anticipated, the California Gambling Control Commission voted on
August 18, 2005 to renew Irving Moskowitz's license to operate his
Hawaiian Gardens Card Club. We are, nevertheless, disappointed that
the Commissioners have not considered the voluminous evidence of
Moskowitz's unsuitability that we and others have submitted to them
over the years. (Click here for more details.)
The Commissioners did
briefly engage in dialogue with us after we testified against
renewing the license. One exchange occurred when Coalition
Co-director Haim Dov Beliak expressed condolences over the murder of
a deputy sheriff by a Hawaiian Gardens gang member in
June. Beliak pointed to the gang presence that continues to
flourish in the City (click here to read more). Commissioner John Cruz asked him if he was linking Moskowitz to gangs. Beliak replied that we blame Moskowitz and the Hawaiian Gardens City Council, which he controls, for failing to spend its casino wealth for resources to serve local youth.
In another exchange, John Cruz, new to the Commission since last year, asked Coalition Co-director Jane Hunter for an example of the multiple grounds to disqualify Moskowitz from holding a gambling license that the Coalition has indentified. She told Cruz of the documents we gave the Commission showing Moskowitz secretly offering shares in the casino to two local casinos at the same time he declared under oath in a gambling license application that he was not contemplating bringing on new partners. Click here to read more (in PDF format).
When we handed each commissioner a copy of the August 11, 2005 fax we sent them containing photographs of the casino gates unguarded and children walking on and near the property, they asked a couple of questions, appearing surprised. Keeping people under 21 off the property was a condition on the license that the Commission granted last year; and they attached the same condition to the renewal. We were struck that the Commissioners ignored the evidence of the child crossing the casino grounds - only minutes after they suspended the license of a small card club whose owner had not turned in the proper paperwork and who, near tears, said the suspension was likely to doom her business. Click here to read the letter and view the photos (in PDF format).
When it came Commissioner Cruz's turn to vote, he stated that he was voting for the license renewal based on the fact that the people of Hawaiian Gardens freely voted for the casino and their government. We have documented how Moskowitz spent thousands of dollars hiring local street gang members, some convicted of felonies, as campaign workers in the ballot measure authorizing the casino; observers attribute his victory to the gang members' intimidation of voters. (California's gambling code makes "distorting" the casino-authorizing election grounds for license denial.) We have also shown how Moskowitz financed recalls of opponents of his operations and shut down the gang diversion programs they ran. (Click here for a PDF document with more details.) We are sending Commissioner Cruz that documentation.
Meanwhile, we are going to economize on our operation and plan to take down our credit card form in the near future. Please take this occasion to make a donation, by clicking here and using the secure form at the left margin of our website. You can also send checks to P.O. 67903, Los Angeles, CA 90067.
We thank you all for your interest and support.