Sunday, December 21, 2008

Quid pro quo? Congressman takes contributions from Casino Syndicator, Lobbyist after carrying their bill

Quid pro quo? Was that the intent or understanding of contributions delivered to Rep. Alcee Hastings (D-FL), a senior member of the Rules Committee in the U.S. House of Representatives?

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.
Despite what’s represented by Hastings for Congress in its disclosure records, Michael Malik is not employed by Wheat Government Relations nor is his primary address in Arlington, VA.

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.

No comments:

TVT has welcomed more than 178,000 unique vistors

TVT, founded in December 2006, has averaged more than 20,000 visitors annually. It is produced with the support of scores of individuals from coast-to-coast, each a volunteer citizen activist/jounalist, who review tips and compile the verifiable details and documents that are the hallmark of our content.

Since our first post, more than 178,000 visitors have accessed the details compiled uniquely at TVT.

The citizen activists behind TVT wish to extened a big "THANK YOU" to all those who have provided "tips" -- contributed pictures, documents, link suggestions, leads, reports, insight and comments. Your trust and confidence in TVT has allowed us to create a comprehensive resource that thousands of others -- including bloggers, journalists, Members of Congress and other local citizen activists around the country -- have come to rely upon.

We invite feedback and constructive comment and want you to know you are welcome to do that here in "comments" or by contacting us directly and confidentially via

Google News: Indian Gaming

NEWS: Bay Mills Indian Community & Casino Proposals

NEWS: Shinnecock Indian Nation (Gateway Casino Resorts) Casino Proposals

NY Times: Shinnecock Indian Nation

NEWS: Los Coyotes Indian Tribe

NEWS: Los Coyotes / Barwest Barstow Casino Proposals

NEWS: Michael J. Malik, Sr.

NEWS: Marian Ilitch Mapping Social Networks

Play with the interactive tool here or visit

TIP: Search for multiple entries in the database simultaneously by separating their names with the word and

certainly must reads!

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

The Verifiable Truth