Saturday, December 13, 2008

Former Interior Official says Rep. Don Young frequently pushes matters that aren't in the public interest and fails

In a story published 12.10.08 about Rep. Don Young (R-AK) losing his leadership position as ranking member on the House Natural Resources Committee, the Anchorage Daily News quotes Deborah Williams, a former Clinton Administration official who worked under Interior Secretary Bruce Babbitt as saying:
    "When Don Young sought to advance the public good in that position, it was a pleasure to work with him and he was very effective."

    "But again and again, when he sought to advocate for legislation or interests that were not in the public interest ... he was thwarted and spent a lot of energy and political capital on issues that did not advance."
Williams' statement is perhaps exemplified by the numerous failed schemes Rep. Young helped advance throughout the last decade intended to grant approvals for Detroit casino syndicators to build a third Bay Mills Indian Community casino in Port Huron, MI, 300+ miles by automobile from the tribe's reservation on Michigan's Upper Peninsula -- plans nevertheless backed by several of Rep. Young's more significant Michigan-based campaign contributors including Mike & Marian Ilitch and their Detroit-based gaming and development partner Michael J. Malik, Sr.

Proponents of the Port Huron casino schemes say the project would be good for the local economy. Opponents say the plan sets a dangerous national precedent for the approval and subsequent widespread expansion of off-reservation gaming establishments nationwide; and that non-Indian casino syndicators are simply exploiting tribes and seeking to find "reservation-shopping" loopholes in the Indian Gaming Regulatory Act (IGRA) so they can build, manage and profit from "off-reservation" Indian casinos located in more lucrative urban markets.

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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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