New records: Gov. Snyder ignored numerous warnings about Flint water and new pipeline

Gov. Rick Snyder and Emergency Manager Darnell Earley.

Gov. Rick Snyder and Emergency Manager Darnell Earley.

By Steve Neavling
Motor City Mucrkraker

When Flint began drawing its water from the Flint River in April 2014, a decision that led to the poisoning of tens of thousands of people, state officials washed their hands of blame.

But e-mails and documents obtained this week by Motor City Muckraker show that Gov. Snyder and Flint’s emergency managers repeatedly lied about their role in the process and even knew of the dangers of using the Flint River and the financial and operational risks of building a new pipeline.

On March 7, 2014, Flint Emergency Manager Darnell Earley wrote in an e-mail to the Detroit Water and Sewerage Department (DWSD) that he was not interested in a short-term contract to avoid using the Flint River, despite serious concerns raised by the Michigan Department of Environmental Quality in 2012.

“There will be no need for Flint to continue purchasing water (from DWSD) to serve its residents and businesses after April 17, 2014,” Earley wrote to DWSD Director Sue McCormick.

But months later, after studies began to show dangerously elevated levels of lead from Flint River water, Earley and Snyder both claimed the emergency manager was forced to use the river because DWSD insisted it would cut off the city without a long-term contract.

“The Detroit Water and Sewer Department at the time, back last spring, said, ‘Hey, we’re gonna cut you off,’” Snyder spokeswoman Sara Wurfell told the ACLU.

Snyder made the same claim during his State of the State earlier this month.

Those claims are untrue. Records show that DWSD urgently tried to get Flint to sign a short-term contract to avoid the health dangers of the Flint River.

But state officials, including Earley, who is now the emergency manager of Detroit Public Schools, insisted on using the Flint River and signed off on the decision.

Gov. Snyder lied: Flint water switch was not about saving money, records show

Documents also call into question whether the switch to a new pipeline was about saving money.   

DWSD offered a deal that would have saved Flint $800 million, which was 20% more inexpensive than switching to the Karegnondi Water Authority.

What’s more, an engineering firm hired by the state’s Department of Treasury released a study in February 2013 that expressed concerns about the financial and operational risks of building the KWA pipeline, which had already cost 24% more than originally projected, and that’s not including anticipated cost overruns in the future.

Many of the concerns involved the risks of building a new system and officials’ failure to acknowledge that the KWA pipeline would be more expensive than they were telling the public.

“There is a concern over the ability of smaller systems (KWA) over larger systems (DWSD) to pay for future unfunded mandates and regulations,” the report states. “Obviously, identifying regulation requirements over 30 years is hard to determine. However, it is widely accepted that a large system has greater ability to respond to unfunded mandates because the cost can be distributed over a large customer base.”

The reported added: “DWSD has backup power at all of its major facilities supplying Flint. The KWA system will not have a redundant power at its pumping facilities. This would be a major risk.”

Bill Johnson, who was hired in May 2013 to discourage Flint from building a new pipeline or using the Flint River, said he was baffled by the state’s response.

“There was nothing we could do to make them sign a contact,” Johnson told Motor City Muckraker on Monday. “They already had made up their minds. They wouldn’t even entertain an offer.”

Johnson told Motor City Muckraker that Snyder was to blame.

“This was all the governor’s decision,” Johnson said. “It was a political decision that had nothing to do with saving money for Flint.”

Curt Guyette, an investigative reporter who works for the ACLU of Michigan, also revealed through deposition records that the DEQ warned of the dangers of using the Flint River, prompting then-Emergency Manager Ed Kurtz to reject the river as a source of drinking water in December 2012.

What’s unclear is why state officials still went ahead with the plan.

“The insistence of Flint officials to pursue construction of the KWA pipeline can only be attributed to a ‘political’ objective that has nothing to do with the delivery – or the price – of water,” DWSD said in a press release on April 1, 2013. “Flint’s fiscal integrity is stake. And the State of Michigan has an obligation to prevent the distressed city from dragging DWSD and the region into a deeper financial quagmire.”

