Apr 12, 2011

Moroun spreads cash and misinformation

It’s old news that Republican billionaire benefactor and Ambassador Bridge owner Matty Moroun is spreading misinformation and lies in order to keep his monopoly on the busiest commercial border crossing in all of North America, but as the public-private partnership for the planned Detroit River International Crossing (DRIC) bridge inches toward a reality, he has pulled out all the stops.

Most people have seen his TV commercial full of lies and the Michigan Truth Squad has called them out on their $400,000 worth of lies and scare campaign. The Moroun family now has bought the help of Faux “news” pundit Dick Morris and the Washington, D.C.-based rightwing think tank “Americans for Prosperity.”

Morris will work for anyone who pays him, and the so-called AFP organized and financed the teabaggers. The AFP has sent out glossy, full-color direct-mail pieces and radio ads against three Republican senators who have not taken a position on DRIC. The DRIC bridge has widespread bipartisan support, including the last three Michigan Governors and the current one; Snyder, Blanchard, Engler and Granholm.

The shrinking but vocal teabaggers have taken up the cause, blogging about it and calling lawmakers because Moron has sold it as a public bridge against a government bridge, ignoring the fact that public uses are just that, and if the DRIC bridge it not built, the 10,000 jobs and a new bridge will go to Buffalo.

Moroun claims a second bridge is not needed because traffic across the bridge has fallen, while he ignores the basic truths that we are just coming out of the worst recession since the Great Depression and the domestic auto industry going into bankruptcy. The fact is Ambassador Bridge “traffic jumped 11.4 percent between 2009 and 2010,” and Moroun has not explained why then he wants to build a second bridge if traffic is falling.

But the biggest lie is that DRIC will lose money and stick Michigan taxpayers with $100 million every year, and that is the scare tactic they are peddling. Canada has agreed to pay Michigan’s estimated cost of $550 million, and it will not cost Michigan taxpayers a penny. The Canadian government has called the proposed bridge its most important infrastructure priority and it will not give Moroun a permit to land this bridge to, again, empty into downtown Windsor.


kevins said...

I'm not a Moroun fan, but I'm not sure you know what you are talking about. Big surprise there.

How can you say this won't cost Michigan taxpayers a penny? Canada hasn't agreed to cover Michigan's share..Canada has agreed to front Michigan's share. It expects to get paid back. That payback supposedly will come from toll fares, but if those fares come up short, Canada still wants to be repaid. Where does that money come from? I don't think anyone knows because, last I knew, the legislation hasn't been introduced yet. So I don't know how you can say it won't cost Michigan a penny.

As for bridge traffic, if I assume your numbers are accurate (and that's a big if), you are cherry picking numbers. Even if up for one year, bridge traffic is way below what it was a decade ago. People who seem to be experts say the traffic projections used by the new-bridge fans are unrealistically inflated. If so, then traffic for the new bridge and Maroun's bridge will be below projections, causing financial troubles for both.

Canada doesn't want the bridge where it already is. Big deal. I like Canada. I don't think it should set Michigan or American policy.

Maroun is not to be trusted. But that doesn't mean that the new bridge is a good idea. It may be, but if "fans" like you keep distorting facts, then I distrust you as much as I doubt Maroun.

Communications guru said...

How can I say this won't cost Michigan taxpayers a penny? Easy, Canada is covering our cost, and I’m certainly not the only one saying it; Snyder and Calley are just a few; off the top of my head. Yes, Canada expects to get paid back; through tolls.
Actually, the legislation was introduced last session, and again in January.

Yes, the numbers are accurate, but they are not my numbers. Canada isn’t setting Michigan or American policy. Michigan, the U.S. Government and Canadian Government settled on a mutually located site two years ago after an extensive study. That’s what the DRIC study was all about. You can read about it on this blog.

I’m not distorting anything, and like I said, it has a lot of “fans” from the UAW to the Big 3 and the Steelworkers to the Detroit Chamber of Commerce and the last four Michigan governors.

kevins said...

You haven't answered the big question. If the tolls don't produce the necessary revenue, how does Canada get its loan back? And that's what it is, a loan. Canada is not "giving" us anything. It's just fronting the money.

The traffic over the bridge is well below that of a decade ago. Even if some of the more optimistic projections are correct, traffic will still only match its previous high. And, as usual, you ignore inconvenient truths...disintered observers have said the new bridge traffic estimates are not realistic. If that traffic fails to materialize, how does Canada get repaid? From Michigan taxpayers? Maybe it's still a good deal...but I have my doubts if supporters won't be honest about it.

Not Anonymous said...

I have the same problem as Kevins. If Commie Guru says it, I'm more inclined to immediately discount it because he's rarely factual on anything.

There are two sides to this story about the bridge. Snyder, Granholm, and Engler are fans of it. So what? The Detroit Tigers have millions of fans around the country, that doesn't put them in the World Series each year.

Commie Guru accepts the argument that 10,000 jobs will be created. But that's not the fact. The fact is, that side of the argument says it will create between 8,800 jobs and 10,039 jobs. He immediately jumps to the higher number. The argument against it is that there will be jobs created in the construction of the bridge, but it will have very little effect on the local economy and creation of jobs in the surrounding area. Certainly not long term jobs as the majority of traffic on the bridge is commerce. With easier access to the new bridge if built, they won't be stopping at the local businesses as much as the proponents say.

The traffic question is an interesting one. Yes, it appears that for one year, the traffic was up over the previous year, but the traffic is nowhere near the what the traffic was in 1999.

