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What Is DCWatch?
|Subject: Slots gambling promoters, the Marati press release, and the Deitsch-Perez E-mail
From: Dorothy Brizill <email@example.com>
Date: Tue, 01 Aug 2006 15:58:09 -0400
To: firstname.lastname@example.org, email@example.com,
CC: "Jackie A. Marati" <firstname.lastname@example.org>,
William O'Field <email@example.com>,
Lori Montgomery <firstname.lastname@example.org>,
Matt Cella <email@example.com>
I am Dorothy Brizill, the Executive Director of DCWatch, a good government organization focused on the
local government in Washington, DC. My organization opposed the gambling initiatives that were proposed
in Washington, DC, in 2004 and 2006. These initiatives were totally financed by companies that were owned
or controlled by Shawn Scott, Rob Newell, and John Baldwin, who are the backers of the gambling initiative
that is currently proposed in Guam.
Jackie Marati has shared with me an E-mail sent to Guam press outlets dated July 31, 2006, by Deborah
Deitsch-Perez, an attorney for Scott, Newell, Baldwin, and their companies. Ms.
Deitsch-Perez also represented these interests in their initiative efforts in Washington, DC, so I am very familiar with her tactics.
Ms. Deitsch-Perez's E-mail is filled with half-truths and misrepresentations, and is very deceptive. Her threat
to sue Ms. Marati and media outlets, simply for exposing the backgrounds of her clients, is an effort to
intimidate an opponent of her clients in the midst of a political campaign and to prevent the public from
learning the truth about her clients, who are attempting to promote slot machine gambling in Guam.
In Washington, DC, any member of an initiative committee that proposes an initiative must be a registered
voter in the District of Columbia. In 2004, Scott, Newell, Baldwin, and companies owned and controlled by
them hired three residents of the District of Columbia as their agents to be the members of the initiative
committee. The members of the initiative committee did not work independently, but on behalf of and in the
interest of Scott, Newell, and Baldwin. All the expenses of the committee were paid by companies owned and
controlled by Scott, Newell, and Baldwin.
That initiative committee was fined twice by the DC Board of Elections and Ethics for violations of election
laws. The first fine was for $100,000, and that fine was paid by the initiative committee from funds provided
by a company owned and controlled by Scott, Newell, and Baldwin (see http://www.dcwatch.com/election/init18ww.htm).
The second fine was for $622,820, and the initiative committee has not yet paid it; instead, it has appealed the fine in DC Superior Court. Ms. Deitsch-Perez is
technically correct that the DC Board of Elections and Ethics did not assess that fine for "signature buying";
instead, it found that:
The Board's examination into the circumstances surrounding the Initiative Measure No. 68
petition circulation process revealed significant and pervasive irregularities and improprieties of
a magnitude never previously experienced in this jurisdiction. The illegal activities compromised,
and made a mockery of, the integrity of the electoral process that the Board is charged with
protecting. Accordingly, a fine in the amount of $622,880 is wholly justified.
Citizens challenged the petitions filed by the initiative committee. The Board of Elections and Ethics held a
nine-day hearing on those petitions and heard the testimony of many witnesses who were involved in the
petition circulation process. In the end, the Board rejected the petitions because of pervasive fraud. In its
order rejecting the petitions, it wrote:
The flaws in the process, which bore on the validity of the signatures collected, were significant
when considered individually, and monumental when considered collectively. They served to
turn the law of the District of Columbia designed to ensure the integrity of the circulation process
on its head. These flaws included: 1) the use of so-called "assistants" who were non-residents of
the District of Columbia, but who actually performed the petition circulating responsibilities
statutorily prescribed for D.C. residents; 2) the falsification of the circulator's affidavit by D.C.
