|Bridge Battle Posts at HuffingtonPost.com|
Tom Shields is the president of Lansing, Michigan-based Marketing Resource Group. A large segment of his business is earned representing affiliates/partners of Michael J. Malik, Sr., and/or Mike Ilitch and his wife Marian Ilitch (Ilitch Holdings, Inc., Detroit Tigers, Detroit Red Wings, Little Caesar's pizza, MotorCity Casino, etc.).
If one sees Shields' name associated with any business coalition, political committee or a client that's not one of the premium brands mentioned above, odds are still pretty good that he's there because Malik and the Ilitches want him to be. When Shields refuses to reveal to a reporter who it is that's bankrolling a coalition or committee he's pimping for, odds are good Malik & the Ilitches are funding all or part of the effort. And even if Malik or the Ilitches don't have any direct interest in the coalition, political committee or client Shields claims to be representing, you can bet he has their blessing; otherwise, he wouldn't take the assignment.
So with that in mind, consider that Shields' is the spokesman for a coalition baking the New International Trade Crossing (a proposed second bridge connecting Detroit with Windsor, Canada). That bridge is at the center of a multi-million dollar, no holds barred, war raging in Michigan and beyond. (Read more at Huffington Post).
Typically, Shields' has refused to disclose who is funding the political, lobbying and advertising battles for the pro-NITC group although he's published a list of more than 100 individuals and organizations that "endorse" NITC. If those funding his coalition are on that list, why wouldn't he just point to that list? Take a look at that list. Then consider who's not on the list but would have interests in such an international connection.
You'll note that Michael Malik, Mike & Marian Ilitch, Christopher Ilitch, plus any of their venerable brands are conspicuously absent from the list; as are any of Detroit's three commercial gambling halls including the Las Vegas-owned MGM Grand Detroit. Yet, Shields is the mouthpiece for the "coaltion" backing the proposed government funded bridge. Hmmmm....
If Ilitch or gambling money isn't backing the pro-NITC group, you can bet that Shields has their blessing. Otherwise he'd have turned down the role.
If Ilitch and company brands or Las Vegas gambling interests are bankrolling the pro-NITC effort, there are many reasons political, marketing, etc. that they would want to keep that on the down low. That they've "secretly" funded Shields' campaigns and coalitions previously shouldn't surprise anyone that they could likely be bankrolling this pro-NITC effort now.
But perhaps they're not providing funding, or publicly endorsing but simply loaning Shields out to the cause. Maybe there's a conflict of interest on their part.
Consider that TVT has previously linked Michael Malik (and the Ilitches) with Manuel "Matty" Moroun, owner of Detroit's existing Ambassador International Bridge -- the decades old privately owned toll-bridge. And it's Moroun, along with the Koch brothers and others who are funding the multi-million dollar battle against the proposed NITC which would be built in large part with government funding.
Among other things, Moroun and Michael Malik have been Grosse Pointe neighbors. Malik owns property across Lake St. Clair on Harsens Island. Malik had dusted off and re-introduced development plans for Harsens Island a year or two ago that included a large man-made lagoon (marina) with access to the North Channel plus several hundred residential units (single family estate lots, attached garden homes and high-rise condominiums) surrounding the lagoon. The Ilitch's daughter Denise and her ex-husband originally owned the Harsens Island property and coincidentally, or maybe not, Moroun was also talking about a new Harsens Island bridge at the same time.
That Tom Shields would be playing such a high-profile role in such a contentious and expensive battle over the NITC, suggests he's doing it with the Malik/Ilitch blessing or even more so, at their request.
Regardless, someone should be asking these obvious questions.
- Ilitch Associate is Manager of Bridgeview RE Ventures L.L.C.,
- Border Crossing South L.L.C. is Headquartered at Ilitch Holdings Office
- Marketing Resource Group: the Tom Shields-owned Political/PR Firm is a Slave to Ilitch/Malik Affiliates
- Ilitch casino frontmen doing damage control again
- Team Ilitch packaged Hawaii gambling initiative as "grassroots;" failed to disclose lobbying payments
- Tom Shields was spreading rumors about Sen. Harry Reid; now his team blames Reid
- Grosse Pointe Neighbors have big plans for Harsens Island
- MAP of the Malik Grosse Pointe properties and surrounding neighborhood
- Harsens Island; a half-way-point in a new system of toll-bridges between Canada and the Michigan mainland?
- Yet another set of circumstances linking Ilitch / would-be Harsens Island Developer and Detroit International Bridge Builder
- Developer of proposed Harsens Island Crossing toll-bridge purchasing land?