Wednesday, February 01, 2012

Waikiki Casino Advocates: An Unlikely Coincidence or In Cahoots?

Radcliffe & So-called Citizens Group Both Report 
Expenditures of $39,093.10

Is it mere coincidence or in cahoots that Citizens for a Better Way and Radcliffe & Associates both reported expenditures totaling $39,093.10 for the period ended April 30, 2011?

John Radcliffe, a lobbyist for gambling interests and vice president with Capitol Consultants of Hawaii, re-established his defunct Radcliffe & Associates in February 2011.  In April 2011, he switched his representation of Marketing Resource Group (MRG) from Capitol Consultants of Hawaii to Radcliffe & Associates. MRG is the Lansing-based PR/Political firm representing Marian Ilitch and Michael J. Malik, Sr., founders of Detroit's MotorCity Casino. Those casino syndicators have pursued plans to develop a Waikiki casino. Radcliffe has represented MRG and its Detroit gambling clients for the better part of the last decade. Records reviewed by TVT, suggest that MRG was the only  Radcliffe & Associates client during the period ended April 30, 2011.  For the period ending April 30, 2011, Radcliffe & Associates reported "other disbursements" of $39,093.10 (see disclosure below).  Radcliffe did not disclose who received those payments nor has he disclosed where the nearly $40,000 he paid came from.

Coincidentally, or not, in April 2011, a so-called "citizens" advocacy group supporting plans by Radcliffe's clients to build a Waikiki casino appeared out of nowhere on the political landscape.  A woman with a questionable past, Liz Watanabe, was said to be the organizer of Citizens for a Better Way (CFBW).  However, it's clear that Radcliffe and his associates had their hand in the creation of the group.  Radcliffe has denied to reporters any role in organizing, managing or funding the organization. He clearly mislead Honolulu's press corps. Among other things, an associate at Radcliffe's Capitol Consultants lobbying firm established and owns the CFBW website.  In April, CFBW launched and reportedly paid for a sophisticated lobbying campaign, including robo-calls to voters, designed to urge Hawaii's legislators to approve the stand-alone Waikiki casino scheme promoted by Radcliffe's and his clients. The campaign was very similar to other political advertising campaigns launched by Marketing Resource Group in various communities where the Detroit casino syndicators have interests. Nothing in Watanabe's background suggests she has any experience or familiarity with such sophisticated paid political advertising efforts

And coincidentally, or not, CFWB also reports spending $39,093.10 during the period ended April 30, 2012 (see disclosure below).  It's not clear who received the payments from Watanabe/CFBW, or where she got the nearly $40,000 she reports spending.  What is clear is that Watanabe, who filed an individual $387,000 bankruptcy just weeks later, didn't use her own money.

Did Radcliffe provide Watanabe with nearly $40,000?  Did Watanabe pay Marketing Resource Group (MRG) or its usual vendors to carry out the political advertising campaign?  Where did Radcliffe & Associates come by funds it spent?  Since Marketing Resource Group is seemingly the only Radcliffe & Associates client, it would make sense that the funds expended by Radcliffe came from MRG.  However, MRG only disclosed paying Radcliffe $11,890.21 during the period ended April 30, 2011?

You be the judge: was it a coincidence that both Radcliffe & Associates and Citizens for a Better Way both reported spending exactly $39,093.10 or are John Radcliffe/Marketing Resource group in cahoots with Liz Watanabe?  If you believe they are in cahoots, then you should urge the Hawaii Ethics Commission and/or Hawaii's Attorney General to look into the matter because clearly they've participated in a conspiracy.

Official Disclosure Filings
Radcliffe Assoc Lobbying Expenses - Period Ended 2011.04.30

CFBW Lobbying Expenditures - Period Ended 2011.04.30

Tuesday, January 31, 2012

Blogger: Sault Tribe's Lansing Casino Won't Happen; Mayor Irresponsibly Dangles Economic Carrot

Turtle Talk

Commentary on Sault Tribe’s Proposed Lansing Casino

I can’t not say anything, since this proposed casino is in our own backyard. But seriously? The mayor says in 12-24 months he expects construction to start, and then another year or so after that there will be a fully functioning Indian casino in Lansing.


We’re going to predict that it won’t happen. No chance.

Off-reservation Indian gaming is the most hotly-contested, politicized issue in American Indian affairs right now and maybe forever. Think of the interests arrayed against a Lansing casino, let alone one owned by an Indian tribe. The Detroit casinos will be opposed because it will cut into their bottom lines, and the entire City of Detroit, the Michigan Congressional delegation, the unions,everyone will throw their weight against this casino proposal...

Of course, I’m no political scientist. Politics is money (see Citizens United) and anything can happen, including a backlash against Indian gaming that persuades Congress to ban off-reservation gaming. But the mayor’s three years is a dream, and kind of sick thing to promise to people in Lansing who might believe the mayor and see this as a real possibility for improving their lives. (Complete Blog Post)

Monday, January 30, 2012

Long Island Citizens Opposed to Detroiters' Belmont Casino Plans will meet Thursday, Feb. 2

A group organized to stop plans by Detroiters to use the Shinnecock Indian Nation to develop a casino complex at the famed Belmont Racetrack on Long Island will hold a community meeting on Thursday, Feb. 2, 2012 at 5:30PM, Floral Park Recreation Center, 124 Stewart Street, Floral Park, New York. Information about the group is available at or on Facebook at "Stop the Belmont Casino."

Opponents of Detroiters' Belmont Casino Plans Using Facebook

Long Island citizen activists have organized to fight plans by Detroiters Michael J. Malik, Sr. and Marian Ilitch to develop a casino & entertainment complex using the Shinnecock Indian Nation at the Belmont Racetrack on Long Island.  To support their efforts, opponents of the Belmont Casino have developed a facebook page.  Click the graphic below to "Like" the page and stay informed.

Mayor Heralds Off-Reservation Casino Schemes in Lansing; Then Uses Racial Slurs to Attack Native American Opponents

Lansing Mayor Virg Bernero recently announced a plan to bring a $245 million tribal casino to downtown Lansing. The casino would be adjacent to the Lansing Center near Cedar Street and Michigan Avenue. However, there's nothing to suggest that the Sault Ste Marie tribe of Chippewa Indians has the necessary state and federal approvals to build any off-reservations casino.

In fact, the former chairman of the National Indian Gaming Commission has recently opined such would be illegal under current guidelines.

Bernero subsequently came under fire for what two Michigan tribes described as a string of anti-Indian racial slurs at a fund-raising speech last week, denied Monday that he directed his remarks toward Americans Indians, but apologized “to any and all who were offended by my choice of words.”
click arrow below to play video here

Sunday, January 29, 2012

Candidate for San Bernardino County Supervisor comments on Barstow Casinos

From the Mojave Free Press...

James Ramos, candidate for San Bernardino County 3rd District Supervisor, on proposals for casinos in Barstow, CA. He is the former chairman of the San Manuel Band of Serrano Mission Indians

click arrow below to play here

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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

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