Texas Longhorns with newborn calf in Bluebonnets

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Alan Maki

Alan Maki
Doing research at the LBJ Library in Austin, Texas

It's time to claim our Peace Dividend

It's time to claim our Peace Dividend

We need to beat swords into plowshares.

We need to beat swords into plowshares.

A program for real change...


What we need is a "21st Century Full Employment Act for Peace and Prosperity" which would make it a mandatory requirement that the president and Congress attain and maintain full employment.

"Voting is easy and marginally useful, but it is a poor substitute for democracy, which requires direct action by concerned citizens"

- Ben Franklin

Let's talk...

Let's talk...

Monday, November 5, 2007

Station Casinos

Mr. Todd R. Bice; Brownstein, Hyatt, Farber, Schreck: Attorney of Record for Station Casinos;

Mr. Bice, before I begin, please allow me to congratulate you on recently being chosen one of the finest attorneys in America; I am sure you, your distinguished law firm of Brownstein, Hyatt, Farber, Schreck along with your clients like Station Casinos and the very fine American--- Frank Fertitta who heads up Station Casinos, are very proud of your accomplishments. It is not every day such a shameful, ignoble and infamous figure like Frank Fertitta can land the defense of such a distinguished and respected attorney.

I am in receipt of a very ambiguous letter from you dated October 24, 2007. My response to you with this e-mail is based upon having received this threatening letter.

Because I have written so widely on this issue, I can not comment on the specific “posting” you are referring to since you do not provide the posting in its entirety. Therefore, I deny your allegations as unfounded.

As you, Station Casinos and Mr. Fertitta are aware, moderators often edit postings for length and other things; this is their prerogative--- just as any editor may “edit” a letter submitted for publication.

As far as I am aware, neither you, your law firm, the management of Station Casinos, nor Mr. Frank Fertitta have attempted to answer or respond to anything that I have said on any television or radio programs or written on the Internet, in newspapers or magazines. As you know, this is a fantastic country to live in where “freedom of the press” is very respected… in fact, as the political candidates financially supported by Mr. Fertitta often boast: America is the world’s greatest bastion of democracy.

Neither you nor Mr. Fertitta should be surprised to find inaccuracies in anything concerning the involvement of Station Casinos and the Fertitta Family in the gaming business. Mr. Fertitta has an obligation to truthfully write of his own involvement in the gaming business over the years if he wants to have his associations and activities accurately portrayed. I am sure you are well aware of investigations into Frank Fertitta’s relationship, and participation in, the gaming industry over the years--- including many allegations of illegal and inappropriate activities… or, has Mr. Fertitta not been quite so frank with you concerning his involvement in the gaming industry… your client has some obligation to set the record straight given all the information about him in the media and on the Internet and what people are saying about him… first person statements, etc. are just as factual as any newspaper story.

You seem to rely on “newspaper reports” in defending your client; and what has been published in newspaper reports. I guess I am not as fond as you that newspapers always provide us with all the facts.

Take the issue of the Gun Lake Tribe “Compact” in Michigan and the role of newspapers. These newspapers do not always tell us everything, do they? For instance, the Grand Rapids Press has covered this story of this “Compact” very extensively--- as I am sure you will agree. However, the Grand Rapids Press never asked your client who is partnered with the Gun Lake Tribe about the issue of casino workers being employed in a smoke-filled work environment at poverty wages without any rights under state or federal labor laws. Isn’t the impact of second hand smoke on the lives of the thousands of employees who will be employed in this casino a legitimate issue a newspaper the size of the Grand Rapids Press with a circulation in the immediate area from which employees will be hired significant enough that at least one little story on the obituary page should have been warranted given the high turn over of casino employees?

Oh, and your clients forgot to bring before the Michigan House Regulatory Committee a complete listing of all job categories along with the amount each specific job will pay and what the benefits will be. This is just one small indication of how newspapers do not always provide the complete picture for us. Just as the newspapers forgot to mention that Governor Granholm never considered the plight of casino workers in negotiating the “Compact” with the Gun Lake Tribe which is partnered with your client--- Station Casinos.

Then there is the little matter of the forty organizations supporting this Gun Lake Casino “Compact”… State Legislators never asked for the complete list, the Grand Rapids Press never questioned why they never asked for this list; I asked but didn’t receive. None of this was deemed “newsworthy” for the Grand Rapids Press or any other newspaper… so, when you rely on newspaper clippings not being available for me to support what I have said and written, I would just point out that more often than not there appears to be much more to most stories than what newspapers publish. For instance, what would you say to your clients allowing me to have access to all the files maintained on them by the “regulating agencies” you refer to and those maintained on them by the United States Department of Justice?

