Now, NITC backers have their own TV ad

By Paul Egan
Detroit Free Press Lansing Bureau

On the same day leaders from Michigan and Canada signed a historic agreement to build a new bridge linking Detroit and Windsor, the first pro-bridge TV ad hit the airwaves.

The nonprofit corporation that paid for the TV ads, the Fund for Michigan Jobs, also paid for billboards that went up Friday in the Detroit area in support of the new public bridge, said Tom Shields, the Lansing spokesman for a coalition backing the New International Trade Crossing.

Shields said the Fund for Michigan Jobs is not directly tied to his pro-NITC group.

Until now, only TV ads slamming the proposed bridge have run, paid for by Ambassador Bridge owner Manuel (Matty) Moroun.

His companies have spent more than $5 million on such ads in the last two years.

“I think it’s about time the supporters of the bridge and supporters of what the governor is doing were out there selling their case to the general public,” Shields said.

“You can’t match the Moroun family dollar for dollar, but you may not have to.”

The TV ad focuses on the jobs the bridge would create and features illustrations using words or phrases of the bridge coming together from opposite sides of the Detroit River.

The Fund for Michigan Jobs was incorporated in 2008 but appears to have been mostly inactive until recently.

Alan Wilk, a Lansing attorney with the Dykema law firm, is listed in state records as the fund’s resident agent. He could not be reached for comment late Friday.