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Michigan Governor: Solve Flint Water Crisis Instead Of Laying Blame

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Michigan Governor: Solve Flint Water Crisis Instead Of Laying Blame


DETROIT (Reuters) – Michigan Governor Rick Snyder said on Friday he wants officials to focus on solving problems around lead-contaminated drinking water in Flint instead of laying blame as he said some have been doing.

“There are a number of folk out there that are spending their time mainly on the political side and the blame side,” he said at a meeting in Flint of local and state officials responding to the crisis.

Snyder’s comments came a day after liberal group Progress Michigan released emails showing high-ranking state officials knew about an increase in Legionnaires’ disease in Genesee County, where the city is located, and a possible link to the contaminated Flint water almost a year before the governor said he got information about the outbreak.

Snyder, who has repeatedly apologized for the state’s poor handling of the crisis, previously said he did not learn of the rise in Legionnaires’ cases until last month.

The governor and state officials have been criticized for not catching the contaminated water sooner, with some calling for Snyder to resign. UltraViolet, a national women’s group, said it had commissioned a plane to fly over the University of Michigan campus during a men’s basketball game on Saturday dragging a banner that says “Snyder poisoned kids in Flint.”

Flint, near Detroit, was under the control of a state-appointed emergency manager when it switched the source of its tap water from Detroit’s system to the Flint River in April 2014 to save money.

It switched back last October after tests found high levels of lead in samples of children’s blood. The more corrosive water from the river leached more lead from the city pipes than Detroit water did. Lead can damage the nervous system.

On Friday, lawmakers on a U.S. House of Representatives panel said they plan to hold a hearing next month to address Flint health and infrastructure issues. The energy and commerce panel did not have details on the date or who would testify.

This week, Congress held its first hearing into the Flint crisis. The House Oversight Committee did not invite Snyder, a Republican, to testify, something Democrats on the panel complained bitterly about.

The oversight committee has also subpoenaed Susan Hedman, the former Midwest chief of the Environmental Protection Agency, and Darnell Earley, the former state-appointed Flint city manager, to give depositions this month.

(Reporting by Ben Klayman in Detroit and Timothy Gardner in Washington; Editing by James Dalgleish)

Photo: Michigan Governor Rick Snyder gives an interview on the floor of the New York Stock Exchange May 8, 2015. REUTERS/Brendan McDermid



  1. Michael Schore February 6, 2016

    What a despicable GOP politician! He and the rest of the GOP population (yes I blame the voters as well) created this situation which has led to the lead poisoning of 1000s of people in Flint. We know who is responsible Governor, we just need to execute the punishment.

    1. Steve Batchelor February 7, 2016

      Emphasis on “Execute”.

  2. greenlantern1 February 6, 2016

    The DEMOCRATS are trying to defund the EPA??

  3. danc45 February 6, 2016

    What kind of delusional dream world does this jerk Snyder live? So, he wants people to stop blaming and fix the problem? I view it that he who f%$ked it up, fixes it up. That means that worthless Snyder. There is already plenty of evidence showing he was complicit in causing the problem and delaying the fix. He should spend an additional year in prison fro every day he delays in replacing the plumbing in Flint. This Governor committed such a horrendous crime I would favor capital punishment for him. There was at least 10 deaths from Legionnaires Disease and the physical and mental abilities of thousands of people damaged forever. I’ve heard about the sadistic humor of Governor about the City of Flint. So sick. I wouldn’t blame the people of Flint if they organize a lynching of Governor Snyder. Why is this worthless bum still in office? He’s malicious and useless.. What idiots elected him?

  4. Grannysmovin February 6, 2016

    Snyder took office in 2011. Snyder initiated “Emergency Managers Law”. Snyder appoints the Emergency Managers and takes all authority and responsibility away from elected officials. Snyder’s appointed Emergency Manger for Flint came up with this plan, got Governor’s approval and enforced this new water plan in Flint. You broke it Snyder you own it,

  5. plc97477 February 6, 2016

    snyder, if we don’t find out who did what to cause this how are we going to keep them from doing it again?

