006, ran the chamber with an iron fist and a view that they would never lose their majority. Of the top six GOP leaders from the last Congress, only Rep.
Roy Blunt (Mo.) remains in a leadership position ... (Complete Post)

John T. Doolittle (Calif.): A DeLay acolyte, Doolittle's future as GOP conference secretary was already murky once the majority leader gave up his leadership post. Doolittle battled his own Abramoff allegations throughout 2006, barely defeating the underfunded Democrat Charlie Brown with less than 50% of the vote. Despite the near loss and Abramoff questions, Doolittle announced a bid for another leadership post after the '06 midterms -- a campaign he gave up in less than a day. Now a back bencher, Doolittle's home was raided by the FBI in April [Friday the 13th] as part of the Abramoff investigation. California Republicans are openly talking about ousting him in a 2008 primary.

With Mike Ilitch's blessing, Tigers management rattles Bud Selig's office

posted 8.16.07 at

Marching to their own beat
Tigers rattle commish's office with draft signing

Bud Selig is said to be livid over the Tigers' record $7.3 million deal for prep pitcher Rick Porcello. Yet the commissioner's well-known sentiments on the subject weren't about to stop the Tigers from doing what they do best, which is to spend for talent and take chances, especially in the draft.

With the blessing of their pizza king owner Mike Ilitch, the Tigers' front office has done what it took to quickly rise from an all-time dregs team with 119 defeats to rank among baseball's elite teams and it isn't about to stop now. The way they have engineered the turnaround is to identify young talent and pay for it. Good for them.

Porcello's four-year, major-league deal surpassed Josh Beckett's $7 million contract eight years ago as the biggest ever for a drafted high school pitcher and rankled Selig and other MLB powers who have worked hard and instituted new rules designed to scale back bonuses for amateur draftees, one area where they retain some fiscal control. Porcello's contract also shattered the $1.17 million slot figure MLB people had assigned to the 27th spot in the first round and was the latest coup for superagent Scott Boras.

Selig tried to discourage both Ilitch and Tigers GM Dave Dombrowski in separate conversations in which he spelled out the risks. "It's an opportunity he didn't necessarily believe in," Dombrowski conceded by phone of Selig. "We support the commissioner's program and have adhered to it in almost every single case .... You never like to do anything that may hurt another organization. But we're in a spot where we feel we have to do what's best for the organization." (Complete Story)

Thursday, August 16, 2007

Federal Courts tossed out the Bay Mills Indians' Charlotte Beach land claims

Bay Mills Indian Community v. Western United Life Assurance Co.,
No. 99-1036, (6th Cir. March 8, 2000).

Plaintiff Bay Mills Indian Community filed a complaint asserting an interest in a parcel of property within the county. Bay Mills alleged various federal constitutional and statutory violations in connection with the 1884 ouster from the property of its predecessors in interest, two aboriginal Chippewa bands, and sought either equitable title to the property or damages equal to its value and damages for the loss of the use and enjoyment of the land since 1884.

The defendants, individuals and entities currently possessing various interests in the property, moved to dismiss the action under Federal Rules of Civil Procedure 12(b)(7) and 19 for failure to join an indispensable party, the Sault Ste. Marie Tribe of Chippewa Indians. The district court granted the defendants' motion and dismissed the plaintiff's complaint.

Affirmed by the 6th Circuit Court of Appeals, March 8, 2000.

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The ties that bind Rep. Candice Miller to Mike & Marian Ilitch and their associated casino syndicator Michael Malik

In May, Rep, Candice Miller (R-MI 10th) joined with Rep. Bart Stupak (D-MI 1st) to co-author Stupak’s bill, H.R. 2176, to provide for and approve the settlement of certain land claims of the Bay Mills Indian Community. Michael Malik and members of Detroit’s Ilitch Family (Little Caesars Pizza, Detroit Tigers, Detroit Red Wings, MotorCity Casino, Fox Theater, etc.) have been backing various plans for a Bay Mills off-reservation casino for more than 15 years.

On June 28th & 30th, members of Detroit’s Ilitch Family and their associate Michael Malik contributed another $13,800 to the political committee of Rep. Candice Miller. Through Miller’s 2006 re-election campaign they had personally contributed more than $75,000 to Miller’s political committees and helped raised thousands more from their friends, business colleagues, vendors and suppliers.

That brings the total of their personal contributions for Rep. Miller to more than $88,000.00 since 2003 -- when Miller introduced her first bill in Congress to approve their Port Huron Casino scheme.

The Ilitches and Malik became major benefactors of Rep. Miller only after she introduced the bill to push their Casino scheme; they’d not backed her longtime political career previously.

On August 27th when their Detroit Tigers play the New York Yankees, the Ilitches and Malik will host a fundraiser for former New York Mayor Rudy Giuliani’s presidential campaign. Rep. Miller is the Chairman of Giuliani’s Michigan presidential campaign. Marian Ilitch and Malik have been bankrolling plans by a New York tribe to build casino on Long Island in the posh Hamptons resort area – plans that face tough opposition and cans use additional influential friends in New York. And recently the Shinnecock tribe has tried to get New York Governor Elliot Spitzer to cut them into lucrative video gaming operations under consideration for some of the state’s racetracks.

Neither the Ilitches nor Malik live nor have their primary offices in Michigan’s 10th Congressional District; but the Port Huron casino and Malik’s proposed $170 million, 380-acre Harsens Island housing development and man-made lagoon are in Rep. Miller’s 10th District.

Early in the 2006 election cycle, President Bush asked Rep. Miller to consider running against Michigan’s Democratic Senator Debbie Stabenow who was considered by most people to be extremely vulnerable. The Ilitches, Malik and their spokesman/political operative Tom Shields certainly must have influenced Miller’s decision to reject the President’s suggestion:

More details on Michael Malik's Port Huron casino plans and his lawsuit against would-be fellow casino syndicator Tony DeFeo

excerpts from the story "Arf suprised at Kimball Work" published 8.16.07:


Developer DeFeo wants to purchase property for casino

Times Herald

...A lawsuit filed last week in St. Clair County Circuit Court claims the proposed [DeFeo] development would be anchored by a Lac Vieux-owned casino. With seven acres of gaming floor - and 5,310 games, including 5,220 slot machines - it would surpass the Soaring Eagle Casino of Mount Pleasant as the largest gambling hall in Michigan.

