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Posted on Wed, Oct 31, 2012 : 6:30 p.m.

MLive Media Group: Vote no on Michigan's Proposal 6 to boost Michigan's economy, block billionaire's power grab

By MLive Media Group

Thumbnail image for MackinacBridge.JPG

Michigan's Mackinac Bridge. file photo

Proposal 6 must be defeated at the polls to stop a billionaire’s attempt to enshrine his monopoly into the Michigan Constitution.

Billed as the democratic-sounding “People Should Decide” proposal, supporters say a yes vote will give you a voice in whether a new Detroit-Windsor bridge is built with public dollars.

We wonder if a ballot measure has ever been so cynically named, because Proposal 6 isn’t about democracy at all. It’s about protecting the monopoly of Matty Moroun, owner of the Ambassador Bridge, at the expense of Michigan’s economic interests.

Yes, advertisements about the supposed costs to Michigan taxpayers of the New International Trade Crossing have been compelling. They have also, according to the non-partisan Michigan Truth Squad, ranged from flagrant misrepresentations to all-out lies.

So let’s put aside the images of teachers and other ordinary folk claiming to be concerned about “real people” and look at three crucial reasons this proposal should be defeated.

The proposed bridge is critical to Michigan’s economic future

The 83-year-old Ambassador Bridge carries 25 percent of all U.S.-Canada trade, but its location is inefficient for commercial vehicles. A new bridge that connects directly with Ontario’s 401 highway would be good for business and is vital to our economic future.

The bomb threats and resulting closures of the Ambassador Bridge over the summer underscored the need for a second commercial crossing. The reliance of major manufacturers on “just-in-time” delivery means the smallest delays can result in plant shutdowns. For that reason, Bill Ford and other automakers support the new bridge, along with chambers of commerce across the state, agri-business groups and four previous governors. There isn’t a business group in the state that opposes a new bridge.

The NITC is a great deal for Michigan

Bridge opponents question whether the bridge really won’t cost Michigan taxpayers a dime. This argument is disingenuous. The interlocal agreement that Gov. Rick Snyder signed with Canada stipulates that Canada will front the entire cost of building the bridge, and federal grants will cover other costs. According to Snyder, Canada is also responsible for any potential cost overruns.

Proposal 6 backers — the Morouns — want you to believe Canada might back out, leaving Michigan taxpayers to foot the bill. Canadian officials take great offense to that notion.

“The government of Canada does not renege and does not lie to the people of Michigan,” Roy Norton, Canada’s consulate general in Detroit, told Crain’s Detroit Business. Passing on this deal doesn’t mean Michigan will have more money for police and teachers. It just means we won’t get a free bridge.

The Michigan Constitution is not for sale

If you are wavering on this proposal, stop and ask yourself, “Who is supporting Proposal 6 and why?”

Moroun has dumped at least $31.3 million into his Proposal 6 campaign, according to campaign finance reports. The Detroit News reported he has spent another $9.3 million in TV ads over the past two years railing against Snyder's bridge plan, bringing the billionaire trucking mogul's running tab to $40.6 million in documented spending as of earlier this week. The governor doesn’t have that kind of money to counter the misleading advertisements.

Do you really think the Morouns are spending millions of their own dollars because they want you to have a voice in the process?

If so, we have our own bridge to sell you.

Read complete coverage of Proposal 6

This endorsement is the opinion of the editorial board of MLive Media Group, the parent company of The board is made up of the company's executive leadership, content directors and editors who oversee the 10 local markets that make up MLive Media Group.


Marc Hesse

Tue, Nov 6, 2012 : 5:27 p.m.

Proposal 6? According to the polls the uneducated, those without a high school diploma are voting yes 55% to 45% no. Anyone with a high school diploma is voting no on proposal 6, 62% no to 38%yes. College educated 75% no to 25% yes. Those with a degree in economics 95% no to 5% yes.The only question that is left to answer is. "Are there enough stupid people in this state to pass proposal 6?" VOTE NO ON 6! TELL YOUR FRIENDS.


Tue, Nov 6, 2012 : 12:10 p.m.

Matty is a BAD GUY......a very very very very evil man. His greed knows no bounds....

Ryan J. Stanton

Thu, Nov 1, 2012 : 4:59 p.m.

Just a quick note: The end of this editorial has been updated with the latest campaign finance figures. If you want to see who's funding Taxpayers Against Monopolies, you can go here:

Ryan J. Stanton

Thu, Nov 1, 2012 : 5:01 p.m.

Here's a shorter version of the same link:

Big Jim

Thu, Nov 1, 2012 : 3:04 p.m.

I voted YES on Prop 6. I do not belive the we will not pay for this bridge. I ask the governor to put up his own money if and when we pay. All I got from him is mumbo & jumbo, so I made my own decision. How many times have the phrase "The people of Michigan will not pay anything" been used.


Thu, Nov 1, 2012 : 7:26 p.m.

Another fine example of mis-information at work. Not being able to see clearly through the lies. VOTE NO!


Thu, Nov 1, 2012 : 3:38 p.m.

Jim you should have read up on the issue more before voting. It is a guaranteed deal that the state will not have to pay for the bridge. Listen to this segment WDET ran yesterday on the issue which speaks directly about this.


Thu, Nov 1, 2012 : 1:55 p.m.

I have NEVER seen a more misleading campaign like the one supporting this proposal. Matty Maroun and the Koch brothers via Americans For Prosperity have lied repeatedly about pitting basic services against the bridge. For once I agree with Gov. Snyder that we need a new bridge and the Canadian government has promised to pay for it, contrary to the claims by the backers of proposal 6. The fact that Maroun has done little to be more than a caretaker of the bridge, not to mention his neglect of the old Detroit train station, makes it necessary to take bridge business out of his greedy hands.

Ryan Martin

Thu, Nov 1, 2012 : 1:12 p.m.

Where's the alternate point of view? Talking about one-sided misleading advertising...

Ryan Martin

Thu, Nov 1, 2012 : 2:31 p.m.

Realized my mistake right after I posted!


Thu, Nov 1, 2012 : 1:34 p.m.

not only is this an endorsement article, it's clearly labelled as an editorial...

Kyle Mattson

Thu, Nov 1, 2012 : 1:18 p.m.

Hi Ryan- This is an endorsement article, not review of the entire issue. For more information regarding the proposal check out the numerous stories MLive has published here:


Wed, Oct 31, 2012 : 10:59 p.m.

I agree.