M-DOT director muzzled on bridge controversy - DC News FOX 5 DC WTTG

M-DOT director muzzled on bridge controversy

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Ambassador Bridge over the waters of the Detroit River.  (Credit: WJBK | myFOXDetroit.com) Ambassador Bridge over the waters of the Detroit River. (Credit: WJBK | myFOXDetroit.com)
LANSING, Mich. (WJBK) -

As the governor moves methodically along with his vision to build that second span between Detroit and Windsor, with an announcement perhaps as early as this Friday, he is doing so without the advice and council of his top transportation appointee.

He doesn't wear a muzzle, but Kurt Steudle might as well slap one on when it comes to the "bridge" story.

"What do you know about the Interlocal agreement?" the Michigan Department of Transportation director was asked the other day.

Everybody pretty much assumes this is the vehicle the governor will use to start pounding the pilings into the ground, but Mr. M-DOT put on his game face and responded, "I don't know anything about it."

And as the silly reporter pursued something more meaty than that, he stayed on message indicating that any comments about the bridge would "come from the governor and lt. governor."

And in case you missed the point he adds, "I can't talk about the bridge and the planning for it."

So who or what slapped the muzzle on his mug?

The envelope please.

Ah yes, the Michigan legislature or more directly the Republicans in the Michigan legislature.

It and he have had a love-hate thing going for years with the emphasis not on the love. Rightly or wrongly Mr. Steudle's credibility with some lawmakers is in minus numbers.

And what follows may not bring the numbers up.

"So the legislature basically told you to shut-up?"

"That's a fair statement," he doesn't blink an eye.

By excluding you, is that "short-sighted?"

"I would agree with that."

Wait til the good ole boys in the legislature read that and this, "I don't think it's good for the State of Michigan that your top transportation professionals would be excluded from having a conversation and being a part of a significant national piece of transportation."

Some might argue that it makes no sense for the governor to be denied access to his top advisor on this project. They should talk to the GOP legislature about that since Republicans obviously like the muzzle right where it's at.

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