Aug 25, 2009

Bridge company goes after critic with recall

Its official; the misguided recall of a dedicated advocate for her Detroit district is being recalled for refusing to kowtow to Grosse Pointe billionaire and Republican benefactor Matty Moroun.

According to subscription only MIRS, three recall petitions were filed against Rep. Rashida Tlaib, D-Detroit, for daring to stand up to Moroun and representing her district. Detroit resident Robert Cartwright is listed as the official filer of the petitions, but the Ambassador Bridge Company has hired connected Detroit political consultant Adolph Mongo to run a recall campaign against Tlaib.

Moroun is already building a second bridge span right next to the current Ambassador Bridge, and they do 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 also 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. Tlaib has been a vocal critic of that action.

The Detroit River International Crossing (DRIC) study has widespread bipartisan support, and they are going forward with building a new crossing a mile away near the Del Ray neighborhood. The exhaustive study has the support of the U.S. and Canadian governments, as well as the majority of local and state officials.

The Bridge company has a history of flouting the rules and doing what it pleases. The bridge company is dragging their feet on the $170 million Gateway Project in order to endanger the project to kill the DRIC bridge. 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 Mexican town International Welcome Center.

The Michigan Department of Transportation (MDOT) said it is having ongoing issues over contractual obligations with the Bridge Company, and the state could be in danger of having to pay back the federal funds for the project if they fail to meet the original "Purpose and Need" of the project. The federal government is providing 80 percent of the money.

The proposed recall language must go before the Wayne County Election Commission for a clarity hearing within the next 20 days, and if the language is approved, it is good for 180 days, but the actual petition drive for signatures must be within 90 days. In other words, there must be 90 days between the first and last signature. They must collect signatures equal to 25 percent of the number of voters who submitted a ballot in the 2006 gubernatorial race, and that comes out to a ridiculously low number of 1,846 signatures.

The recall must be based on the language and reasons approved by the election commission, but Mongo told MIRS recall organizers also will use Tlaib's support for turning over Cobo Hall's management to a regional authority against her during the recall campaign.


kevins said...

Well, scratch your head and believe it or not...but I agree with you.

Or, I agree with you at least on the point that this recall should never happen. It's a hired gun who is using the recall threat because Maroun disagrees with a state rep who is doing her job.

I don't know where I stand on the bridge argument. Just because the guy is a jerk doesn't mean he doesn't have a point about the government competing with private industry.

But the argument between his second span and the publicly funded span is just that..a debate that should be carried out through appropriate channels. If he doesn't have proper permits, then someone should get their ass out of a chair and enforce the damn law.

Attacking the lawmaker just because she doesn't jump to your tune...well, that's just intimidation.

Communications guru said...

Even if it wasn’t a hired gun, I really believe recalls should be reserved for officials who are corrupt, commit a crime or are grossly incompetent. Certainly not for a vote or a position you don’t like; that’s what elections are for.

The government is better at some things, like the military and border crossings. The problem with the debate is that the DRIC study took five years and looked at the advantages and disadvantages of each location and included many, many public hearings. He can build his private bridge, but he has to get economic impact statements just like everyone else. The problem is the Canadians don’t want the traffic going through that residential area, and he can’t get a permit to land it on their soil.

As for enforcing the permits, he has lots of expensive lawyers.