“Michigan Governor Rick Snyder Political Suicide” image by DonkeyHotey | Flickr
On Tuesday this week, Michigan Governor Rick Snyder tweeted about “Lead Poisoning Prevention Week” with no apparent sense of irony whatsoever:
— Governor Rick Snyder (@onetoughnerd) October 25, 2016
The Twitter responses were swift, hilarious, and to the point. “Is this something from The Onion?” asked @stevegole. “If Tip #1 isn’t ‘Get a New Governor,’ somebody’s not doing their job,” tweeted @travisjohnson. And @BoredInfidel tweeted the obligatory, “Delete your account.”
I have a few tips of my own.
Tip #1 – Do not appoint a man with literally ZERO experience in managing water resources to lead the Dept. of Environmental Quality that oversees drinking water in our state. (Disgraced and former DEQ Director Dan Wyant has a bachelor’s degree in food systems management from Michigan State University and an MBA from American University in Washington, D.C.)
Tip #2 – Do not sign into law (TWICE!) legislation that robs communities of local democracy. (Snyder signed PA 436 – Michigan’s current anti-democratic Emergency Manager Law – into law less than a month after voters overturned its predecessor, PA 4.)
Tip #3 – Don’t run the state government “like a business.” (Businesses are out to make money and cut costs wherever possible. This philosophy of governance played an enormous role in decisions that were made that ultimately led to the poisoning of Flint’s drinking water with the powerful neurotoxin lead.)
Got some of your own? Let us know in the comments.
UPDATE: We got some good news about the effort to hold state officials culpable for their role in the poisoning of Flint:
The State of Michigan can be sued over allegations that the contamination of Flint’s drinking water damaged the health of residents and hurt the value of their properties, a Michigan Court of Claims judge has ruled.
Judge Mark Boonstra, in an opinion issued Wednesday, said that if proven true, allegations brought against Gov. Rick Snyder and other defendants by Melissa Mays and other Flint residents, “shock the conscience.”
Boonstra dismissed two counts against the state, but said two other counts may proceed to trial.
The lawsuit can proceed on allegations the state violated the due process clause of the state constitution by failing to protect Flint residents’ “bodily integrity,” Boonstra ruled. The suit can also proceed on allegations that state actions were a substantial cause of decline in Flint property values and the state “abused its powers” by “continuing to supply each water user with corrosive and contaminated water,” he said in a 50-page opinion released Thursday.
Boonstra dismissed two constitutional claims – one related to a state-created danger and one related to fair and just treatment.
Significantly, he also ruled that former Flint emergency managers Darnell Earley and Gerald Ambrose – both named as defendants in the lawsuit – were “state actors” in Flint, not local actors, as lawyers for the State of Michigan had argued.