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Old October 12th, 2011, 12:10 PM   #1
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Default Disappointed

I'm not a huge political guru, but when I read this article, I was disappointed to see that Republican Geoff Hansen is in bed with the Moroun family who control the Ambassador Bridge.
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On the seven-member Economic Development committee, the Morouns made significant contributions to help Rep. Geoff Hansen, R-Hart, win a tight race, and spread money -- through direct contributions or political action committees
IMO, by accepting money, Rep. Hansen is contributing to the lying adds that the Moroun family has put out saying that the purposed bridge will cost Michigan tax payers 100 million dollars per year (I think that was the amount).

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It takes courage for politicians to stand up to money.

To tell a campaign contributor, "Hey, thanks for your support. But I'm here to act in the public's interest, not just yours."

We need that kind of courage today from members of the Michigan Senate Economic Development Committee.

The committee may finally vote on bills that would create an authority to build a new, publicly financed bridge to Canada across the Detroit River. And if it does, Michigan needs committee members to be thinking about the state's interest, about the possibilities for growth in trade and in jobs from building the bridge.

And that means putting Ambassador Bridge owner Manuel (Matty) Moroun's millions out of mind.

To preserve their monopoly crossing, Moroun and his family have poured a river of campaign cash into political pockets. The overall tab in 2009 and 2010 was $1.5 million, with more than a third of that going to state legislative races.

On the seven-member Economic Development committee, the Morouns made significant contributions to help Rep. Geoff Hansen, R-Hart, win a tight race, and spread money -- through direct contributions or political action committees -- to at least three other members, both Democrat and Republican.

There's nothing illegal about that.

But contributions are not -- or should not be -- the basis for policy decisions.

Legislators need to consider the facts of the bridge proposal and make their decisions based on a rational analysis.

The most important thing for them to keep in mind is that they're not actually voting to build a bridge. They're being asked to create an authority that will decide whether a new bridge should be built and, if so, how it ought to be financed.

Years of study (by both government officials and independent groups) have led to the conclusion that a bridge built downriver from the Ambassador would help uncork traffic backups, provide better access to highways on the Canadian side and address national security concerns. Building the bridge would also create thousands of temporary jobs in a state that desperately needs them.

The Canadian government, which favors building this second, downriver bridge, has offered to front the money that Michigan would ordinarily have to come up with to get the project started. And Gov. Rick Snyder has secured a promise from Washington that the Canadian money could be used as a match to secure $2.2 billion in federal transportation dollars.

The money borrowed from Canada, as well as the bonds sold to build the bridge, would be repaid by tolls, according to proposed legislation. Taxpayers would not be on the hook.

Legislators need to create the bridge authority to help vet all of that information, and determine whether it makes sense to go ahead. It's the first step in what would be a long process.

But the Morouns, in addition to showering legislators with campaign contributions, have indulged in a well-financed campaign of stark misinformation to derail this project before it even gets started.

They've said the new bridge would cost Michigan taxpayers billions, because traffic projections won't support repaying loans with tolls. More recently, ads have claimed that building a new bridge would suck money away from other important Michigan road projects.

And in a shameful act, Americans for Prosperity this summer posted fake eviction notices on doors in the southwest Detroit community where the new bridge would go, hoping to scare people into Moroun's corner.

I've taken issue with most of what the Morouns have said about the issue, and I believe that their motivation is to stall the new bridge through any means necessary. Their annual revenues from operation of the Ambassador Bridge could drop by about half if the new bridge were built. It's in their self-interest to oppose a new crossing.

But let's say, for the sake of argument, that they're right -- even about one of their claims. Isn't creating the authority a step toward uncovering those truths? The authority will sort through the traffic projections, the deal with the Canadians and Snyder's agreement with Washington before a single pillar gets poured for a new bridge. And citizens on both sides of the border will have a chance to see how the deal gets structured.

That's where the public interest lies here. And we need members of the Senate Economic Development Committee to assert it -- no matter how much money they may have gotten from Matty Moroun.

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Old October 12th, 2011, 12:38 PM   #2
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You really have no clue. The minimal amount that the Moroun family donated to his campaign has nothing to do with anything. There are multiple organizations on the other side of the bridge debate that have donated far more to his campaign and you did not bring that up. Funny huh? Go back to looking at porn or some thing and leave this alone as you have no idea what you are talking about.
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Old October 12th, 2011, 12:44 PM   #3
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Never said I knew it all. All I see is the commercials that for him that are paid for by the Detroit Ambassador Bridge Association. Would you be willing to shed some light on the situation? I've been very impressed/happy/voted for Rep. Hansen, but seeing that he is in bed with the same people that supported Virg Benero or what ever the hell his name is, is disturbing to me.