Mike Malik, a Detroit developer who is trying to secure a casino in Port Huron for the Bay Mills Chippewa tribe, sued DeFeo and six of his businesses last week. Malik accused DeFeo of trying to confuse investors with the name Blue Water Resort. Malik's development company, which predates DeFeo's, is called Blue Water Resorts, LLC.

The lawsuit seeks no monetary damages, but it does call on the court to compel Malik to change the name of his development. "DeFeo's use of the name Blue Water Casino is confusingly similar to plaintiff's name and appears purposefully designed to confuse investors, the public and public officials," the lawsuit said.

[Tom]Portis said he believes Kimball Township residents strongly support DeFeo's proposal. He also noted the Kimball site offers easy access to both Interstate 94 and Interstate 69.

"It is so much more favorable than the Edison Inn," he said, referring to the proposed location of the Bay Mills casino and resort hotel in Port Huron.

Architectural drawings show the Port Huron casino-hotel [Malik's project] towering above the Blue Water Bridges. The sleek-looking hotel, with at least 150 rooms and suites, resembles a ship and follows the curve of the bridge. A dominant feature is a glass-enclosed elevator shaft in the shape of a lighthouse.

Several nightclubs and restaurants with river views would adjoin the casino at ground level. The top floor would include a formal restaurant with views beyond the bridges to Lake Huron.

The [Malik backed] casino-hotel would stand directly across the St. Clair River from the Point Edward Charity Casino, owned by the Ontario Lottery and Gaming Commission.

Malik and Bay Mills hope to obtain congressional and presidential approval by year's end. Legislation introduced by Rep. Bart Stupak, a Democrat from the Upper Peninsula, and Rep. Candice Miller, a Republican from Harrison Township, is being considered by the House Natural Resources Committee.

DeFeo has declined interview requests, and it's unclear how he expects to win legal approval for a casino in Kimball Township.

Malik's lawsuit claimed DeFeo is telling investors he can obtain a presidential executive order to create a reservation. However, Indian law experts said the Lac Vieux tribe has never asserted a land claim that would entitle it to a reservation in St. Clair County. Also, a 1919 law prohibits presidents from establishing casinos by executive order...

Detroit Tigers owner Mike Ilitch defied MLB Commissioner; Selig reportedly not pleased


Tigers put future first

By Jim Hawkins
Journal Register News Service

Mike Ilitch has no doubt already gotten an angry phone call -- or 10 -- from Bud Selig. Wednesday's good news that the Tigers have signed their hotshot No. 1 draft pick, Rick Porcello, did not exactly meet with resounding applause in the commissioner's office.

That's putting it mildly. Suffice to say, Ilitch and Selig will probably not be sitting down together for a quiet dinner anytime soon.

In fact, if the Tigers should be fortunate enough to win the World Series this fall, the trophy presentation might be Selig's most awkward moment since Barry Bonds belted No. 756.

Once again, to their credit, Ilitch and Dave Dombrowski have refused to follow baseball's party line, choosing instead to behave in what they believe to be the best interest of the Detroit Baseball Club. (Complete Story)

* * *

Perhaps this will cause Major League Baseball to revisit the Ilitch Family's casino ownership and gambling interests; and their use of MLB venues and events for political fundraisers tied to the Ilitch Family's gambling interests.

Barwest's casino syndicator Michael Malik has backed Sen. Jeff Denham, hoped for his help on the Senate GO Committee

Barwest, L.L.C. principal Michael J. Malik was betting on support from California's GOP State Senator Jeff Denham for stalled Barstow Casino Compacts when Malik contributed to Denham's re-election campaign. Denham, a Republican, is aligned with Malik's pal former Rep. Richard Pombo and other California Conservatives like Rep. John Doolittle.

Until recently Denham was vice chairman of the State Senate's Governmental Organization (GO) Committee which has oversight for Indian gaming matters in California. The GO Committee held a hearing in April 2006 on the Big Lagoon Rancheria's Barstow Compact and since then, the Committee's chairman, Democrat Senator Dean Florez, has refused to schedule another hearing on the pending Barstow Compacts prefering to have the tribes come back to the legislature for ratification of Compacts only after they complete the federal transfer of lands they intend for gaming in the Department of Interior's fee-t0-trust process.

Recently Democrats have targeted Sen. Denham for recall and even GOP Governor Arnold Schwarzenegger visited Denham's district to put pressure on Denham to support approval of the state's pending budget proposal which is stalled in the legislature. And now Senate President Pro Tem Don Perata, a Democrat, has removed Denham from the Senate GO Committee and his leadership role as vice chairman.

The Barstow Casinos Compacts have been stalled in the legislature the last two years; Malik and proponents of the Compacts can't afford to lose support like Denham's.

In October 2004, during the closing days of the Presidential Election; Pombo, Denham and Malik's Barwest LLC each contributed $26,600 to the San Joaquin GOP Central Committee on the same day. Malik's Barwest LLC failed to report its major contribution under California's political reform laws. California's Fair Political Practices Commission (FPPC) investigated the matter and last Fall, Malik acknowledged that Barwest LLC was guilty on two counts of violating the State's political reform laws and paid fines totalling $6,5oo.

Denham launches TV and radio campaign defending budget holdout

as posted 8.15.07 by Shane Goldmacher at The Sacramento Bee's Capitol Alert:

After Democrats launched a recall campaign and Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger visited his district and pronounced that Sen. Jeff Denham "should get a lot of heat" for refusing to support the budget, the Atwater Republican is striking back with a local TV and radio campaign.

