It’s no secret that Republican Congressman Mike Bishop (MI-08) has been in the pocket of Michigan billionaire Matty Moroun for years. In 2010, Bishop was the State Senate Majority leader and promised to hold a vote on a new bridge crossing from Michigan into Canada. However, he ended up blocking the vote, something Matty Moroun liked very much, indeed, since he owns the existing span to Canada and is not at all interested in competition of any kind.
Jack Lessenberry told the story last year:
For years and years, Matty Moroun has managed to successfully buy off the legislature through the form of legalized bribery known as “campaign contributions.” He shelled out hundreds of thousands — and money by the millions rolled in.
One of his best boys was former Senate Majority Leader Mike Bishop. Four years ago, Bishop promised to allow the Senate to hold a vote on whether to form a public-private partnership with Canada. But Matty didn’t like that.
Suddenly, Moroun poured more than $150,000 in contributions to political candidates and committees under Bishop’s control. Guess what. Mikey went back on his word!
He refused to hold a vote, something that stunned Canada. Brian Masse, a member of Parliament from Windsor, called it “an international betrayal.”
For Moroun, it was just another day at the office, using his latest tool.
A month after he did Moroun’s bidding, Bishop received $100,000 in donations from Moroun and his family. This was after he had already received $20,000 from a Moroun-allied PAC. Got quid pro quo?
But the story doesn’t end there. After he left office, Bishop was a paid consultant for Moroun’s Detroit International Bridge Co.:
Bishop formerly provided legal counsel for CenTra Inc., the Moroun company that operates the bridge, and for Central Transport International, the family’s trucking company.
He subsequently received campaign donations from the Morouns and their businesses when he ran for Congress. For example, he received $15,600 from Centra, Inc. It’s no surprise that he said he “supported a second bridge privately funded by” Moroun rather than the bridge proposed by Moroun’s competition.
Bishop cashed in in another way, as well. You may recall the 11th District Congressional campaign of foreclosure vulture David Trott in 2014. During that campaign we learned all about how Trott’s law firm helped throw a 101-year old woman, Texana Hollis out of her home because her son neglected to pay her mortgage payment. That cold-hearted action resulted in brutal campaign ads like this one:
As it turns out, David Trott and Mike Bishop have a history, something that, to my knowledge, hasn’t been reported on before now. While he was Senate Majority Leader, Bishop helped to pass a foreclosure bill that the Senate had stripped consumer protections from under the guidance of Trott’s firm. Just a week later, apparently to thank Bishop for his help sanitizing the legislation on their behalf, Trott made a $2,000 contribution to Bishop’s PAC and directly to him.
Then, after he left office, Bishop reported earning more than $5,000 in consulting fees from Trott & Trott:
See how this works? Bishop was helped out his wealthy benefactors to get into office. Then, using his powerful position as the Senate Majority Leader, he did their bidding. Then the cash rolled in again as well as the consulting fees.
It’s a great gig if you can get it. And Bishop HAS gotten it. He’s the poster child for the “bought and paid for” politician and he’s in a more powerful position now in Congress than he was before.
Thankfully, 8th Congressional District voters have an alternative in Melissa Gilbert. You can learn more about this terrific Democrat and support her campaign at GilbertForMichigan.com.