By Joel Thurtell
I complimented Free Press reporter Joe Guillen for dogging the billionaire Matty Moroun and his brazen takeover of the Detroit-Wayne County Port Authority. I was glad to see the Free Press report Michigan Attorney General Bill Schuette’s refusal to render an opinion on the legality of the port authority’s giveaway contract with Matty.
But there was more to the story.
In the October 7, 2015 MetroTimes, Detroit journalist Jack Lessenberry came close to predicting that Schuette would decline to look into Matty’s deal. Schuette, Lessenberry pointed out, is notorious for ignoring cases he should look into while hyping issues that are none of his business, like President Obama’s deal limiting Iran’s nuclear program.
Lessenberry had his doubts whether Schuette would look into the port authority deal.
Follow the money, he said.
Rich Robinson, who runs the non-partisan, nonprofit Michigan Campaign Finance network, checked the records and reported that the Moroun family has given Schuette’s campaign fund at least $21,000 since he started running for attorney general five years ago. Matty also gave him $3,400 back in 2002, when Schuette wasn’t running for anything.
As Lessenberry also pointed out in his column that nearly four years ago, on February 1, 2012, I posted an article, MOROUNOPOLY, that explained in detail the lengths to which port authority officials went in genuflecting to the billionaire.
The port authority was a gift to Matty.
When mainstream media didn’t follow, I re-posted the article.
In the meantime, Matty’s been sending checks to the attorney general.
Now the AG refuses to look into Matty.
That is not surprising.
What surprises me is that four years ago, the mainstream media didn’t think it was a story.
Even now, pieces of it still don’t appear in mainstream papers.
Thank you, Jack Lessenberry.
Matty’s donations to pols like Schuette are part of the story.