Truth Test: Prop 6 Bridge Ads Lack Facts

By: Jason Colthorp Email
By: Jason Colthorp Email
New bridge ads don

Fishermen hang out on the Detroit River following a bomb threat that closed the Ambassador Bridge to Canada Monday, July 17, 2012. (AP Photo/Detroit News, Elizabeth Conley)

Prop 6 Ad: "It may end up being free during their term in office, but eventually we the people are going to be paying big for it."

This is the basic attack from the Maroun family on the bridge idea--- the public will pay for it.

And it's false.

The original agreement has not changed. Canada has agreed to pay for Michigan's half to build it-- $550 million dollars-- and get paid back by collecting tolls. If tolls aren't enough, Canada still agrees to cover costs.

So that statement and these--

"That's our money that the politicians are spending."
"We can't go out and start building bridges. Our grandkids are going to have to pay that off."

--are just plain wrong because there's no money on the line.

Another line from the ad: "There's a huge Michigan debt clock that's ticking and getting bigger all the time."

This is half-true.

There is a national debt clock and yes, Michigan's long term bonded debt and total liabilities increased from 2010 to 2011, but the ad doesn't say what that has to do with the bridge issue.

"Do you know how many police, firefighters, teachers, could we hire with the money they're going to spend on this bridge?"

That's false, because again-- there's no state money being spent.

But the Truth Squad makes an interesting reverse argument with this claim. Governor Rick Snyder negotiated with the feds to get matching funds for its $550 million dollars that Canada is paying. That deal will get $2.2 billion federal dollars for road work around the state. You could make the argument that that money will lessen the pressure from lawmakers to spend more out of the general fund on road repairs-- thus freeing up more money to hire more police, firefighters and teachers.

It's no secret this battle over a second bridge is about money--- the Maroun family's money-- that they'll lose with fewer cars and trucks driving across their bridge.

Maybe what voters should be asking is-- why is the Maroun family spending millions of dollars of its own money on lobbyists, ads and campaign contributions to protect the average taxpayer?

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  • by Steve Location: Dewitt on Sep 28, 2012 at 01:32 PM
    "Do you know how many police, firefighters, teachers, could we hire with the money they're going to spend on this bridge?" The REAL truth is, Police fire and teachers work for unions and our governor will withold any funds until he breaks the unions, whether or not he has the extra funds. But the bigger question Jason is, why are you defending the bridge instead of just reporting the news? Isn't that really your job or are you planning on running for office at some point and want to use your position in the press to score a few "chips in the big game"?
  • by David Location: Charlotte on Sep 28, 2012 at 09:54 AM
    I find it amazing how willing pepol are to lie or tell half truths this includes the media, lawmakers and companys. So who can you trust, someone says one thing and as soon as that happens the other side spues out a lie or half truth. And all for the sake of money this Maroun family does not want this bridge so they do want they can to stop it. This includes fear it does,nt matter if you lie because its ok and the more you lie the more pepol are willing to believe it. Goes for lawmakers and companys alike, keep telling a lie or half truths and soon it becomes the truth or does it? A lie is a lie and the truth is the truth no matter what. Kinda reminds me of the ad on tv of the two Ins. salesmen when they talk their pants start on fire. And as for this maroun family if your so adamit about the wellfare of the our state I say give that money that your spending on these ads to schools and fire depts. and police depts, or are not willing to share your wealth ? GET THE FACTS AND MAKE AN INFORMED CHOICE ON YOUR OWN NOT WHAT SOMEONE SAYS.
  • by Anonymous on Sep 28, 2012 at 05:23 AM
    Every statement in the ad has nothing to do with the bridge. It's statements taped about other issues used to scare people. And by the way another ad said something about using the steel begin foreign and the workers. Well if they get the steel from Canada and the workers I guess he is correct they are foreign to the US. But it's Canada's money so they can spend it how they want.
  • by Joe Blog Location: Windsor on Sep 28, 2012 at 04:50 AM
    Read the Agreement before you write this drivel.Where exactly has Canada commited to spend $550M. THERE IS NO BINDING LEGAL COMMITMENT ON CANADA TO PAY ONE SINGLE PENNY. Canada has the legal right to walk away from the Agreement any time it wants with no legal liability. That is right in the Agreement. Read it and report it for once. Oh, as for federal matching grants, Snyder has already used $50M of Moroun's toll credits to get $200M of federal dollars or else he would have had a $200M hole in his Transportation budget. You forgot to mention that too.
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