Here They Go Again!

Ambassador Bridge rolls out new misinformation ad campaign just in time for the Super Bowl

In their latest statewide television ad the Detroit International Bridge Company (DIBC) continues to blame everybody but themselves for their leaders landing in jail after ignoring two years of court orders to live up to their contract with the State and build the Gateway project as agreed to.

In their most recent ad, the DIBC blames the Snyder administration along with Wayne County Circuit Court Judge Prentice Edwards for the jailing of Ambassador Bridge owner Matty Moroun and DIBC president Dan Stamper earlier this month. The commercial tries to connect their jail time with the NITC and continues to lie about the cost of the NITC to taxpayers.

Instead of taking responsibility for their actions or in this case the lack of action ­­– failing to comply with the 2004 Gateway contract and ignoring multiple court orders to tear down illegally built duty-free gas pumps, duty-free shop, and ramp ­– the Ambassador Bridge owners have decided to do what they do best, run misleading television ads and blame others for their problems.

Below are the claims made by the DIBC in the latest ad:

DIBC: “The State won’t build their side.” (with a red arrow pointing to the missing section of a ramp on the project)

NITC: Nearly six years after reaching an agreement to a modification of the 2004 Gateway contract, the DIBC just last month conveyed the property to the State of Michigan necessary to complete the support (S32) for the elevated highway ramp to send outbound truck traffic from the bridge to the freeways. There are additional properties DIBC agreed to convey to the state for the remainder of the Gateway Project, which are now more than five years overdue. The Federal Highway Administration (FHWA) originally would not allow the state to build the ramp until ALL the property associated with the entire project was controlled outright by the state. Just this week, the state has successfully worked with the FHWA to allow for the construction of S32 to proceed, while enforcement of the conveyance of the remaining properties continues through the legal process.

DIBC: “Governor Snyder wants to build his own $2 billion bridge.”

NITC: The bridge itself will cost $949.1 million (only half of this is Michigan’s and will be paid for by private investors). The I-75 interchange will cost $385.9 million, which will be paid for by Canada, and the U.S. customs plaza will cost $413.6 million, $150 million of which will be paid for by Canada and the remaining $263.6 million will be paid for by the U.S. General Services Administration (GSA).

DIBC: “An activist Detroit judge, who’s son the Governor just appointed to the bench, put the Ambassador Bridge people in jail.”

NITC: The state filed the Gateway lawsuit in April 2009, three months before Snyder announced his candidacy for Governor. Furthermore, the DIBC has repeatedly and blatantly ignored previous court orders from Judge Edwards.

In February of 2010 Judge Edwards ordered the DIBC to “specifically perform Gateway Agreements…and remove all conflicting structures.” The DIBC appealed the decision but the Michigan Court of Appeals, Michigan Supreme Court, and the United States District Court denied the motion. In January of 2011, Wayne County Circuit Court issued an order finding the DIBC in contempt of court for failing to comply with the original February 2010 court order. There have been a total of 32 rulings in this case – 28 of them have gone against the DIBC.

DIBC: “You’ll have to pay for it.”

NITC: The New International Trade Crossing will not cost Michigan taxpayers a cent. The bridge itself will be paid for by private investors. The plazas will be paid for by the Canadian government and the U.S. Customs plaza will be paid for by the Federal Government (just like the Customs plaza at the Ambassador Bridge). The State of Michigan will not expend any tax dollars to the authority and will not be liable for any debts or obligations as the legislation states:

An agreement involving the authority and a public agency of Canada relating to the Canadian contribution shall not impose any obligation on the department, the authority, this state or a political subdivision of this state to repay the Canadian contribution from revenues other than project revenue and project contribution.

Furthermore, should the tolls collected from the bridge fall short of the dollars needed to repay the Canadian and/or private investors in the project, the Canadian government has agreed to accept the responsibility for any short-fall.

The only truth behind the latest DIBC ad is that Wayne County Judge Prentice Edwards “put the Ambassador Bridge people in jail.” The “Ambassador Bridge people” were not thrown in jail because Governor Snyder wants to build a bridge crucial to Michigan’s economic future, or because Governor Snyder appointed Judge Edwards son to the bench, but because the DIBC has repeatedly ignored their agreement with the people of Michigan and the judge’s orders.

Click here to view the latest DIBC television ad.

Click here to view a complete scorecard of judicial rulings relating to the Gateway Project.