Michigan governor Rick Snyder. (photo: Carlos Osorio/AP)
Charles Pierce | Esquire | Reader Supported News | January 25, 2016
Rick Snyder is done. He’s toast.
t’s really time for Governor Rick Snyder to go. It’s impossible to imagine him continuing to do his job if the e-mails yet to come about the poisoning of the city of Flint reflect as badly on his administration as today’s batch do. Therein we find negligence, incompetence, buck-passing ,and ass-covering in the extreme. It’s plain that political considerations were paramount when the news of what had happened in Flint first reached Lansing.
In the e-mails, Muchmore wrote that U.S. Rep. Dan Kildee, D-Flint Township, was “engaged in his normal press hound routine” after the congressman issued a press release noting he’d asked the EPA to help the state deal with the crisis. Muchmore added that then-mayor Dayne Walling “went out on a CYA effort due to the election.” They also show doubts about returning Flint to the Detroit system and even questioning if the reports of higher lead levels are accurate. “They can’t reconnect to DWSD even if they wanted to as they sold the connector line,” Muchmore wrote Sept. 26. “And, especially with the new rate increases in Detroit, their citizens would be less able to pay than they already are. Now we have the anti everything group turning to the lead content which is a concern for everyone, but DEQ and DHHS and EPA can’t find evidence of a major change per Geralyn’s memo below.”
Later, of course, under the expanded emergency-manager law that was a pet project of Snyder’s from the time he was inaugurated, Mayor Walling was replaced by an “emergency manager”—the city has had four of them since Snyder expanded the law—under whom the switch from the DWSD to the Flint River was completed. By the time the crisis was brewing underground, the elected local officials of the city of Flint had virtually no power at all. It’s hard to imagine that this crisis would have come to the point to which it has come if the people responsible for it actually had to face the voters. At the very least, Snyder may have to have a chat with Congress about the whole thing.