Denham, who easily won reelection in 2006, told CapitolAlert he has already spent $150,000 on the ads and launched a Web site, .

"I'm ready to spend more as long as this stalemate continues," he said.

The TV ad begins with images of children in a classroom: "Senator Jeff Denham: He's fighting to balance the budget, restore accountability, and protect California's teacher-tax credit," the narrator intones.

In a statement after Schwarzenegger's Monday visit to his district, Denham said,
"Governor, let me repeat myself again, since perhaps you are not listening yet. I will not be bullied, intimidated or pressured into voting for a budget with inflated revenues, unaccounted expenses or accounting gimmickry."

Denham has also been targeted by Democrats.

Last Wednesday, Senate President Pro Tem Don Perata removed Denham from his seat on the Governmental Organization Committee, on which he served as vice-chair. The California Democratic Party, meanwhile, has launched a recall effort, titled "Dump Denham," that began as an anonymous sign campaign in his district.

"The Democrat party has challenged me and I have responded," Denham said.

Denham said the TV and radio campaign was planned before Schwarzenegger visited his district on Monday and reiterated that the visit was "unproductive."

"If we stop the theatrical performances, hopefully it will get done this week," Denham said of the budget. He said the governor's promise to blue-pencil veto $700 million in spending "should be put in writing." But even that, he said, would not be enough, citing inflated revenue projections from the recently approved Indian gambling compacts and the fact that no new money for higher prison guard salaries is included in the budget.

"We've got to sit down and make cuts," he said.

The budget needs 27 votes in the Senate for passage and has the support of 25 Democrats and one Republican, Sen. Abel Maldonado of Santa Maria. Denham has been targeted, in part, because he has previously provided the 27th vote.

Schwarzenegger continues to travel the state to ratchet up pressure on the holdout Senate Republicans. He is in Riverside today, near the districts of Sens. Jim Battin and Bob Dutton, both of whom were quoted in the local paper, the Press-Enterprise, criticizing the governor's visit.

Wednesday, August 15, 2007

Mike & Marian Ilitch help Rep. Candice Miller by hosting Giuliani fundraiser at Detroit Tigers game

Michael & Marian Ilitch and their associate Michael J. Malik, Sr. are hosting a top-dollar fundraiser for Repulican presidential candidate, and former New York Mayor, Rudy Giuliani, August 27th in Detroit when the New York Yankees are scheduled to play the Ilitches' Detroit Tigers at Comerica Park.

The Ilitch Family and Malik are among Rep. Candice Miller's (R-MI 10th) top political patrons; although they neither live nor have their principal offices in Michigan's 10th congressional district. Collectively they have personally given nearly $90,000 to Rep. Miller's political committees since she first introduced a bill to push congressional approval of their off-reservation Indian casino scheme for Port Huron, MI. And they have helped Rep. Miller raise thousands more from their friends and wide network of business colleagues, vendors and suppliers. They had not actively supported Rep. Miller's political career previously.

Rep. Miller has been tapped as Michigan campaign chairman for the Giuliani presidential campaign.

Mike & Marian Ilitch are cofounders of Little Caesars Pizza. The Ilitch Family owns the Detroit Tigers, Detroit Red Wings, MotorCity Casino, Fox Theater and various other sports, entertainment and dining enterprises. Marian Ilitch and Michael Malik have created various syndication enterprises pushing off-reservation Indian casinos in New York (proposed for the posh Hamptons resort area on Long Island), Michigan and California. Previously they attempted to legalize gambling in Hawaii with the intent to build two casinos on Oahu; one of them on Waikiki Beach.

You may want to review these additional posts:

Detroiters bankrolling Shinnecock Indians' Long Island casino scheme, hosting fundraiser for former NY Mayor Giuliani

as posted 8.15.07 by Glenn Thrush at's Long Island political blog SpinCycle:

Rudy draws from Shinnecock casino champions

Businessmen who are partnering with the Shinnecock tribe to build a $20 million casino on the East End are hosting a fundraiser for Rudy Giuliani in Detroit on Monday, Aug. 27, Newsday has learned.

Michael Malik, along with Michael and Marian Ilitch, who have paid lobbyists more than $1.1 million to push for the controversial development and recognition of the tribes by the feds, are listed as "captains" at a fundraiser to be held at the Yankees-Tigers game.

Tickets run from $1,000 to $2,300 a pop, according to the invite.

VIDEO: Production of MotorCity Casino Hotel's Chip Foose inspired metal roof

Quality Metalcraft Architecture, now playing on

Video explains how QMC Architectural is manufacturing the unique metal roof feature envisioned by renowned Hot Rod designer Chip Foose for the expanded MotorCity Casino Hotel project in Detroit, Michigan.

Watch Now option

Tribe gets option to purchase more land for proposed billion dollar casino project


Casino site would grow by 205 acres

By Christine Wallgren, Globe Correspondent

MIDDLEBOROUGH -- The Mashpee Wampanoag secured an option yesterday to buy an additional 205 acres in Middleborough, boosting its land holdings for a planned resort casino to 531 acres, the tribe said.

Tribal leaders expect to build the $1 billion casino, hotel, and resort facility on about 100 acres and leave the remaining acreage as a buffer. Wampanoag spokesman Scott Ferson would not disclose the price for the latest land deal, which he said would be the last in Middleborough for the Cape-based tribe.

"That is the entirety of the property," he said.

The tribe and its financial backers currently own outright 125 acres purchased from the town at an auction in April. In May, the Wampanoag secured an option to buy 201 contiguous acres owned by the family of Daniel Striar.

The land in the latest agreement is located off Precinct Street and is owned by Bruce Gates, a lieutenant in the local police force, and his two sisters.

Gates drew criticism from casino opponents because he headed security at the July 28 Town Meeting that sealed the casino deal while negotiations were still underway for the Precinct Street property.

