GRAND RAPIDS (WZZM) - Television viewers here, and statewide, have been subject to a barrage of commercials urging them to vote yes on Proposal 6.
Proposal 6 is the plan requiring a statewide vote before any new bridge to Canada is built.
Analysis of the ad campaign by the Michigan Truth Squad, an off-shoot of The Center for Michigan, and the Detroit Free Press, point out it is full of falsehoods.
Primary among the falsehoods is the claim that building the bridge will divert tax dollars from items like education and public safety. Key lines from the current version of the ad read: "Yes on Six means our tax dollars go to our priorities - jobs, schools, police officers and firefighters. Yes on Six means we won't add billions in new debt." The Truth Squad ruled these were "flagrant fouls" not supported by any documentation.
The Detroit Free Press analysis says the Yes on Six campaign, also known as Let the People Decide, is driven by Detroit billionaire Matty Maroun. Maroun owns and operates the existing Amabassador Bridge and, the Free Press notes, the ballot question Maroun promulgated is simply an effort to protect his profits.
Gov. Rick Snyder and Michigan business leaders are promoting the plan to build a new bridge to boost trade with Canada. The plan for the New International Trade Crossing, or NITC, is estimated to create thousands of construction jobs.
The Free Press is reporting, "Contrary to what the Morouns' blizzard of advertising warns, law professors and advertising experts asked by the Free Press to examine the issue are unanimous that the NITC will not cost Michigan taxpayers any money. If the proposal passes, backers of NITC may go to court to challenge whether it would apply to NITC, the cost of which will be carried by Canada and the U.S. government."