Saturday, May 03, 2008

Mike Malik's Public Comments on a Port Huron Casino

Excerpted from the published minutes of a Special Meeting of the City Council of the City of Port Huron, Michigan, held Monday, March 6, 2006, at 8:01 a.m. in Conference Room 408, Municipal Office Center.
"2. Mike Malik, Blue Water Resorts, representing the Bay Mills Indian tribe, stated they are the only group that has a signed compact with the State of Michigan and that he thinks the Lac Vieux Desert Band of Lake Superior Chippewa Indians does not have anything in writing, they haven’t talked to Frank Kelly and that the lawyers need to check this out. He also stated that a 500 room hotel is larger than what is currently going in downtown Detroit and that the cost would be prohibitive. Additionally, he said that until there is money on the table everyone should be cautious and that if this were to happen all 11 tribes in the state of Michigan would need to agree and he doesn’t believe that will ever happen."

"6. Dick Cummings, Avoca, talked about the time and money already spent by Mr. Malik on trying to get a casino in Port Huron following voter approval five years ago."

Friday, May 02, 2008

The Cullens of Grosse Pointe Shores

as printed in the C&G News 5.16.07:
For Matthew Cullen of Grosse Pointe Shores, Detroit isn’t just the city where he works...In his personal life, Cullen calls raising his sons his proudest achievement. He and his wife, Karen — who heads communications for Ilitch Holdings — are the parents of three boys, ages 6-10. Cullen received a Bachelor of Science degree from the University of Michigan in economics, and got his master’s in business administration from the University of Detroit...

Thursday, May 01, 2008


Wheat Government Relations, on behalf of the Bay Mills Indian Community, hired Alexander Beckles to lobby on the Farm Bill. Beckles is a former legislation aide to three congressmen, including Rep. Edolphus Towns (D-N.Y.).
NOTE: Matt Cullen's wife, Karen Cullen is Vice President of Corporate Communications for Ilitch Holdings, Inc. Matt Cullen has a history of partnerships with associates of Michael J. Malik, Sr.

Matt Cullen, the man who engineered General Motors Corp.'s headquarters move to the Renaissance Center in 1996 and hatched the massive plan to overhaul Detroit's riverfront, is leaving GM to join entrepreneur Dan Gilbert and be president and chief operating officer of Rock Enterprises, a new umbrella entity for Gilbert's diverse holdings.

Gilbert, 45, founder of Quicken Loans Inc. and its Michigan mortgage arm Rock Financial, announced in November that he will move his mortgage-related firms and 4,000 employees from Livonia to downtown Detroit.

Gilbert also owns the Cleveland Cavaliers pro basketball team; the Lake Erie Monsters minor league hockey team, and Fathead LLC, a sports-themed wall graphics outfit. And he is a major investor in ePrize LLC, a fast-growing Internet promotions firm with 350 people in Pleasant Ridge, and other companies.

"I'm just out of time, that's all there is to it," Gilbert said Monday in a joint telephone interview with Cullen. He said that Cullen will work closely with him across all of the companies, looking for opportunities to collaborate, grow and do things faster.

Snagging Cullen, whom high-powered Detroit attorney David Page once called "absolutely the best consensus builder I have ever seen," is clearly a coup for Gilbert.

And it's also a vote of confidence by Cullen in Quicken Loans, which is navigating through the nation's mortgage and housing crisis. Gilbert said he sees opportunities to build market share as weak competitors fall by the wayside, although he added, "I don't want to imply that we're not hit at all by the radioactivity" of the financial crisis.

Cullen will play a key role in choosing a site by November for Quicken's new headquarters and in fulfilling Gilbert's vow to spark other development in downtown Detroit, especially cutting-edge entrepreneurial and technology businesses.

One of Gilbert's hopes is to jump-start efforts to beef up mass transit in the city. He and Cullen are both involved in talks regarding a possible light-rail line along Woodward that would be financed, at least in part, with private money. Neither would talk in detail about the light-rail efforts Monday, but said they expected John Hertel, CEO of the Regional Transit Coordinating Council, to reveal more soon.

Cullen, 52, is a 29-year GM veteran who leaves as its general manager of economic development and enterprise services. He was also the founding chairman of the Detroit Riverfront Conservancy and has chaired the Michigan Economic Development Corp. board under both Gov. Jennifer Granholm and her predecessor, John Engler.

In Detroit civic and economic development circles, Cullen has been GM's point man for the past 15 years, a much more visible figure on the local scene than even Chairman Rick Wagoner or Vice Chairmen Bob Lutz and Fritz Henderson. At GM, however, it has traditionally been the guys who run automotive operations -- be they engineers, marketers or finance specialists -- who rise to the very top jobs.

Cullen signed on with GM's real estate unit in 1978 after earning an economics degree at the University of Michigan, and soon got an up-close look at a huge controversy when GM was closing its aging Fleetwood and Clark Street assembly plants in the early 1980s. GM also built the Detroit/Hamtramck plant, infamously dubbed the Poletown plant, for the neighborhood where a furor erupted when a church was demolished to make way for the plant.

"All that really helped me to understand the huge impact GM has on the communities where it operates," Cullen told me in a 2002 interview. He got hooked on the community and real estate aspects of the GM empire and eventually wound up running all of GM's worldwide real estate operations.

Cullen said Monday that he and Gilbert began discussing a job switch just after Christmas, and that Cullen talked to his bosses, including Wagoner and Henderson, about it last week. "They were all supportive. They said it was clear that I'd thought it through."

Said Henderson, "Matt has made a significant contribution to General Motors over his 29-year career. I thank him and wish him well in his new endeavor."

He will transition from GM to Rock Enterprises over the next few weeks.

This looks like a win-win, a good move for both Dan Gilbert and the city. Matt's got a lot of ability and now he can really use his entrepreneurial instincts," said George Jackson Jr., president of the Detroit Economic Growth Corp.

Added Gilbert, "Matt is as dedicated as anyone to the transformation and revitalization of Detroit. The relationships he's formed in business and in government will be a huge asset to us as we work with others in the public and private sectors to transform our city."
Both Gilbert and Cullen sidestepped direct comment when asked whether the text-message scandal engulfing Detroit Mayor Kwame Kilpatrick is affecting economic development efforts in the city.

"Frankly, we're just plowing ahead regardless," Gilbert said. "The city has been nothing but cooperative with us. We don't want to take a position on something where we can't control the outcome. We can't let a political situation today affect our long-term view of Detroit and its future."

"It will be nice," Cullen added, "when we're looking back on all this in the rear-view mirror."

Contact TOM WALSH at 313-223-4430 or

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The Ilitch corporate jet, a Gulfstream II that sports the Little Ceasars Pizza logo on its tail, made shuttle flights between Detroit's Metropolitan Airport and Nashville International on April 14th, 16th and 20th before heading to the Rocky Mountain Metropolitan outside of Denver, Colorado on April 29th.

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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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