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    Who are the NERD fund donors Mr Snyder?

    Raise the curtain.

    Jason Allen Revisited

    By jenkuz, Section News
    Posted on Mon May 10, 2010 at 09:28:25 AM EST
    Tags: Michigan's First District, Republicans, Jason Allen (all tags)

    From C.J. Williams, Michigan's News and Views

    On August 15, 2008 `Detroit International Bridge' contributed $5,000 to Sen. Jason Allen's Administrative Fund.  "Hmmm, interesting," thought I. "It might be enlightening to dig into this and see what Allen could possibly be doing to earn the gift."

       To paraphrase the late Paul Harvey, what follows is part of the rest of the story.


    Reclusive billionaire and trucking industrialist Manuel `Matty' Moroun owns the Detroit International Bridge Company.  Among many other things, he also owns Michigan Central Station, a dilapidated old train depot located on several acres near his International Bridge.  It's in the area of historic Corktown and Mexicantown.

       Matty Moroun wants to build a second International Bridge, which he claims he'll do at no cost to Michigan taxpayers.  It seems the old bridge became a matter of national security after the events in NYC on 9-11 and ensuing government inspection bottlenecks at America's border crossings.  His efforts to start on another bridge, however, have been stymied by bureaucratic red tape.  Though he could have sold bridge #1 to Canada, the belligerent curmudgeon believed it was worth more than that country was willing to pay considering the steady decline in vehicles that use it.

       The broke and badly bent State of Michigan is facing a budget deficit of about $1.7 billion and rising, which doesn't even include the amount soon owed on interest for billions of dollars borrowed to meet its unemployment insurance obligation.  Nevertheless, Gov. Granholm and several of her cronies, including Sen. Jason Allen, want to form a public/private partnership and build a second bridge, the Detroit River International Crossing (DRIC).

       The total cost for the bridge is estimated to be approximately $5.3 billion, but it's anticipated the U.S. government will kick in around 80 percent of the State of Michigan's `partnership' share with money extorted from taxpayers.  

    Read more at Michigan's News and Views--CJ's Corner

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    but... (none / 0) (#1)
    by JGillman on Mon May 10, 2010 at 10:48:53 AM EST
    My understanding was that the owner of the current bridge does NOT want a 2nd bridge built.  Particularly because it does not stand to realize the profits based on such a venture.

    From businessweek:

       Dan Stamper, president of Detroit International Bridge Co., which owns the Ambassador Bridge that already provides a link between Detroit and Windsor, had a different take.

        "If Canada's putting in the money up front, and wants to get it back in tolls later, you can bet that the employment is going to come from Canada to build this bridge," he said.

        Canadian officials have refused to give the owners permission to expand the existing bridge, saying they want to avoid more traffic to downtown Windsor.

        Lawmakers face a June 1 deadline to approve bills allowing Michigan to join the project, which is opposed by Ambassador Bridge owners.

        A House committee approved the measures Thursday, but they're likely to be changed before the full House votes. Some Republicans favor expanding the Ambassador Bridge instead, which could make it hard for the bills to pass the GOP-led Senate.

    Or is the issue completely separate?

    In fact, reading further into the issue... (none / 0) (#2)
    by JGillman on Mon May 10, 2010 at 11:38:27 AM EST
    The bridge owners have indicated their version of expansion would cost a tenth as much as the other plan, and employ more workers from THIS side of the river.

    The private ownership of such a thing (an international bridge) is strange in the first place.. BUT..  I would have to applaud anyone who supports a private US owned business over that of a proposed competitor (government) that uses public money.  Good for Jason Allen if he supports the international bridge company's efforts.

    Siding with private enterprise over government is a good thing.

    Cj Cat (none / 0) (#8)
    by Cj Williams on Tue May 11, 2010 at 11:19:45 AM EST
     Well, here's the Cj Cat. I don't know if you've read the entire article that was posted at Michigan News and Views and opened all the many links and read and digested all that info, too. That's merely part of the research I did before writing the 'Jason Allen - Revisited' article about the DRIC and the old Michigan Central Station.

     Since 'Detroit International Bridge'(DIB) gave money to Allen and since he's supporting the proposed State's public/private partnership for the DRIC project, it well could be that DIB, which also owns the old train station, was looking for some help with that property rather than with the bridge mess.

     Allen certainly has proposed or supported lots of special legislation having to do with tax breaks for certain entities over the years. You can check it out at Michigan Votes.

     Now that J. Allen wants to be my U.S. Congressman, I'm taking a good look at him and I really don't like what I'm seeing... ~Cj

    P.S. I'm a newspaper columnist (small town paper - I once wrote for three of them, but two tanked, one in the northern Lower and one in the U.P., thanks to Michigan's in the toilet economy) and I also write for the national News with Views, as well as occasionally for MiNews.com, the Federal Observer and Women Hunters.


    No worries (none / 0) (#33)
    by jgillmanjr on Mon May 17, 2010 at 08:31:02 PM EST
    The comment system here get's a little wonky to read when it gets long.

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