Subsequently, several residents filed conflict-of-interest complaints against Gates with the secretary of state's office, where they are under review.

Town officials have said they were aware that Gates could benefit financially by approval of a local casino, but saw no conflict with his police duties at the meeting.

The options on the land will be recorded at the Plymouth County Registry of Deeds, and no further action is expected to be taken on them for more than a year, as the tribe negotiates with state and federal officials on building the casino.

The tribe intends to place the entire 531 acres in federal trust, a status that exempts the site from state and local control. The application process, done through the US Department of the Interior, is expected to take about 18 months.

"The tribe will exercise its option to purchase the properties when its application to place the land in trust is approved," Ferson said.

Ilitch has another year to determine fate of Joe Louis Arena


Lease up for Cobo, the Joe in 2009

It's Detroit law department's view; Tiger Stadium plan due Aug. 31.

David Josar / The Detroit News

Olympia Arenas, the company controlled by Mike Ilitch and his family, has until June 2009 to make a decision on whether it will extend its lucrative lease of the Joe Louis and Cobo arenas, according to a recent law department opinion.

The city law department delved into the issue last month at the request of the auditor general, said city spokesman James Canning.

Earlier this year, the City Council's fiscal analyst said the lease expired in 2008, and Olympia had to tell Detroit this summer what it planned to do.

The law department, after reviewing the lease and its sub-agreements which total more than 100 pages, decided the agreement runs through June 30, 2010, and Olympia has until June 30, 2009, to decide whether it will continue operating and using the venues.

The law department opinion brought relief to Red Wings fans who were unsure how long the team would play in Joe Louis Arena.

"At least we know we can stop gossiping for a couple years as to what will happen with the Red Wings," said Yancy Hunter, 43, during lunch at the Hockeytown Cafe on Tuesday.

"Not much is going on with the other teams right now, so this is becoming gossip fodder for us. Will The Joe be replaced? At least not now. Now all we have to worry about is Tiger Stadium."

A consortium led by legendary sportscaster Ernie Harwell is working against an October deadline to come up with a plan that could preserve much of Tiger Stadium, which has been virtually unused since 1999. The team starting playing in Comerica Park in 2000.

Grosse Pointe attorney Gary Spicer, who is working with Harwell, said the city will have Harwell's complete plan by Aug. 31.

Harwell, who was the voice of the Tigers for more than 40 years, is touting a concept that will incorporate museums, a 10,000-seat ball field, residential lofts and commercial development for the corner of Michigan and Trumbull.

"Things are moving forward," said Spicer.

The City Council voted last month on a plan that would mean demolition could begin in October, but George Jackson, the city's head of economic development, said a viable redevelopment plan with solid financing could keep the stadium standing.

The question about when Joe Louis Arena's lease expires has fueled speculation as to what will happen with the Red Wings.

Companies controlled by the Ilitches have acquired nearly all of the land behind their Fox Theatre and Hockeytown Cafe, fueling speculation they will build a new home for the Wings and move the team to the Foxtown area on Woodward north of Grand Circus Park.

The lease, which was crafted before the Ilitch family owned the team, is considered one of the most lucrative in the National Hockey League and is a reason the Red Wings are one of the league's most valuable teams.

Olympia Arenas pays the city just $450,000 a year to lease both Joe Louis Arena and Cobo arena. The city gets a cut of concessions plus a ticket surcharge, which has averaged around $2.5 million a year since 2000.

Detroit officials have no say in whether the contract will be extended.

Other related stories at the Detroit News:

Tuesday, August 14, 2007

D.C. Lobbyists for Michael Malik's Port Huron casino scheme terminated

Michael Malik's longtime D.C. lobbying firm Wheat Government Relations (WheatGR) and neophyte lobbyist Daniel Feliz (a rookie lobbyist whose family has political ties to Rep. John Doolittle and former Rep. Richard Pombo) are reporting mid-year terminations by Malik's Blue Water Resorts, L.L.C. Nothing has been reported yet to suggest Malik's Blue Water Resorts had retained the services of any new lobbying firms.

Blue Water Resorts, L.L.C. is noted as a Gaming Development Company that was formed by Malik in 2001 and has a mailing address at the Fox Theater Office Building in downtown Detroit where Malik's various enterprises and Ilitch Holdings, Inc. have their primary offices. A lawsuit Malik has filed against a competitor recently suggests Blue Water Resorts, L.L.C. is an enterprise Malik formed to support his activities surrounding plans for an off-reservation Bay Mills Indian Casino Malik's proposed for the Thomas Edison Inn site in Port Huron, Michigan.

Wheat GR and Feliz had been lobbying on H.R. 2176, a bill introduced in May by Rep. Bart Stupak (D-MI 1st) and co-authored by Rep. Candice Miller (R-MI 10th) to provide for and approve the settlement of certain land claims of the Bay Mills Indian Community. Both lobbying firms were terminated at the end of July. Malik's Blue Water Resorts had paid the two firms a total of $100,000 since January 1, 2007. H.R. 2176 has yet to make any progress in the House of Representatives.

Another Malik enterprise, MJM Enterprises (MJM Enterprises Development Company) has retained Potomac Partners D.C. (a lobbying firm headed by Richard Alcalde in which neophyte lobbyist Daniel Feliz is also an employee) to represent Malik's interests lobbying on H.R. 2176. Malik's MJM Enterprises paid Potomac Partners D.C. $60,000 for representation during the first half of 2007.

The Bay Mills Indian Community retained Drinker, Biddle & Reath lobbyist Virginia Boylan this past January (2007) but report paying less than $10,000 to the firm during the first half of 2007.

In July 2006, the Bay Mills tribe retained Zell & Cox to also represent the tribe's land claims interests and has paid that firm less than $20,000 for its services for the period from July 2006 through July 2007.

The Bay Mills Indian Community has been represented by Wheat Government Relations (a lobbying firm with multiple ties to Michael Malik) for nearly a decade but lobbying disclosures from WheatGR for the first half of 2007 were not yet posted.

