Sentinel Editorial Board
Holland — Proposal 6 is the most cynical, self-serving ballot question that we can recall being put before Michigan voters. It promises absolutely no benefits to Michigan residents and would amend the state constitution solely for the economic benefit of one super-rich family.
Proposal 6 is the latest front in the desperate effort of the Moroun family, owners of the Ambassador Bridge, to maintain a lucrative monopoly by blocking a new publicly owned bridge to Canada. The proposal would amend the state constitution to require a public vote on any new international connection, but it’s all about the Morouns’ drive to thwart Gov. Snyder’s agreement with Canada to build the New International Trade Crossing. Proposal 6 is a blatant attempt to hijack the constitution for the narrowest of special interests.
As has been the case with the anti-bridge campaign since it began, the ads for Proposal 6 rely on pure deception. They falsely imply that Michigan can’t “afford” a new bridge, ignoring the undeniable facts that Canada will pay the full cost of construction, Canada will pay for Michigan’s needed highway connections, and Canada will pick up the tab if tolls don’t cover costs. The New International Trade Crossing wouldn’t take money from any other state function. There is no choice to be made between spending money on a new bridge or education or public safety because the state will not spend anything on the project. Nothing.
We believe all Michiganders will benefit from a new bridge to Canada because it will promote international commerce and ensure our state’s role as a trade hub — we can’t rely on the 83-year-old Ambassador to carry a quarter of cross-border trade. But even if you don’t believe a bridge is necessary, you should oppose Proposal 6 to preserve the integrity of the Michigan Constitution, which should be the organizing document of state government, not a political tool that a billionaire can buy for his own personal benefit.
The Snyder administration believes its agreement with Canada will stand even if Proposal 6 passes, but we shouldn’t take chances. There is nothing positive for Michigan in Proposal 6 — nothing. Voters should reject all the deception and vote “no.”