Then it comes down to private vs government. When was the last time that the government got a job done under the projected costs? Actually, when was the last time that the got a job done AT the projected costs? Then these guys want the bridge to be run by the government.

In every instance, private business does better, more efficiently than the government does. Go back to WWI and look at what government did with the steel business. They failed. Look at Social Security. It's operating in the red. Look at the war on poverty. It was projected to cost $9 million in the 1960's. That amount wouldn't even cover a tip compared to the costs we've had and still we have poverty.

Commie Guru calls Maroun a liar and also calls Morris a liar and claims that Americans for Prosperity created and funded the Tea Party movement (which he always describes in a sexually vulgar manner, which is childish at best). The AFP may have created a Tea Party group in a certain area, but they did not found the Tea Party movement. A simple google search would teach him this, if he had the marbles to look it up and read the truth about how the Tea Party came about.

Dick Morris is an American. He works for a living. If he takes a job, then he's absolutely right to expect compensation for his work. Maybe Commie Guru is happy with a minimum wage job if he even has a job. Maybe he'd be happy with a government job, but isn't he also doing it for compensation?

I am not in favor of a new bridge, and I'm not against a new bridge. However, if a new bridge is to be built, my preference is that it be built by private business, owned by private business and operated by private business. They will do it right and they will do it better. There is no question about this. And the only ones that it will cost money for is those using it, not all of the taxpayers.

Communications guru said...

Neither have you. Who says Michigan is on the hook if Canada does not get its money? Not only that, but it’s a straw man because it will not happen.

Again, traffic is down because of the Bush recession, the longest and deepest since the Great Depression, as well as the near collapse of the auto industry. If this DRIC bridge is not built, no bridge will be built in Michigan, and the biggest economic lifeline in the state will be continue to age and rot.

I’m not ignoring any truth, because you have not presented any, just your opinion that is not based on anything. What disinterested observers said “the new bridge traffic estimates are not realistic?”

What supporters are not being honest about it? The Michigan Truth Squad just showed opponents are lying.

Not Anonymous said...

Damn, I forgot. "It's Bush's fault!"

I don't know how I could forget that. Look at all of the examples we have.

Debbie Stabenow's husband gets caught with a hooker. It's Bush's fault.

The Deficit has just been announced to hit new highs today. It's Bush's fault.

The debt is at an all time high since Obama took office. It's Bush's fault.

I even read somewhere today that someone is happier now with Obamacare than he was in the past. It hasn't taken effect yet, but who's paying attention to details?
It's Bush's fault.

The tsunami. Bush's fault.

Communications guru said...

What BS. The problem, anonymous coward, is I have never lied, but you certainly have, like that outrageous lie that we were once shoulder to shoulder. Plus, The Michigan Truth Squad showed the Moroun family was lying.

What a ridiculous analogy. A tiger fan and the most prominent political leaders from both parts support the bridge. The only people against the DRIC bridge are the benefactors of Moroun cash, and misguided teabaggers.

The fact is it will create more than 10,000 jobs, and even if it’s only 8,800 jobs why is that a bad thing? How is 10,000 going to have “little effect on the local economy?” That is ridiculous. The loss of the aging bridge will have a devastating effect on the economy. Wow. You’re making an argument that traffic jams are a good thing? That’s ridiculous. Most of the traffic across the bridge is commercial truck traffic that loses money when stopped, not to mention the pollution.

The traffic question was settled by the traffic study, but that’s not going to stop the Moroun family from spinning it.

Public infrastructure should belong to the government, AKA the people. When was the last time that the government got the job done under the projected cost because even the contractors on a government project are private contractors.

I have already debunked your attack on SS, and it is in good financial shape. Just off the top of my head, government does a better job at health care insurance, and many other things. Medicare is the most efficient and popular health insurance program in the country, and that’s why Republicans want to kill it. There is a long list of disasters caused by greed.

It’s not just me who calls Moroun a liar; the Michigan Truth Squad also called him a liar. it’s a fact that “Americans for Prosperity” created and funded the teabaggers. Teabaggers called themselves that first, and I will not call them the tea party because they are not a party, they are Republicans.

I am also an American and work for a living, but I will not give up my principals for a job, so I will never work for a Republican. I guess you should stick to the false, personal attacks, anonymous coward, because the facts are, again, not on your side, No wonder you hide behind a fake name.

Right. First, all bridges are built by private business, but public infrastructure should not be owned by one person. How many bridges, as well as border crossings, are owned by private business? This is the only one I can think of.

Once again, anonymous coward, I am still waiting for you to back up your outrageous lie that we were “nearly shoulder to shoulder once.”

Communications guru said...

I disagree. It was not Bush’s fault that “Debbie Stabenow's husband gets caught with a hooker,” nor was the tsunami Bush's fault. I have no idea what this has to do with your false spin on the DRIC bridge, but as usual, when you lose on the facts, this is what you always do

Once again, anonymous coward, I am still waiting for you to back up your outrageous lie that we were “nearly shoulder to shoulder once.”

Communications guru said...

That just makes no sense. The one than most people seem to agree on is we need to replace the aging bridge that supports millions of U.S. and Canadian jobs. A joint U.S. Canadian study that began in 2000 to find the best place to build a new crossing located it a few miles downriver. Even if the Bridge Company somehow got a permit to build a second bridge, it will be financed, like DRIC, by revenue bonds secured by future tolls, so are you saying a bridge can never be built?