TVT has previously reported that Detroit-based casino syndicator Michael J. Malik, Sr., made a first-time $2,000 political contribution to Florida Rep. Alcee Hastings on 10.10.08. And we explored the circumstances that might have motivated that Malik contribution.
Now, TVT has discovered that apparently ten days before Malik showed his generosity to Hastings, Malik’s lobbyist, former Rep. Alan Wheat (D-MO) also contributed $2,000 to Rep. Hastings. And there are other circumstances that suggest the contributions from Malik and Wheat were tied together.
It does not appear that either Malik or Wheat had ever contributed to Rep. Hastings’ political committees prior to 9.30.08.
As it turns out, Rep. Hastings, a senior member of the House Rules Committee, had carried a Resolution into the House last summer (H.R. 1298) which was the vehicle by which H.R. 2176 came to the floor and was put to a full vote. Had the later bill been approved, it would have paved the way for Malik to build and manage an Indian casino in Port Huron, MI.
Wheat Government Relations, a D.C. lobbying firm headed by former Rep. Alan Wheat (D-MO) has represented both the Bay Mills Indian Community (1998-2008) and Blue Water Resorts (2004-2008), the syndicated enterprise bankrolling the Port Huron casino scheme. Blue Water Resorts is tied directly to Michael Malik. Additionally, a lobbying disclosure report indicates Blue Water Resorts is “affiliated” with the Bay Mills Indian Community; that is, paying the tribe’s lobbying bills and directing the tribe’s lobbying activity. Blue Water Resorts is also affiliated with MJM Enterprises & Development, another lobbyist employer supporting the Port Huron casino scheme. Malik clearly is directing the entire effort from the wings, hiding behind these various affiliates.
Wheat, Malik and the Bay Mills tribe have been trying to get several bills shaped as land claims settlements approved by Congress since 2002; but their other attempts to get congressional action that could result in the ability to build a casino in Port Huron date back to 1998. The action by Rep. Hastings represents the first time one of their schemes has made its way onto the House floor for a vote.
Disclosure reports filed with the Federal Election Commission (FEC) indicate as follows:
- Hastings for Congress reported receiving a $2,000 contribution on 9.30.08 from Alan Wheat, CEO at Wheat Government Realtions,1201 South Ends Street, Arlington, VA 22202.
Hastings for Congress reported receiving a $2,000 contribution on 10.10.08 from Michael J. Malik, Sr., a Developer at Wheat Government Relations, 1201 South Ends Street, Suite Two, Arlington, VA 22202. This record is makes false representations.
Did Hastings' treasurer get those details off the check the committee received? How did the treasurer make such an error when reporting contributions that were made at different times? And by different people? Odd.
But then again, maybe not.
Consider that Malik’s affiliates Blue Water Resorts and Gateway Casino Resorts employ the Wheat firm as lobbyists; as do the Bay Mills Indian Community and Shinnecock Indian Nation, two of Malik’s business partners. Malik is paying for and directing the lobbying activity of all four entities.
Malik is a business/real estate developer, casino syndicator and self-identified entrepreneur who is engaged in various partnerships with members of Detroit’s Ilitch family and whose various business enterprises are mainly located at the headquarters of Ilitch Holdings, Inc., 2211 Woodward Ave., Detroit, MI 48201 -- not in Arlington, VA.
And curiously, both Hastings for Congress transaction records reported the addresses at 1202 South Ends Street. However, Wheat Government Relations is actually located at 1202 South Eads Street.
There's little doubt that these contributions weren't actually bundled even though they're reported to be received ten days apart. If the checks had been delivered directly and separately by their makers, the details wouldn't have been confused. Malik would not have been recorded as an employee of Wheat Government Relations nor his address listed in Arlington, VA.
There can be little question about the motivations of Malik and Wheat.
But there should be a lot more questions put to Malik, Wheat and Hastings.