Republican billionaire benefactor and Ambassador Bridge owner Matty Moroun was busy distributing campaign cash to those willing to stand up for the billionaires and against 10,000 Michigan job and oppose the much-needed planned Detroit River International Crossing (DRIC) bridge over the Detroit River between Canada and Windsor.
In an effort to keep his monopoly on the 81-year old Ambassador Bridge, Moroun has spent lots of money on mostly Republican politicians that has earned him the loyalty like that of State Sen. Alan Cropsey, R-DeWitt. In a Detroit Free Press article called “Matty Moroun spends big on politicians: Dishes donations amid bridge fight,” it reports “Moroun and his family have doled out more than $110,000 in political contributions to Michigan candidates and committees since the beginning of the year.”
The article shows Morouns spent his money on most -- but not all -- of the gubernatorial candidates from both parties, as well as a lobbyist-run committee in Lansing that in turn contributes to Republican campaigns and causes. That’s one reason why not a single Michigan House Republicans voted yes on legislation clearing the way to build the DRIC bridge and authorize Michigan to enter into a public-private partnership with Canada and a private sector developer/financier to build the DRIC bridge, and why Senate Republicans are trying to kill it in committee.
According the Free Press, “the Morouns gave to all of the Republican gubernatorial candidates except former Gateway computers head Rick Snyder, who supports DRIC as long as Michigan taxpayers aren't on the hook. U.S. Rep. Pete Hoekstra -- who has since said he favors a public-private partnership to build a new span -- received four $3,400 contributions worth a total of $13,600 on May 5. Attorney General Mike Cox, who has more concerns about DRIC, received the same on June 25.”
But Mike Bouchard appears to be the new Cropsey, and he got the lion’s share of the Moroun cash.
“On top of the $10,200 he received on the last day of 2009, the Bouchard Victory Fund received $13,000 in May. And Capitol Affairs PAC, which is run by former Bouchard staffer and lobbyist Robert Kennedy, has received $35,000 from the Morouns since the middle of May. The PAC has contributed to several funds committed to electing Republicans, as well as giving about $34,000 to Bouchard's gubernatorial run and another $34,000 to a committee called Friends of Mike Bouchard -- which according to the filing is a fund for his re-election in 2012 as Oakland County sheriff.”
Most troubling, at least to me, was that the Morouns also gave “two $3,400 contributions to Lansing Mayor Virg Bernero, who is running for the Democratic nomination for governor. His rival, House Speaker Andy Dillon, didn't receive a donation. Dillon supports DRIC; Bernero opposes it.”
“Also of note, two of Lansing's most vocal opponents to DRIC received contributions:” Republican State Reps. David Agema of Grandville received $1,000, and Paul Opsommer of DeWitt got $1,500.