Monday, November 14, 2011

Hawaii's newest lobbyist spent big, catapulting her into the company of 'Big Boys;' Won't reveal identities of those who bankrolled schemes

Blogger's Note: John Radcliffe (a lobbyist & career union operative who is a confidante of Hawaii's Gov. Neil Abercrombie) and Elizabeth "Liz" Hata-Watanabe, his latest recruit, have failed to be forthcoming and instead demonstrate a conspiracy to mislead and even deceive Hawaii's journalists, voters, public officials and legislators.
Hawaii lobbying disclosures reveal that Citizens for a Better Way, LLC, (CFBWllc) a for profit enterprise organized on April Fool’s Day 2011 and purported to be a grassroots citizens’ committee, actually spent nearly $40,000 on a lobbying & advertising activity during March and April 2011.  The group was formed by gambling industry lobbyist John Radcliffe and associates at the Capitol Consultants of Hawaii lobbying firm.  Then they hooked up with Liz Hata-Watanabe, to help advance the lobbyists’ schemes intended to secure approval for a gambling syndicate from Detroit to develop and operate a Las Vegas-style commercial casino in Waikiki.

But when Jim Dooley ( queried them in April about their sneaky last minute efforts, Radcliffe and Watanabe danced around, played coy and Radcliffe told him they were spending “very little.” That's not the only lie he told in this conspiracy -- but more on that in the coming days.

In its infancy, CFBWllc spent very aggressively, and that catapulted the newbie to a place on the list of Hawaii's Top Five Biggest Spenders – 5th out of approximately 230 entities that spent money lobbying. Only four others spent more: trial lawyers, soft-drink beverage producers, Philip Morris and the teachers association -- notoriously big spenders across the country!

Hawaii's Top 5 Biggest Spenders
Lobbying Expenses
1.       Hawaii Association for Justice (trial lawyers)
2.       American Beverage Association (soft-drink beverage producers)
3.       Altria Clients Services Inc. and its affiliates (Philip Morris) 
4.       Hawaii State Teachers Association (HSTA)
5.       Citizens for a Better Way, LLC
$39,093.10 (TVT) has uncovered details, some which have already been shared, suggesting gambling lobbyist John Radcliffe -- a confidante of Gov. Neil Abercrombie -- and Radcliffe’s associates at Capitol Consultants of Hawaii, are the driving forces behind CFBWllc, their so-called "grassroots" "citizens" group; and Watanabe is their tool. 

Lobbyists at Capitol Consultants count among their clients a Detroit Casino syndicate (Michael Malik, Marian Ilitch/MotorCity Casino, Marketing Resource Group) and the publicly traded Boyd Gaming Company which has casinos in Las Vegas and across the U.S. and currently shuttles patrons back-and-forth from Hawaii to its California gambling halls. Both entities have significant investments and interests in Hawaii's gambling market.

Despite proof to the contrary, Radcliffe and Liz Hata-Watanabe, a person identified as the group’s founder, deny involvement by their gambling industry friend from Detroit and Las Vegas.  Then again, they have yet to disclose who is behind the group, truly.  After all, $40,000 isn’t a drop in the bucket -- especially since Watanabe has since filed bankruptcy.

CFBWllc was organized in a way to specifically avoid disclosing where the funding is coming from – at least for now. As structured, CFBWllc is only required to disclose expenses and even then, not detailed expenses, but buckets of spending as allocated into pre-established spending categories. Then again, that current simplified standard of reporting may be what contributes to their eventual downfall because they are amateurs with delusions of Jack Abramoff!

The next round of disclosures won’t be required until after the New Year.

Radcliffe and Watanabe have failed to be forthcoming and instead have, possibly with the participation of others, conspired to mislead and even deceive Hawaii's journalists, voters, public officials and legislators.  Examples like theirs contribute to the public's general mistrust of government and a belief, by many in our democracy, that corruption is the prevailing standard.

To review related content, click on the "Labels" found under social media share buttons at the bottom of this post or review these select posts:

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