Thoughts and Opinions On Today's Important Issues

Friday, February 05, 2010

Does Jenny Need Matty

Remember when Michigan's Governor Granholm said this in a radio interview:

  • "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."

Did she finally get her priorities straight? Did she finally understand that Canada, even though it is her birth-country, cannot help her, or more importantly can no longer hurt her politically?

Being born in British Columbia, perhaps someone finally proved to her the futility of P3 bridges given what happened to the BC Port Mann bridge. The BC Government had to take over from their P3 operator because the money to finance it could not be raised with the economic melt-down.

One of the Detroit Free Press commentators on Jenny's recent "SOS" speech (yes, that is really what it is called when you download it) said this:

  • "Overall: "Clearly she had an agenda of defending her legacy, and she was really strong about giving examples for laying the foundation of building a bridge to a new Michigan."

That person may be correct but in a way unexpected!

Has Governor Granholm finally started reading my BLOG and understood that her legacy is getting the Ambassador Bridge Enhancement Program bridge started now?

You better believe it. From her State of the State speech the other day:

  • "Second, common-sense dictates that we shouldn’t leave money on the table in Washington for roads and infrastructure that would create jobs in Michigan. The federal government will give us $2 billion over the next four years if we can come up with a 20 percent match in state funds. That’s like an 80-percent-off coupon on our roads. Without the match, we lose the federal funds, and 10,000 jobs each year going forward. You can continue to ignore this problem, or you can follow the bipartisan transportation funding task force recommendations on how to fix it."

Her speech Press Release said:

  • "The governor also called on the legislature to follow the recommendations of the bipartisan Transportation Funding Task Force for investing in roads and infrastructure, and said the state will gain $2 billion in federal road funds over the next four years if it can provide a 20 percent match.

    "Without the match, we lose the federal funds and 10,000 construction jobs each year going forward," Granholm said."

If this is not a peace offering to the Bridge Company, I do not know what else it could be.

Actually I do.....Not a word about building a DRIC bridge whatsoever in the speech, even in the section talking about the economy and jobs.

Think about the amount of $2B she mentioned...Didn't the Bridge Company say that using their $400M would result in federal matching grants of $1.6B!

But there is more. Her term limited job as Governor is over this year. In a sense the pressure is off. What can anyone do to her politically now? Nothing.

She has NOT had good success as a Governor whether due to the economy or her own failures as a leader, who knows or cares. She needs a big legacy blockbuster that the history books will remember her for.

What would be better for her than cutting the ribbon to mark the start of the Ambassador Bridge Enhancement Project bridge that will help boost trade for Michigan and will help create thousands of jobs.

  • "The New Michigan economy won't be built overnight - but it's starting to take root, with great companies around the state helping to diversify Michigan's economy and create great jobs."

Hmmm, what a perfect fit!

If we see MDOT clearing the access road to the Bridge they blocked ASAP, then the strong signal from the lame-duck Guv is there for Matty to come and talk to her to work out a deal.

Even the Free Press has joined the party:

  • "Ambassador Bridge President Dan Stamper said his company is ready to meet with government officials "anytime, any place" to work out border problems. "We agree that the parties need to sit down, put aside their personal views of the world and work this thing out," he told the Free Press Thursday.

    It's time -- long past time -- for such a meeting. Courtrooms are not the place to work out the transportation policies of two sovereign nations. The battle of the bridges already has delayed completion of the state's $230-million Gateway Project, which will tie I-75 and I-96 directly into the Ambassador Bridge. Nearly two miles of I-75 in southwest Detroit opened in July, but ramps connecting the interstate system directly to the bridge plaza remain closed. In a lawsuit filed last year against MDOT, the bridge company asserted that the state violated its partnership agreement on the Gateway Project, which accommodates the proposed twin span, by seeking to build another crossing downriver.

    All of this bickering is a bridge to nowhere. Transportation leaders, including Moroun, owe the public the best use of this vital international crossing. It's time to turn down the volume and take this conversation out of the courtroom and into the conference room."

SOS speech huh. She needs Matty to throw her a life preserver. Quickly!