Sunday, June 08, 2008

Ilitch-owned Barwest finally reveals relationship with CA lobbying firm

According to details posted at CalAccess, the California Secretary of State's lobbying and political campaign disclosures Web site; as of 5.12.08, Detroit-based Barwest LLC has finally revealed it is a California "lobbyist employer." Previously Barwest failed to report as a "lobbyist employer" even though it was making back-door payments to several Sacramento-based lobbying firms representing its casino gaming interests.

Barwest LLC, a company formed by Mrs. Marian Ilitch and casino syndicator Michael J. Malik, Sr., reports employing the Sacramento lobbying firm Governmental Advocates, Inc., to represent the company's California gaming interests.

Ilitch and Malik have previously proposed several failed casino schemes for Barstow, CA. In 2004, their original plans for a stand-alone casino failed to win approval from Governor Schwarzenegger; and then, another plan for a larger resort project with two side-by-side casinos failed to win support in the legislature during both 2006 & 2007.

Barwest's on-again/off-again gaming partner, the Los Coyotes Band of Cahuilla and Cupeno Indians, terminated its lobbying arrangement with Governmental Advocates in April. Last Fall, Los Coyotes' former chairwoman Katherine Siva Saubel terminated the tribe's partnership agreement with Barwest. In doing so, the widely respected Native American elder referred to Barwest's Mike Malik as "the devil."

It's understood that California Fair Political Practices Commission (FPPC) has an ongoing investigation into irregularities in the reporting of campaign contributions and lobbying expenses paid by Michael Malik, Barwest (Malik/Ilitch) and the Los Coyotes Band of Indians.

Among other things, irregularities in California campaign disclosure documents suggest Governmental Advocates, Inc., may have inappropriately been involved funneling funds from Barwest's Michael J. Malik, Sr., to several state legislators.

And, although Governmental Advocates received several hundred thousand dollars in back-door lobbying payments from Barwest in the past; neither the lobbying firm, Barwest or Malik have ever disclosed any formal lobbying engagement until last month.

San Francisco attorney Michael Yaki -- who claimed previously to represent the Los Coyotes Band of Indians, despite being paid for his services by Barwest LLC -- is now noted as the casino syndicator's legal counsel and lobbying agent according to the 5.12.08 lobbying disclosures.

Yaki was at the center of financial discrepancies reported in lobbying disclosure documents filed throughout 2006. In February 2007, Yaki was forced to amend the Los Coyotes tribe's entire 2006 lobbying disclosures. Yaki had significantly understated what were represented as the Los Coyotes tribe's payments to lobbyists.

In 2006, Barwest was fined by California's FPPC on two counts of failing in 2004 to disclose a $26,000 political campaign contribution.

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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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