L. Brooks' First Choice Is The Ambassador Bridge
Note to Senator Cropsey. Hold off on having your Senate Hearings on DRIC and MDOT, Senator. The Democrats and MDOT are so desperate to stop the Enhancement Project of the Ambassador Bridge Company that they are making stupid mistakes. Let them hoist themselves by their own petard by giving them more time to screw-up. You can have a lot of fun with them when you finally start questioning MDOT. Who knows, some of the Democrats might get fed up with MDOT finally as well.
As an example, can you believe this? MDOT’s Mohammed Alghurabi said this when sending out the notice about the L. Brooks Patterson/Eddie Francis Press Conference
- “I understand there will be a joint press conference in Detroit tomorrow morning by the Oakland County Executive office and Mayor Eddie Francis of Windsor…
I was made aware of the news release this morning, wanted to share the information with you in advance of the press conference.”
Factually, I am sure that everything that he said in there is absolutely true. However it might be interesting to ask him some questions about how this press conference got set up in the first place and what the role of MDOT was.
How about this confusion:
- “Patterson’s spokesman Robert Dustman said Joe Corradino of the Corradino Group handled the invites. The Corradino Group is a consulting firm working with MDOT on the project.
Corradino said Dustman was responsible for the guest list.
“I didn’t handle any of that,” Corradino said.
Francis, Windsor’s mayor, also said Corradino put the list together.”
Joe actually took part in the press conference by helping to answer a question. Does Joe bill MDOT for his time there or was he there just for fun?
Poor L. Brooks. I heard that he was a shrewd politician. A County Executive should know better. On CKLW, he said that this is the one of the most politically charged issues he had seen. He said that the politics of it was amazing.
DUH…. Under what rock have you been hiding for so long L. Brooks?
I wonder if he will wake up tomorrow morning after thinking about this a little bit and understand that he has been used. Imagine him shunning his Republican friends by supporting the DRIC bridge. That is not a smart move in politics. It is pretty clear from reading his talking points that he was sucked and suckered in.
I wonder if Senator Cropsey will subpoena him as a witness at the Hearings to find out what he was actually told and by whom in order to try to gain his support for the proposed the DRIC bridge.
The whole press conference was weird. Why would Patterson whose name I do not recall hearing much throughout this entire border matter get involved now? Why wasn’t the press conference just between him and MDOT? Why was the presence of Eddie Francis necessary? Why wasn’t there someone from the Canadian Federal Government making a presentation as well since the bridge has nothing to do with the City of Windsor but is a federal responsibility? Why would it be held in Detroit without the presence of the Detroit Mayor and not in Windsor or in Oakland County?
The optics of the Press Conference was very poor. Kwame and Detroit Council have to be furious that a suburban politician would come to Detroit and make statements about where the bridge should go in their jurisdiction. What does it matter to him if Delray is destroyed. All things considered, I wonder if L. Brooks knew how many hundreds of homes and businesses would be torn down in Delray for this project. And in Sandwich too by the way. I guess that L. Brooks does not mind sacrificing Detroit for Windsor so long as his County prospers.
Can you imagine how Eddie would feel if Kwame and Nelson Santos met in Sandwich and said where the bridge should go on this side of the river or that DRIC’s road solution was the best way to go.
Is this L. Brooks kicking Kwame when he is down? Is this Eddie getting his revenge against Kwame on the Tunnel Deal? Is this L. Brooks try to make up to Eddie since I believe he was the one who sent a letter to Eddie telling him not to come to Mackinac to speak at the big conference.
Do you really see Eddie going to the US side to support the DRIC bridge? I don't since he really has no interest in the bridge. The road is his baby and the plaza. So why was he there? I wonder if there was a quid pro quo involved, some political backscratching...you know: I help you in Michigan with the DRIC bridge, you help me on Greenlink and the Tunnel with Ontario.
I was most surprised that the Canadian politician involved was our Mayor. No one from DRIC was there it seems to make a presentation about their bridge solution nor the Province since it is one of the partners in DRIC. I must admit I expected a Canadian Federal politician to be there. No, not Jeff Watson our only Conservative MP in the region since Eddie probably would not recognize him.
I wonder if Eddie was there as the Federal representative, a delegate of Senator Fortier since he seems to be the one who is carriage of the border file for the Canadian Government. We do know that Eddie and the Senator were speaking about something since they have met recently.
However, my information is that the Federal Government was surprised as well by the Press Conference.
Senator Cropsey might be interested in L. Brooks’ Talking Points considering the name of ex-Governor and former US Ambassador to Canada Jim Blanchard is mentioned. I know that he has some involvement in the DRIC process but I am not quite sure exactly what. I just wonder if Jim talked to L. Brooks about the Press Conference and if so, on whose behalf. Perhaps the Senator could clarify that.
It looks like someone gave to the County Executive the DRIC propaganda on the border. I feel sorry for him. At the least, someone should have had the courtesy to tell him that there are some issues involved and that it is not so clear cut. He was blindsided.
He made some strange comment about “the current bridge requires a 1.5 mile diversion on Huron Church.” Has he never been to Windsor and driven that stretch of road? I have no idea what he’s talking about. The only a diversion that I can think of is the ridiculous Horseshoe Road that Sam Schwartz was talking about!
He may be mixing up something. The Ambassador Bridge has mentioned that only 2 km need to be built so that the DRIC Road connects to the Ambassador Bridge. In that way, the Ambassador Bridge can provide direct access to Highway 401.
