Monday, July 07, 2008

Tangled web of corruption in race to replace Rep. Doolittle; includes ties to Detroit gambling interests

Rep. John T. Doolittle is under federal criminal investigation in the Jack Abramoff lobbying scandal. Doolittle in his ninth term representing California's 4th Congressional District but announced in January that he would retire.

Tom McClintock is the darling of California conservatives. He ran for Governor against Republican Arnold Schwarzenegger in 2003. McClintock, who hails from Ventura County decided last Spring to pack up and move 350 miles away, in order to run for Doolittle's seat in the 4th CD. He succeeded in winning the GOP nomination.

John Feliz
McClintock's campaign manager is John Feliz, a GOP political operative who got his start helping Doolittle in his first campaign for public office. Feliz and Doolittle were fined on several counts for violating California election law in that campaign.

John Feliz has ties to former Rep. Richard Pombo. And Feliz's son, James Feliz, then a college student at University of the Pacific was involved in recruiting college students to work in Pombo's failed '06 re-election bid.

JohnsonClark Associates
Also tied to these politicos is a Sacramento-based political consulting firm JohnsonClark Associates. The firms president Wayne Johnson is the president of the American Association of Political Consultants (AAPC).

Pombo's campaign paid JohnsonClark more than $2.68 million during his '06 re-election campaign. Doolittle's campaign paid JohnsonClark $96,355 during the same campaign.

David Bauer, CFO at JohnsonClark, is treasurer for "McClintock for Congress." Pombo's campaign paid Bauer more than $53,000 during the '06 cycle for accounting services. Doolittle paid Bauer more than $18,000 for accounting services in the '06 cycle.

Partnership for America
According to a report 5.05.08 in The Hill:
A California-based group and other local officials filed a Federal Election Commission (FEC) complaint Monday [5.05.08] regarding the alleged ties between an ex-aide to Rep. Richard Pombo (R-Calif.) and state Sen. Tom McClintock (R)...

At issue is the role of Steve Ding — an ex-McClintock consultant and former chief of staff for Pombo — and The Partnership for America, a 501(c)4 advocacy group headed by Pombo.

McClatchy recently reported that Pombo’s group is organizing a $660,000 independent campaign in the 4th congressional district...

Ding was soliciting donors for the Partnership for America during an April 22 National Indian Gaming Association meeting...
Dan Feliz & Rick Alcalde
Another Feliz son, Daniel "Dan" Feliz is now registered as a D.C. lobbyist employed at Potomac Partners D.C. by Richard "Rick" Alcalde. Dan Feliz is a rookie lobbyist who has no relevant Capitol Hill experience other than being an intern. He graduated from the Navy Academy at Annapolis and attend Harvard.

Alcalde and Dan Feliz are contributors to Doolittle. Dan Feliz registered as a D.C. lobbyist on 5.01.06. Then on 9.30.06 Feliz made a $500 contribution to Doolittle's campaign but treasuer David Bauer falsely reported the younger Feliz as "retired" rather than as a "lobbyist." Certainly they all know the rookie lobbyist is not "retired." Why were they attempting to conceal that information?

Alcalde is one of Rep. Don Young's "A-Team" lobbyists who finds himself at the center of the $10 million Coconut Road, FL, earmark scandal involving Young (R-AK). Alcalde and Dan Feliz represent Daniel Aronoff (Landon Companies), the Michigan developer who reportedly raised funds for Young, flew him around in a private yet and stood to benefit greatly from the earmark.

Michael Malik & Marian Ilitch
Alcalde and Dan Feliz also represent Detroit casino syndicator Michael Malik (MJM Enterprises) and one of Malik's partners, the Shinnecock Indian Nation. Malik's business partner is Mrs. Marian Ilitch -- she owns Detroit's MotorCity Casino and co-owns the Detroit Red Wings and Little Ceasars Pizza.

Malik and Ilitch family members have contributed and raised more than $100,000 for Pombo and Young. They've also fronted travel and entertainment costs for the pair totaling more than $41,000. There are no direct contributions to Doolittle. But they've given nearly $97,000 to the National Republican Congressional Committee and National Republican Senatorial Committee; and at least $50,000 to the Republican National Committee.

And Detroit-based Malik has previously contributed $5,600 to Tom McClintock's California campaign.

Among other casino ventures throughout the U.S., Malik & Ilitch formed BarWest LLC and have pursued several failed attempts to bring Indian gaming to Barstow, CA.

Malik & BarWest were fined in California for failing to report a $26,000 contribution they made in 2004 to Pombo's San Joaquin County GOP Victory Committee. They are currently under investigation in California for failing to report a string of 2006 political contributions and for irregularities in lobbying reports and payments.

Although never publicly acknowledged, documents obtained by TVT suggest John Feliz has been involved behind the scenes with Malik & Ilitch on their plans for casino development in California.

And JohnsonClark's CFO David Bauer has provided bookkeeping and political reporting services to Malik/Ilitch affiliates.

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