Wednesday, December 07, 2011

Nassau County Democrats Blindly Back Detroiters' Belmont Casino Schemes

According to the Elmont Chamber of Commerce website,
Long Island Democrats
Blindly Endorse Casino
NASSAU COUNTY, NY – Nassau County’s four Democratic members of the New York State Assembly today announced their support for a Shinnecock Indian Nation casino at Belmont Racetrack. Assembly Members Earlene Hooper, Harvey Weisenberg, Charles Lavine and Michelle Schimel cited jobs and economic opportunity as the driving factors and urged their colleagues in both the Senate and Assembly to join in support.

“This project will create thousands of jobs for Long Islanders and provide a huge boost to the local and state economies,” said Assemblywoman Earlene Hooper (D-Hempstead). “We need these revenues to stay here in New York, for both the state and Nassau County, so we can keep people working and create more jobs.”

Shinnecock Tribal Trustee Chairman Randy King said, “We appreciate the strong and growing support from all parts of Nassau County. A Shinnecock Nation entertainment complex will provide much needed jobs to help boost the Long Island economy, as well as created revenues for the County, the State and the Shinnecock Indian Nation, and we certainly thank Assembly Members Hooper, Weisenberg, Lavine and Schimel for their support”...

The four Assembly members announced their support on the heels of Representatives Carolyn McCarthy and Peter King joining the list of backers for the Shinnecock project. (Original Post)

It should be noted that Rep. Carolyn McCarthy only pledged support for the Detroiters' Shinnecock Casino Scheme after she'd received political campaign contributions from the casino syndicate's bag-man Michael J. Malik, Sr. It's likely they've funded the campaign coffers of the others through Democratic committee war-chests or other third-parties.

Ironically, while these Democrats are accepting campaign checks from the controversial Malik; New York Governor Andrew Cuomo rejected a $10,000 contribution from Malik as have others weary of being associated with a known criminal and lawbreaker (Malik's been arrested for child-abuse, found guilty of illegal discharge of a weapon, guilty of violating political campaign finance laws and charged with fraud & settled in an international Ponzi scheme involving fugitive Jack Utsick, a one-time entertainment promoter whom Malik is partners with.

See also:

Tuesday, December 06, 2011

Don't be Fooled by Silence: Clan Ilitch likely Supports (Perhaps Funding) New International Trade Crossing (NITC) Effort

That Tom Shields is out front on behalf of, and viciously attacking opponents of, the proposed New International Trade Crossing (NITC) and that Mike Malik, Mike & Marian Ilitch, and the Ilitch brands are conspicuously absent is not insignificant. They are either very involved behind the scenes helping to bankroll the efforts to approve NITC or they're asserting to Matty Moroun and the people at Ambassador Bridge that they're not involved (albeit with fingers crossed behind their backs) while their agent Shields' is an attack dog for the pro-NITC cause.

NITC:  Which Way Ilitch?
Bridge Battle Posts at

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.

See also:

Monday, December 05, 2011

Hawaii's Gambling Industry Lobbyists

Hawaii's known gambling lobbyists have numerous affiliations in common, plus intermingled business/financial interests and clients with likely conflicts of interest: (A) Boyd Gaming Company transports patrons from the Hawaiian Islands to its California casinos; (B) Casino Syndicate organized by MotorCity Casino interests wants to develop and operate a Las Vegas-style casino in Waikiki. While attempting to suggest their efforts aren't coordinated or known to one another, these amateurs have been sloppy with their fingerprints.
    George A. Morris (aka G. A. Morris, G. A. Red Morris, George A. "Red" Morris, Red Morris), affiliated with Capitol Consultants of Hawaii (president) and G. A. Morris, Inc. (a partner in Capitol Consultants of Hawaii). Clients: Marketing Resource Group (MRG) for a Detroit casino syndicate organized by Michael J. Malik, Sr. and Mrs. Marian Ilitch (CCM Merger/Detroit Entertainment dba MotorCity Casino); and Boyd Gaming Company (NYSE: BYD).
    John H. Radcliffe, affiliated with Capitol Consultants of Hawaii (vice president and partner) and Radcliffe & Associates. Clients: Marketing Resource Group (MRG) for a Detroit casino syndicate organized by Michael J. Malik, Sr. and Mrs. Marian Ilitch (CCM Merger/Detroit Entertainment dba MotorCity Casino). It's believed he conceived and controls Citizens for a Better Way, LLC.
    Elizabeth Hata Watanabe (aka Liz Watanabe, Liz Hata Watanabe, Elizabeth C. Watanabe, Elizabeth C. Jimenez) affiliated with Citizens for a Better Way, LLC as its only member and its manage; and Hata Foundation. Previous affiliations EHW LLC, EHW-II LLC, Hawaii's Big Deal Poker Tournament. Clients: Radcliffe & Associates which represents and receives payments from MRG's Detroit casino syndicate.

Locals' Perception Local
The Detroiters know that generally, locals in most communities are likley to resist the legalization of gambling or the expansion of gambling opportunities if such proposals are championed by outsiders (Las Vegas Casino Lords, Detroit Casino Syndicates, etc.). Trust is a key factor in approving proposals and locals are less likely to trust Las Vegas or Detroit casino operators whose interests might conflict with Hawaii interests. Not to mention, Las Vegas and Detroit have reputations tied to organized crime, higher crime rates, illegal activities, corruption, etc.

Truth is Detroit and Las Vegas Gambling Interests Behind Hawaii Schemes
That MRG (a PR firm) has retained the lobbyists on behalf of its Detroit Casino Syndicate client (MotorCity Casino) is intended to bury the truth that Detroit gambling interests are bankrolling and pushing Waikiki casino development schemes -- not Hawaiians!  Further, the last time the Detroiters were successful pushing plans for casino development, they were fronting for Las Vegas Gambling Lords.  Of the many yet unanswered questions: are the Detroiters via their PR firm actually bankrolling the Waikiki casino schemes on behalf of Las Vegas partners like Boyd Gaming for instance?  You're not likely to get a straight answer from the lobbyists or the Detroiter's PR firm.

See for yourself, the lobbyists hired to push the legalization of gambling in Hawaii were engaged by and are being paid by Detroit gambling interests with ties to Las Vegas Casino Lords -- not locals!

Search lobbyist registrations via the Hawaii Ethics Commission or click on the links in the box below.

See also,

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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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