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. But that didn’t work out very well did it? Instead, it cost jobs, made catching retailers who were overcharging without getting caught literally impossible, and made life much more confusing for shoppers, to the point that, as consumers, we just gave up and walked away from the quagmire this caused.

It should have been a warning that what we were going to be dealing with if Rick Snyder became the governor of Michigan, was to expect the unexpected. And Rick Snyder has NEVER disappointed in that regard!

We quickly learned that Rick Snyder would balance the state budget by taxing the retirement pensions of Michigan residents who never saw that coming and that, in some cases, forced good people to leave the state for a better tax situation. When one retires, they have to plan well in advance of that retirement date, naturally. So, when you plan to have a certain amount of money to live on once you retire and the equation changes significantly, it hurts you, your family, and your plans for retirement. Some just tightened the belt a bit more while others left the state. Others got part-time jobs in order to make ends meet.

ImpureMich_Meme4Welcome to Rick Snyder’s Michigan.

I won’t get into a drawn out examination of the almost $2 billion tax break for Michigan businesses or the personal property tax break that has cost us all, for now anyway, but let that be part of this conversation.

From there we have a whole array of issues to choose from. But I want to focus for just a moment on Right to Work. The now-infamous statement repeated ad nauseum – “this is not on my agenda” – became so routine that most people believed it hook, line, and sinker. But, as we know, it WAS on his agenda and he signed it into law in what is proudly the birthplace of organized labor. It iss an insulting, unfair, unjustified law that allows companies and “management” to legally and willfully cheat workers out of decades of progress, sacrifice, and commitment and has begun what we continue to see as obstruction for workers across the state and sweeping the country.

The continuing and embarrassing ill-titled Education Achievement Authority (EAA) is a national disgrace. The EAA is beyond comprehensible and has eroded public education in this state to its lowest marks in decades. The corruption, disgrace, waste of money, lies, untested and inadequate technology, and the culture of mistrust of teachers and the system is unbelievable. It should be not only disbanded, the students that are trapped in the EAA should be compensated in some way for being robbed of a constitutionally-mandated education. If it weren’t for very good people like Dr. Steve Wellinski at Eastern Michigan University, the over 6,000 people in the Facebook group Save Michigan Public Schools headed by Rochelle Noel, and so many other pro-public education groups, the public education issues that are still being ignored would not be discussed any longer. Thankfully for all of us, those activists are not letting these issues die a slow death. They continue to fight back.

From there we can simply look at issues that weren’t on Gov. Snyder’s agenda but that he ended up signing into law, willingly and without remorse. Rape insurance. Myriad anti-democratic laws that limit our voting access and rights. Legislation legalizing disgusting amounts of unlimited money to be donated to secret PACs (of which Snyder himself benefits from) without even a trace of where those donations come from and where they are going.

The Straits of Mackinaw should be a top-of-mind and top-of-news story as the over 50-year old pipeline carrying crude oil and natural gas has the realistic potential to fail at ANY time. We were told, as recently as this week, that another priority is that this infamous Line #5 be addressed and fixed. Of course it does, and yes, there is yet another commission to deal with this issue. However, the lobbyists who control that issue have more money than you or I so they can continue to fund efforts to stall this for as long as they possibly can. If, God forbid, Line #5 fails, that will be international news of the worst kind and do we really need yet another environmental disaster on our hands?

From there we can turn to the ongoing and the unanswered questions about the Courser/Gamrat scandal and the question of what Rick Snyder knew and when he knew it. It matters, of course, but one controversy seems to meld into the next one before we can get answers to the first one.

I could go on and on and I am positive that as you are reading this you are saying to yourself, “What about issue A or issue B?” I get that but there are just too many to list them all. But I think my point is made.

As the Flint water crisis unfolds, it has become very clear that Gov. Snyder is way out of his league as it relates to dealing with major issues. His responses are not just inadequate, they are disingenuous and insulting to those who have two brain cells to rub together. I’m sure you share my outrage over the lies and prestidigitation presented by the governor and his administration. It’s no surprise that those closest to the cover-up, spokespersons for both the governor’s office and the MDEQ just happened to be married (Sara and Brad Wurful.) Gov. Snyder is now blaming those who cannot defend themselves to justify why little has been done to this point in Flint and he is presenting a version of what happened that anyone with a search engine can easily refute. It is no longer a matter of IF he should resign, but when he will be forced to resign. After all that has transpired – the lies, the revised timelines, the lack of action on a critical community health disaster, etc. – even Gov. Snyder’s stoic seriousness now that this has become international news is not enough to save him.

Resigning will not correct anything. It will not turn back the hands of time and heal those who are or will become sick. It will not help the children who most certainly will have to deal with the impacts of lead poisoning for their whole lives. It won’t help the elderly and other adults who may end up with severe kidney problems. It won’t prevent the LONG train of lawsuits that will make many lawyers wealthy and cost us the taxpayer untold billions of dollars. No, resigning will not correct any of that. But, what it will do is finally and completely demonstrate to all of us that you really do take responsibility for what happened and that, by resigning, have allowed someone other than you to do what needs to be done quickly and immediately.

SnyderMorningJoeRick, as long as you are there obstructing the truth and playing mind and word games, which you are not any good at anyway, this will not be resolved in an expedient way and you know it.

Resign. Not for me or others who just don’t like you and what you have done to this state; do it for the people of Flint who deserve more then you can give them. By resigning you will send the message loud and clear that this is your fault and it would be best if someone else were in place to lead this effort to help where help is needed.

You’ve proven to the people of Michigan that we can’t trust your words or your actions. Don’t you see that it’s too late for you to change that now?

I do and I know I am not alone.