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July 31, 2006
Re: Allegations in Marati Press Release
To Whom It May Concern:
We represent Bridge Capital (USVI), LLC., John Baldwin and Shawn Scott in connection with Bridge Capital's interest in financing certain gaming ventures. We also represent Mr. Scott in connection with licensing in various jurisdictions. Additionally we represent John Baldwin and Guam Greyhound.
I have had a personal involvement in many of the gaming and licensing proceedings referenced herein. I have also thoroughly researched various newspapers' allegations regarding past gaming and licensing matters.
Nearly every statement in the press release put out by Jacqueline Marati with the headline "Greyhound Backers Part of Group Fined $622,820 in DC Signature Buying Scheme for Slot Legalization" is false. It is the very worst sort of defamation because it harms the named people in their business reputations and falsely accuses them of criminal misconduct – violations of election law. It is the very sort of defamation for which liability is easily found and punitive damages are imposed. We urge you in the strongest possible terms not to publish the false and defamatory statements made by Ms.
It is clear that Ms. Marati is not interested in the truth or an honest and fair presentation of the gaming initiative she opposes. Hence her resort to mud-slinging, name-calling and outright lying. Here is the truth about just a few of her allegations:
- There was no finding or even allegation of "signature buying" – a crime in the District of Columbia – in connection with the DC Slots Initiative.
- None of the financial backers of the DC Slot Initiative was fined. Not one cent. Newspapers that reported otherwise retracted their false stories and issued corrections.
- None of the financial backers of the DC Slot Initiative was charged with, much less found guilty of violations of election law. Newspapers that reported otherwise withdrew and corrected those stories.
- The Board of Elections found one forgery out of over 56,000 signatures collected for the 2004 DC Slots Initiative campaign. Signatures were unconstitutionally disregarded by the DC Board of Elections because of the actions of a small handful of bad signature gatherers who were sub-contractors of the company hired to manage the signature drive. That company was not involved in the Guam effort.
- Mr. Scott's involvement in Delta Downs (Louisiana) and the Bangor Historic Track (Maine) were both very successful. The Scott entity that owned Delta Downs received a gaming license. When Mr. Scott sold the Bangor track, the commissioner in his then pending license hearing publicly expressed Maine's debt of gratitude to Scott for his achievements as follows:
Two years ago Mr. Scott comes along. He says, boys I've got a deal for you. I'll put the referendum through the State of Maine, through the city of Bangor; if it works, I'll buy your track and put the slots in…
Mr. Scott spent a year and a half up here pushing that referendum through where we could never do it before. And the state of Maine owes you something for getting that through, believe me. … the people in Bangor voted three times for this. And a common denominator of those three times was Mr. Scott. He was there every time… City of Bangor had a chance to really see this man and see this operation. I have a great respect for the people of Bangor and they're smart people. If they saw it three times and approved it three times, that's good enough for me…
I was prepared to come down here, to be honest with you, and – and to vote to give him the stock – give him his license. Transcript 26-27.
- The allegations that Mr. Scott was denied a license in five jurisdictions because of alleged financial irregularities are false. Mr. Scott has not been denied a license in five jurisdictions, he has not been accused by any regulators of financial irregularities much less found to have engaged in any, or denied a license because of any.
- Robert Newell is not an employee of Bridge Capital and is in no way involved with Guam Greyhound or the Guam Initiative. Statements about Newell in the press release seem to be excerpts of anonymous unconfirmed rumors in old news clippings.
- Hoolae Paoa is not involved with the operation of Guam Greyhound and would not be involved in any gaming operations. He has worked hard to overcome a 20 year old mistake in judgment for which he has expressed regret many times and made full restitution long ago.
- John Baldwin (through a company) is the primary owner of Guam Greyhound.
- Mr. Baldwin has never been denied a gaming license.
- Mr. Baldwin was not "behind" the DC Slots Initiative and not involved at all with the DC Slots signature gathering campaign.
There are numerous other falsehoods in the press release, but we felt it was important to get out a response quickly. More information will be disseminated as needed to correct the wild and untruthful allegations Ms. Marati makes. The people of Guam deserve to have a fair basis to decide whether or not to vote for gaming. We again urge you in the strongest possible terms not to repeat Ms. Marati's false and extremely damaging statements.
Very truly yours,
/s/ Deborah Deitsch-Perez