Sunday, November 09, 2008

Detroit Tigers registered as Lansing Lobbyist but don't report Expenses

Detroit Tigers, Inc. is one of just two affiliates of Ilitch Holdings, Inc. to be registered to undertake lobbying activity in Michigan’s State Capitol. But the MLB franchise hasn't reported any lobbying expenses since 2003.

Stephen J. Quinn, Tigers’ VP Finance & Administration and CFO, is recorded as the lobbyist’s signatory. They have reported no additional lobbying expenses since 2003.

The Detroit Tigers report employing two lobbying/law firms as their lobbying agents in Lansing: James H. Karoub Associates and Muchmore Harrington Smalley & Assoc.; they are ranked #2 and #6 respectively among Michigan’s Top 200 Lobbying Firms.

Detroit Entertainment LLC, the company that owns MotorCity Casino is the other Ilitch Holdings, Inc. affiliate registered to lobby in Lansing.

The Detroit Lions (NFL) are registered to lobby and the last two years they report spending a total of $6,375 in additional lobbying expenses. They employ Public Affairs Associates Inc. (ranked #4) as their lobbyist agent.

Palace Sports and Entertainment, affiliated with the Detroit Pistons (NBA), is registered to lobby in Lansing and reports additional lobbying expenses of $14,437.94 the last two years. They employ the Kelly Cawthorne firm (ranked #9) as lobbyist agents.

In 2007, Gov. Jennifer Granholm and others in Lansing were considering a “luxury tax” which would have added a 6% charge on tickets to sporting events and concerts. It was reported that the normally competitive owners of sports team like Bill Davidson and Mike Ilitch had come together to block the proposal. They organized a so-called grassroots organization, “Fans Against the Ticket Tax,” and set up a Web site, It’s unclear what additional lobbying activity was waged in Lansing and if so, what expenses were reported and by whom.

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