  6. Aaron_of_Portsmouth February 6, 2016

    True to the form of a good GOP trooper, Snyder has decided to take a more cowardly route by not acknowledging his role, directly and/or indirectly. Instead of accepting culpability he has decided to employ the methodology of “deflection and obfuscation” to extricate himself—a method that has been honed and perfected by his ideological peers and cohorts over the past decades.
    It was the inner urge of greed, and the tragic philosophy of “us versus them” that informed and guided his decision to ignore the problems confronting the poor, and in particular, Black folks. After all, the latter are “not of him”, and are therefore to be viewed as a “distinct” species of beings with no spiritual or biological connection to him.

    This is the sort of distortion that Christianity has morphed into in the minds and in practice for centuries by too many of its world-wide adherents. Fortunately, its Essence is inviolable.

    A “New Wine” is required for this era, but many still insist on drinking “Old Wine”.

    1. oldtack February 6, 2016

      I like your comments

  7. Jerry Schull February 6, 2016

    First off, Yes, the problem has got to be solved, not just treated. IF it takes bankrupting Michigan then so be it. IF Michigan fails to act in the public’s interest, then the Federal Government must act. Future federal funds should be decreased by the amount of Federal aid required.
    Secondly, because this was a flawed policy decision by Michigan state government this fact must never be acknowledged by the criminals that perpetuated it.
    Frankly this is a major flaw in the whole Republican platform. Running government like a business should NEVER put money before peoples health and lives. Not much is being said of this basic flaw.
    Thirdly, because this was a intentional act, criminal charges should be levied on EVERY public official who agreed to this horrible act. They were warned, and they did it anyway. That’s criminal.

    1. dpaano February 24, 2016

      But, but, but….Trump thinks HE can run this government like a business…..maybe after the 3rd or 4th bankruptcy, people will see that they screwed up!!! By then, it’ll be WAAAAY too late and this country will no longer be a democracy.

  8. melpalmer February 6, 2016

    yep it’s a tough nut to crack when so many of you politicians are ducking from the responsibility of their choices.

  9. 1Zoe55 February 6, 2016

    Think of the states governed by Republicans and how ineffective and dangerous these governors are. Jindal in Louisiana who, in spite of having an education in health care, pandered to the evangelicals and balanced the state’s budget by reducing funding to Medicaid. Brownback in Kansas who singlehandedly ruined the educational system there. Walker in Wisconsin who weakened the unions that include teachers, policemen and firemen. And finally we have this Snyder who should be convicted and sent to prison for his responsibility in poisoning Flint’s water. The one factor that voters should focus on is just who has been harmed by these governors and their misguided policies–the middle class, the working poor and innocent (but poor) children. Our country is better than these stupid men and their destructive methods. Either Hillary or Bernie would do more for America than anyone on the Republican/TeaParty side.

    1. Steve Batchelor February 7, 2016

      Zoe…I’d like to expand on your last sentence…A child in elementary school would do more for the country than any of the loonies on the “Right”.

    2. dpaano February 24, 2016

      But, everyone says they are “angry” with the current government….that’s why they want to vote for Trump. Of course, they don’t realize that they have pointed their anger in the wrong direction….the Republicans have been the ones (in the House and the Senate) that have blocked many of the bills put forth by the Obama Administration that would have helped this country move forward. But, these uninformed people just keep voting in the same REPUG jerks that have screwed up this country for years…..it’s amazing! From Day 1, they said they wouldn’t allow President Obama to have a 2nd term; now they say they won’t vote on his budget or his SCOTUS nomination. They’ve done NOTHING but take this country in the wrong direction despite President Obama’s actions. And, people still want to vote one of these idiots into the presidency slot? They all need their heads examined (maybe Carson can help them with that one)!!!

  10. Lord_Reaper February 6, 2016

    Between Snyder, Engler and Romney it is hard to establish who brought Michigan closer to its demise but with Snyder poisoning so many people in Genesee county by his idiotic decisions, he needs prison time. He is bringing the whole state down. He is the reason so many people are fleeing the state. He is the one who made the decision to sweep Flints water problem under the “rug”. He took a page from the Bush playbook on hiding the real issues which he has no idea on how to fix them. Just the republiCON way!

  11. Jason February 6, 2016

    Amazing how those that are responsible always try to “move on” from the very damage they caused. You see it in Corporate America and in politics all the time. This guy should be in prison. In fact, the State of Michigan sent Mr Kilpatrick to prison. Snyder needs to be his cell mate.

  12. A_Real_Einstein February 6, 2016

    Anybody got a pitch fork?

