Reuters reports: Photo Source New York Magazine
NEW YORK, Jan 24 (Reuters) – Renowned New York dealmaker Donald Drapkin believed he was “going to get screwed” after he left the employment of his former business partner and friend, Ron Perelman, Drapkin testified on Tuesday.
That’s why, Drapkin said, he sued Perelman’s holding company in 2009 seeking unpaid compensation, starting a round of litigation between two of New York’s best-known dealmakers.
Now it’s Drapkin’s turned to be sued. He told a jury in New York yesterday, “I just realized I was going to get screwed so I had no choice but to bring a lawsuit,”. Drapkin is the defendant in MacAndrews & Forbes LLC v. Drapkin in U.S. District Court for the Southern District of New York, no. 09-04513.
MacAndrews & Forbes is the holding company of Billionaire Ronald Perelman, who according to Forbes, has a net worth of $12 billion and is also the 12th richest American.
Steven Kobre, a lawyer for MacAndrews & Forbes, told jurors in his opening statement that the firm paid Drapkin millions of dollars when he left in 2007. It also agreed to pay him millions more if he promised not to induce other employees to quit and to return all company documents.
“Mr. Drapkin willfully disregarded his obligations,” Kobre said.
According to Kobre, Drapkin tried to encourage Eric Rose, a surgeon who was executive vice president of life sciences, to leave MacAndrews & Forbes. Drapkin and his personal assistant also kept thousands of documents on a company computer given to them when they left.
“Mr. Drapkin didn’t live up to his promises,” Kobre said.
Last week The New York Time described the dispute as “Another Bitter Divorce for Perelman” The Times was alluding to Perelman’s four divorces from his prior wives.
In January of 2010, Bloomberg reported that Perelman was ordered to pay his most famous wife, actress and former bombshell Ellen Barkin, $3.4 million, plus $1 million in interest.
The money was to go to “Barkin’s Applehead Pictures LLC, after she claimed in a suit he reneged on a promise to invest in her production company.”
The $4.3 million Perelman was ordered to pay, is a relatively small amount compared to what his marriage to Barkin cost him, as well their subsequent divorce.
Barkin sued for divorce in 2006. New York Magazine had a cover story that detailed the events leading up to the widely and wildly publicized separation.
This year was different. Something was plainly wrong. Ellen Barkin, the feisty, flop-mouthed actress and Perelman’s wife of five years, was not at Perelman’s side at midnight. Later, she would tell friends she was trying to stay as far away from him as possible. The night before, she had told them, she and Perelman had had a particularly brutal fight, their worst ever. Read more about Ellen Barkin-Ronald Perelman Divorce New York Magazine
The same issue of New York Magazine detailed the costs of Perelman’s three previous divorces. The Magazine reported that the aggregate cost of Perelman’s three prior marriages was $118 million.
In January of 2010, Huffington Post reported that the couple had finally arrived at a settlement. According to Huffington,
When they divorced, Barkin received a settlement that
Perelman’s spokeswoman has described as “enormous” but declined to quantify. Barkin also sold off jewelry Perelman gave her at an auction that fetched more than $20 million; she told an interviewer the pieces were “not memories I want to wear out every day.”
New York Magazine had previously estimated the settlement to be $60 million.
More recently Barkin has shifted her attention to the much poorer, but considerably younger and better looking Sam Levinson.
In November of 2011, The New York Post reported
Super-cougar Ellen Barkin seems to have won over the parents of her 26-year-old boyfriend, Sam Levinson. Sources say filmmaker Barry Levinson and his wife, Diana Rhodes, were “initially wary” of the actress, 57, who made her debut in Barry’s 1982 movie “Diner.” Sam celebrated his latest, “Another Happy Day,” a film that Barkin produced and stars in about a dysfunctional family that feuds on a wedding day, with her and his own family at the Boom Boom Room on Monday. Barkin plays the matriarch “Lynn,” a character inspired by Sam’s mother, Rhodes. “Barry and Diana totally accept and embrace their son’s relationship with Ellen because she has done so much for him and his career,” a source said.
