Moroun family gets busy

We're all familiar with the secret ballot in our democratic republic. Now, Michigan apparently has secret lobbying.

The Michigan Campaign Finance Network reported today that it found $4.7 million in broadcast ad spending by the Detroit International Bridge Co. so far in 2011 -- and none of it has been reported as lobbying.

The ad campaign by DIBC (parent firm of the Moroun family's Ambassador Bridge) is clearly designed to convince legislators not to approve the construction of a second bridge near Detroit -- the New International Trade Crossing -- that would compete with the Ambassador.

As MCFN's Rich Robinson wrote today: "This is a clear example of a major deficiency in the state’s lobbying disclosure system ... Detroit International Bridge Company should have registered as a lobbyist and reported its $4 million grassroots lobbying campaign. Instead, it reported nothing.”

See the MCFN news release here.

The Moroun family is vigorously pursuing its interests as it sees them. There's nothing inherently inappropriate about such a move. The larger question for Michigan citizens is whether the rules that govern the flow of money into the political process advance the broader public interest?

* Michigan Truth Squad analysis of anti-NITC ad from spring 2011.


About The Author

Derek Melot

Derek Melot is a former assistant editorial page editor, columnist and reporter at the Lansing State Journal, where he covered state and local issues extensively, earning awards from the Associated Press and Michigan Press Association. The Oklahoma native moved to Michigan in 1999, and served as Bridge editor through mid-2013.

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Allan Blackburn
Thu, 09/22/2011 - 9:22am
Moroun's interests are Marouns and not the State of Michigan. His plan is to build a bridge right next to the bridge that he already owns, leaving his monopoly intact. What this does to Michigan, Canada and the United States is places all at risk of a single terror attack which would damage both bridges simultaneously thereby affecting trade, economics and traffic. Studies have shown that it is in our best interests to have the bridge built several miles away from the current bridge. Maroun's money has already bought several players who have held up the construction in spite of Canada's generous offer of funding $550 million of the project. All future payment for the bridge would come from fares to cross in spite of Maroun's statements that it would come from taxpayer dollars. Hopefully enough people see through the feeble attempt to keep a monopoly going and will do what is in the best interests of the people of Michigan, Canada and the United States.