In a totally expected finding, Republican Michigan Governor Rick Snyder’s staff knew about the contaminated water in Flint long before it was publicly disclosed:
Nearly a year before Michigan governor Rick Snyder publicly admitted his knowledge of the city of Flint’s lead-contaminated water crisis, advisers in his office had advocated moving Flint back to its prior drinking water source “before this thing gets too far out of control,” newly released emails reveal.
And nearly seven months before Snyder’s announcement in October 2015, his former chief of staff had internally proposed purchasing bottled water for Flint’s residents – even as the governor’s administration publicly rebuffed any characterization that Flint’s water wasn’t safe to drink.
…Valerie Brader, deputy legal counsel and senior policy adviser to Snyder, wrote in a 14 October 2014 email to the governor’s then chief of staff and three aides that Flint should return to the previous water supplier, as it was an “urgent matter to fix.”
“As you know there have been problems with the Flint water quality since they left the DWSD [Detroit water and sewerage department], which was a decision by the emergency manager there,” Brader wrote.
Minutes later, Snyder’s then legal counsel Michael Gadola responded by saying the use of the Flint river as a water supplier was “downright scary.” Flint had switched water sources as a purported cost-saving measure until a new pipeline it planned to join was in operation.
The city “should try to get back on the Detroit system as a stopgap ASAP before this thing gets too far out of control,” Gadola, who was appointed by Snyder in 2014 to the Michigan court of appeals, wrote.
…“There’s no reasonable person who can believe at this point that every adviser to Rick Snyder knew that there was an issue [in Flint], but Snyder knew nothing,” said Lonnie Scott, executive director of liberal advocacy group Progress Michigan, in a statement. “At worst, he’s been lying all along and at best he’s the worst manager on the planet. Under either scenario he’s clearly unfit to lead our state and should resign immediately.”
Naturally, despite the dire warnings and urgent recommendations, nothing was done. Because it was deemed too costly.
In dollars. The cost in human lives wasn’t part of the considerations.
This is exactly what class warfare looks like. It isn’t asking wealthy people to pay more taxes. It’s sacrificing the health, and sometimes the very lives, of poor people so that wealthy people don’t have to pay more taxes.