Just last week, ONTD.com (Oh No They Didn’t) “reported” that Barkin would neither “confirm nor deny her relationship” with Levinson. However, there is no denying that Ellen Barkin and Sam Levinson like to be photographed together. Photo source Huffington Post, read more Ellen Barkin dating Sam Levinson
During the past few months some of our favorite billionaires have been pressing the levers of power with the hope of being able to convince Congress and The President, to either pass or kill SOPA.
The Anti-SOPA billionaires have been much more open and outspoken with their opposition to the bill. The billionaires who want to see SOPA become law, with one notable exception, have been more inclined to sit this one out, letting their well paid PR flaks and lobbyists, carry the water for them.
Well they can run but they can’t hide! Billionairechronicles has done the research, and is now going to tell you the names of the people, who own and/or control the corporations, who stand to make the most or lose the most, depending on the outcome of this kerfuffle.
Let’s start with The Ridiculously Rich.
Bill Gates (Net worth $59 billion) is retired from Microsoft, but he still has a small stake in that outfit. Microsoft is a major participant (along with Apple, Adobe, Dell, Quark, McAfee, Rosetta Stone, and several others) in The Business Software Alliance (BSA). If you have a grudge against your former boss, and happen to know that he/she is using a little bit of pirated software, BSA wants to hear from you. They might even make it worth your while.
About BSA, and their members’ positions on SOPA, Let BSA’s words speak for themselves.
ON October 26, 2011, they issued a press release that included this paragraph
The Business Software Alliance today commended House Judiciary Committee Chairman Lamar Smith (R-Texas) for introducing the “Stop Online Piracy Act” (H.R. 3261) to curb the growing rash of software piracy and other forms of intellectual property theft that are being perpetrated by illicit websites.
Less than a month later (Nov. 22, 2011) they back pedaled with this
Valid and important questions have been raised about the bill. It is intended to get at the worst of the worst offenders. As it now stands, however, it could sweep in more than just truly egregious actors. To fix this problem, definitions of who can be the subject of legal actions and what remedies are imposed must be tightened and narrowed. Due process, free speech, and privacy are rights cannot be compromised. And the security of networks and communications is indispensable to a thriving Internet economy. Some observers have raised reasonable questions about whether certain SOPA provisions might have unintended consequences in these areas. BSA has long stood against filtering or monitoring the Internet. All of these concerns should be duly considered and addressed.
So where do and Microsoft and BSA stand SOPA? Before the avalanche of negative PR, they supported, but now they’re more concerned about filtering and monitoring the internet.
The Waltons; Jim, Christie, S. Robson, Nancy Walton Laurie, Alice, and Ann Walton Kronenke,. They control Walmart. Their collective net worth is $93 billion. Walmart supports SOPA.
Michael Bloomberg (net worth $19.5 billion is sort an interesting fence sitter. His company, Bloomberg L.P. is opposed to the bill. As Mayor of New York, a city that is economically dependent on the entertainment industry, but which is also the home of a burgeoning online publishing and tech community, Bloomberg sounded like your typical politician. This week he told reporters
”If you make a threatening phone call over the telephone, going after the telephone company is not something that makes some sense.” Then he threw a bouquet to the other said when he said
“I am very sensitive to the people that create the content. People that create something deserve…[to be].. compensated for it. And I think everybody has an obligation to help make sure that there is not piracy. Piracy hurts everybody, and so they’ve got to come to some agreement in Washington that protects the rights of the content owners, at the same time is something that is enforceable. But I think to just say, ‘Anybody has a right to- we can’t stop it, so just have piracy,’ is not the right answer to that.”
Jeff Bezos (net worthn $19.1 billion) controls Amazon. Amazon opposes SOPA
Mark Zuckerberg of Facebook (net worth $17.5) has personally campaigned against the bill. He as been personally been “out there” with opposition to SOPA. Look at his Facebook post about it. (Notice how many “likes” and “shares” he got.)
