Thursday, November 06, 2008

Rep. Miller Jockeying for House Appropriations Seat

According to a report by Todd Spangler in the Detroit Free Press, Rep. Candice Miller (R-MI 10th) is apparently angling for a seat on the House Appropriations Committee. Miller hopes to grab the seat held by Rep. Joe Knollenberger (R-MI 9th) who was defeated in his bid for re-election.

Miller, Michigan's former Secretary of State, was State Chair of Mayor Rudy Guiliani's failed presidential campaign. She had tapped Detroiters Mike Ilitch, Marian Ilitch and Michael J. Malik, Sr. to raise funds for Guiliani. Given that her guy failed to win the GOP nomination Miller had planned to skip the GOP National Convention in St. Paul. But when Senator McCain chose Gov. Palin, Miller reportedly changed her mind and headed west to the Twin Cities.

Detroit casino synidcator Michael Malik and his gaming partner Marian Ilitch, along with her husband Mike Ilitch and other members of their family, frequently top the list of Rep. Miller's campaign donors -- even though they aren't constituents in Michigan's 10th Congressional District.

In addition to contributing to Rep. Miller's campaign warchests, Malik and the Ilitch Family were the primary donors to CANDICE PAC, a so-called "leadership PAC" that Miller had established to win influence with her Capitol Hill colleagues. TVT started to expose CANDICE PAC's funding streams and the favors Rep. Miller was delivering to its donors.

For starters, Rep. Miller just happened to establish CANDICE PAC on the same day she introduced her first bill in Congress intended to get approvals for the Malik/Ilitch backed Port Huron casino. Malik was the first and only true donor to CANDICE PAC for the better part of the first year. After TVT began to expose these and other circumstances surrounding CANDICE PAC, Rep. Miller, who has further political ambitions, quickly shut down CANDICE PAC.

Tom Shields, the primary PR/political operative for Malik and the Ilitch Family, owns Marketing Resource Group (MRG). Rep. Miller uses MRG as her primary campaign consultant. Rep. Miller has sponsored and co-sponsored various failed bills in Congress intended to advance plans Malik and his associates have for an off-reservation Indian casino in Port Huron, MI. Rep. Don Young (R-AK) was the sole co-sponsor of the first such bill introduced by Rep. Miller. Subsequently, Rep. Young attempted several times to bury approvals for Malik's Port Huron casino in voluminous House Transportation Appropriations bills. Those efforts were eventually blocked too.

If Rep. Miller is chosen to replace Rep. Knollenberg on the Appropriations Committee, keep an eye out for future attempts to win stealth approval for Malik's Port Huron casino or earmarks that fund projects needed to advance real estate and development objectives of Malik and the Ilitch clan.

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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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