Since January 2007:

  • Blue Water Resorts/MJM Enterprises has paid $160,000 to D.C. lobbyists; and
  • Bay Mills Indian Community has paid just $10,000 to D.C. lobbyists (absent any payments that may have been made to Wheat Government Relations but were yet to be recorded).

UPDATE: D.C. lobbying expenses logged by casino affiliates/partners of Michael J. Malik & Marian Ilitch top $3.53 million.

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Greektown Casino board chairman replaced


By Daniel Duggan

A meeting of the leaders of the Sault Ste. Marie Tribe of Chippewa Indians last week brought a shake-up in the management of the Greektown Casino in Detroit.

Aaron Payment, who has been chairman of the Greektown Casino Board of Directors since 2004, has been replaced by Fred Paquin, a
member of the tribal board of directors and Sault Tribal Police Chief.

"This isn’t something that is going to change the operations of the board in any way," said former Deputy Detroit Fire Commissioner Marvin Beatty, the only nontribal member of the Greektown Casino Board.

Payment, however, claims the vote was improperly held and intends to challenge it tonight at a meeting of the tribal board.

He said the vote was cast by the board that oversees the Greektown Casino on Thursday, not the tribal board itself. Though the casino board is made up of the 13 members of the tribal board and Beatty, Payment said three tribal board members were not present to vote at the Greektown board meeting. Technically, the vote should be cast at a meeting of the tribal board, which will be held tonight.

When he was elected by the Sault Ste. Marie tribe as chairman in 2004, the board passed a resolution that the chairman of the tribal board will always be chairman of the Greektown board, Payment said. It takes a vote of seven to undo a prior resolution, he said. Thursday’s vote was five in favor of ousting Payment, three against and three abstentions.

Beatty was one of the abstentions

"I’ve been satisfied with Aaron Payment’s leadership but not dissatisfied with the idea of Fred Paquin being chairman," Beatty said.

Beatty declined to comment on why some board members were not happy with Payment’s leadership.

Payment will remain chairman of the Sault Ste. Marie tribal board. His four-year term for that position expires next year.

He said the five board members are part of a political faction with the intention of installing him as chairman.

"If we’re to demonstrate to the business world that we are a stable organization, we shouldn’t be able to let a political coup by five angry board members jeopardize the stability of the Greektown casino," Payment said. "I hope our council will move to stabilize this so we don’t have a black eye."

A message was left for Paquin but was not returned

Attorney General Gonzales visits with Michigan Tribal Leaders, announces grants


Gonzales announces grants to fight crime on Indian reservations

HARBOR SPRINGS, Mich. (AP) -- The Justice Department plans to use $3 million in grants to help American Indian tribes in Michigan fight violent crimes, U.S. Attorney General Alberto Gonzales announced Tuesday.

Gonzales also met with leaders of the state's 12 federally recognized tribes. The discussion was held at a Little Traverse Bay Bands of Odawa Indians center, about 230 miles northwest of Detroit.

"The challenges of Indian country are American challenges involving crime and drug abuse. No neighborhood is immune to these crimes," Gonzales said.

The grants are for crime prevention and improvements to victim assistance. Similar grants have helped the Odawas establish a Web-based system to share criminal history records with other tribes, Odawa grant writer Heidi Yaple told the Petoskey News-Review.

Last year, Gonzales said federal authorities would re-examine unsolved criminal cases on American Indian reservations to see whether new investigative tools could be used.

Gonzales did not comment Tuesday on the dismissal of Margaret Chiara, former U.S. attorney for Michigan's western district.

Chiara had worked with tribal leaders to establish programs curtailing violence against women. She was one of eight top federal prosecutors forced to resign earlier this year by the Justice Department.

Information from: Petoskey News-Review,

Attorney General Alberto R. Gonzales Meets With Tribal Leaders and Announces New Funding for Tribal Communities In Michigan

PRNewswire 8.14.07

Attorney General Gonzales Meets With Tribal Leaders & Announces New Funding for Tribal Communities In Michigan

WASHINGTON -- Attorney General Alberto R. Gonzales today visited with Michigan's tribal leaders to discuss the importance of a sustained commitment to cooperation among tribal, state and federal law enforcement agencies. At an event hosted by the Little Traverse Bay Bands of Odawa Indians, the Attorney General participated in a roundtable discussion that focused on the challenges each tribe faces, their law enforcement successes, and identifying ways that the Justice Department can better assist tribes in enforcing the law.

In addition, the Attorney General announced new Department of Justice grant awards totaling more than $3 million while meeting with tribal leaders to underscore the Department's commitment to fighting crime in tribal regions. The awards, administered through the Department's Office of Justice Programs (OJP), Office on Violence Against Women (OVW), and Office of Community Oriented Policing Services (COPS), will primarily be used for crime prevention efforts, increased resources for law enforcement, and improvements to victim assistance services in tribal regions in Michigan ...

The awards announced today include more than $2 million in grants from OVW ...

New COPS grants announced today totaled more than $500,000, and were part of the office's Tribal Resource Grants Program ...

OJP grants totaling more than $435,000 will go to the Little Traverse Bay Bands of Odawa Indians and the Hannahville Indian Community to support the development, implementation, enhancement, and continuing operation of tribal courts; and to the Bay Mills Indian Community and Grand Traverse Band of Ottawa and Chippewa Indians for improving the ability of these communities to provide direct services to victims of violent crimes ...

SOURCE: U.S. Department of Justice

Ilitch leveraged future earnings to borrow Tigers' share of Comerica Park stadium development

as published Spring 1998 in Outside the Lines (a publication of the Society for American Baseball Research):

Detroit: Tigers owner Mike Ilitch borrowed $145 million from Sumitomo Bank, collateralized by future revenue streams, as the team’s contribution toward the estimated $260 million cost of a new stadium ...