Sergey Brin and Larry Page (each with a net worth of $16.7 billion) are the co-founders of Google.
Page posted this on his Google+ account
Two bills before Congress, known as the Protect IP Act (PIPA) in the Senate and the Stop Online Piracy Act (SOPA) in the House, would censor the Web and impose harmful regulations on American business. Millions of Internet users and entrepreneurs already oppose SOPA and PIPA.
The Senate will begin voting on January 24th. Please let them know how you feel. Sign this petition urging Congress to vote NO on PIPA and SOPA before it is too late.
Brin posted this on his
“Imagine my astonishment when the newest threat to free speech has come from none other but the United States. Two bills currently making their way through congress — SOPA and PIPA — give the U.S. government and copyright holders extraordinary powers including the ability to hijack DNS and censor search results (and this is even without so much as a proper court trial),” Brin wrote. “While I support their goal of reducing copyright infringement (which I don’t believe these acts would accomplish), I am shocked that our lawmakers would contemplate such measures that would put us on a par with the most oppressive nations in the world.”
Michael Dell (net worth $15 billion) of Dell Computers is also a member of BSA. As was the case with Bill Gates, he was for it (SOPA) before he was against it.
Steve Ballmer (net worth “only” $13.9 billion) is Billionaire #2 at Microsoft. He is still CEO. He’s been mum on SOPA. This week Bloomberg (the publication, not the mayor) reported that they had received a press release from Microsoft stating
“We oppose the passage of the SOPA bill as currently drafted,” They explained why they would not join last week’s “blackouts” with this. “Hundreds of millions of customers rely on our services every day so we don’t plan to shut those down to express our view.”
Here’s how the merely filthy rich weigh in on SOPA.
There are three other “lesser” Facebook billionaires, Sean Parker (net worth $2.1 billion), Eduardo Saverin (net worth $2 billlion), and Dustin Moscovitz (net worth $1.7 billion) presumably are in the “opposed” camp.
Additional Anti SOPA billionaires include:
Yahoo Co-fouders David Filo and Jerry Yang (both with net worths of $1,1 billion
Reid Hoffman, Linkedin founder (net worth $1.5 billion)
Pierre Omidyar, Ebay (net worth $6.2 billion)
Filo, Yang, Reid, and Omidyar all signed “An Open Letter to Washington, which appeared on CNET.com on Dec. 14, 2011
We’ve all had the good fortune to found Internet companies and nonprofits in a regulatory climate that promotes entrepreneurship, innovation, the creation of content and free expression online.
However we’re worried that the PROTECT IP Act and the Stop Online Piracy Act–which started out as well-meaning efforts to control piracy online–will undermine that framework.
These two pieces of legislation threaten to:
* Require web services, like the ones we helped found, to monitor what users link to, or upload. This would have a chilling effect on innovation;
* Deny website owners the right to due process of law;
* Give the U.S. Government the power to censor the web using techniques similar to those used by China, Malaysia and Iran; and
* Undermine security online by changing the basic structure of the Internet.
We urge Congress to think hard before changing the regulation that underpins the Internet. Let’s not deny the next generation of entrepreneurs and founders the same opportunities that we all had.
Marc Andreessen, co-founder of Netscape and Andreessen Horowitz
Sergey Brin, co-founder of Google
Jack Dorsey, co-founder of Twitter and Square
Caterina Fake, co-founder of Flickr and Hunch
David Filo, co-founder of Yahoo!
Reid Hoffman, co-founder of LinkedIn
Arianna Huffington, co-founder of The Huffington Post
Chad Hurley, co-founder of YouTube
Brewster Kahle, founder of the Internet Archive and co-founder of Alexa Internet
Elon Musk, co-founder of PayPal
Craig Newmark, founder of craigslist
Pierre Omidyar, founder of eBay
Biz Stone, co-founder of Obvious and Twitter
Jimmy Wales, founder of Wikipedia and the Wikimedia Foundation
Evan Williams, co-founder of Blogger and Twitter
Jerry Yang, co-founder of Yahoo!
