Late last year (10.24.06), California's Fair Political Practices Commission (FPPC) fined BarWest L.L.C. (a casino syndicate controlled by Michael J. Malik and Mrs. Marian Ilitch) on two counts of failing to comply with California's political reform laws. Malik had failed to report that his Detroit-based BarWest L.L.C. made a contribution of $26,600 in October 2004 to the San Joaquin County GOP Committee. As it was, then-GOP Congressman Richard Pombo, who also happened to be chairman of the House Natural Resources Committee that oversees Indian gaming matters, was from San Joaquin County.
Malik paid a fine of $6,500.
As that 2004-2006 investigation was coming to a conclusion, Michael Malik was again making other contributions to the campaign committees of individual members of the California legislature (primarily between July 1, 2006 and December 31, 2006) and failing to report those contributions as required under California's political reform laws.
In fact, it appears Malik may have contribute $25,000 or more to 15 or more political committees during that time and failed to report those contributions as a major donor under California law.
TVT understands the FPPC has been conducting an investigation for the better part of 2007 into Malik's failure to report these contributions and other matters involving payments by BarWest LLC, Michael Malik and lobbyists Malik employed in California.
One must consider that if Mr. Malik blatantly violated political campaign laws in California, it's possible he has also been violating political reform laws and lobbying disclosures in Michigan, New York, Washington, D.C. and elsewhere.
Certainly if California's FPPC finds Malik and his associates violated laws once again in California, it would be responsible for authorities in other states and Washington, D.C. where Malik is involved with political contributions and lobbying payments to investigate his giving practices.
Malik has partnered with Marian Ilitch and the Ilitch family on various casino syndications and development projects over the last 15 years. However, Malik failed to win approval for a gaming license in Michigan in 1999 and was forced to transfer his shares in Detroit's MotorCity Casino to Marian Ilitch. Since then, throughout their various partnerships, Malik appears to have played the role of political "bag-man" or "bad cop" to Marian Ilitch's "good cop."
Some suggest Malik plays the role of Marian Ilitch's "Consigliere." It has been reported that there is a doorway that connects Malik's office to Marian Ilitch's office providing him with direct access into her private domain.
A business venture that involves Michael Malik and the Bay Mills Indian Community, a federally funded enterprise involved in the research and manufacturing of plastic parts and devices, is rumored to be under investigation by the FBI. It would seem appropriate for the Michigan Gaming Control Board (MGCB) to revisit Mr. Malik's close association and affiliation with Marian Ilitch and the Ilitch Family.