Wednesday, January 14, 2009

Intentional or not? Tribe's seasoned D.C. lobbyist has a history of negligent, delayed reporting

Consider that Richard Alcalde (aka Rick Alcalde) has been a D.C. lobbyist for more than a decade.

On 2.16.06, Potomac Partners D.C., a lobbying firm founded by Richard Alcalde, formally filed a lobbying registration form revealing it had been representing the Shinnecock Indian Nation for more than 10 months. Alcalde indicated on that registration form that the firm was not being paid by any affiliated organization to represent the tribe.

Potomac Partners D.C. then late-filed, on 3.02.06, both its Mid-Year 2005 and Year-End 2005 reports of lobbying activity on behalf of the Shinnecock which totaled $120,000 in payments.

And then, more than three years after Alcalde (Potomac Partners) was hired to represent the Shinnecock Indian Nation, Alcalde amended the original registration form to indicate that an affiliate of the tribe, Gateway Casino Resorts, was paying the tribes bills and directing its lobbying activity.

Based on details available at -- and the reliability of Alcalde's disclosures -- Alcalde and his firm Potomac Partners D.C. have been paid $430,000 to represent the Shinnecock starting in 2005.

Detroit-based Gateway Casino Resorts is one of several entities formed by Michael Malik and Mrs. Marian Ilitch to bankroll the Shinnecock tribe’s efforts to receive federal recognition and then build a casino resort on Long Island. Potomac Partners D.C. and its lobbyists (Alcalde and Daniel Feliz) have represented other Malik/Ilitch affiliates as well: MJM Enterprises & Development and Blue Water Resorts.

In recent years, Acalde has found himself in the middle of several Capitol Hill scandals involving Rep. Jerry Lewis (R-CA) and Rep. Don Young (R-AK). Notably Alcalde is at the middle of an ongoing investigation into a $10 million highway earmark for a Florida interchange (Coconut Rd.) reportedly carried by Young. That scandal involves Alcalde’s clients including Daniel J. Aronoff; Aronoff’s Landon Companies and its associates; Florida Gulf Coast University; and others. As and the Wall Street Journal reported, Alcalde is one of Young's "A-Team" of lobbyists who are to be granted unfettered access to Young's staff.

Young was the former chair of the House Resources Committee and until recently was ranking member of that committee which oversees Indian matters.

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