Politics Wrap: Moroun goes anti-Detroit to fight bridge

Dustin Block | Mlive.com

November 4, 2012

Billionaire bridge owner Matty Moroun’s last-ditch effort to stop construction of a new bridge to Canada involves blasting Detroit. Moroun sent a flyer out in recent days with the headline, “More of your money for Detroit?” The ad also says, “Don’t let the politicians give away more pork projects and ‘special giveaways’ for the new bridge.”

The anti-Detroit sentiment is Moroun’s latest attempt to sway voters to reject the New International Trade Crossing between Detroit and Windsor, Canada. Moroun owns the Ambassador Bridge, which generates billions of dollars in tolls as the most active border crossing between the U.S. and Canada.

Moroun-backed organizers collected signatures for a Constitutional amendment requiring a state and local vote before any new bridge or tunnel is built to Canada. The question on Tuesday’s ballot is referred to as “Proposal 6.”

Moroun’s ad was denounced in the Detroit Free-Press by bridge supporters, who claim no taxpayer money will go to pay for a new bridge. The project will benefit the Delray neighborhood, but a developer will recoup costs through bridge tolls.

The Free-Press quotes a spokeswoman for Gov. Rick Snyder called Mouron’s anti-bridge campaign ads “distortions of reality.” “There is no taxpayer money involved in the building of the bridge,” Snyder spokewoman Geralyn Lasher told the Free-Press.

Despite investing $31 million into his anti-bridge campaign, Moroun’s Proposal 6 is trailing in polls. The Free-Press had the measure failing 47-42 percent in a poll released last week. The Detroit News had Moroun’s proposal trailing 52-37 percent.