Michigan voters tossed out Proposal 6 at the polls Tuesday. The controversial ballot measure would have amended the state constitution to restrict the state government’s ability to help build international bridges and tunnel crossings. According to the Detroit News, 61 percent of voters did not support the proposal and 31 voters voted for it, with 62 percent of precincts reporting at 1 a.m. Wednesday.
The measure would have required approval from a majority of voters in a statewide election and in every municipality where ‘new international bridges or tunnels for motor vehicles’ are to be located. The votes would have been needed to allow the State of Michigan spend state funds or resources for acquiring land, designing, soliciting bids for, constructing, financing, or promoting new international bridges or tunnels. It would have would defined ‘new international bridges or tunnels for motor vehicles’ as ‘any bridge or tunnel which is not open to the public and serving traffic as of January 1, 2012.’
The ballot measure was linked to an effort to construct a new bridge over the Detroit River connecting the U.S. and Canada, which is known as the New International Trade Crossing (NITC). Canada has agreed to pay $550 million for Michigan’s share of expenses for the construction of the estimated $2.1 billion bridge, as well as holding the state harmless if the tolls don’t cover the cost of the bridge.
That crossing has been supported by Gov. Snyder, but is opposed by Ambassador Bridge owner Manuel “Matty” Moroun. A committee that encouraged the adoption of Proposal 6, The People Should Decide, said that “The government bridge is not “free.” The state has already spent $41 million studying the issue, a new customs plaza will cost U.S. taxpayers (Michiganders included) $263 million, and traffic moving to the NITC will cost the state millions in lost tax and toll revenue at existing crossings” in a blog for The Huffington Post.
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 Troll has been spamming the airwaves with attack ads and postal mail. DO NOT BE TRICKED by his deceptive methods. The only one to benefit by the passing of Proposal 6 is The Troll, everyone else will suffer.
VOTE NO ON PROPOSAL 6.