Edit: I've seen 4 of those commercials in the last 10 minutes. It makes me sad.
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Old October 12th, 2011, 01:00 PM   #4
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The vote is soon, you won't see the ads much longer.
http://www.woodtv.com/dpp/news/michi...anti-bridge-ad
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Old October 12th, 2011, 06:17 PM   #5
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Quote:
Originally Posted by MonkeyBiz View Post
Never said I knew it all. All I see is the commercials that for him that are paid for by the Detroit Ambassador Bridge Association. Would you be willing to shed some light on the situation? I've been very impressed/happy/voted for Rep. Hansen, but seeing that he is in bed with the same people that supported Virg Benero or what ever the hell his name is, is disturbing to me.

Edit: I've seen 4 of those commercials in the last 10 minutes. It makes me sad.
He is in bed with no one but my mother. In fact i called him when this came up. Just because some one donated money to him campaign does not mean he agrees with everything they come up with. His feeling is that building a new bridge may cost the people of this state more money, money we dont have. In his opinion both sides are not being strait up honest and the whole thing may end up a wash or in front of a different committee for vote.
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Old October 12th, 2011, 06:35 PM   #6
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It is my understanding that the bridge to be built is paid for by the canadians...eh?

I have meet Hansen. He is a decent guy.
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Old October 22nd, 2011, 08:42 PM   #7
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Well, now that the vote has happend, Mr. Hansen broke party lines, and voted against the building of the bridge. In his own response, one of the FEW negatives is that it would compete with a privatley owned bridge, the same bridge that has been throwing money & advertisement for him. Check out the comments at the bottom of the story... I am not the only one that thinks that it kind of looks like the owners of the Amassador bridge bought his vote..

MLive article/response from Mr. Hansen.
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Old October 23rd, 2011, 08:35 AM   #8
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So your upset that he voted to save tax payers money? Why build a new bridge when traffic is down on the current one? And throwing money at is hardly a true statement. When in fact they only donated a small amount to his past campaign. Find something worth while to complain about.
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Old October 23rd, 2011, 08:42 AM   #9
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Traffic is down huh? Last time I went to Canada it took me 3 hours to get across the Damn bridge... Commercial traffic.
Then again its been a while since I went to Canada too
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Old October 23rd, 2011, 11:55 AM   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Fullsize4life View Post
So your upset that he voted to save tax payers money? Why build a new bridge when traffic is down on the current one? And throwing money at is hardly a true statement. When in fact they only donated a small amount to his past campaign. Find something worth while to complain about.
Save what taxpayers money? Good to see the millions that Mr. Moroun spent on those political smearing commercials worked.

Canada is footing the bill because of all the commercial traffic they have coming into the states, they see the benefit of a freeway to freeway bridge, instead of clogging traffic in the two cities that the existing bridge poors into. The tolls will be whats paying back that money, not taxpayers.

Not to mention, that without the building of this bridge, we lose 2.2 billion dollars that the feds were going to foot for Michigan's road rebuilding funds.

Bridge = Canada's paying, less traffic piling up into downtown streets, shitload of road repair money.

No bridge = One douchebag thats full of shit gets even more rich, and we get nothing out of it.
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Old October 23rd, 2011, 07:18 PM   #11
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That is the way you see it. You dont like it run for office. If your senator voted in a way you dont like call them. It seems that everyone has a opinion and does nothing about it, just post bs on a forum that no political official will see. Real easy to get your voice heard if you want it to be as most state reps and senators hold meet and greets weekly in their districts.

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Old October 23rd, 2011, 07:45 PM   #12
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I have called/emailed my district Representative and every time I've gotten either a thanks for sharing, or a "I understand what you're saying but I don't care and will to exactly opposite of what you're asking me to do. My experience has proven to me that representatives don't give a shit what we say after they are elected and are getting a paycheck. Then the only opinion that matters is the one of the people sending them thousands of dollars to add to their coffers.
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Old October 23rd, 2011, 07:57 PM   #13
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I doubt that is the way it works. It is just something to complain about. Good day.
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Old October 23rd, 2011, 08:08 PM   #14
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Originally Posted by Fullsize4life View Post
I doubt that is the way it works. It is just something to complain about. Good day.
Why is that? You suggest that if we don't like something, then to contact the people that make the decisions, and I did. Then I pointed out the case in point where Mr. Hansen went against what his own party/governor has asked for his assistance, and decided to side with scum ball dude who owns, and has a monopoly on the Michigan to Canada bridge who just so happened to be throwing money at him like a 18 y/o kid at a strip club.
So how does it not look like Mr. Hansen has sold his vote, broke party lines, accepted money from a very controversial entity, that also happens to be an outspoken Democrat, that 100% supported his party's main figure head's opponent, that was scared that he was going to loose his gravy train.
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Old October 23rd, 2011, 08:19 PM   #15
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Im curious as to the "gravy train" that you talk of. If you look threw the campaign donation records, which you can, you will see that they have in fact donated considerably less than a lot of pro-republican donators. I fail to see where your info comes from. You have not posted anything but your oddball perception of " bridge company throws money at state senator". Bla Bla Bla. You are one person, some times, regardless of party lines, governor, or anything it comes down to a personal gut feeling. Now if you want his job and think you can do a better job, run for it. Some times when some thing sounds to good to be true, it might be. His gut feeling was that there was not enough good info about a new bridge to make a yes vote. Call him, ask why he voted the way he did.