Before moving on to the longer list of Billionaires who support SOPA, I would be remiss if I didn’t mention Godaddy’s Bob Parsons (net worth $1.5 billion.) The SOPA controversy went viral after Godaddy made this official statement in support of the bill
Go Daddy has a long history of supporting federal legislation directed toward combating illegal conduct on the Internet. For example, our company strongly supported the Ryan Haight Online Pharmacy Consumer Protection Act of 2008, the Protect Our Children Act of 2008, and the Preventing Real Online Threats to Economic Creativity and Theft of Intellectual Property Act of 2011 (PROTECT IP). Go Daddy has always supported both government and private industry efforts to identify and disable all types of illegal activity on the Internet. It is for these reasons that I’m still struggling with why some Internet companies oppose PROTECT IP and SOPA. There is no question that we need these added tools to counteract illegal foreign sites that are falling outside the jurisdiction of U.S. law enforcement. And there is clearly more that we could all be doing to adequately address the problems that exist.
After reading the Godaddy statement, Reddit.com user selfprodigy posted this on December 22, 2011.
The post drew (as of today) 36,924 “up votes” and 32,103 “down votes, as well as 3,123 comments.
One day later Godaddy reversed its position. Their change of heart was no doubt inspired by the tens of thousands of domains they saw being transferred from Godaddy to various competitors. On December 24, 2011, Venturebeat.com reported
Hosting and domain registrar company Go Daddy has lost more than 37,000 domains in the past two days due to the company’s wishy-washy stance on the Stop Online Piracy Act.
This brings us to the last Anti SOPA billionaires on our list. Until September 6, 2011, Reddit.com was a division of Conde Nast, one of the world’s largest magazine publishers. Conde owns Vogue, New Yorker, Vanity Fair, Wired, and many more. The parent company of Conde Nast is Advance Publications Inc., which is owned by Samuel (S.I. Jr.) Newhouse (net worth $6.6 billion) and his less affluent brother Donald Newhouse (net worth $5.9 billion.
With the change on September 6, Reddit.com is now listed as “a subsidiary of Advance Publications.
Now let’s look at the other billionaires who support SOPA.
Major League Baseball, National Football League (NFL), National Basketball Association (NBA), and National Hockey League; all support the bill
Mihael Prokhorov, NJ Nets (and opposing Vladimir Putin for the Presidency of Russia, net worth $18 billion)
Paul Allen, Seattle Supersonics, Seattle Seahawks, Microsoft co-founder (net worth $13.2 billion)
Phillip Anschultz , LA Kings and Lakers (net worth $7 billion)
Richard DeVos, Orlando Magic (net worth $5 billion)
Micky Arison, Miami Heat (net worth $4.2 billion)
Theodore Lerner, Washington Nationals $3.3 billion)
Ronald Burkle, Pittsburg Penguins (net worth $3.2 billion)
Stan Kroenke, Denver Nuggets, Colorado Avalanche (net worth $3.2 billion
Stephen M. Ross, Miami Dolphins (net worth $3.1 billion)
Malcom Glazer, Tampa Bay Bucs (net worth $2.7 billion)
Charles Dolan, NY Knicks (net worth $2.6 billion)
Mark Cuban, Dallas Mavericks (net worth $2.3 billion)
Jerry Jones, Dallas Cowboys (net worth $1.9 billion)
Glen Taylor, Minnesota Timberwolves (net worth $1.8 billion)
Robert Kraft, New England Patriots ($1.7 billion)
Daniel Gilbert, Cleveland Cavaliers ($1.5 billion)
Michal Ilitch, Detroit Tigers ($2 billion)
Robert McNair, Houston Texans ($1.5 billion)
Steven Bisciotti, Baltimore Ravens ($1.3 billion)
Tom Benson, New Orleans Saints ($1.1 billion)
John Henry, Boston Red Sox ($1.1 billion)