When you speak of these “regulating agencies” you really make me laugh. I have spoken at length to those responsible for “regulating” the gaming industry, including the past Attorney General for the State of Minnesota and the Commissioner of Public safety as well as State Representative Dave Olin who is the former Pennington County Prosecutor. I have also spoken extensively to those employed in these regulatory agencies” in Michigan. Come on, really, Mr. Bice, after receiving an award for being one of the best attorneys in America, do you really expect me to be impressed that these “regulatory agencies” are really protecting the integrity of the gaming industry and casino patrons? As you know, they do not protect casino workers.

Mr. Fertitta is a public figure. He has made himself a public figure. Mr. Fertitta has sought out media attention and the media has sought him out. It is not my concern that Mr. Fertitta has been less than forthcoming about his entire involvement in the gaming and casino industry… Mr. Fertitta seems to have an unusual and unique manner in projecting his public image; he would rather ignore that which many people might find offensive while promoting an image as a mere father looking to do the best by his children and leave them a nice little nest egg for the time when he passes through the pearly gates. As you are aware, Mr. Fertitta has another side to him and his involvement with the gaming industry over the years he prefers not to speak about and apparently Michigan’s Governor and State Legislators prefer not to question him about.

I am sure Meyer Lansky’s attorneys would have made the same arguments in defense of their client which you make for your client.

May I ask if you are representing any other parties in this matter other than the Fertittas and Station Casinos? Are you representing the Gun Lake Tribe? Are you representing the Kansas City Mob?

Your letter is very ambiguous and you fail to provide the complete transcript of the posting you refer to. I do not save these postings, nor do I view them. Like a press release, the moderator, like the newspaper editor, reserves the right to edit and the right to publish or not to publish. Have you addressed this problem with the moderator of the list serve in question? You definitely have not provided me with the complete posting so I can determine what your concerns might be.

Let me conclude by reminding you that neither you, nor your client/s have attempted to correct anything which you allude to that may be incorrect by way of posting a rebuttal. Plus, you ambiguously conclude your letter with threats against me. You state at the beginning of your letter you do not understand my concern in this matter; I think my concern is obvious. You further state that once I take certain steps, this will clear the way to resolving other problems; again, you are ambiguous--- do your clients want to negotiate a healthy working environment, just wages and decent benefits for those who will be employed in the new Gun Lake Casino?

I am forwarding this to Gary Garbarino who is the Legislative Assistant to State Representative Steve Tobachman, the Majority Floor Leader of the Michigan House. I assume, Mr. Tobachman will pass this e-mail on to Governor Granholm and the Michigan Senate Majority Leader so all can see just what kind of a heavy handed approach they can expect from their “partners” with this Gun Lake Casino “Compact.”

You may not like my characterization of all of this, but it is almost like a bunch of hoodlums and mobsters have hired an attorney working for a prestigious law firm, sporting fancy attire along with little plaques hanging on his wall boasting of legal reputation and prestige in trying to silence anyone who dares to speak out in defense of the rights of casino workers. I wonder what these mobsters and hoodlums might do next since this hasn’t worked.

Let me also remind you that your clients intentionally initiated a campaign based upon lies, deceit, omissions, and a complete obfuscation of the real facts concerning the Gun Lake Casino Compact. Station Casinos and Frank Fertitta could have come before the Michigan House Regulatory Committee with open hands, they chose not to; the assumption any thinking person would come to is that the decision not to come with open hands is because those hands are severely soiled--- if not completely dirty. I would be more than willing to question Mr. Fertitta before the appropriate Michigan Legislative Committees in order to resolve this matter; this would give Mr. Fertitta the opportunity to set the record straight. Seeing as how Mr. Fertitta feels he is so angelic in stature he will have no problem “passing through the eye of the needle” on his way to Heaven, I assume he will not need an attorney sitting by his side in order to help him answer my questions and respond to my concerns.

Please acknowledge receipt of this letter.

Alan L. Maki

Director of Organizing,

Midwest Casino Workers Organizing Council

58891 County Road 13

Warroad, Minnesota 56763

Phone: 218-386-2432

Cell phone: 651-587-5541

E-mail: amaki000@centurytel.net

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