Tuesday, December 02, 2008

What compelled Ilitch partner to engage former Judge impeached on bribery charges

So what might have compelled Detroit-based casino syndicator Michael J. Malik, Sr., to send $2,000 to South Florida Congressman Alcee Hastings (D-23rd) in the closing weeks of the Fall political campaign -- other than the fact that Rep. Hastings carried H.R. 1298 to the floor of the House on 6.25.08 which established the rules and opened debate on H.R. 2176?

Here are two things to consider:
  1. Hastings is the senior member of the House Rules Committee. H.R. 2176, a bill that would pave the way for Malik to build and manage a Bay Mills Indian casino in Port Huron, Michigan, was defeated in the House on 6.25.08. However, official lobbying reports for the 3rd Quarter '08 indicate lobbyists for Malik's affiliates were still pushing for passage of H.R. 2176 this Fall. A friend with Rep. Hastings' possible sway on the House Rules Committee might be useful if one were trying to get a failed bill re-considered or otherwise use some loophole to slip through approval of the bill in the House.

  2. As a report in National Review explains, Hastings was a federal Judge in Florida in the 1980s when it was alleged he solicited a bribe. Impeachment ensued in Congress. The House Judiciary Committee voted unanimously to impeach Hastings. The full House concurred by vote of 413 to 3. As it turns out, Rep. John Conyers (D-MI 14th) was Judiciary Committee chairman. Conyers helped draft the articles of impeachment and appeared as an impeachment manager before the Senate. It's reported that Conyers made perhaps the most compelling arguments during Hastings' impeachment proceedings. Hastings was impeached and removed from the federal bench.

    Fast forward several years to 1992 when Hastings resurrected his career getting elected to represent a South Florida district as a member of the same club that had previously knocked him off the federal bench.

    During the 110th Congress, Rep. Conyers was an outspoken opponent of H.R. 2176. After the bill passed favorably out of the Natural Resources Committee, Conyers pulled privilege and held a hearing on the matter before the Judiciary Committee which registered unanimous opposition to the bill. Conyers followed that up with a "Dear Colleague" letter signed by 52 other Members prior to the full vote of the House.

    So ... was it Hastings' apparent history involving bribes that attracted Malik or the fact that they have a common foe in Conyers? Or both?
TVT previously posted details about what appears to be a $2,000 campaign contribution Mike Malik sent to Rep. Hastings.

That contribution caught TVT's attention because Hastings' re-election committee reported to the FEC that Detroit-based Malik is employed by Wheat Government Relations, a firm headed by former Rep. Alan Wheat (D-MO), at an address in Arlington, VA.

Actually, at least five Malik affiliates and partners employ lobbyists at Wheat Government Relations. Among them, Blue Water Resorts affiliated with MJM Enterprises and the Bay Mills Indian Community, Gateway Casino Resorts affiliated with the Shinnecock Indian Nation, and BarWest LLC.

Malik's business partner is Mrs. Marian Ilitch, owner of Detroit's MotorCity Casino. The Ilitch family owns the Detroit Tigers, Detroit Red Wings and Little Caesars Pizza.

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certainly must reads!

Ilitch has backed loosing sports teams and pizza, but casinos in Detroit? Forbes.com 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 newsday.com 06.16.05 ● Ilitch Plans to Expand Casino Empire RGTonline.com 07.05.05 ● Ilitch outbids partners MichiganDaily.com 04.14.05 ● Ilitch enmeshed in NY casino dispute detnews.com 03.20.05 ● Marian Ilitch, high roller freep.com 03.20.05 ● MGM Mirage to Decide on Offer for Casino in Detroit rgtonline.com 04.16.05 ● Secret deal for MotorCity alleged freep.com 02.15.05 ● Los Coyotes get new developer desertdispatch.com 02.08.05 Detroit casino figure to finance Barstow project LasVegasSun.com 07.07.03 ● Indian Band trying to put casino in Barstow signonSanDiego.com 06.04.03 Pizza matriarch takes on casino roles detnews.com 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 Michigan.gov 01.01.00 ● Detroit Team to run Michigan’s newest Indian casino detnews.com 05.23.99 Tiger ties tangle Marian Ilitch detnews.com 04.29.99 ● Three investors must sell their Detroit casino interests gamblingmagazine.com 04.25.99 ● Partners’ cash revived election; They say money was crucial to Prop-E detnews.com 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 detnews.com 04.25.99 Can a pair win a jackpot?: local men hope to... crainsdetroit.com 03.17.97

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