Jeffrey Lurie, Philadelphia Eagles ($1.1 billion)
Dan Snyder, Washington Redskins ($1.05 billion)
Ronald Perelman, Revlon (net worth $12 billion)
Leonard Lauder, Revlon (net worth $6.3 billion)
David Geffen, Dreamworks ($5.5 billion)
Sumner Redstone, Viacom ($4.1 billion)
Barbara Piasecka Johnson, Johnson & Johnson (net worth $3.1 billion)
Stephen Spielberg, Dreamworks (net worth $3 billion)
Ray Dolby, Dolby Stereo (net worth $2.4 billion)
Jim Davis, New Balance (net worth $1.8 billion)
Darwin Deason, Xerox (net worth $1.05 billion)
Frank and Lorenzo Furtitta, Ultimate Fighting Championship ($1.2 billion each)
And finally, our favorite SOPA-Supporting billionaire is Rupert Murdoch (net worth $7.4 billion). No surprise, his Newscorp supports the bill. While he hasn’t made any public statements specifically supporting SOPA, last week he posted two heavily re-tweeted rants on Twitter, accusing “piracy leader” Google of “plain stealing,”
According to Forbes
hat touched off Murdoch’s tirade was, in fact, something that happened during a presentation he attended at the Consumer Electronics Show in Las Vegas last week. Hosted by Google, it was a demonstration of Google TV, a service that makes it easy to watch over-the-internet video on a television set.
At one point, according to sources with knowledge of the events, the presenter was explaining the different ways to find content within Google TV: You can go through a “Shows and Movies” app that catalogs offerings from Netflix, YouTube, Amazon, etc., or else you can use standard browser-based Google Search. Murdoch asked what would happen if he were to search for a particular blockbuster film, and the presenter explained that the results would be the same ones you’d find in any Google search. Including links to content-pirating sites? Murdoch pressed. Yes, unless those sites have already been removed from search results in response to takedown requests, the presenter confirmed.
Billionairechronicles likes @robdelaney take on the Rupster.
Sup bro you’re doing great on Twitter nobody thinks you’re a weird asshole or anything keep it up
Usain Bolt, 2008 Olympic Gold Metal Winner (100m, 200m and 4 x 100m relay), AKA “World’s Fastest Human”, was seen wearing a golden goatee, similar to Billionaire Richard Branson’s. Bolt underwent a “facial hair transformation” before appearing in a of series of TV commercials for Virgin Media’s “superfast” broadband service. Photo Source Mailonline.com
SOPA supporter Rupert Murdoch took a shot at Google on Sunday. He Tweeted
Piracy leader is Google who streams movies free, sells advts around them. No wonder pouring millions into lobbying.
Then to prove his point he followed up with
Just been to google search for mission impossible. Wow, several sites offering free links. I rest my case.
He goes on to describe what Google does as “plain stealing.”
Good thing the bill hasn’t passed yet. They might shut us down for quoting him.
“Delicious irony” is how Washington Post columnist Dana Milbank described the current state of affairs within the Republican Party. GOP leaders were ecstatic in 2010, when The Supreme Court ruled in favor of Citizens United vs The Federal Election Commission (FEC). Now having gotten what they wished for, some might be thinking that they should have wished for something else.
Citizens United, as they describe themselves on their website are:
an organization dedicated to restoring our government to citizens’ control. Through a combination of education, advocacy, and grass roots organization, Citizens United seeks to reassert the traditional American values of limited government, freedom of enterprise, strong families, and national sovereignty and security.
