Jerry Campbell’s money backing Kewadin Lansing?

This man refuses to pay his bills, let the the HBPA pay Pinnacle’s but can fund a CASINO?

I told them time and time again. Nobody listens.

It’s a safe bet lobbyists and flaks will be big winners

Wednesday, January 25,2012
by Kyle Melinn

Washington D.C.-based bureaucrats and the federal courts will ultimately decide if the Sault Ste. Marie band of Chippewa Indians can roll the dice on a Lansing casino.

But the battle for support among local officials and the public has begun. Proponents and opponents are hunkering down with seemingly just about every lobbyist and public relations professional in town.

Turning a Lansing Center parking lot into a casino floor won’t happen overnight. Lansing Mayor Virg Bernero understands that, which means getting the public’s support is almost as important as getting a judge’s support for the Sault tribe’s unproven legal theory that would allow a casino here.

Bernero is Lansing’s mayor today. There’s no guarantee he will be five or 10 years from now when the case is finally adjudicated. So if the courts rule in the Sault Ste. Marie tribe’s favor, whoever happens to be in power must keep the ball rolling. The dream withers away otherwise.

The best way to assure that? Make sure the local officials and the voters fall in love with it. If Bernero is a one-man crusade, the project dies.

“Become an advocate for this project,” Bernero urged during Monday’s kick-off. “Talking about this project, advocating for this project. Help make this dream a reality.”

With his regular PR guy, Randy Hannan, wearing more hats than the peddler in the classic children’s book “Caps For Sale,” Bernero is wisely getting outside help on the public relations front. Deb Muchmore from the Marketing Resource Group was helping out the mayor’s office on Monday.

MRG lists as clients Motor City Casino and the Pokagon Band of Potawatomi Indians, which runs the new Four Winds Casino in New Buffalo near the Indiana border. Neither entity has formerly joined the coalition of gaming interests working against Kewadin Lansing, but it’s a potential conflict PR types in town are keeping an eye on.

Veteran PR guy Roger Martin of Martin Waymire Communications is handling communications for the Sault Ste. Marie tribe. The multi-client lobbying firm of Cusmano Kandler and Reed has handled the Kewadin Gaming Authority’s lobbying duties since ‘09.

Last June, the tribe hired John Wernet, former Gov. Jennifer Granholm’s right hand on Indian legal affairs. All told, Wernet’s been handling Native American legal issues for about as long as I’ve been alive.

Richard McLellan, former Gov. John Engler’s legal counsel and a well-respected legal mind, is working with Lansing Future, the project developer. The managing director of Lansing Future is Bill Martines, due in part to his “vast real estate development background.”

The money behind the operation comes from Jerry Campbell, the retired founder of Ann Arbor-based Republic Bancorp. He led a short-lived attempt to create the Pinnacle horse race track in Wayne County. He pulled the plug on it last year after sinking a reported $35 million into it since its 2008 opening.

Representing Campbell on the PR front is Jeff Caponigro, who served with Campbell on the Central Michigan University Board of Trustees.

The law firm of Miller Canfield is assisting on the legal end of things for Kewadin Lansing, as well.

The city of Lansing has on the string multi-client Kheder Davis and debatably the city’s biggest and most influential firm — Governmental Consulting Services Inc.

However, GCSI also has as a client MPM Enterprises, the management partner of the Gun Lake Tribe of Pottawatomi Indians, which is very much a partner of the anti-Kewadin Lansing movement.

Attorney James Nye, who did public relations during the Gun Lake casino debate, is the media’s point person on the anti-side. Predictably, those entities that stand the most to lose financially from a Lansing casino are out front in opposition.

The Saginaw band of Chippewa Indians, who owns Soaring Eagle in Mount Pleasant, hired Philip Hogen, the former chairman of the National Indian Gaming Commission, to give his legal analysis that a Lansing casino is illegal. The Saginaw band is represented by Public Affairs Associates, another big-swinging lobbying firm.

PAA also represents the MGM Grand, another member of the anti-casino coalition. The Detroit-based law firm of Dickinson Wright also does work for MGM.

An hour south of Lansing, the Nottawaseppi Huron Band of Pottawatomi opened the FireKeepers Casino outside of Battle Creek in 2009. They’re part of the coalition and are represented on the lobbying front by Michigan Legislative Consultants.

