Matthew Moroun, of the infamous Moroun family that owns the Ambassador Bridge, came out of his meeting with newly elected Gov. Rick Snyder weeks before his first State of the State.
The Junior Moroun was buoyed by the talks about the proposed second bridge between Detroit and Windsor. He thought the new governor understood that the traffic volume on the current bridge did not warrant construction of a competing bridge.
"I never got a commitment," Moroun remembers but he was told there would be more meetings and he felt things were going his way then the roof caved in.
There were no more meetings and just minutes before the Gov's SOS, the phone rang and on the other end of the line was Dick Posthumus who does legislative arm-twisting for the governor. Moroun hung up the phone after being "blind-sided and shocked."
The governor was poised to endorse the second span which meant Moroun was now fighting his second governor on this issue.
Who "got" to the governor and convinced him a second bridge must be built?
Moroun asked around and still has a goose egg on both questions.
He is careful not to bad-mouth the governor but he concludes the decision was "inconsistent" with the governor's agenda to expand the economy. He credits Mr. Snyder with being pro-business "except when it comes to my business."
But even so it's still the crusty Moroun family 1 and the governor nothing on this continuing bridge saga. Mr. Governor is still challenged to line up the votes he needs to pass this thing before his self-imposed July 4th deadline.
It would be an unbelieveable victory if the new gov. cobbled this thing together by then and there is one thing Moroun fears most: horse trading.
While the Morouns have spread around over $1.5 million in support to lawmakers and for an endless array of anti-bridge TV commercials, they can't offer up anything else to lawmakers and the governor can.
He can offer projects, or support for this bill or that and some have even suggested lawmakers, who are worried about the new district they must run in next year, may get the governor to draw a redistricting line "here" rather than "there" to protect that lawmaker from running in a seat he or she can't win.
Moroun has a bridge but no "horses" to trade which keeps him awake at night.