That same month, McCormick wrote in an email that said she was disappointed with Flint’s refusal to entertain an offer for a short-term solution until the pipeline was built.

“We are disappointed,” she wrote. “Over the past two years, my staff worked tirelessly to have Flint remain a valued customer. We presented what we believed to be worthwhile operational and cost-saving options that would have been mutually beneficial to all parties.”

When the city began using the Flint River in April 2014, officials acknowledged in a press release, “Even with a proven track record of providing perfectly good water for Flint, there still remains lingering uncertainty about the quality of the water.”

Snyder has refused to release e-mails from 2012 and 2013 that may shed light on why state officials moved forward with the plan to use the Flint River despite numerous concerns.

Snyder’s office won’t return our calls.

Steve Neavling

Steve Neavling lives and works in Detroit as an investigative journalist. His stories have uncovered corruption, led to arrests and reforms and prompted FBI investigations.

  • Shatner

    This line “20% more inexpensive” troubles me, seems like an more inefficient use of language.

  • disqus654e9725qwe

    Steve:

    You know damn well DWSD was doing everything in their power to lure Flint back into their corrupt machine because they employ 1,500 worthless cronies each making $87,000 per year. 81% of their staff does NOTHING.

    see: http://www.mlive.com/news/detroit/index.ssf/2012/08/detroit_water_and_sewerage_dep_1.html

  • disqus654e9725qwe

    Steve:

    “On March 7, 2014, Flint Emergency Manager Darnell Earley wrote in an e-mail to the Detroit Water and Sewerage Department (DWSD) that he was not interested in a short-term contract to avoid using the Flint River…”

    What were the terms of this? e.g. How much per month?

  • Charles Stuart

    Who hired Bill Johnson to discourage the building of the pipeline?

    • Hank

      Who is Bill Johnson?

    • Greg Branch

      Paragraph right under the rate projection graph above: “Bill Johnson, who was hired in May 2013 to discourage Flint from building a new pipeline or using the Flint River, said he was baffled by the state’s response.” He now has a private PR firm (the documentation this story refers to is being passed out by him; it’s right on his website: http://billjohnsondetroit.com/) working for DWSD. Several stories have listed him as being on DWSD’s payroll as a PR/communications person.

      • Trexinmichigan

        Greg, you’re a paid hack,knock it off. This ain’t our first rodeo with the clowns in Lansing.

  • Theoldlady

    Let’s talk about pipes for a moment; Where do the sewer pipes go to? Are they in the underground tunnels along with the water drain off system that drains into the Flint river? Or do they go somewhere else? How are they routed? I saw a video one time of my grandson taking a TV crew in the underground drainage tunnels and I saw some big pipes overhead in the video. What were they? All you have to do is to lift up a manhole cover and you are able to get into the drainage system. Kids used to go down there from time to time for 2 of my nephews were drowned in there due to a flash flood.

  • Theoldlady

    Let’s talk about pipes for a moment; Where do the sewer pipes go to? Are they in the underground tunnels along with the water drain off system that drains into the Flint river? Or do they go somewhere else? How are they routed? I saw a video one time of my grandson taking a TV crew in the underground drainage tunnels and I saw some big pipes overhead in the video. What were they? All you have to do is to lift up a manhole cover and you are able to get into the drainage system. Kids used to go down there from time to time for 2 of my nephews were drowned in there due to a flash flood.

    • Greg Branch

      Sewer pipes run to a wastewater treatment plant, where solids are strained out, dried and disposed of and water is treated before being released — usually into a river. It works very much like a giant, mechanized (and accelerated) septic tank.

      Water pipes are usually buried about four feet below the ground (just below the frost line). Sewer pipes are generally down about six feet, and even deeper in the street. They really don’t come close to each other.