How Detroit casino syndicators financed the campaign that brought Las Vegas-style casino gaming to Detroit

In 1996, Detroit casino advocates spent nearly $5 million during the closing days of their winning campaign to bring slot machines, roulette wheels and blackjack tables to Detroit, including $20,000 to radio talk show host Bill Bonds.

In a surprise move, a business enterprise -- Z.R.X., L.L.C. -- formed less than one month prior to the election and later discovered to be controlled by Thomas Celani, members of the Ilitch Family and Michael J. Malik; contributed more than $5 million to fund an 11th Hour advertising blitz credited with giving gambling proponents the push needed to pass Proposal E with a narrow margin of victory.

It was reported by the Detroit News that pro-casino forces (thanks to Celani/Ilitch/Malik) outspent opponents of the ballot initiative by a margin of 10-1, according to campaign finance reports filed. Needless to say, opponents were caught off guard and helpless, unable to respond in the last days of the campaign.

Despite the cash tsunami that advantaged Proposal E proponents, they won their campaign by a much smaller margin: 1,878,542 in favor to 1,768,156 against (difference of 110,386 votes), or 51.5 percent to 48.5 percent (a difference of just 3%).

In return for the funding the campaign, Celani/Ilitch/Malik (Z.R.X.) took 85% control of Atwater Casino Group, L.L.C. and signed a preliminary deal with Las Vegas-based Circus Circus (Mandalay Resort Group) which included, as SEC documents would later reveal, reimbursement of all Proposal E campaign contributions by Atwater Casino Group members.

One must question what "understandings" or "commitments" were in place before Celani/Ilitch/Malik forwarded the $5 million to the campaign pushing passage of Proposal E. Had they planned all along to fund the $5 million at the last minute to avoid disclosures or discovery of the funding sources? Tom Shields the primary public relations counselor/political consultant for the Ilitch Family and Michael Malik had been part of the established campaign team pushing passage of Proposal E early on.

Is This How They Financed 2006 Barstow Campaign Too?
Could a model similar to this be how Michael Malik and Marian Ilitch planned to finance the nearly $150,000 debt their Barstow campaign committee is still carrying forward from the 2006 June Primary election? Are Las Vegas interests going to step in to pay them back for that $200,000 campaign too?

You may want to review this post as well:

Former aide who reportedly weighed in on Big Lagoon decision associated with Pinnacle Entertainment

NOTE: It has been suggested that Bonnie Reiss was influential based on environmental concerns in getting Governor Schwarzenegger's negotiators to consider relocating a tribal casino for the Big Lagoon Rancheria some 750 miles away from its Humboldt County Reservation to Barstow, CA. One must wonder what role now or in the future Pinnacle Entertainment might have with Barwest LLC?


Schwarzenegger adviser linked to card clubs, Nevada casinos

Rivals cry foul amid actor's attacks on Indian gaming

Mark Martin, Chronicle Sacramento Bureau

A top political adviser to Arnold Schwarzenegger serves on the board of directors of a company that owns two Nevada casinos and has interests in two Southern California card clubs that compete with casinos run by California Indian tribes.

Schwarzenegger has made attacking tribes and their political influence a major tenet of his campaign, prompting the actor's top Republican opponent in the recall election and a tribal gaming group to raise conflict-of-interest questions about Schwarzenegger Friday. At issue is Bonnie Reiss, a longtime Schwarzenegger ally who has taken an increasingly public role in his bid to be governor.

Reiss earns $30,000 a year as a director of Pinnacle Entertainment. The company owns casinos in Reno and Verdi, Nev., and earns money from leases on two California card clubs, including the Hollywood Park Casino, located in Inglewood (Los Angeles County) and one of the largest card clubs in California.

"Clearly, he's got a bit of a conflict," said Jacob Coin, executive director of the California Indian Nations Gaming Association. "He's blasting the tribes very publicly and on the other hand quietly receiving political advice from someone with a major interest in a business that competes with us."

The clout of Indian tribes has become a central issue in the recall election and has provided an unusual side note to an already unusual campaign: an advertising battle between the actor-turned-candidate and tribes.

Several tribes have contributed more than $9 million to help the campaigns of Gov. Gray Davis, Lt. Gov. Cruz Bustamante, both Democrats, and state Sen. Tom McClintock, R-Thousand Oaks (Ventura County). Schwarzenegger began airing television commercials this week accusing casino-operating Indians of not paying their fair share of taxes to the state and wielding too much influence over politicians.

In response, at least one tribe is paying for newspaper ads lashing out at Schwarzenegger.

A Schwarzenegger aide dismissed as "pathetic, flat spin" the idea that Reiss was somehow influencing campaign policy. Aide Rob Stutzman said Reiss had had no say on the Schwarzenegger campaign's public concerns about tribal influence.

He said the theme had stemmed in part from private meetings gaming tribes had last month with Davis, Bustamante and McClintock.

"There is no conflict (for Schwarzenegger)," said Stutzman. "The conflict is when you go behind closed doors in meetings with the tribes, won't say what was promised and then start pouring millions of dollars into campaigns."

Reiss is CEO of the After School All-Stars, a nonprofit Schwarzenegger started to promote after-school activities for disadvantaged children. She is a longtime friend of Schwarzenegger's wife, Maria Shriver, and became a paid member of his campaign team in August. Reiss has been presented to reporters working on stories about the actor's attitudes toward women, and has said that he treats women with respect.

She joined the board of directors of the Las Vegas-based Pinnacle Entertainment last year.

McClintock mentioned Reiss to reporters at a Sacramento press conference Friday, saying she "has major financial interests in . . . casinos that are looking at California's Indian casinos as competition and are trying to put them out of business."

And Coin said Schwarzenegger shouldn't be let off the hook for Reiss' role in his campaign and the attacks on tribes.

"I don't think you can disconnect that so casually," he said.

Schwarzenegger has sworn he wouldn't be beholden to special interests if elected.