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Old October 23rd, 2011, 08:47 PM   #16
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The gravy train I speak of is the advertisements with Mr. Hansen's name plastered all over them, all paid for by the bridge (wtf ever) association that has been all over TV. Nobody gets their name thrown out there with out collecting some sort of fee at some time. I have better things to do that go through his donation log. All one has to see is the donor's history, and sketchiness. I'm not sure why you say it's my odd ball position. Look at the comments in the MLive article where Mr. Hansen explains his position (another reason I don't need to call him to get an explanation)... I am defiantly not the only on that thinks it looks like this was a bought vote.
Read this:
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There are infrastructure improvement projects already underway at the Blue Water Bridge, Ambassador Bridge and Detroit-Windsor Tunnel. I've questioned why we would build and own a bridge that draws traffic from a private bridge; from a bridge owned by the same government; and a tunnel that is jointly owned,
Quote:
Private sector has committed to expanding Ambassador Bridge & new rail tunnel.
I read this---^ as a "I promise, we'll fix it, i promise daddy don't take away my meal ticket"

Quote:
Unresolved legal questions surrounding the 1921 Special Act of Congress giving the Ambassador Bridge an exclusive franchise for a bridge and that any other bridge would not be "specifically authorized by a new Act of Congress".
Again, Mr. Hansen don't want to possibly screw up this special act of congress that gave Mr. Mouron/family the obvious monopoly of the crossing, and allows them the ability to hold the state and commerce hostage.
This statment bother the hell out of me:
Quote:
And that means putting Ambassador Bridge owner Manuel (Matty) Moroun's millions out of mind.

To preserve their monopoly crossing, Moroun and his family have poured a river of campaign cash into political pockets. The overall tab in 2009 and 2010 was $1.5 million, with more than a third of that going to state legislative races.
Since you obviously have easy access into the donation records, how much has the Moroun family, associations & business affiliated with donated to Mr. Hansen's campaign?
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Old October 23rd, 2011, 09:22 PM   #17
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So you have no real proof of so called meal ticket? Just a hunch.......yes i get it now. Carry on. BTW i have not seen any of the advertising with his name backing it.

But if you like i can ask him how much they have donated. When i asked him the other day when you started this witch hunt it was less than Farm Bureau.
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Old October 23rd, 2011, 09:32 PM   #18
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Someone ate lead paint chips when they were young... who knows maybe they still do...
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Old October 23rd, 2011, 09:43 PM   #19
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Fullsize4life View Post
So you have no real proof of so called meal ticket? Just a hunch.......yes i get it now. Carry on. BTW i have not seen any of the advertising with his name backing it.

But if you like i can ask him how much they have donated. When i asked him the other day when you started this witch hunt it was less than Farm Bureau.
Just to clarify, when I was making the meal ticket statement, I was channeling Moroun. Not Mr. Hansen. My apologies for any mis-communication from my statement.

A week or so before this vote, every 5 minutes there was a commercial with his name/face plastered on my screen, paid for the Detroit Bridge association, or something of the effect. Since the vote, I haven't seen any commercials, they got what they wanted.

Please don't mistake this for a witch hunt, it's just an open discussion.

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Old October 25th, 2011, 10:58 AM   #20
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Originally Posted by MonkeyBiz View Post
Just to clarify, when I was making the meal ticket statement, I was channeling Moroun. Not Mr. Hansen. My apologies for any mis-communication from my statement.

A week or so before this vote, every 5 minutes there was a commercial with his name/face plastered on my screen, paid for the Detroit Bridge association, or something of the effect. Since the vote, I haven't seen any commercials, they got what they wanted.

Please don't mistake this for a witch hunt, it's just an open discussion.
weird, cause I just read this entire thread and the whole time I kept thinking to myself, wtf does monkeybiz have against hansen......
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