Citizens United had challenged provisions of the 2002 Bipartisan Campaign Reform Act, which has come be known as the Mcain-Feingold Act. Its sponsors were Republican Senator John McCain and former Democratic Senator, Russell Feingold. The effect of the ruling is that corporations and labor unions are no longer prohibited from using money from their general treasuries to fund advertisements in congressional or presidential elections. On January 22, 2010 the Washington Post wrote
The decision shakes the foundation of corporate limitations on federal and state elections that stretch back a century, and prompted sharp partisan reaction. Republican leaders, still celebrating Tuesday’s Senate upset in Massachusetts, cheered the ruling as a victory for free speech and predicted a surge in corporate support forGOP candidates in November’s midterm elections.
President Obama sharply criticized the ruling, however, calling it “a green light to a new stampede of special interest money,” and vowed to “develop a forceful response” with congressional leaders from both parties. The court’s decision was handed down on the same morning that Obama riled Wall Street by proposing tough new restrictions on the nation’s largest banks.
In a subsequent ruling on March 26, 2010, a three-judge U.S. District Court panel in Washington, ruled in favor of SpeechNow.org vs. FEC. That decision opened the floodgates for wealthy individuals to contribute enormous sums of money to their favorite SuperPacs. Wheras Citizens United made it easier for SuperPacs to spend money, Speechnow.org made it easier for them to collect money. Or to put it another way, it made it much easier for wealthy individuals to donate money.
Fast forward from Washington, DC, March 2010; to South Carolina, January 2012. Jon Huntsman Jr. marches on, parlaying his 3rd place (16.9%) performance in New Hampshire, into a quixotic attempt to siphon votes away from front runner Mitt Romney. There are reports that Huntsman is struggling to raise funds. Of course his campaign would have collapsed a long time ago, were it not for the backing it has received from Jon Huntsman Sr. The Wall Street Journal wrote today
One important supporter is Mr. Huntsman’s father, Jon Huntsman Sr., chairman of chemical giant Huntsman Corp. and a backer of Our Destiny PAC, a “Super PAC” boosting the Huntsman candidacy. The political action committee has made $2.4 million in expenditures so far, according to the Sunlight Foundation, a nonpartisan group tracking such spending.
Huntsman Sr.’s Huntsman Container Corp. is credited with creating
the Big Mac “clamshell” container. Huntsman Sr.has also (according to Forbes) donated $1.2 billion to charity, over the course of his lifetime. There had been reports about a Huntsman family “drama” over whether Huntsman Sr. would tap into his vast resources to provide the kind of funding that Jr. will need if he going to mount a serious challenge, this year. (2016 anybody?)
Huntsman Sr. was one of the three billionaires that Polico.com was referring to in a piece that ran this week titled, “3 Billionaires Who’ll Drag Out The Race”.
Billionaire number two is Foster Friess. Politico reports that
Friess, a Wyoming mutual fund master, acknowledged to POLITICO that he is a major financial backer of a super PAC supporting Rick Santorum called the Red, White and Blue Fund and is preparing to give more, but declined to say how much he has given or plans to give.
While nobody is denying that Friess is extremely wealthy, his name is nowhere to be found on the Forbes List of Billionaires.
On the other hand, Newt Gingrich’s sugar daddy, sorry; political benefactor, Sheldon Adelson; is number 8 on The Forbes 400. He is only $.5 billion “poorer” than George Soros, and he’s $.6 billion richer than Jim Walton (Walmart).
On January 7, The Wahsington Post reported
Casino mogul Sheldon Adelson has given $5 million to an independent committee supporting GOP presidential aspirant Newt Gingrich, the first of what is expected to be many millions the Las Vegas billionaire plans to spend this election year.
The check from Adelson is the latest in an avalanche of campaign cash flooding the presidential season to independent groups known as Super PACs The check was cut on Friday to Winning Our Future, a group run by former Gingrich associates, according to two people close to the donor.
Thanks to Adelson’s generosity, South Carolinians are being treated to a barrage of anti Romney campaign ads that attempt to portray Romney and Bain Capital as corporate raiders. Winning our Future has also produced a 28-minute film about Romney called “King of Bain”.