  13. Eleanore Whitaker February 6, 2016

    The point is that Snyder did not comply with his oath of office which is to protect the people of his state. Once you start with that, the rest of his escape plan begins to show clearly that Republican men simply are incapable of taking responsibility even when they swear an oath to do exactly that.

    Republicans have one very identifiable problem these days: Refusing to accept blame when they ARE the ones to blame.

    If we follow their agenda, Hitler would end up totally blameless. When Republicans are this careless about the children they are poisoning, would you trust them in ANY position of responsibility?

  14. Denny W February 6, 2016

    Snyder, do the honorable thing, allow the Attorney General place a 45 on your desk and leave the room. Then investigate the rest of his worthless compatriots’.

  15. InformedVoter February 6, 2016

    The Detroit Free Press, about as liberal a newspaper can get, has been investigating the Flint water problem for over a year. The best the Free Press can come up with is a memo in March, 2015, that stated a rise in Legionnaire’s was noted, but nothing could be linked to the change in water supply, and to state so would be “irresponsible”. Further examinations of the water uncovered nothing that could have led to the increase in the number of cases of Legionnaires or lead contamination in the water. Hence, despite the wishing to link Snyder to not doing his job, the Free Press has had to agree that Snyder was not informed until December.
    The state appointed EM merely approved the plan that the Flint city leaders proposed. BTW the Flint city leaders are 9 Democrats in the city coun. and a Democratic mayor – has been that way for years and they’re the same ones who ran the city in financial ruin. The financial ruin led to their decision to switch water sources.

    1. pisces63 February 8, 2016

      I love it when lying right wingers become delusional. All information is from more than the Detroit Free Press and frankly, I do not believe you. Why isn’t it they would not know of GM quietly getting their water changed back to the lake because of the massive corrosion the river watercaused over a year and a half ago. Go someplace else with your ignorance. You’re like bible thumpers who go through the bible to prove their intolerant point. Another thing, there is a special republican, put there because of their financial crisis. Not a democrat. Same as in Detroit. So, that boat won’t float, either. Did you know the same thing happened in DC in 2000 and that over 42,000 children were exposed to drinking water full of lead. That includes unborn children too. Did you know, the CDC kept it quiet and
      defunded the people who found this out to keep them quiet. They deliberately kept it from the mayor, council and other leaders, mostly black, in DC. Full story in the New Yorker and then I fact checked and it was worse than what was written. Pparently, black lives REALLY don’t matter. Now, explain the high lead contamination away!

      1. InformedVoter February 8, 2016

        You’re really living proof that lefties are low information. GM switching water sources was NOT a secret. They switched after the head of Flint’s water (quality being a factor) said that they had examined the water and “all clear” on quality. GM’s decision was viewed as a slap in the face to the leaders of Flint. Hollis is the head of that area. He as said he won’t resign because those who work for him and are in charge of ensuring the water quality, told him “all clear”. His quote was “you have to trust those who are responsible to do their jobs”. FYI, Hollis is a black male and a Democrat.
        If you think the Detroit Free Press is not as liberal as a paper can be, then you are really showing your ignorance. If the Free Press could prove that Snyder jaywalked, they would plaster that all over the front pages!
        That “special Republican” is called an Emergency Manager, put in place because the 9 Democrats in city counc. and the Democrat mayor – all but two are black, and ran the city into bankruptcy, just like the same bodies in Detroit did – made the decision to switch water sources. The EM approved the switch, with reservations, but is ON THE RECORD that he did so to show he was willing to work with the city leaders. The Free Press, at the time made the statement that they thought he was unprofessional when he stated his reservations. Now they are crucifying him for not shooting the proposal down. You can’t have it both ways!
        The comments about DC don’t hold much value either. Are you claiming the CDC is a racist organization? Are you truly saying they made their decisions to intentionally harm black folks? If your facts are truly correct (I highly doubt it) there would have been public notice of the situation. Something like that can’t be hidden. What did you use to “fact check”, a SNL script?
        BTW, the high lead concentration was caused because those in charge of water quality (Democrats) decided to not use chemicals that would have prevented the lead pipes from leaching lead into the water as it flowed. So Democrats and mainly black city leaders made decisions they thought would be OK, but turned out to be a disaster. Now they, as normal for lefties, want to blame the Republicans. I guess they didn’t think of blaming Bush for this one, like Obama did to explain away his terrible economic policies.

