In 2003, Marian Ilitch and Michael J. Malik, Sr. formed Gateway Casino Resorts LLC to bankroll and push plans for a Shinnecock Indian Nation casino resort in The Hamptons on Long Island.
At the time George Pataki was Governor of New York. If the tribe was going to receive federal recognition and develop a casino resort in the posh Hamptons resort area on Long Island, getting the Governor’s support would be an advantage.
To help with Pataki, Gateway and the Shinnecock had hired Mercury Public Affairs, a Manhattan-based public relations and lobbying firm with close ties to Pataki. One of the governor’s political consultants at the time was Kieran Mahoney, a principal at Mercury Public Affairs, plus former administration aides Mike McKeon and Tom Doherty were also affiliated with Mercury.
Pataki had set up a political committee in Virginia to raise money he could use for a possible campaign for President and to get around New York’s restrictions on campaign contributions. In a 1.15.05 disclosure, the 21st Century Freedom State PAC reported receiving a $25,000 contribution from M & M Ilitch Holdings Inc. located at 2211 Woodward Avenue, Detroit, MI 48201. That entity’s business was noted as “Financial Services.”
M & M Ilitch Holdings, Inc. was established 6.12.97 in Michigan by Mike Ilitch, owner of the Detroit Tigers baseball team, and his wife Marian Ilitch; however, a 6.26.01 Amendment to its Articles of Incorporation reported the entity’s name had been changed to Ilitch Holdings, Inc.
Neither Hoovers (D&B) nor Experian categorize Ilitch Holdings, Inc. as a "Financial Services" firm. It’s not clear why Pataki’s committee would report Ilitch Holdings' old name and categorize it as a financial services company. Were they simply trying to bury/hide the contribution?
Why use the old name for Ilitch Holdings, Inc. to contribute the $25,000? Why didn't Gateway Casino Resorts contribute the money?
Various expenditure records for the 21st Century Freedom State PAC indicate Mercury Public Affairs was paid frequently for consulting services. For example, Mercury received a total of $49,000 as reported in the PACs 6.15.04 disclosure.
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