Pinnacle is a special interest. The company has spent more than $300,000 on Sacramento lobbyists since 2000 and is part of an industry that has nearly annual battles with tribes over legislation in Sacramento affecting the gaming industry.

Card clubs spent heavily on ad campaigns to defeat initiatives that voters approved to allow Indian gaming.

And in 2001 and 2002, Pinnacle lobbied for legislation that would have given it an exemption from state law to own the Hollywood Park card club. The measure failed; it was opposed by 28 Indian tribes.

Schwarzenegger has said in campaign appearances and ads that he favors forcing tribes to turn over $1 billion in "taxes" from their casino profits to the state.

Bustamante and McClintock, however, have argued tribes are sovereign nations and therefore the state has very little power to force them to do anything.

E-mail Mark Martin at

Was Michael Malik's "homeland security project" associated with Safe Travel LLC, SPidS?

Michael Malik's biography in recent years has included reference to a "homeland security project" with which he's involved; although, he's never been able to receive a license or a waiver from the Michigan Gaming Control Board. His biograhpy has suggested he apparently traveled to Ireland where he convened and moderated a panel on homeland security for Members of Congress and other international dignitaries. *

The homeland security project may likely have been associated with a Farmington Hills (Warren), MI, enterprise known as Safe Travel L.L.C. (also Safe Travel USA LLC). That enterprise had developed and apparently patented something called SPidS -- Secure Perimeter ID System.

Safe Travel, L.L.C. previously known as Secure Perimeter I.D. Systems, L.L.C., has failed to keep its records up to date with the Michigan Department of Labor & Economic Growth since 2005. It's not known at this time whether or not the venture continues or perhaps continues on under another name.

Those known to have been associated with Safe Travel L.L.C. include Manager/CEO Ghassan Brikho (he's also associated with Secure Check Cashing Inc. and Secure Merchant Services, an entity located at the same address); Tom Shields (Marketing Resource Group); David C. Bloom (former Chief Information Officer); and Emmet Denha (joined Michael Malik as a donor to Michigan's Democratic Senator Debbie Stabenow and GOP Rep. Candice Miller). Also at the same address is International Modern Investment, Inc., agent Mike Dikhow, d/b/a Liberty Wholesale Foods, Liberty International and Liberty International Wholesale. previously provided this description of Safe Travel L.L.C.:
"Real-time biometrics may be embedded into airline boarding passes, according to Safe-Travel LLC, Farmington Hills, Mich., which has patented its Secure Perimeter Identification System ("SPIdS").

"SPIdS uses commercial facial and fingerprint recognition systems engineered by Imagis Technologies, Identix Inc., and Digital Persona.

"By combining fingerprint with facial recognition systems, through badge procedures, the possibility of a false-positive match is nearly eliminated."

Military & Aerospace electronics (PennWell) described the venture as:
"Safe-Travel develops biometric airplane ticket
"Safe-Travel LLC experts in Farmington Hills, Mich., are offering a biometrics system for airport security called Secure Perimeter Identification System, or SPIdS. Safe-Travel won the SPIdS patent in September 2000, which defines how to embed real-time biometrics on airline boarding passes.

"SPIdS uses commercial facial and fingerprint recognition systems from Imagis Technologies, Visionics, and Digital Persona, company officials say. Safe-Travel and its integration partners IBM, Toshiba TEC Corp., Factotem, American Barcode, Imaging Automation, and TeamLinux, provide security and quick access to facial and fingerprint biometrics.

"Combining fingerprint with facial recognition systems through badge procedures virtually eliminates the possibility of a false-positive match, Safe-Travel officials claim. SPIdS matches and tracks face, prints out a picture, and enables continuous monitoring of an individual within a secure perimeter, company officials say.

"The SPIdS Smart Station profiles first-time travelers at check-in through an identification process that includes pre-flight questions, a digital photograph, fingerprint, and a database query, company officials say. Once verified, this data flows into the SPIdS database for future identification. The database can also be networked to other databases, Safe-Travel official say.

"For more information on SPIdS or Safe-Travel contact the company by phone at 248-539-9400, by mail at 30777 Northwestern Highway, Suite 108, Farmington Hills, Mich. 48334, by e-mail at, or on the World Wide Web at http://www."

The enterprise's Web site is no longer active. Perhaps the venture failed?

*Most likely one of the lobbying excursions put together by a group like the Ripon Society -- Malik's casino syndication team has included the biographies of lobbyists from the D.C. firm Kessler & Associates when pitching their proposals but paid Kessler & Associates Business Services through another lobbying firm Wheat Government Relations. Richard Kessler heads the Ripon Society.

You may want to review these related posts:

EDITORIAL: Malik seeks to distance his own casino scheme and expose fellow casino promoter's 'con game'


EDITORIAL: Lawsuit seeks end to DeFeo's con games

Checkered past of would-be developer gets court exposure

If some see Clinton Township businessman Tony DeFeo's $600 million development as the savior of Kimball Township, a range of factors suggest the opposite.

For starters, there isn't any solid evidence DeFeo even could pull off the 505-room hotel, 7,800-seat arena, 8,000-seat stadium and 400,000-square-foot convention center he plans to build near Kimball's Horizon Outlet Center. Dirt has been moved, and trees cut down, but that's no indication the project actually is under way.

There is no official mention of a gambling facility at the site, the key feature of his failed development proposal for downtown Port Huron. DeFeo is the defendant of a lawsuit, however, that contends he's hawking the project as the home of a new casino to potential investors.

Mike Malik, a leader of the campaign for an Indian-owned casino at Port Huron's Thomas Edison Inn, is the plaintiff. The suit, filed Friday in St. Clair County Circuit Court, seeks an injunction on DeFeo's Kimball Township project.

Among its allegations:

DeFeo is using the name "Blue Water Casino," strikingly similar to Malik's company, Blue Water Resorts, L.L.C.

DeFeo is deliberately using the name "to confuse investors, the public and public officials."

