Bridge proposal opposed by a wide diversity of people

Kalamazoo Gazette

Proposal 6 is a constitutional amendment that would require voter approval for any new bridge or tunnel from Michigan to Canada. Though the language is broad, it’s specifically aimed at the proposed New International Trade Crossing between Detroit and Windsor. It was filed by billionaire Manuel “Matty” Maroun, owner of the 82-year oldAmbassador Bridge, to maintain his monopoly on international bridge traffic and tolls. Maroun paid roughly $2.3 million, mostly to the People Should Decide Ballot Committee, to collect the signatures needed to put the Proposal on the ballot.

The Oct. 7 Kalamazoo Gazette printed two lengthy articles analyzing Proposal 6, plus comments by an opponent and a proponent. Rather than rehash that material, I want to focus on a list of four individuals and 177 organizations that oppose Proposal 6, which I found on in a report called Bridging the Border. Because of the list’s length, I’ve recapped it as follows: four surviving past governors, three automakers, 25 Chambers of Commerce, 13 labor unions, 56 businesses, 25 transportation and municipal leaders, 6 agricultural business organizaitons, 35 business organizations and community associations and 13 newspapers.

This list of Proposal 6 opponents is extraordinary not only in its diversity, but even more so because some of its groups are more often than not on opposite sides of an issue. In pursuing his nefarious goal of embedding Proposal 6 in our Constitution, thereby assuring his family’s stream of income from the ancient Ambassador Bridge will continue, presumably until it crashes into the Detroit River, Maroun is spending freely from his billions. In addition to the $2.3 million mentioned earlier, he has spent $9 million on TV ads last year.

All things considered, I intend to vote no on Proposal 6, and I urge everyone else who believes in good governance to do the same.