Aug 15, 2009
Ambassador Bridge Company hires political consultant to run recall against critic
It’s a simple fact of life that most rich people do not like being told no and certainly are not accustomed to hearing that word. Grosse Pointe billionaire, Ambassador Bridge owner and Republican benefactor Matty Moroun is a perfect example of that.
One person who has stood up to Moroun for her Southwest Detroit District is State Rep. Rashida Tlaib, and she has become a target.
Moroun has been trying to build a second span right next to the current Ambassador Bridge - only one of two international border crossings in the country in private hands - but the Canadian and U.S. government wants to a new public-private bridge at a site located downriver from the current Ambassador Bridge at the site of the Detroit River International Crossing (DRIC) Study.
But that hasn’t stopped Moroun. He has already began building his bridge to keep his monopoly even though he does not have one single permit; not from the City of Detroit, the state of Michigan, the federal government or the Canadian government. The company is taking Riverside Park and 23rd street because it claims an old act of Congress designated it an instrument of the federal government because it controlled traffic on an international crossing.
His money has lined the pockets of Senate Republicans who are fighting the DRIC study and refuse to fund it, and Sen. Alan Cropsey, R-DeWitt, appears to be ready to go so far as to declare war on Canada because they are not willing to give Moroun a permit to land a second Ambassador Bridge on Canadian soil.
The Ambassador Bridge Company has even been dragging its feet on the $170 million Gateway Project; hoping to endanger the project to kill the DRIC bridge, and it could cost the state millions of dollars. The Gateway Project will address long term congestion mitigation issues and provide direct access improvements between the Ambassador Bridge, I-75 and I-96. The project will also reconstruct I-96 and I-75, accommodate traffic for a potential future second span of the Ambassador Bridge, and access to the Mexicantown International Welcome Center.
Subscription only Gongwer is reporting that the bridge company has hired connected Detroit political consultant Adolph Mongo to run a recall campaign against Tlaib, although no petitions have been filed with the Wayne County clerk.
The bridge company has been running a high-priced PR campaign against MDOT and any other person standing in their way. Apparently, the bridge company hired Mongo a few months ago to publicly rebut Tlaib’s comments on the bridge, including organizing a group of counter protestors during a recent U.S. Coast Guard hearing. The U.S. Coast Guard has asked the company to show why constructing the ramp before receiving the government's permission isn't a violation of the law.
Mongo has been invoked with many successful political campaigns, but he gained some notoriety in 2006 when he took out an ad in the Detroit-based Michigan Chronicle newspaper that featured photographs of Hitler and Gov. Jennifer Granholm and accused Democrats of taking African-American voters for granted.
Just say no to the recall, Moroun and the bridge company, but be careful if you do.