Now if you are unaware of the Flint, Michigan water issue, let me offer a few details to put Hillary’s pointing finger and her propensity to blame conservatives for everything into perspective. Flint, a city of approximately 100,000 is located 60 miles north of Detroit. Like Detroit, Flint’s local government has been held firmly by Democrats for a long time and, like Detroit, the city finds itself mired in a financial bog created by years of liberal governance. In fact, both Flint and Detroit reached such miserable levels financially that the State of Michigan stepped in to help guide their finances back to solvency—no small task. Governor Snyder appointed a staff member to oversee budgetary functions in this endeavor and his instructions were quite clear—save money when and wherever possible. Given the situation, that seems a realistic goal but the effort set the stage for the current crisis with drinking water in the city.
Flint purchased its water supply and sewer services through the city of Detroit—as did many communities in the surrounding region. Unfortunately, the budget structuring of this contract was financially burdensome to Flint to the tune of about $12 million dollars a year. Officials had already decided that the city would break out of the Detroit contract when a new pipeline system made alternatives possible. Although that project was in the works, Flint needed immediate relief. The decision was made to break the Detroit contract that supplied water from Lake Huron and, in the interim, to obtain their water via pipeline from the Flint River. The moved would save the budget millions annually and stop some of the financial bleeding. But there was one problem—Flint River water was contaminated. According to officials, it was possible to make the water safe for drinking but it would also have to be treated for the corrosives that would attack iron and lead pipes in older homes. The decision was made to go ahead with local government officials holding ceremonies to drink the water themselves to demonstrate to the citizens that it met federal standards and was safe for consumption. Who made that decision—no one can be sure. And, someone made the decision not to treat the corrosives in the water—a money saving move—to be sure, but shortsighted and dangerous.
All of this activity took place in 2013 and 2014. Over an 18 month period of consuming Flint River water, the local citizens complained that the water smelled and tasted bad, but local officials continued to state that it was safe and met federal standards. The corrosives left untreated in the water began attacking the pipes of older homes in the area. Local medical professionals became worried and issued cautions as children exhibited lead traces in the blood that was seven times the norm. Bacterial cultures were also found in samples by researchers. Over time, the Flint area developed 87 cases of Legionnaires’ disease and ten people died from it. Over this period, local government and state officials still maintained that Flint River water met federal standards and claimed that their tests were more accurate than those of the researchers’.
Now, with the water crisis as backdrop, the federal government has entered the picture attempting to return Flint to a safe water supply. Local officials have decided to return to the Detroit contract and cease using the Flint River water and fingers are busily pointing every which way to assign responsibility and blame. At this point, no one is quite sure who did what or when—no one except Hillary Rodham Clinton that is.
Ms. Clinton has stated publicly that Governor Snyder was “indifferent” to the situation in Flint—that he ignored the issue and stonewalled any remedies. She offered that observation after claiming that the governor’s action would have been different if a “rich kid from Detroit” were drinking that water. Right away, Ms. Clinton’s remarks are aimed at the great socialist divide—reminding the people of Flint that poverty is their plight, a plight not shared by rich conservatives like Governor Snyder. She takes these cheap shots for only one reason—she wants votes and is preying on those touched by the Flint water disaster as easy pickings. Note that she never mentioned the actions of local government officials, for that would have been counter-productive in a city that has been traditionally run by Democrats—and run into the ground I might add.
Certainly the governor and his administration may bear some of the blame—time will tell. If you are thinking that this is the most logical conclusion because the governor sought ways to remedy Flint’s financial woes and making this change would have saved $12 million, maybe you need to look at bit closer. You see, Detroit is suffering financially also due to years at the hands of democrats and Governor Snyder’s administration is providing them similar assistance. Now ask yourself this: What could the governor gain by taking $12 million dollars from Detroit’s coffers and giving it to Flint? Both cities are bankrupt—why rob Peter to pay Paul, when both are broke? If the blame lies solely at the governor’s feet, then why did the local officials go out of their way to ceremoniously drink the Flint River water publicly and assure the citizens that it was safe for use? Do you think the governor had a gun to their head? This is where Ms. Clinton’s logic, if any indeed exists, falls apart.
In all likelihood, the situation in Flint is now under control. The water source has been switched to a known safe source, and the plan to take water from the new pipeline project is underway. What remains is the legal wrangling to see which lawyer can become the richest from this unfortunate situation, and who ultimately will be assigned the blame. This certainly is not something that Hillary Rodham Clinton is qualified in any way to determine. One thing is certain—while Ms. Clinton demands that Governor Snyder step up and take responsibility, we can all look back on the issues like Benghazi or her mishandling of classified documents and realize that even though she said she “takes full responsibility,” there must be the caveat: as long as there are no consequences. Will Mr. Snyder have that advantage? I doubt it.
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