residents at the urging of some of the non-residents brought into the District of Columbia to
"assist" with the petition drive; 3) forged signatures of both signatories and circulators; 4) official
training of circulators by non-residents who were uninformed about the District's election laws
and Initiative Measure No. 68 itself, and who promoted a sales pitch that mischaracterized the
substance of the initiative; 5) false advertising of the initiative to induce signing that was
conveyed both orally in communications between circulators and potential signers, and visually
through the wearing of T-shirts that conveyed the false information; 6) the haphazard and
uncoordinated recruitment of D.C. residents by non-resident circulators to act as purported
witnesses to their signature gathering efforts—a practice that undoubtedly contributed to the
unreliability of the circulator's affidavits and the Board's inability to subpoena several witnesses;
and 7) an overall lack of oversight of the activities in the field by managers who appeared far
removed from the details of the collection effort. [http://www.dcwatch.com/election/init18o.htm]
Again, this pervasive pattern of fraud, forgery, and violations of elections laws was found to be the
responsibility of an initiative committee all of whose members were paid agents of Scott, Newell, Baldwin,
and their companies, and all of whose activities were paid for by Scott, Newell, Baldwin, and their
companies. While Ms. Deitsch-Perez correctly claims that Scott, Newell, and Baldwin were not individually
named or fined by the District of Columbia Board of Elections and Ethics, the committee that was their hired
Ms. Deitsch-Perez's characterization of the Board's decision is completely false. The Board's decision was
appealed by the initiative committee and upheld by the DC Court of Appeals, which praised it in its opinion:
We affirm the Board's thoroughly documented and carefully explained decision, substantially for
the reasons stated in its supplemental opinion attached hereto. [http://www.dcwatch.com/election/init18kk.htm]
The Court of Appeals further listed some of the violations of election law that were engaged in by the
The Board's manifold findings of circulator impropriety, which are supported by substantial
evidence in the record as a whole, Pendleton v. District of Columbia Bd. of Elections & Ethics,
449 A.2d 301, 307 (D.C. 1982), include the following:
- Of the seventy-nine Stars and Stripes circulators the Board was able to identify from
documents provided by the Citizens Committee, twelve appeared at the hearing in response to
subpoena by the Board. Eight of these testified to having falsely signed circulator affidavits, and
two refused to testify on grounds of self-incrimination. Those who testified identified three other
circulators by name who had engaged in similar false signings. The Citizens Committee, by
contrast, called no Stars and Stripes circulators to testify.
- Besides implicating themselves and naming other wrongdoers, the witnesses "implicated . . .
a much larger group of unnamed wrongdoers." In particular, Mike Jones, a
"mid-level/supervisory affiliate of the Stars and Stripes organization," had engaged in the
"well-known common practice" of having D.C. residents sign the affidavits of non-resident
circulators. ("The out-of-towners," as one resident witness testified, would "go out all day and get
signatures; but they didn't have [any]body to sign it. And so I made a couple of extra dollars by
just signing . . . their papers.") Other non-resident circulators likewise claimed not "to worry
about D.C. residents being there [to witness petition signatures] . . . [T]hey had D.C. residents all
lined up to sign off on the signature[ petitions] after they turned them in."
- Regarding some fifty-four petition sheets, the documents themselves showed that the
signatures or printed names on the circulator affidavits had been crossed out and another
signature or name substituted. "Indeed, the names of twenty-three different circulators appear as
the replacements for the crossed-out signatures or names on the altered petition sheets."
- Witnesses testified to forgery of their signatures on affidavits. One witness said that of the
twenty petition sheets attributed to him, he circulated only two; and another said he had
circulated none of the forty petition sheets attributed to him. In addition, the Board "gave some
credence" to reports of a "signing party" at the Red Roof Inn where names and addresses were
allegedly copied from the telephone books onto petition sheets.
- Eight circulators who could not be subpoenaed had listed addresses on the affidavits that
were non-existent or related to premises that were abandoned.
On the basis of this evidence, the Board found "a pervasive pattern of fraud, forgeries, and other
improprieties that permeated the petition circulation process" operated by Stars and Stripes, in
that witnesses had testified "not to individual acts of wrongdoing in an otherwise lawfully
functioning system, but to an operation in which false signings were an established practice." In
determining the proper remedy for this practice, the Board also considered the failure of the
Citizens Committee to produce contrary evidence.
Ms. Deitsch-Perez commonly engages in a shell game with regard to Shawn Scott, Rob Newell, John
Baldwin, and their many companies. These three individuals have been partners, in various combinations, in
more than 160 companies. Whenever Mr. Scott, Mr. Newell, or Mr. Baldwin has been associated with any
wrongdoing, Ms. Deitsch-Perez has denied the association by saying that it wasn't that individual, it was one
of those numerous shell companies. Ms. Deitsch-Perez denies that Mr. Baldwin was involved in the
Washington, DC, effort in any way, but Mr. Baldwin is the primary source of financing for Mr. Scott and Mr.
Newell, so this denial is disingenuous and misleading. When Ms. Deitsch-Perez first appeared in Washington,
DC, she denied that she was representing Shawn Scott or Rob Newell or Bridge Capital -- because for that
particular representation she was being paid by another one of these 160 or so different corporations. The
truth is that the three members of this group are all interconnected in all of their deals, and they commonly
disguise and deny their connections by using these shell corporations.
If you have any questions about what happened in Washington, DC, please don't hesitate to E-mail me or to
call me at firstname.lastname@example.org, 202-234-6982. If you have any questions about the findings of the DC
Board of Elections and Ethics, you can contact its press representative, William
O'Field, at email@example.com, 202-727-2511. If you have any questions about the backgrounds of Scott, Newell, and
Baldwin, please search the archives of The Washington Post (http://www.washingtonpost.com)
and The Washington Times (http://www.washtimes.com)
for 2004. And if you have any questions about the factual basis for these newspaper stories, or any doubt about whether any of these stories has been "corrected" or
retracted in any way, please contact the reporters who wrote them, Lori Montgomery at The Washington Post,
firstname.lastname@example.org, 202-334-6822, and Matt Cella at The Washington Times,