The Sault Ste. Marie band previously owned the Greektown Casino in Detroit, but it filed for bankruptcy in 2008. It’s now owned by a group of investors who are represented in Lansing by Karoub Associates, Dykema Gossett and Scofes & Associates, among others. WWP Strategies, a Washington D.C.-based consulting firm with strong ties in Michigan is also working with the anti-side.

It’s literally all hands on deck — and the Kewadin Lansing dream is, publicly, only days old.


The money behind the operation comes from Jerry Campbell, the retired founder of Ann Arbor-based Republic Bancorp. He led a short-lived attempt to create the Pinnacle horse race track in Wayne County. He pulled the plug on it last year after sinking a reported $35 million into it since its 2008 opening.

Representing Campbell on the PR front is Jeff Caponigro, who served with Campbell on the Central Michigan University Board of Trustees.

And wasn’t this the same man who Campbell hired to do the PR at PRC but let go because he claimed again he couldn’t afford the company to advertise?

The law firm of Miller Canfield is assisting on the legal end of things for Kewadin Lansing, as well.

Where was Campbell’s PR man for Pinnacle Race Course. Oh that’s right we didn’t have one and when I asked of why no promotion I got bitched out by Trainer James Jackson. Maybe that’s why he was voted off the board this time around and the fact that then he turned around after supporting how the poor Campbell’s had given everything they had and then made a motion to withdraw support of the bastards.

And isn’t this the same law firm that this Soo Tribe sued and won a million dollars from?

By Scott Brand
Posted May 20, 2010
Sault Ste. Marie, Mich. — A mediation agreement has netted the Sault Tribe of Chippewa Indians $1 million from the law firm of Miller, Canfield, Paddock and Stone, P.L.C. as the firm opted to settle following a hard-bargained session lasting more than 12 hours Tuesday.

“This was a contested case,” said law firm CEO Michael Hartmann on Wednesday afternoon. “No one admitted liability.”

In extricating itself from the pending lawsuit in exchange for $1 million, Hartmann indicated both sides were satisfied with the resolution.

“Everyone thought it was in the best interest of the firm,” he explained.

“On behalf of the board of directors and myself, I’m confident to say this is the best possible outcome for our tribe and the status of the case,” said Tribal Chairman Darwin “Joe” McCoy in a press release issued shortly before 10 a.m. today. “I’m pleased we were able to hold one party responsible for its role in the litigation and that we are free to continue on with the other defendants, soon we can put this behind us as a tribe and move forward.”

The lengthy mediation saw the Sault Ste. Marie Tribal Board of Directors go in and out of open session throughout the day before the final deal was reached.

John Hatch, one of the few tribal members who monitored the day of mediation, said the board was unanimous in its decision.

“I think it was an excellent deal,” said Hatch. “The board did an excellent job.”

Hatch said not only did the Sault Tribe get some of its money back, but it also preserved the abuse of government civil suit against the former chairman, Bernard Bouschor.

His analysis coincides with this morning’s press release which states: “The settlement allows the Sault Tribe to recover a substantial amount of money without the uncertainty of a trial. It also preserves the tribe’s ability to continue its lawsuit against those most responsible for the unauthorized transfer of tribal funds to key employees”

The Sault Tribe has been looking to recover approximately $2.6 million which was distributed to upper-echelon employees in the wake of Bouschor’s 2004 failed re-election bid. Tribal representatives have contended that the payments were illegal and Bouschor did not have the authority to release those individuals with hefty severance packages.

A jury trial to settle the civil suit is scheduled for October in the 50th Circuit Court.


In the end it was the Chairman Bernard Bouschor in cohoots with this law firm to screw the entire Soo Tribe.

In 2010 The Horsemen’s Benevolent Protection Association bought back 39 racing days from the State of Michigan when the Michigan Gaming Control Board headed by Director Richard Kalm in essence allotted Pinnacle the only Thoroughbred Race Track in Michigan 84 days and in the end slashed them to just 3. In Sept. of 2010 the MGCB came at them again demanding even more money or threatened the track to be shut down. The HBPA again came up with another $37,000. In total that racing year cost the Horsemen/Women about a million dollars.

Campbell cried BROKE. But on top of all that, Campbell waited until the second ransom was paid by the HBPA that he then came at them and stated if the water bill of $33,000 didn’t get paid immediately, Huron Township was going to cut the water off and the HBPA paid that bill for Jerry Campbell as well.

But now he is the money behind a new Casino in Lansing?