        1. pisces63 February 8, 2016

          My information is coming from Diane Rehm, NPR, my local channels, NY Times, CNN, and the DC article is in the
          New Yorker. YOU are the only one with this stupid, lying information. Par for the course. CDC was investigated under congress for their maleficence. Look it up. The CDC said the levels of lead were not dangerous and tried to squash any information to the contrary. Now, there are over 42,000 children, many contaminated in utero, that may need medical care for the rest of their lives. You look at ONE and I still do not believe you. I know how liberal the Detroit Press is but Newsmax isn’t and they tell the same story as everyone else. You republicans. They kept it from Flint residents about the GM change. The memos are surfacing. They are NOT getting any better. Republicans.
          Not only lead but fecal matter, also.

          1. InformedVoter February 9, 2016

            The forum is about the Flint case, not the CDC stuff from 15 years ago. If your “sources” are correct, why has it taken 15 years to come to light? And to say it’s the Republicans fault when Obama has been in office for over 7 years is totally dumb.
            Today, the Free Press reported that the city folks were the ones who hindered the state agencies from investigating. That being the case, how can the governor by held responsible. This is the subject of the forum. There are already lawsuits filed on the behalf of those who could be harmed.
            Hence, I’m not the only one with “stupid or lying” information. If your sources about the CDC are correct, where are the lawsuits? Obama, having been in office for over 7 years should be sued, if it’s OK to sue the Michigan governor.
            Crawl back into your black hole of information.
            THIS FORUM IS ABOUT MICHIGAN, not 15 year old crap.

          2. pisces63 February 10, 2016

            2000 is the year. NOT coming to light, now. I just think it is suspicious this has happened twice, that we know of, in predominantly black areas and in DC, over 42,000 children ha been infected. The numbers are still out for Michigan. HE appointed the managers. They honor the republican mantra of the bottom line, cut costs and changed water sources PLUS would not pay for the chemical which would have prevented this. At any rate, I would no more drink discolored water for anyone like their water was and it smelled. Who says there aren’t any lawsuits. It happened in 2000 and Obama is 2008. Republicans. It’s about republican malfeasance, no matter the year. In court, it is called a pattern.

          3. InformedVoter February 10, 2016

            Nice try, but the timeline doesn’t fit. In 2000, Bill Clinton was President (he was at the end of his 8 years, so everything the CDC had done for 8 years would have been on his watch), so it would have been Democrats who ruled the CDC and are responsible for the subsequent cover up. Bush didn’t get elected until November 2000, so the Republicans didn’t have control of the CDC and certainly could not have been involved in the cover up.
            As to Flint, the Legionnaires and water problems started showing up as early as 2012 (today’s Free Press stated that time for the start of problems) and the switch from the Detroit Water Board to the Karegnonai Water Authority didn’t happen until 2014. Also, other cities are part of the KWA and they have not had any problems.
            The thrust of the Free Press is that the state/governor should not have relied on local authorities (like the Flint City Council and Mayor) and state agency heads to deal with the problems. The conflict of course, is that good management empowers employees in performing their duties. How can your expect employees to perform when you keep looking over their shoulders?
            Since both parties seem to have been in control during these two disasters, the only pattern is that government, left or right, is trying poison folks. I think not.
            You keep trying to blame the right for conditions that the left has created as well.
            The head of the Michigan agency that is “responsible for the Flint water quality” is a black man, Democrat to boot. Are you saying he is trying to infect black folks?
            As I said, nice try, but you have not successfully established that the Michigan governor is to blame. And neither has the Detroit Free Press, much to their chagrin.

          4. pisces63 February 10, 2016

            2001-2004 initial reports in DC, still does not answer to 42,000 damaged kids in need of help for the rest of their lives. Some were still in the womb. The history of America bears me out on the deliberate poisoning, murdering, etc., of minorities, period. A notice of determination was delivered to Flint on April, 2013. One day after the Emergency Manager Ed Kurtz signed the agreement with Karegnondi River
            Authority. There was a one year termination notice given, so said. Yet, with all information on line and on paper, this is not found. In fact there were no meetings speaking of the water back to 2012 and they are looking into the legality of it all. Not so much as a vote. E-mails show water coolers were put near public fountains on each floor of public buildings. Employees were given bottled water, while denying any water problem for the masses. Flint changed over in 2014 and the difference was notice immediately. Foul tasting, smelling and brown. TIME Magazine walks you through it with photos of water taken January, 15, 16 & 17th which looks like mud. It
            was switched back October, 2015 and they still cannot drink it. There are tons of lawsuits from this one. $200 million dollar law suit in DC.