      • Theoldlady

        So you know for sure this is they way it is in Flint.And what were the pipes overhead inside the drainage system leading to the Flint river? I know how a water treatment plant works for I worked for one in Lenoir, N.C. where I had to go around the neighborhoods collecting both sewer water and drinking water for testing and did some testing also. All of it also went into the same river. A friend of mine while living in Flint, worked for the city water department, and told a story of how he was in the underground tunnel working on some pipes and someone flushed a toilet giving him a face full of nasty sewer water. Funny but true.

  • luc skinster

    I love that picture of early, that’s what you call a “sh*t eatin’ grin”.

    • Trexinmichigan

      Hopefully,not for long.

    • disqus654e9725qwe

      He makes $250K+ to sit on his -ss and act like a king. Apparently he’s the cockiest (and dumbest) SOB there is.

  • bebow

    I’m getting the impression the state’s plan is to attempt to go with a cheap and dirty “fix” in Flint, waiting for a protective coating to reform inside the old lead pipes. The pipes may have been damaged and weakened beyond safe usage during exposure to the corrosive water. Someone should investigate this before the government’s steamrolling efforts begin.
    http://www.freep.com/story/news/local/michigan/flint-water-crisis/2016/01/27/groups-judge-order-state-fix-flint-water-lines/79356978/

    • javierjuanmanuel

      to what extent have they been damaged, these terms gt thrown around. Is the wall thickness still the same?

      People make it sound like these pipes were 1 inch thick, eaten away by acid, to paper thin wall thickness.

      Anyways, lead is a base element, it is ok or its not. Lead pipes were legal according to big government, a full 8 years after lead paint was banned.

      Its not a big deal.

  • Greg Branch

    I’m having a real hard time understanding how people can read Darnell Earley’s letter turning down Detroit’s offer of an interim supply and think that it somehow negated the termination of contract notice DWSD sent a year before.

    I’m also having a hard time understanding why all the investigative journalists working on this have never bothered to explore what is probably the central question that would answer why Flint went to the Flint River as a source: What was Detroit offering for interim supply?

    Whether you’re doing intentionally or not, that’s where you’re confusing people. The termination notice came a year earlier, after Flint rejected the offer referred to in the “incriminating” email.

    Here’s the scenario: Flint looks into joining KWA. Detroit, realizing they might lose their biggest customer, falls all over themselves trying to put together an offer that gets them to stay. Sort of like Charter and Comcast do when you call to cancel your service. “We’ll be different,” they promise, “we can change.”

    There’s also the question over how realistic DWSD’s projections were. If you talk to anyone who’s ever been a wholesale customer of DWSD, they’ll tell you that they haven’t exactly been real good at controlling rate increases within projections. The word “gouge” gets used a lot in these conversations.

    So Flint decides to go with KWA, effectively telling Detroit that in two to three years, they’ll be moving their business elsewhere. If you’re Detroit, what do you do? Work to negotiate an interim rate that makes everyone happy?

    No. The very next day, you give them their one-year notice of termination.

    Why? I can think of only two possible explanations. You’re doing it out of spite (“I’ll show you, Ed Kurtz … take your supply line and shove it.”)

    Or you’re doing it because that means you have Flint over a barrel when it comes to negotiating an interim rate. You see where I’m going with this?

    At this point, the rates in the April 2013 proposal are off the table. And I think the real story, that nobody’s looking into — and, obviously, Bill Johnson is being paid well lure people away from — is what DWSD offered Flint for an interim supply.

    Having been Darnell Earley’s boss for eight years, I can tell you that he’s the wrong guy to think you’ll get to do something because you have him over a barrel.

    Of course nobody’s asking that question because that might suggest that at least one causative link in this whole mess was the result of something other than malevolence on the part of Republicans or their appointees. Which is simply an unfathomable level of disingenuousness for people who call themselves “investigative journalists.”

    And, ultimately, the focus we have seen on the causative chain is an exercise in political navel-gazing. (Well, except for Guyette, whose crusade is the EM law.) Good, bad, somewhere in between, every decision that got made from the inception of KWA to the application to turn on the Flint plant to treat Flint River Water would not have mattered a whit had the DEQ done its job and issued the permit with the right treatment protocols — and then not been dismissive assholes when people questioned them. Period.

