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#FlintWaterCrisis news round-up: Let them drink lead, we’re eating very, very expensive cake (and much more)

While Flint contends with poisoned water, Gov. Snyder throws an opulent party in Ann Arbor

Mark Maynard has an explosive post up at his site that starts with a description of a party he had gotten wind of:

I got word this past weekend that there was a secret party taking place in downtown Ann Arbor, a posh event inside an upscale restaurant. The windows of the restaurant, I was told, had been “blacked out,” and there was security outside.

The party turned out to be thrown by Gov. Rick Snyder at Ann Arbor’s West End Grill for his wife’s birthday.…

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Michigan Dems offer a one-sentence bill to repeal Emergency Manager Law that GOP apologists irrationally still defend

Michigan Dems offer a one-sentence bill to repeal Emergency Manager Law that GOP apologists irrationally still defend

On Monday, Michigan Democrat David Knezek introduced Senate Bill 734. The bill contains a single sentence:

The local financial stability and choice act, 2012 PA 436, MCL 141.1541 to 141.1575, is repealed.

Wouldn’t it be beautiful if the entire anti-democratic failed experiment known as Michigan’s Emergency Manager law, a law and policy that has done so much harm to our state, was brought down with a single sentence?

There has never been a time in Michigan when it was more clear that taking away democracy with the imposition of an Emergency Manager and the entire concept of Emergency Management is completely flawed and failed.…

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At Congressional hearing on #FlintWaterCrisis, Republicans go after the EPA, Democrats go after the truth

At Congressional hearing on #FlintWaterCrisis, Republicans go after the EPA, Democrats go after the truth

At today’s hearing on the Flint water crisis before the House Oversight and Government Reform, Democratic committee members made it clear time and time again that the poisoning of Flint’s drinking water with lead was the responsibility of the state government and the administration of Gov. Rick Snyder.

On the other hand, Republican committee members spent the vast majority of their time trying to prove that the entire problem was the fault of the US Environmental Protection Agency (EPA). This is clear from who actually gave testimony at the hearing.

Dan Wyant, the disgraced former director of the Department of Environmental Quality (DEQ), was appointed by the governor and was a man with no previous experience with drinking water or with the treatment of water to ensure its safety.…

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BREAKING: Former Flint Emergency Manager, current overseer of Detroit Schools to resign, refusing to testify before Congress

Darnell Earley, the former Flint Emergency Manager and current Detroit Public Schools Emergency Manager will resign on February 29th according to a statement released by Gov. Snyder this morning on the state website.

Earley, who has denied he was responsible for any of the problems in Flint or Detroit Schools, is quoted in the statement as basically saying, “Mission Accomplished”:

When I was appointed to this position, Gov. Snyder and I agreed that our goal was for me to be the last emergency manager appointed to DPS. I have completed the comprehensive restructuring, necessary to downsizing the central office, and the development of a network structure that empowers the educational leadership of our schools to direct more resources toward classroom instruction.…
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As we learn more about the #FlintWaterCrisis, now what?

In comments here at Eclectablog and in many other media spaces around the globe, people are clamoring for the resignation of Michigan Governor Rick Snyder. For Michigan residents, that call has been ringing in the halls of this great state almost from the moment he was sworn into office for his first term.

If we get into the “Way Back Machine”, we will remember that in his first State of the State address Gov. Snyder announced that, as a result of his research, it was time to get rid of item pricing in retail stores. This, he said, would save consumers money, make life easier, and provide an easier path to making sure you weren’t being overcharged.…

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Emergency Management now a "thing". First Michigan, then Indiana, then New Jersey, and now Illinois

Emergency Management now a “thing”. First Michigan, then Indiana, then New Jersey, and now Illinois

One of the reasons I have written about Emergency Management in Michigan ad nauseum is because I contend that we are the testing ground for this anti-democratic move in state governments, the “beta testers”, if you will. With the evidence now in and showing it to be a colossal failure, other states are still moving forward with it. Indiana was the first. They were followed by New Jersey. And now it’s Illinois

First, let’s take a look at what’s happening in New Jersey. Atlantic City is struggling under an implosion of their gaming industry which has cratered their city budget (no thanks, in part, to presidential candidate Donald Trump.) Their emergency manager recommended passage of a package of bills to bail out the beleaguered city and the man who appointed him, presidential candidate Gov.…

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If I were to write Governor Snyder’s State of the State Address, January 19, 2016 would stand alone in history

Most of you don’t know that I have literally written thousands of speeches, not for myself, but for many leaders in organized labor, titans of industry, and some serious politicians, some of whom are serving today. These speeches are written within the guidelines of confidential agreements and I have always taken this job very seriously, paying a great deal of attention to the person’s natural delivery and passion, or sometimes the lack thereof.

As I was writing my column for today, and this is NOT it (well, it is now), it occurred to me that if Governor Rick Snyder sought me out to help with his State of the State Address, it would go something like what I am about to write.…

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Why is the man most to blame for the #FlintWaterCrisis, Darnell Earley, still the Emergency Manager of Detroit schools?

Why is the man most to blame for the #FlintWaterCrisis, Darnell Earley, still the Emergency Manager of Detroit schools?

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– Chris

On April 16, 2013, Flint Emergency Manager Ed Kurtz signed an agreement on behalf of the city to form a new water district that would, when the project was completed, get its water from Lake Huron via a new pipeline. The decision was made in order save money since water from the Detroit Water and Sewerage Department (DWSD) was very expensive.…

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Rick Snyder owes a lot more to the kids who were poisoned by his governance

An apology must be just the beginning of the investment that must be made to rebuild the city

This week the people of Flint, Michigan finally got an apology from the governor who appointed both the Emergency Manager who approved the poisoning of the city’s water and the Michigan Department of Environmental Quality officials who dismissed citizens’ “perfectly legitimate scientific concern” about the water.

He also accepted the resignation of two of MDEQ employees. More should be on the way.

His “very sorry” will do nothing to avoid the permanent damage to kids’ IQs and emotional stability that is likely because the city’s water simply wasn’t properly treated and, rather than accept that reality, the state covered it up.…

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The kids of Flint have been poisoned due to Rick Snyder’s “truly unbelievable, reckless radicalism”

The Flint water crisis was declared a state of emergency by Mayor Karen Weaver this week — something we’ve known for months. But much of the nation still has no idea what has been perpetrated against the people of this battered city.

One person is trying to change that.

“Governor, the water of the city of Flint, Michigan has been poisoned,” MSNBC’s Rachel Maddow explained on Friday night in an 18-minute segment that connects the crime that has been committed against the people of Flint to the undemocratic hijacking of local governments through the Emergency Manager law(s), which she calls “truly unbelievable, reckless radicalism,” and the gross incompetence of both the emergency managers and the man who appointed them — Governor Rick Snyder.…

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Michigan's Emergency Managers were supposed to fix corruption and ineptitude. They haven't.

Michigan’s Emergency Managers were supposed to fix corruption and ineptitude. They haven’t.

The primary justification for Emergency Financial Managers or Emergency Managers in Michigan from the very earliest iterations (and continuing through to today) is that some cities and school districts were just too full of corruption and ineptitude that the state needed to swoop in and save the day.

However, this easy answer has turned out not have been the silver bullet its proponents had promised it would be. In fact, cities and school districts with Emergency Managers aren’t doing much better now than they were before.

In 2011, Pontiac’s Emergency Financial Manager Lou Schimmel outsourced the city’s water treatment to a company facing 26 felony Clean Water Act violations.…

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