L. Brooks talked about traffic backups 5 miles at times. Yes, that is true but that was years ago. Hasn’t anyone told him about the 4 Customs booths that the Bridge Company opened up that virtually ended truck backups. Didn’t anyone tell him about the seven new car booths going into the United States and the six new truck booths going to Canada that effectively gave us a new crossing almost equivalent to the number of lanes at the Windsor/Detroit Tunnel?
He mentioned aging infrastructure and seemed unaware that the Ambassador Bridge has an Enhancement Project designed to put in a new modern bridge and to rehabilitate the old one to provide for security and redundancy.
He swallowed the DRIC truck volume projections and did not understand, I would assume, that their projections have been revised downwards several times and that the truck traffic at the Bridge today is similar to or less than the traffic in 1999. You would think that there were no automotive companies in Oakland County so that he would not understand why traffic would be reduced.
One interesting comment in the Joint Press Release is that the project will be government-owned and maintained with the private sector playing a role in the construction and the operation of the facility. In other words, a P3.
I wonder if someone told L. Brooks that the Government of Canada who has responsibility for the bridge has made no such decision and that the State of Michigan has no legislation that permits a P3.
Let’s do a bit of speculating because that’s always fun. Why should the Oakland County Executive care at all which bridge is built. He should not. Was there a suggestion made that the City of Windsor would not allow the Enhancement Project bridge to be built. Did Eddie Francis make that statement to L. Brooks? If so that must be revealed immediately since this is a federal matter. The City has no position to make that kind of statement as the Mayor knows very well from his appearance in front of the Senate in Ottawa where he and his lawyer were shot down.
Again, according to the Detroit News, L. Brooks made another strange statement that clearly indicates that he has never visited Windsor.
- "a second span next to the Ambassador Bridge just ain't going to happen. It would dump traffic into downtown Windsor.”
In the Detroit Free Preess, here is what was said:
- “Francis said he cannot support another plan closer to the Ambassador Bridge because it would bring too much traffic and pollution into downtown Windsor.
Patterson said he realizes the other plan isn’t going to happen due to Francis’ objections.
“This is the next best option and we’ve got to have it if we’re going to remain competitive in this border crossing business,” he said.”
Obviously, if the County executive knew his geography he would not have made that statement or accepted what Eddie said. Was he misinformed? Was his research incomplete? The new traffic would obviously go on a new road, the DRIC road! We should actually hope that tourists were brought to downtown Windsor since Eddie has failed to do so. We need the business!
This misleading of L. Brooks is what caused him to choose “the next best option.”
It seems that another suggestion was made as stated in the News story:
- “New York, would step in and build a bridge that would take billions of dollars in business away from southeastern Michigan.”
That is pure hogwash! If I remember correctly, wasn’t that something that one of the border proponents claimed. Here is what both DRIC and MDOT said:
Detroit River International Crossing Study
Local Advisory Council Meeting
March 29, 2005
(Revised May 5, 2005)
Southgate Holiday Inn
- Q: Is it true that there is a competition with Buffalo to build a new border crossing?
R: There is no competition from a trade/transportation standpoint.
February 23, 2005
One final point that I don’t think that L. Brooks was familiar with. CKLW said that he remarked:
- “He says he's already received threats of lawsuits over the choice. Patterson worries that could cause more delays and hurt trade and commerce between the two countries.”
I guess Eddie forgot to tell him about what he instructed his lawyer to do with respect to a possible lawsuit against DRIC. I guess Eddie must have suffered from that darn amnesia disease again:
- "Mayor Eddie Francis says he will urge Toronto lawyer David Estrin to quickly provide legal options in dealing with the province's controversial border traffic highway planned for the Huron Church Road-Talbot Road corridor...
"(Council) has asked me to pick up the phone, call David Estrin and tell him to hurry up his work," Francis said. "Council wants to know all their options from A to Z -- what are the benefits, pros and cons (and) what steps need to be taken.
"The legal issues will be flushed out more and brought to council for Monday or soon after."
Actually, L. Brooks called Eddie an [Expletive deleted] after Daryl Newcombe asked the question about lawsuits at the press conference! If you watched the A-Channel coverage you would have heard exactly what was said. L. Brooks was NOT smiling. He was made to look like a complete fool by Eddie!
It wasn’t all that bad a day for the Oakland County Executive. On the same day that he was helping out MDOT, he got some good news for Oakland County from the State Government:
- “Janet Olszewski, director of Michigan’s Department of Community Health, has granted final approval for William Beaumont Hospitals in Royal Oak to proceed with plans to build a $160 million proton-beam therapy center.
Beaumont plans to develop the proton-beam cancer center at its Royal Oak campus in a for-profit joint venture…
the project will require about 400 construction jobs and when it opens it will add another 100 health care jobs.
“We also hope to attract manufacturing and training jobs to Michigan”
I must say that if this was MDOT’s plan to divide and conquer Republicans, it did not work. According to WWJ:
- “House Republican Leader Craig DeRoche issued the following statement in response to Wednesday's announcement:
"I can't understand why any legislator would be willing to send money away from their district into scandal-ridden Detroit for the next 15 years. Spending $1.5 billion on this boondoggle instead of spending that money to fix our crumbling roads is outrageous."
"This thing that's divided unfortunatly the Republicans and Democrats never should have happened." Patterson said. "This is really business. This is really commerce. I don't think we need to make this a Republican-Democrat issue," he said.”
Oh my. This is getting really ugly now! I would not want to be the MDOT rep facing the Republicans in Lansing now! Or L. Brooks in Oakland County for that matter.