    Imagine if we applied the logic I see here to a traffic accident. I pull out of my driveway. I stop at a stop light. A pedestrian is crossing and doesn’t get across before the light changes; I wait for him. I get a few blocks, and my wife calls me and asks me to stop at the store. I leave the store. A crew is working on the street; there’s a detour. I turn down the detour and come to a light. It’s green, and I start through. And a car blasts through the red light and T-bones me.

    So who’s fault is that accident? The pedestrian who slowed me down? My wife, for asking me to stop at the store? The clerk in the store who took too long to give me my change? The crew working on the street? Any of the people or circumstances that affected the timing of things to put me in that intersection at that second?

    If so, the guy who blew the light is going to be pretty pissed, because he has to pay for the ticket.

    DEQ blew the light. Former DEQ director created a culture in which lights were a suggestion. Governor allowed that culture to happen. It really doesn’t need to be more complicated than that, folks.

    • windsorsentinel

      Wow you made it far more complicated than it actually is and end it with “doesn’t need to be complicated than that”.
      You scenario is a complete head scratcher. The car who blasts through a red light is clearly at fault everything before that is completely irrelevant. Just as most of the information you added with respect to the negotiations between Detroit and Flint is irrelevant and serves no purpose other than to muddy the waters (no pun intended)
      No matter how you slice this, people knew there was a risk of highly corrosive river water causing lead to leach into the water supply. The move went ahead anyway. The ultimate responsibility for that lays with the person who held the authority to make that decision. That person is the EM who reports only to the man who appointed him to that position…Gov Snyder.

      • Greg Branch

        The river water is NOT “highly corrosive.” It is no more “corrosive” than the raw water going into Detroit’s system. The corrosion comes from the chlorine-based chemicals used to kill bacteria in the water.

        Had the phosphates the EPA protocol requires been added to the water, it would have been no different than Detroit’s water. DEQ issues the permit that spells out the protocol, and they issued one for a municipality that doesn’t have the volume of older lead and iron pipes that Flint has. DEQ ran the red light.

        The governor appoints the EM, but the EM doesn’t report to the governor. He reports to the treasurer. But the ultimate responsibility lies with the DEQ. Everything else is the most bizarre hair-splitting that mostly have to do with people believing that it’s all because the river water is “corrosive.”

        • windsorsentinel

          Greg, my grandfather used to say “when you find yourself in a hole…stop digging”

          From Popular Science:
          “What’s in the Flint River?

          Lots of chloride ions, for starters. Chloride can occur naturally in
          rivers but may also be added by road salting, according to Marc Edwards,
          the lead Virginia Tech researcher testing Flint Water. Because of the
          chloride ions, the Flint River is 19 times more corrosive
          than the city’s previous source of water. The river water corroded city
          pipes, and the corroded pipes leached lead into drinking water.”
          Flint officials could have avoided the crisis by adding orthophosphate to neutralize the chloride, says Edwards. Half the water companies in the country add this chemical to community water sources to prevent pipe corrosion, but Flint officials skipped that step (which costs $100 a day).”
          Further, it is completely untrue that the EM doesn’t report to Snyder. Snyder is the ONLY person to whom the EM is responsible. The Treasurer has no authority whatsoever to direct, nor overrule any decision by the EM.
          I sincerely hope that your personal connection to the EM doesn’t mean you have any authoritative influence on public policy.

          • Greg Branch

            I stand corrected. The greater point, however, is that despite the presence of higher chloride ion in the raw water, phosphate treatments, which should be mandated for Flint, were not when DEQ issued the permit.

            The emergency manager serves “at the pleasure of the governor,” but reports to the treasurer. And the law says the governor may delegate his supervisory responsibilities over the EM to the treasurer. You think this governor didn’t do that?

        • Rick Snyder PR

          “The river water is NOT “highly corrosive.” It is no more “corrosive” than the raw water going into Detroit’s system.”

