Sunday, August 19, 2007

Shields carrying $150k debt for Barstow PAC

Monday, August 13, 2007 from

Barwest Agent Tom Shields still carrying nearly $150k debt for Barstow Political Committee's June 2006 campaign tsunami

Sworn court depositions indicate, agents for Michael Malik and Marian Ilitch -- namely Tom Shields (Marketing Resource Group) and attorney Michael Yaki -- formed Barstow Citizens for Real Economic Development and recruited a couple of locals to front for them during the 2006 Primary and General Elections.

Lansing-based Tom Shields ran Barstow Citizens for Real Economic Development. The committee bombarded the small Barstow community with a $200,000 political advertising tsunami during the June 2006 primary election in order to bury a local ballot measure and keep control of the Barstow City Council. (NOTE: That's likely much more than the sum of all Barstow's local political campaigns over the last quarter of a century.)

What's interesting is the Barwest driven campaign spent $200,000 or more primarily in the June 2006 election; however, more than a year later the Barwest controlled committee still carries a debt of more than $147,000. That's how much money campaign manager Tom Shields advanced in payments to vendors, campaign committee workers, etc. during the June primary election. The committee reports Shields' Marketing Resource Group has yet to be reimbursed for $147,055.93. In advancing payments of nearly 75% of the campaigns total costs and carrying that burden for more than a year, Shields has operated as a lendor/major donor.

Shields' firm represents numerous other affiliates of Barwest principals Marian Ilitch and Michael Malik including the Detroit Tigers, Little Caesars Pizza, MotorCity Casino and the Detroit Red Wings as well as several other off-reservation casino efforts in Michigan and New York.

The Committee has been carrying a deficit since June 30, 2006. It spent another $6,000+ during the November 2006 General Election campaign; however, the committee has not raised any additional funds since the week before the June 2006 Primary Election.

On May 18, 2006, Barwest principal Marian Ilitch contributed $20,000 as did her partner Michael J. Malik's affiliate MJM Manistee, Inc.; approximately $8,000 in misc. cash and in-kind contributions was raised from other sources including Tom Shields. The committee raised a total of just $47,937, less than 25% of what the committee likely spent (with more than 83% of that coming from Malik & Ilitch). The committee carries a cash balance of $3,947.29 as of June 30, 2007.

So how will (did) Tom Shields get paid?
Why haven't Marian Ilitch and Mike Malik covered the debt?
Or is someone else expected to pay?
Who funded Barstow Citizens for Real Economic Development?

Certainly a seasoned campaign manager like Tom Shields certainly isn't going to put his company out on the line and lose almost $150,000 in payments to vendors he made on behalf of the Barstow Citizens for Real Economic Development political committee?

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