Wednesday, January 14, 2009

Tribe's financial backers slipped $25,000 to Governor

Detroit casino syndicators bankrolling casino development plans for the Shinnecock Indian Nation funneled $25,000 on 8.18.04 to George Pataki’s other political committee -- one set up out-of-state, in Virginia -- while he was still New York Governor: 21st Century Freedom State PAC.

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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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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