Friday, July 04, 2008

Team Ilitch packaged Hawaii gambling initiative as "grassroots;" failed to disclose lobbying payments

Excerpted from a story, "Gambling Still Hot Issue," published 2.06.02 in the Honolulu Advertiser:

...Holomua Hawai'i, a group that includes investors in a Detroit casino called MotorCity, said the petition signatures had been collected in three weeks last April and represent growing grassroots support for gambling...

The major investors in the plan are Marian Illitch and Mike Malik, partners in the Detroit casino. Illitch's family owns the Detroit Tigers baseball team and Detroit Red Wings hockey team, as well as the Little Caesars pizza chain and other businesses. Malik is a developer and longtime consultant for Michigan casinos owned by Indian tribes.

In a video produced by Holomua Hawai'i, economists and others argue that gambling would create jobs, provide more government revenue, and revive the state's ailing tourism-dependent economy.

Holomua Hawai'i, named after the Hawaiian word for progress, is packaged as a grassroots effort, but it is in fact the creation of a Michigan public relations and political consulting firm hired by Illitch and Malik to promote the casino plan. The firm, Marketing Resource Group [owned by Tom Shields], spent nearly $11,000 lobbying lawmakers between January and April last year, records show.

But the company now risks a fine because it failed to file a lobbying expenditure report for the rest of the year, which was due at the state Ethics Commission on Thursday. Donna Halinski, a consultant with the firm, conceded that it had paid people to gather the petition...

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certainly must reads!

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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