DeFeo's legal problems speak to his intention to deceive investors. He was convicted in 2002 for conspiracy to sell marijuana. He filed for personal bankruptcy in June 2001, two months before several partners agreed to settle a fraud lawsuit for $1 million. Barry Switzer, former coach of the Dallas Cowboys and the University of Oklahoma, Dave McCurdy a former Democratic congressman of Oklahoma and former Oklahoma attorney general Larry Derryberry, were among those who paid the settlement. TransNav Properties LLC and three individuals - Konstantine Kpordelis, Ilja Vreeken and Steven Vreeken - sued DeFeo and three companies three months ago in Oakland County Circuit Court. They said they paid $200,000 for two shares in a Port Huron casino. They are suing for fraud.

Malik's suit details more examples of DeFeo's questionable practices, enough to warn potential investors that giving him money for a casino or any other scheme is a sure way to make their investments disappear.

It further confirms growing suspicions of our community that the self-styled developer has all the unmistakable marks of a confidence man. His schemes - a casino in Port Huron, an automobile factory in Port Huron Township and managing the St. Clair County International Airport - share one thing in common: big talk with no substance.

Kimball Township officials hope DeFeo isn't just blowing smoke about his plans. The township is stuck with a half-built arena that attracts trespassers who pose safety concerns. A commercial development there would be a relief.

Like any good confidence man, though, DeFeo knows how to spin a good yarn. Malik's suit hopes to prevent another unhappy ending.

Monday, August 13, 2007

Barstow official & Barwest attorney kept their knowledge of reported Chemehuevi campsite in City of Barstow hush-hush

Although publicly denying any awareness of a Chemehuevi archaeological site in Barstow at City Council meetings and in Sacramento, a string of 2005 e-mails obtained by TVT clearly indicate that Barstow Economic Development Director Ron Rector and Barwest attorney Lance Boldrey as well as others in the City of Barstow and associated with Barwest LLC were fully aware of the remains of a former Chemehuevi campsite within Barstow City limits -- less than one mile from the proposed Barwest/Big Lagoon Rancheria/Los Coyotes Band of Indians casinos and resorts.

Boldrey and others speaking on behalf of Barwest LLC and its tribal partners have repeatedly insisted in public testimony that no modern-day tribes have any ancestral histories in Barstow.

They may have kept this information from Governor Schwarzenegger's representatives as well while they were negotiating agreements in 2005 that would give Detroit-based Barwest LLC the right to develop and manage two side by side casino resorts in Barstow and earn up to 30% of the net proceeds of the two Indian casinos.

Curiously, The City of Barstow has been delaying public participation in the legally mandated update of its ten year old General Plan, last updated in 1997.

* * *

FROM: Ron Rector (Barstow Economic Development Director)
SENT: February 23, 2005
RE: HCED Listserve Draft Tribal Consultation Guidelines Regarding Local Land Use Planning

Looks like the Chemehuvis’ [sic] may get a shot at you yet.


FROM: Boldrey, Lance R. (attorney, Barwest LLC)
SENT: February 23, 2005
RE: HCED Listserve Draft Tribal Consultation Guidelines Regarding Local Land Use Planning

I would not necessarily jump to that conclusion, although I’d be interested to get Scott’s [Priester, then-Barstow Planning Director] perspective after he’s reviewed the materials and gone through the workshop (if he’s going).

First, these appear to be triggered only upon adoption or amendment of “general” or “specific” plans. I defer to you guys and the CEQA experts as to whether that is required by our development and a new MSA.

Second, and more to the point, these require consultation only when a tribe has a “cultural place” within the city’s limits. As I read the definitions and examples of such sites (page 4 of the supplement document), the asserted Chemehuevi “place” does not appear to fit. “Cultural place” appears to be intended to capture those sites of either permanent habitation or of particular religious significance, with the caveat that the term also includes sites listed or eligible for listing in the CA Register of Historic Places. The Chemehuevi “site” within the city’s limits was only a campground on a trading route from, I believe the late 1800’s. We also do not know if any historical evidence has actually established it as such. (All we know is someone from the City contacted the tribe several years ago to see if this campground was linked to them, and they of course agreed that it was.)

As you know the historical research we commissioned from experts in the field shows that the Barstow area was inhabited historically by a band that is now extinct. Any other tribal ties to the area would have been tenuous ties from tribes essentially just passing through. Accordingly, I would not conclude that the Chemehuevi will have standing to weigh in even if a new or amended “general” or “specific” plan is required.

(From an outside perspective, I think this bill is likely to lead to real chaos, as many tribes will undoubtedly “overclaim” the protections of the act to demonstrate power over larger areas of territory. If there is no real independent check to determine if a site is, in fact, a “cultural place” expect a nightmare.)

Finally, this issue does present one potential problem with moving the site for the gaming development, if, in fact, the parcel that Argovitz is pursuing is the same parcel that the Chemehuevi had optioned, the Chemehuevi’s fee-to-trust applications asserts that the so-called Chemehuevi campsite is actually located ON THIS PARCEL. This could complicate matters if different tribes seek to have the land placed into trust ...


FROM: Scott Priester (Barstow Planning Director)
SENT: March 03, 2005
RE: Lance Boldrey Comments

Thoughts/comments on Lance Boldrey’s comments

1) I am not attending the workshop – it’ll likely be in northern California;
2) The destination resort project is located in the adopted Lenwood Specific Plan area. Depending on the details of the development that will be off federal lands, an amendment to the specific plan may be needed to carry out the project (the devil’s in the details).
3) It doesn’t appear to matter if there is a “cultural place” in the City – if their name is on the Native American Heritage Commission (NAHC) list, we’re subject to it. I have requested a list from the NAHC of the tribes with whom the City will have to consult. It was faxed to NAHC in Sacramento today, so stay tuned.

All in all, I don’t necessarily think this will be a way to tube a project, but it could cause delay, mitigation negotiations, etc. on certain projects.

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

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