Thoughts and Opinions On Today's Important Issues

Sunday, October 11, 2009

The Michigan Governor Needs To Break Some More Eggs

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Or perhaps a few heads too.

She has to be embarrassed by what she said. Did Governor Granholm's unilateral killing of a Downriver bridge for DRIC cost her dearly? Was she put into the position that she had to give in to whatever Canada demanded even if it made no sense economically or otherwise, would result in a Michigan business being destroyed and hurt her State? Does she, as a term-limited Governor, now want to build a legacy and regrets what she did? How else to explain what she revealed publicly for the first time that I can recall.

WHAT A SCANDAL!

The Michigan Governor just blew everything apart. She absolutely confirmed all that the Bridge Company has claimed for years. And more. No ifs, ands or buts.

Remember that it was Dan Stamper who said that the Canadian Federal Government is “driving the bus” on the DRIC project. Which means that MDOT was merely going along for the ride, an expensive one too that has cost Michigan taxpayers millions of dollars and will cost them another $2.5M next year.

Listen to what she said above. Read exactly what she said!
  • "Gov Jennifer Granholm speaks about the Ambassador Bridge and a new Detroit River crossing to Canada – WWJ Newsradio 950 10/8/09

    JOE DONOVAN: Governor we would have more money in the state treasury if we refocused the Michigan D-DOT priorities away from spending on whether or not we need a new Ambassador Bridge. Why not just allow Matty Moroun build it with his own money? We have plenty of laws for oversight to make sure that he does right by the citizens of Michigan. And we need to put that money into the school aid and fund or use it to patch up some potholes. Why are we doing this, a duplicate bridge project here?

    GOV. GRANHOLM: We need another crossing. If Canada, and if Canada would allow Matty Moroun to do it, I think everybody would be in favor of that as the first priority. They are opposed to his bridge. So the question is, is there a joint process that can occur between Michigan and Canada, the U.S. and Canada, that allows for that crossing. So until Canada gives permission, he can’t build a bridge that’s halfway across the river."

The Governor said it. Not me with my theories. It was not said by Matty Moroun either or by any of his employees. Governor Jennifer Granholm of Michigan said it loud and clear.

The DRIC process was a farce. What a remarkable co-incidence that the proposed site for the Enhancement Project Bridge was rejected (Remember how DRIC said Sandwich was going to be destroyed based on their own made-up criteria!).

Canada is blocking the Bridge Company from going forward! Period.

And the Governor allowed Canada's choice for a bridge location to go forward no matter what it did to her State and its Treasury and to the hundreds of people and businesses in Delray that would have to be shipped out for a new DRIC bridge.

Now you know why that pro-DRIC ad was a disgrace and why I was so upset about supposed impartial DRIC consultants being signatories and advocates.

Imagine the consequences after what the Governor said.

MICHIGAN ECONOMY

The Governor should hang her head in shame.

People need jobs in Michigan just as they need them here. She has allowed Canada to prevent thousands of them being created for the Bridge Company project because Canada oppose that project.

Michigan manufacturers need a smooth running border. How can they have one if the Ambassador Bridge is not allowed to become a more efficient crossing? The DRIC bridge cannot be completed now until 2015 at the earliest while the Enhancement Project bridge can be completed in 30 months.

Michigan is so robust that it can afford to pay hundreds of millions of dollars to duplicate the Ambassador Gateway project a mile down the road from the existing bridge where the State and US Federal Government have just spent a few hundred million dollars. NOT! Yet that is the effect of the DRIC project.

Michigan roads are in poor shape and many projects may have to be deferred for lack of money. Yet the Bridge Company project could bring a couple of billion dollars of federal matching grants to the State and yet no one seems to care or be interested.

THE LAWSUITS

She made it a snap for the Bridge Comopany to win their lawsuits. Perhaps they should move now for a court decision even without a trial.

Remember the so-called "racist" lawsuit the Bridge Company started, the one dealing with that horrible concept called "environmental justice." That is the one where the Windsor Star forgot to set out most of what was said in the 64 page claim. Things like inaccurate traffic studies and reduced volumes, stalling, Governor Granholm’s actions, Canada’s role in unduly influencing the results and pressuring the US proponents, the serious harm to the Bridge Company and the diversion of traffic away from the quarter-billion dollar Ambassador Gateway Project which was designed to accommodate a second bridge.

