Wednesday, January 07, 2009

Contributions to Nevada's Governor stick out like sore thumbs

On 7.19.06, then-Congressman Jim Gibbons (R-NV) held a Washington D.C. fundraiser to benefit his campaign for Governor of Nevada. He raised more than $43,000 at the event from 24 people, primarily D.C. lobbyists who gave $200 - $500 each. (See: Campaign Contributions Report, pg. 34)

Two of those contributions, however, stick out like sore thumbs because they were five and ten times the amount any other single guest contributed:

  • Richard Alcalde (Potomac Partners D.C.) - $5,000

  • MJM Manistee (Michael J. Malik, Sr.) - $10,000
MJM Manistee is one of the many affiliates of Detroit casino syndicator Michael J. Malik, Sr. That enterprise was formed by Malik when he was involved in developing the Little River Band of Ottawa Indian's Little River Casino Resort in Manistee, MI. Among other things, MJM Manistee owns a luxury fishing boat (the Renegade) that the former chairman of the Little River Band of Indians uses in a commercial charter fishing venture (Renegade Charters LLC) established by Malik.

Malik has been under investigation in California because in 2006 Malik/MJM Manistee failed to report $26,500 in contributions he directed toward California lawmakers; rather he perjured himself when he signed and submitted a disclosure initially reporting he had contributed $0.00 during that period. And this was on the heals of another similar investigation that found Malik/BarWest LLC guilty on two counts for failing to report a $26,600 contribution made in 2004 to Rep. Richard Pombo's County GOP Victory Committee.

Malik is facing a $2.1 million fraudulent transfer charge in Florida Federal Court related to a $300 million ponzi scheme case brought by the Securities and Exchange Commission. (Goldberg v. Malik)

Michael Malik and a partner, Marian Ilitch are behind various Indian casino schemes in California, Michigan and New York. The pair were founders in MotorCity Casino along with Mandalay Resort Group (MRG). But in 1999, when Malik was disqualified from receiving a state gambling license, he transferred his interests to Ilitch. In 2005, Ilitch bought out Mandalay Resort Group's 53% share of MotorCity Casino in order to make way for MGM Mirage's acquisition of MRG.

Ilitch and her husband Mike Ilitch co-founded Little Caesars Pizza and own the Detroit Red Wings hockey team. Mike Ilitch also owns the Detroit Tigers baseball team.

Richard Acalde is a controversial lobbyist who represents various Malik/Ilitch affiliates and partners. Alcalde has also been at the center of several D.C. lobbying/political corruption scandals including the ongoing investigation into a $10 million earmark that was advanced by Alaska's Congressman Don Young. The funds were designated to improvement of a Florida Interchange (Coconut Rd.) that would have benefited a Michigan developer Daniel Aronoff (Landon Companies) who owns property in Florida near or adjacent to Coconut Rd. Aronoff is one of Alcalde's most loyal clients. They flew Young to Florida and held a fundraiser for him there.

Republican James A. Gibbons is now Governor of Nevada.

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