Today The Washington Post had this to say about “King of Bain”
The 29-minute video “King of Bain” is such an over-the-top assault on former Massachusetts governor Mitt Romney that it is hard to know where to begin. It uses evocative footage from distraught middle-class Americans who allege that Romney’s deal-making is responsible for their woes. It mixes images of closed factories and shuttered shops with video clips of Romney making him look foolish, vain or greedy. And it has a sneering voice-over that seeks to push every anti-Wall Street button possible.
On the Post’s “The Fact Checker” Page, “King of Bain” was awarded the not-so-coveted “4 Pinnochios” rating. Click here to read why “The Fact Checker” Gave “King of Bain” 4 Pinnochios
Today Gingrich said, “I am calling for the Winning Our Future super PAC supporting me to either edit its ‘King of Bain’ advertisement and movie to remove its inaccuracies, or to pull it off the air and off the Internet entirely.”
The Wall Street Journal also reported that
Mr. Gingrich said Mr. Romney should also ask super PACs backing him to remove any ads that contain inaccuracies. Mr. Romney has said that he isn’t responsible for the ads of pro-Romney super PACs, which by law can’t coordinate with the candidate.
Last night Stephen Colbert spoke with former FEC Chairman, Trevor Potter. Potter told Colbert “you cannot be a candidate and run a SuperPac. That would be coordinating with yourself.” Then Colbert brought Jon Stewart. Colbert asked Stewart if he would take over the Colbert SuperPac. Stewart expressed concern because as he put it “You and I are business” partner. Potter put their minds at rest when he explained that “being business partners does not count as co-ordination, legally.” Colbert and Stewart then signed the one page document that is required to transfer control of the SuperPac, from one person to anohter. Then Stewart noted that he was busy and he asked Potter if he could hire Colbert’s former SuperPac employees to run the now “Stewart controlled SuperPac. Answer – “Yes.”…As long as they have no knowledge of Stephen’s plans.” Colbert concluded by announcing that he was running for the Presidency of “The United States of South Carolina…God Bless Citizens United!” Click here to watch Stephen Colbert talk about non-coordination of his SuperPac
A former reporter with the Detroit Free Press, claims that he was on two occasions, harassed by private security guards working on behalf of billionaire Matty Moroun.
Reuters reported today that
Manuel “Matty” Moroun, an owner of the Detroit International Bridge Co that controls the Ambassador Bridge, along with company president Dan Stamper were booked at Wayne County Jail. They will be held until they comply with a February 2010 court order to complete the project, or until they no longer have the power to do so.
Joel Thurtell worked for the Detroit Free Press from 1983 until his retirement in 2007. Since then he has been writing a blog called Joeltheroad.com. He wrote on his blog on September 24, 2008
The billionaire owner of the Ambassador Bridge has grabbed parts of two City of Detroit Parks and — maybe to cover up his takeover — he’s banned photography from what remains of the publicly-owned park. He claims authority under Homeland Security, but city officials tell me the feds say he’s acting on his own.
I found out about this by accident on Monday, September 22, 2008, while exploring one of the parks.
I almost fell into Matty’s clutches.
One of his gunslingers tried to arrest me for taking photos in the city’s Riverside Extension Park.
Luckily, I made good my escape.
According to Thurtell, what happened on Sept 22, was his second run in with “Moroun’s Goons”.
First time it happened was Friday, September 19 on the Rouge River as I putt-putted in my motorboat up the freighter docking bay at SeverStal steel mill. A security guard huffed and puffed that I was boating in a “Marine Security Area” and had to get out pronto. He said he was going to take my boat number and report me to the Coast Guard. I reported on this incident in an earlier column, but since have talked to the Coast Guard and learned there are no boating restrictions on the Rouge River. The guard was full of crap. Nor did the SeverStal hired gun ever turn me in. He was REALLY full of crap.
Not surprisingly, Thurtell blogged today about Maroun. Read his post here.