The Soo Tribe is kept in the dark about everything that goes on with their fucked up crooked board. It’s as simple as that. Why they don’t go to the Federal Level to put a stop to all this is beyond me. And why they can’t rid their former chairman, Bernard Bouschor once and for all from that Tribes grips on their money is beyond me. But the HBPA were not in the dark about Jerry Campbell. This group chose to stick their heads up their own asses and hoped as hell everything would be OK.

And what did they get out of it? A lot of stinking hell and as far as I’m concerned they have no one to blame but themselves. Forever waiting on everybody to magically solve their own problems. Their only solution was to keep handing their own money to everyone instead of banding together and fight.

Fight like the other T.B. Horsemen around the country. Fight like The New England Horsemen, Fight like the Maryland Horsemen, Refuse to bring up their horse for one race at Aqueduct like the New York Horsemen.

No here in Michigan the Thoroughbred Horsemen & Woman take everybody’s shit. They always have and they always will. Waiting on some buffoon named Dan Adkins who I would have punched out in 2009. Petitions that were full of shit, wanting to amend this and amend that knowing that it is the Thoroughbred Signal that keeps the Harness doors to their tracks open.

We hold the power in the palms of our hands not the Harness Horsemen or their Race Tracks.

I wouldn’t wait on shit. I’d file a lawsuit against Jerry Campbell so fast his head would be spinning faster than Linda Blair’s in the Exorcist. I’d get back that money that the HBPA shelled out for Jerry Campbell’s Race Track Water Bill.

How in the F’ is a man who can’t pay his back taxes on a Race Track he built, still past water bills owed to the Township, DTE and God knows who else but he’s got the money to dive into a Casino. Or is this suppose to be some supportive jester after a few bucks can be made and complete Pinnacle 20 years down the road?

He didn’t cause the catastrophe that ended the demise of Pinnacle, that was the State’s doing solely with the stripping of our racing dates. I mean there was a reason that Gov. Dumbbell dissolved the ORC in 2009. But I don’t see this Governor who replaced her re-instated it. And there was a reason that she took Horse Racing from where it was from 1933/Agriculture and removed us from that governing body and threw us under the bus with the MGCB.

And how is Huron Township going to react upon hearing all this bullshit? Campbell can say F’ my bills with those people I’ve got other important matters to attend to. I have a Casino to tout.

My patience ran out years ago with all this boo hooing. The horsemen sitting there like zombies while listening on one hand how broke the poor Campbell’s were and listening on the other to Lisa Campbell standing there rambling I’ve just bred 26 mares. BUT I AM TO BROKE TO PROMOTE MY RACE TRACK, OR PAY WATER BILLS, OR TAXES, OR KITCHEN MANAGEMENT COMPANIES. WTF????

You see they lost a lawsuit to the tune of $486,000 for breach of contract which may be the very reason they stopped simulcasting at the end of 2010. A little hard to keep a business open without the ability to provide patrons with food or beverage. But his banking business in Florida must have flew and done it with lightning speeds because HE MAKE EM INVESTMENT IN CASINO.

But then he was buying into Greektown in 2008 prior to the court taking that Casino from the Soo Tribe.

So the Soo Tribe can’t seem to control what’s happening with their board, the HBPA is planning for another disaster meet at MPM when it was almost Jan. when the final T.B. horsemen were finally paid what they were owed by Walter Bay for races.

And they’ll wait until dead before they ever see the day that they go back to Hazel Park and why would they anyway?

In 1998 those stinking people wanted the HBPA to build their barns and entire backside again. What in the hell do they think will be any different now.

But they will still wait and wait just to get played like fools again and again.

And my suggestion of going back to where it all started at The Detroit Fairgrounds has fallen on deaf ears. A proposal I’m not sure that Detroit wouldn’t dismiss so fast.

The State F’D Pinnacle, Miller and Canfield F’D the Soo Tribe once and now our beloved ex-race track owner is diving into a Casino with all of them in Lansing. With the focus with Bernaro on helping CMU students.

Funny Campbell built a Race Track to help the Thoroughbred Horse Racing Industry. But since Michigan hates the very Industry that alone generated over $400 million a year at one time before anyone ever heard the word Lottery or Casino and then discarded it. Even though it still employs 12,000+ jobs connected to it.

You tell me WTF is going on and what happened to the word RACINO. Eye Ball Deep in Shit if you ask me.


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