          That is actually flat out untrue. I would like to hire you for our PR team.

        • Sayeed2k

          You don’t do a dramatic change like the what was proposed without testing first. Its not because the proffessionals didnt know what to do. No its because the governor had the MDEQ fail to do its job. Its because the Governor had the MDPH fail to do its job.

          • javierjuanmanuel

            How did the governor fail to have people on the clock, on salary fail to do there job. Explain how that works?

          • Sayeed2k

            Prior to the switch the Michigan Department of Environmental Quality was asked its opinion about the use of the Flint River as an alternative to Detroit’s water. MDEQ pointed out that the Flint River was the most polluted river in Michigan and could possibly damage the water pipes used by the City. The Emergency Manager at the time advised against the use of the Flint River . The Governor ignored MDEQ’s warning directed the Emergency Manager to change his decision and he was latter replaced with a more pliable EM, Darnell Early. MDEQ seeing which way the wind was blowing did everything in their power to make the switch. Meanwhile the Michigan Department of Public Health sat on data 2 months after the switch that showed that the lead levels in the blood of Flint’s children was rising after a 20 year decline. Simultaneously the Governor’s office was denouncing a local Flint doctor who was complaining about the lead levels she found in her patients (children).

          • Sayeed2k

            Prior to the switch the Michigan Department of Environmental Quality was asked its opinion about the use of the Flint River as an alternative to Detroit’s water. MDEQ pointed out that the Flint River was the most polluted river in Michigan and could possibly damage the water pipes used by the City. The Emergency Manager at the time advised against the use of the Flint River . The Governor ignored MDEQ’s warning directed the Emergency Manager to change his decision and he was latter replaced with a more pliable EM, Darnell Early. MDEQ seeing which way the wind was blowing did everything in their power to make the switch. Meanwhile the Michigan Department of Public Health sat on data 2 months after the switch that showed that the lead levels in the blood of Flint’s children was rising after a 20 year decline. Simultaneously the Governor’s office was denouncing a local Flint doctor who was complaining about the lead levels she found in her patients (children).

      • javierjuanmanuel

        They suggested doing it with out treating the water at the plant level ?

    • truth

      So because you’re having a hard time understanding how this could happen we should believe how you imagine it happened… And you used to be Early’s boss.. Got it.

    • Charles R. Rice

      No, Greg Branch, its not the pedestrian, your wife, the clerk or the crew. Its your old boss and the asshole that appointed him. Regardless if Detroit was trying to strong-arm or not. Entertaining watching you twist yourself in a pretzel though.

      • Greg Branch

        So it’s not the DEQ that ran the red light? That’s a much more complicated pretzel.

        • Rick Snyder PR

          Can’t imagine why you’re not still Mayor of Saginaw…

    • Trexinmichigan

      Greg, produce that letter of termination. All legitimate sources have produced their proof, so at this point you’re a lying sack until you produce that proof.

    • Woodward

      Guess I have a hard time understanding your “greater” point altogether. Isn’t the bottom line that Snyder gambled with people’s lives — and lost? Unless you really believe Snyder had no credible knowledge that the water was toxic except exactly on the date of October 1, 2015 ? Even though Snyder was still telling media later in December/2015, including the Free Press editorial board, that people were failing to consider that there were “other sources than the water” that could have caused the lead poisoning. Even as Snyder was later in January directly contradicted by Dr. Hanna-Attisha for lying about the extent of the lead poisoning. Even as Snyder continues, as of two days ago, to insist he’d still bathe his grand kids in the water, despite his own AG saying otherwise.
      So lay your cards on the table, Greg. It’s clear Snyder has lied and minimized this situation where 9 people have died and thousands have been poisoned. All your account of events doesn’t negate this fact. So, Greg, shouldn’t he resign and be subject to criminal charges? Lay your cards on the table.

      • Greg Branch

        “Lay my cards on the table?” I think I have.

