Thursday, November 06, 2008

Michigan casino developers must be pleased that despite predictions Rep. Young won re-election

Despite earlie polls indicating he would be defeated in his bid for re-election, Rep. Don Young (R-AK), one of Detroit casino syndicator Michael Malik's pals on Capitol Hill, has been re-elected.

Rep. Young, Alaska's sole House member since 1973, appears to have survived an otherwise bruising night for House Republicans across the U.S. He maintains a comfortable lead over his Democratic challenger, former state Rep. Ethan Berkowitz, capturing 51.49% to Berkowitz’s 43.97%.

Young, who championed the "Bridge to Nowhere" among other controversial earmarks, is embroiled in a corruption investigation and facing scrutiny for a controversial highway-bill earmark (Coconut Road, FL) that benefited one of his donors/fundraisers, Daniel Aronoff. .

Among other things, Young has relentlessly helped Malik advance various schemes intended to approve an off-reservation casino in Port Huron, Michigan, to be built and managed by Malik whose partners have included Marian Ilitch, Harrah's and others.

During the last decade, Rep. Young served as Chairman, Vice Chairman and now Ranking Member of the House Natural Resources Committee which has oversight of Indian gaming matters. Young co-sponsored two of at least seven bills introduced intending to pave the way for Malik's casino plans -- H.R. 5459 (2002) & H.R. 831 (2003). During the second session of the 110th Congress, Young successfuly championed Natural Resources Committee approval of H.R. 2176 and then passionately lead the failed floor fight for passage of the bill.

Young, previously Chairman of the House Transportation Committee, also attempted to use transportation appropriations bills during 2004 & 2005 to slip through, under the radar, approvals Malik needs; a controversial practice that Young carried out on behalf of other donors as well.

During the last six years, Malik and his partners have retained several of Rep. Young's "A-Team" lobbyists -- secretly paying some of them more than $665,000. They've used their private aircraft to fly Young to various U.S. destinations and fronted other entertainment costs, and contributed thousands to Young's various campaign committees and other GOP committees that benefit Young -- in 2006 they were among his top 10 donors.

For a more complete picture of Young's relationship with Malik and partners, see our post from August 2007 or click on the label "Don Young."

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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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