This allegation has now been confirmed:

  • "Once the Brighton Beach location was unilaterally decreed by the Canadian DRIC Proponents, engineering would only allow construction that would land in the Delray neighborhood.

    In fact, the selection of the Delray neighborhood of Southwest Detroit was the inevitable result of the arbitrary and capricious decision of the US DRIC Proponents to yield to Canada’s preferred location for a new crossing at the Brighton Beach area of Ontario"

The MoE review of DRIC makes the case for the Bridge Company so nicely:


Let me remind you of the invisible lawsuit that the media chose not to cover. I know now why not. The Bridge Company was exactly right in what they alleged.

In case you forgot, re-read June 26, 2009 "The Invisible Bridge Company Lawsuit Against MDOT" http://windsorcityon.blogspot.com/2009/06/invisible-bridge-company-lawsuit.html The gist of it is:

  • "Why hasn’t the media picked up the other lawsuit. Why hasn’t MDOT issued a press release denouncing it? They dare not. It explains in the most graphic terms why the Ambassador Bridge has spent $500 million to build their Enhancement Bridge and why they are so angry now.

    It explains MDOT's actions in no uncertain terms...

    Of course, this is from the Bridge Company’s perspective. Who knows what MDOT will say in reply. However, from seeing how they operate, the Bridge Company rarely makes a rash statement and can back up their allegations.

    Effectively the claim is very simple to understand. MDOT and the Bridge Company are partners on the Ambassador Gateway project which was designed to accommodate a second bridge. The State received money from the Feds based on the project as well based on what the State represented the project to be. The Bridge Company is ready to build their bridge. Lo and behold the State is effectively working against their partner with a third party group, DRIC, to undercut their partnership and put the Bridge Company out of business by taking away most of their business. The Bridge Company wants that stopped by the Courts...

Here is what Ontario’s Deputy Minister of Transportation, Bruce McCuaig, said that confirms this:

  • "An excellent example for Ontario is the planning underway for a proposed new Detroit River International Crossing in the Windsor-Detroit Gateway.

    The planning effort for new crossing of the Detroit River began in 1999 with our colleagues in Michigan.”

THE STATE DEMOCRATS AND MDOT

Wow, have the House Democrats especially been made to look like fools by their Party Leader. All this time many of them were supporting the DRIC project when the Governor and presumably MDOT knew that the Ambassador Bridge Enhancement Project was the priority and thus the way to go.

What an indictment to MDOT too. As I Blogged before:

  • "Gee, I thought that the MDOT REPRESENTATIVE, in front of Senator Cropsey, would not "SUPPORT" the Enhancement Project because it was a private project and the State had no role in it. FHWA said the same thing."

A priority matter for the Governor and her Department is nowhere to be found to push it forward for immediate completion. I guess they forgot the State's legal obligation.

THE REPUBLICANS

They were right. What more needs to be said.

Senator Cropsey in particular took the slings and arrows. Yet what he said was demonstrated by the Governor to be the truth.

DID TRANSPORT CANADA MISLEAD THE SENATE OVER BILL C-3

After what the Governor said, you decide if this really was Transport Canada's position in front of the Senate especially when US DRIC told us that the vast majority of the Bridge Company's business would be lost to a new DRIC bridge:

  • Ms. Marcoux: The intent of this bill is not to put anyone out of business, regardless of who owns the bridge.’.

    The Ambassador Bridge is very important to the economy of our country, and it is important for trade between the United States and Canada. No one has any intention to hurt the Ambassador Bridge…

    It is not the intent of the government to penalize. If we were to penalize or drive the business away from the Ambassador Bridge today, we would create problems with respect to other bridges. Why would we want to do that?

    It serves a purpose, and it is an important purpose."

I wonder what ex-Deputy Minister Louis Ranger would have to say except he left Government service.

Here is another interesting comment from the Governor on a different radio station.


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Perhaps the Julia Child movie should have beeen named "Jennifer & Julia" instead.

She can do something if she wants to build a legacy rather than go down as a Governor who allowed her State economy to collapse. In fact she has the legal obligation to do so. She is obliged to go after the Federal Governments of Canada and the US to resolve border difficulties. She needs to call up Premier McGuinty since Ontario has similar issues and perhaps he can help out too.

It is time she started making an omelette out of those broken eggs. It is time she started acting as a MICHIGAN Governor!