        Look, I’m not a Rick Snyder fan. I’ve spoken and written at length about how his policies — and his seeming obsequiousness to the legislative GOP — helped accelerate the decline of Michigan’s cities.

        But he’s a classic case study of inane idea that government can, and should, be run like a business. Especially by the classic corporate high-level, need-to-know, big-time-delegator CEO.

        I’ve still seen no smoking gun to suggest that, before October, he understood the extent of the problem. Because he had a DEQ staff that was working as hard to hide it from him as it was from the rest of the world.

        This is a DEQ run by a department head who had absolutely no training or experience in environmental science. I would also surmise, given his immediate previous gig, that he had the same kind of disdainful attitude toward government regulation that the governor himself has. This led to a culture of “as little as possible.” Anyone who disagreed or challenged them (from UWV to EPA) was dismissed. I mean, usually when you see that kind of arrogance, it’s from people who know what they’re doing. When you match that level of incompetence with that level of hubris, I think you’re talking criminal negligence. I think DEQ staff should do time over this.

        And this is within a culture that — another one of those things from the business world that doesn’t work in government — does everything it can to make sure you don’t take bad news to the boss. If sycophants were capable of delivering bad news up the ladder, they wouldn’t be sycophants.

        This does not get him off the hook. It’s his culture, it’s his ship. But I think it would be difficult to make a case for criminal negligence against him, and even harder to make one for a crime of intent. DEQ on the other hand? Not hard at all. This has all the elements of negligence, and a good prosecutor could probably make depraved indifference stick.

        Whether or not anyone believes he should resign is immaterial. He won’t. Personally, I’m not sure it would be the best move. It actually lets him escape his practical accountability. His people made the mess; he needs to fix it.

        I think Snyder opponents are making a huge mistake trying to make this all about the EM law. Of course, I realize that DWSD has Bill Johnson working overtime to make sure the focus stays there, to throw people off — as they have obviously done, evidenced by this thread — their own culpability in the causative chain.

        I realize that it’s an attempt to discredit a GOP bill to try to turn the next election cycle toward a Democratic majority in the legislature. It won’t work.

        Here’s what will: to hit on the REAL problem behind this. The GOP EM law didn’t cause this (and as the story continues to unfold, and people start to remember documents that have been out there for three years, I’m sure that will become readily apparent).

        Republicans are anti-regulation. This is what happens when you put them in charge of regulatory agencies that control important things.

        Republicans are largely from suburban and rural districts. Many have a “I’m glad I got out of the city” attitude. They live in suburbs that were developed by federally subsidized whites-only loans and through federally subsidized infrastructure projects, yet believe everyone’s moved there because of “free market” forces. They say, “everything is beautiful in my _____township neighborhood; why can’t the cities get their act together.”

        It is, of course, because the state legislature has treated revenue sharing for municipalities as its personal piggy bank. (That’s happened under both GOP and Dem majorities, BTW). It’s because the Republican legislature believes that it can eliminate taxes for businesses when it’s the cities’ revenue they’re doing away with. It’s because if someone come up with a way to level the real estate playing field — DDA, OPRA, TIFA — the suburban Republican legislators will rewrite the law to make the same breaks apply to their suburbs.

        And it’s because it took a Detroit bankruptcy for some — SOME — Republicans in Lansing to realize that, you know, if our cities go down, they’ll take the state with us. The rest of them never will.

        And, to tack on one last point, we’ll remind people that Republican legislators screwed the people on x-number of occasions by slipping an appropriation into a bill to make it unreachable by referendum. The EM law is just one of those.

        This is a huge tragedy, a huge failure of government and, I think, a huge indictment of a cornerstone of Republican dogma. If you want to stick a fork in the MiGOP, the soft underbelly is the anti-regulatory bias in the DEQ, where civil and criminal liability will send a very lasting lesson. The focus on the EM law is a waste of time and political capital. It’s being orchestrated by DWSD, and Bill Johnson is playing people like Steve Neavling and Curt Guyette like a Guarneri del Jesu, to make sure everyone forgets that, yes, the reason Flint went to the river was because Detroit DID cut them off to dick them over on an interim deal.

