Politics & Prejudices
Riding Michigan’s roads to ruin
As state’s infrastructure crumbles, Lansing’s yahoos balk at funding road repair
Published: February 15, 2012
Update on Matty's boy: Last week, I detailed a number of legislators who took money from Ambassador Bridge owner Manuel "Matty" Moroun and then have loyally voted to prevent a new bridge from being built across the Detroit River. Perhaps the principal culprit was one State Sen. Mike Kowall (R-White Lake), who, as chair of a state Senate committee, voted to prevent a bill authorizing the new bridge from coming before the full Senate. This is a bridge, remember, that his own Republican governor and every other corporate and business interest in the state wants.
Last week, MIRS, the Lansing-based Michigan Information Research Service, reported that Kowall said he doesn't read Metro Times, but added that he thought I "had an ax to grind and was looking to place it firmly in my head."
But MIRS reported some other things too. Chief among them were that Kowall and his wife, Eileen, a state representative, had taken more than $9,200 from a political action committee, or PAC — and that this money went improperly unreported on both lawmakers' campaign finance reports. Asked about this, Kowall said: Duh, he couldn't remember what the money went for.
Yup, happens to me all the time. Somebody gives me $9,288 who has something he wants me to do, and I forget about it and forget how I spent it. Let's give Rich Robinson, head of the nonpartisan, nonprofit Michigan Campaign Finance Network, the last word.
"In this business, there's slime and there's crime. This looks like slime, but it's a story that needs to be told, that's for sure."
> Email Jack Lessenberry