Friday, August 19, 2016




AUGUST 19, 2016


The Detroit Free Press reports that Federal Assistance in purchasing bottled water and filters for the residents of Flint is about to expire. The federal contribution is  two to one match to Michigan's spending. By the end of the month, Governor Rick Snyder and Michigan taxpayers will need to pick up the entire tab. The cost is in excess of $100,00 per day.

The termination of funding comes at no surprise. What is rather disturbing is that efforts in the Senate to extend financial assistance for Flint has repeatedly been obstructed by two members. No surprise, one is Ted Cruz.

Governor Rick Snyder has dragged his feet first in acknowledging the poisoning existed, denying any culpability, pledging his personal commitment to see this through to resolution and the ensuing investigation resulted in securing legal defense at taxpayer expense and final result in placing criminal culpability upon on a half dozen DEQ employees. 

Marc Edwards, Virginia Tech professor and hero in the exposure of the negligent and incompetent handling of Flint water reports there has been measurable improvement to the presence of lead. However, it remains "unsafe to drink."


We know that the country rallied to aid Flint as it unfolded. Numerous individual donations came from celebrities, Cher, Jimmy Fallon and many others. For months both active and retired UAW members raised funding, purchased water, trucked it to Flint, distributed block by block. Local television news reports of union plumbers donating their time to replace lead pipes with local Plumbing supply companies providing the materiel.

At the same time the governor called in a paltry twenty (20) National Guardsman in response to his Declaration of Disaster.  I do not recall Rick Snyder thanking the UAW as one who is out to destroy worker union movement.

Noticeably absent is that conservative and Republican entities failure to step to the plate. At least if they did, they chose to remain "anonymous" to the public and voters. Right. If you believe that there is a privately owned International Bridge you can purchase. No reports of personal or non-profit Republican or conservative contribution including former Governor John Engler (who cannot escape controversy) the wealthy DeVoss Family and Nestle Corporation.

Nestle is pumping fresh water in Northern Michigan at a rate of 315,000 gallons per hour for huge profit. It was John Engler as governor who approved a "fluid" deal between Nestle and the State DNR. The terms call for a 99 year-lease at $70,000. I believe it is safe to suspect that many politicians profited on the side with a Nestle "Crunch" to Michigan's budget.


In the Governor's State of the State address, just as the crisis was revealed, Rick Snyder humbly performed before the Legislature and the citizens of Michigan to accept his "responsibility" for the "mistakes" occurring in Flint. In answer to those outraged calling for his immediate resignation, he held firm to a promise to see this through to an acceptable resolution in Flint.

It took the pressure of the Executive branch to achieve Republican approval to finance a paltry $475 million to address a $1.5 billion conservative estimate to remedy the unacceptable poison in Flint's water and no visible commitment to replace the infrastructure in poverty-ridden neighborhoods. There was no action to end the Emergency Manager Law enacted even though Michigan voters rejected it at the polls.

Since mid-January when Snyder declared the emergency, seven months have elapsed. As much of the country, the summer months have seen lower levels of rainfall. Flint and Michigan suffer unemployment much higher than the reported national average of 5% as high as 40% and higher among black youth.

This is the time for the Republican Party to admit the error of their "business savvy method of government" and to accept "responsibility" in contributing to the deaths and permanent injury to the children of Flint. 

Somehow, someway the "accounting, numbers nerd" governor could have at least attempted a massive program throughout the State of Michigan to first replace lead pipes in Flint and address the problem in other communities. One could foresee, thousands of new jobs created, communities coming together in to achieve a goal, a model for the nation. One could envision, contractors and suppliers coming in with under bids, a sacrifice of huge profit, placing a workforce on a 24/7 schedule to complete the project before Labor Day. The contractors and suppliers could act out of a call to something they may have never contemplated: Patriotism.

A great accomplishment, a public works project to rebuild a decaying infrastructure, restore clean and safe water and possibly restore the people's faith in government.

Michigan could have restored what the national electorate has been clamoring for years. A government "by the People and for the People."

Once again, Republicans failed to take a political advantage by their indifference to the basic needs for the PEOPLE. Once again, it is their choice for profit over equality and basic human rights.

Instead, Governor Rick Snyder the "businessman approach to governing," a complacent and subservient Republican Legislature and the interests of the wealthy they chose to represent serves as proof to voters across the country that the Republican Party is first in corruption, complacency and criminal in the hypocrisy of their oath of office.

Finally, there is disappointment in the court system that has obstructed the addition of a recall of Governor Rick Snyder on the November ballot. This is alarming as it is defies the spirit of our Constitution in the Right of the People to remove tyranny from governing.

With the Presidential Election now eighty-one days away, the tragedy of Flint, the indifference of a State government to basic health and safety of citizens, the Michigan story must come to forefront as critical issue.  

There is corruption in government and Michigan is a poster child. Let us hope, the Democratic Party purge their own culprits and pick up the baton in a charge toward truth.

UPDATE: This morning, Saturday, August 20, 2016, WDIV-TV (Detroit) reports that 220 - 250 Flint homes are undergoing lead pipe replacement. This after more than seven months since the declared State of Emergency. This is unacceptable. Further, 5,000 more homes will begin replacement in October! How many months or years will be involved in this project? Once again, had this occurred in Grand Rapids, Lansing or Bloomfield Hills, the problem would be in the past.


With Donald Trump dominating the news, the FLINT WATER CRISIS has all but disappeared from the nation's consciousness. When the largest failure of local government broke in January, Governor Rick Snyder declared Flint as emergency crisis and his call to President Obama resulted in declaring the water crisis as Federal Emergency. 

However, FEMA could not intervene with billions of federal relief due to the fact, Flint is not the result of a catastrophe. The Governor must have felt devastated. As a Republican, in the mold of the Koch Brothers backed to defeat liberal Democrats on the State level, Snyder was forced to rely upon Michigan's nefarious General Fund and a reported $1 Billion surplus to address the failure of his own failures in policy, illegal emergency manager act and his own culpability as an alleged criminal.

This was February 2016 as the Presidential debates began. Bernie Sanders and Hillary Clinton debated in Flint to draw national attention and the ire of the American people. Both candidates condemned the Governor and only Bernie Sanders called for his immediate removal from office. To most observers and to the victims in Flint, the Democratic calls for his removal were not out of line.

Republican candidate Donald Trump describes just last night as the one who "will always tell the truth" even if it shakes the power brokers within his own party. He constantly labels his opponent as "Crooked Hillary." I wonder how Donald Trump would describe Rick Snyder?