        In the end it doesn’t matter. DEQ does.

        • Woodward

          You’re silly. Your main focus is on political strategy and revelations that Curt Guyette and Steve Nealing are being played, instead of the most crucial and pressing issue to the people of Flint, which is the question of how they can possibly trust Snyder with the future of their health and lives. That is the only question that matters. Everything else is you’ve written here is “immaterial”: it just serves your own professional specialized interests: it does nothing for the interests of the people of Flint. You should be embarrassed.

          I could go on and on, e.g, how ludicrous you sound arguing Snyder knew nothing credible until October 1st; how this was all the DEQ’s fault, how you failed to account for any deliberate lies Snyder made about Flint water quality AFTER October, but none of it matters because in the end your analysis only serves to deflect responsibility for this mass poisoning from Snyder. That’s why you can be so glib about the question of whether he should resign, a question you shamefully described as “immaterial.” Ask the people of Flint whether it’s immaterial, Greg.

          Finally, please stop your own complicity in supporting Snyder’s authority and immunity to legal consequences for his direct involvement in poisoning an entire city by making this disaster about the DEQ, Steve Nealing and Curt Guyette — it’s quite simply offensive to the tragic reality of Flint.

          • Greg Branch

            Well, God forbid I should question YOUR authority.

  • Lapsed Catholic

    It’s turning out that the entire goal of all this was to cut Flint’s DWSD contract in order to prevent money from flowing into Detroit (which basically has nothing to sell anymore except lake water). Snyder’s administration can’t wait for the Detroit city water system to go bankrupt, so that he can appoint an “emergency manager” to take over and privatize the living hell out of everything within a 20 mile radius.

    But these were Machiavellians, not civil engineers, and they have now inflicted billions of dollars in infrastructure damage on Michigan. Their only strategy so far has been a string of half-assed apologies, trying to deflect political damage at other people, and loudly begging FEMA for help with the not-so-natural disaster they created out of thin air. Once again, GOP ideology has wrapped a state’s budget around a tree.

    • WhatWouldYodaDo

      That may very well be the case…but what do you mean once-again? If there wasn’t public danger in doing this (which there clearly was), then why not let the Detroit city water system go bankrupt and privatize the living hell out of everything within a 20 mile radius. With privatization (w/ out cronyism) you would have more accountability, more efficiency, and lower costs. Its dangerous to conflate GOP ideology with this particular event because the GOP ideology around privatization is not rendered incorrect because of this event. Regardless of ideology, freer markets DO lead to better services at lower costs which benefits the public. EVEN if some companies get filthy rich, they are ONLY able to do that by offering value to others who voluntarily pay them for it. With government they are forced to pay for stuff they may not want. More choice is better. Also, when a company or person becomes rich, they also become better customers, employers, lenders, investors, philanthropists. Being rich is a side-effect of of the value they are creating directly and indirectly.

      • DSmooth

        Whatwouldyodado – you just posted a long winded asinine version of the trickle down theory…which is bunch of Bull S#%t! Even George H. Bush said the trickle down theory was a bunch of crap…move around with that right wing stupidity! Here’s a fact you can suck on…in every state where there is a rethuglican governor – the state is rendered destitute. Eig. Jindal/Louisiana, Snyder/Michigan, Brown/Kansas…so on and so forth – the trickle down theory is total scam…if you don’t believe me, ask the Cock Brothers.

      • Trexinmichigan

        Wow, if you’re on the PR team, your a tard.

      • Al Van

        If only a free market for water could exist would it benefit consumers, but the infrastructure costs are too high for multiple providers. Water is the perfect example of something that must be socialized, never privatized. A monopoly on water is too powerful a thing to privatize. Unfortunately, our current leaders think we should run Detroit water as a business for profit. Bad idea.

  • Trexinmichigan

    Please send these scum to prison. The regular prison they should be in, with real criminals not some camp cupcake bs. Get them a cell right next to Kwame.