Mar 4, 2009
Senate Republicans pull out all the stops to benefit rich benefactor
Extreme rightwing Senator Alan Cropsey, R-DeWitt, will once again carry water for Grosse Pointe billionaire and Republican benefactor Matty Moroun; who wants to maintain his monopoly of an international border crossing at a joint meeting of the Senate Commerce and Tourism Committee and the Transportation Appropriations Sub-Committee on Thursday afternoon.
The entire agenda consists of a discussion of the Michigan Strategic Fund (MSF) decision last month regarding the Detroit International Bridge Company. The MSF declined to approve bonds to finance a second span of the privately owned Ambassador Bridge when it learned the project had been done without many of the needed approvals, including a permit from the Canadian government to actually land the bridge on the Canadian side; literarily making it a bridge to nowhere. The MSF did not disapprove the request; it simply tabled it after getting the new information. The MSF is part of the executive branch of government, and I’m not sure what kind of oversight the Legislature has over the board.
The Detroit River International Crossing (DRIC) Study and the Michigan Department of Transportation (MDOT) are going forward with a second span to be built in the Delray section of Detroit, and in June the Canadian government announced the Canadian crossing will be in the Brighton Beach section in west-end Windsor, adjacent to Delray. The public-private partnership continues to go forward.
But Senate Republicans, led by Cropsey, have gone to extraordinary lengths to discredit DRIC and MDOT and to a push a plan by the Ambassador Bridge Company to build a second span adjacent to the current nearly 80-year old bridge and help a major financial backer of the Republican Party.
The joint committee meeting will be held at 1 p.m. Thursday in room 402/403 in the Capitol, and it’s open to the public.