          5. InformedVoter February 10, 2016

            The CDC fiasco with DC stems from Clinton’s time being in charge of the CDC, so saying it was Republicans does not work.
            The placing of water coolers in public buildings was not kept a secret and was done after the Flint folks claimed that they tested their water and “all clear”.
            The spike in Legionnaires cases started back in 2012 so investigators are trying to determine the possibility of a link – but this preceded the water source switch by 2 years.
            The EM was the only one authorized to sign the agreement because the city was on the verge of bankruptcy (again 9 Democrats comprised the city council plus a Democratic mayor recommended and approved the switch).
            Claiming the governor is responsible, as the The National Memo “claims”, simply does not work. As I’ve said before, if the Detroit Free Press couldn’t prove it, and they really would like to, then any other source making that statement is wishful thinking at best.
            Regarding the targeting of “undesirables” in the US goes back before minorities. During the Civil War, Lincoln instituted the draft. It was done to gather up as many Italian and Irish as possible. Those groups could not afford to pay the tax to keep from getting drafted.
            When the founders wrote the constitution, they “counted” slaves (both black and white) different than “free” men. Women could not vote, on and on.
            It just wasn’t America that discriminated against “undesirables”. The Union Carbide chemical spill in India is
            an example.
            However, to claim that the government, either Federal or State, would intentionally poison residents, is stretching quite a bit.

  16. itsfun February 6, 2016

    Snyder keeps finding lower and lower level employees to blame and fire. It must be true that crap runs downhill.

  17. yabbed February 6, 2016

    Blame should be laid on Synder. He should resign. If he had any decency he would apologize and resign.

    1. Steve Batchelor February 7, 2016

      Hell with that…Snyder should be held accountable, indicted and thrown in prison with the rest of his Rethug cronies who have caused this abhorrent travesty.

    2. dpaano February 24, 2016

      He has NO decency…..he’s a Republican!

  18. 1standlastword February 6, 2016

    “One tough nerd” turns out to be “One pathetic turd”!

    Michigan might have wondered if Snyder had it out for working and middle class families when at the outset of his administration he gave workers a big tax hike and transferred state wealth to corporations–and this in the fallout of the Bush inspired recession and Wall Street bailouts!

    Well Michigan no need to wonder anymore.

    And to those who didn’t vote…you know who you are! Let this be a lesson for the vital importance for voter civic responsibility

  19. atc333 February 6, 2016

    This is nothing but deflection, attempting to redirect the public’s attention to fixing a problem which he, and his administration created.

    The reality is that Mr. Snyder’s political future is now toast. Consider the problems Christie has faced with Bridge gate. for a period of a few days, claimig he did not know of it his loyal, but not too loyal staff withheld that information from him.

    Snyder’s problems are much worse, days, weeks, and months of lead poisoning of poor children and families who have no political power, and who can therefore be ignored, all to save the state some money by connecting an entire city’s water supply to a chemical filled river which attacked the cities lead pipes, leaching away the protective coating and then the lead of the pipes themselves into the water of Flint, to be absorbed by all users, all the while knowing the facts, if not the ultimate outcome we are now seeing, and deliberately lying to the citizens of Flint, as his administration provided its own employees with bottled water as Flint children’s IQs continued to slowly decline from lead poisoning, never to be reversed

    By all means, lets not talk about the responsibility of those elected and appointed officials who knew of, and yet allowed this incredible public health crisis to be be created and continue to expand..

  20. 666kkk6 February 7, 2016

    Republicans keep proving again and again that they have no human compassion for working and poor people . Why there are so many morons who keep voting against
    there own interest is beyond me . Republican politicians know from jump that there are
    tons of stupid people who will believe anything that they say and the biggest thing is that
    they never offer any real solutions to solve societies problems . Tax breaks for the rich is their only main theme .

  21. dpaano February 24, 2016

    And idiot Cruz is trying to push the blame on the “government” and NOT where it belongs….on the State and its equally idiotic governor!!! Amazing!


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