Rick Snyder, who spent his first six years in office laying waste to checks and balances, blames the Flint water crisis on the lack of sufficient checks and balances


He’s still not as open as I’d like, but, based on the National Journal interview with Rick Snyder that was just posted, it would appear that our Governor is beginning to accept the fact that this isn’t just going to go away, and that he needs to start actually answering questions. I still don’t like his answers, some of which you can see below, but I think this marks a step in the right direction. At least this time, when he’s asked what he knew about the poisoning of his constituents, he doesn’t just respond by saying, “There’s going to be a report.”

My favorite quote from the interview is the one I’ve used in the image above, in which Snyder says that this was the result of our system of “checks and balances” not working the way that it should. As my friend Chris Buhalis noted earlier this evening, this is incredibly ironic, given that all of this came to pass as a result of Snyder choosing to disregard the checks and balances we had in place and ram through an Emergency Manager law over the clear objection of Michigan voters. By doing so, he gave himself the power to seize control of cities like Flint from their democratically elected leaders and make unilateral decisions without the input of those being affected. Snyder literally spent the first six years of his administration working with the Republican House and Senate to find ways to navigate around the checks and balances that the men and women of Michigan had spent generations creating. And, as a result, we now find ourselves living in what people are calling the least transparent and accountable state government in America. So, yes, I think it’s more than just a little disingenuous when, now that it’s been exposed that the people of Flint have been poisoned, that Snyder blames it on an unfortunate failure of the system, which had been designed to keep such things from happening.

Here is another of my favorite exchanges from the interview. Watch how he explains that the problem wasn’t the fault of his administration, but of the people in state government who hadn’t yet embraced his “we’re going to do things better, more business-like” philosophy… Oh, and how do you like his response to the question about making his emails available to investigators?


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  1. Elviscostello
    Posted January 19, 2016 at 12:39 am | Permalink

    I think Joe Welch said it best…


  2. Peter Larson
    Posted January 19, 2016 at 12:53 am | Permalink

    Liberals will take this into the November election. If they win, they will call for numerous panels and committees to investigate the issue over the next decade. If they find anything, they will call for more committees. If they do not find anything, they will call for more committees.

  3. James "Bear" Crawford
    Posted January 19, 2016 at 1:20 am | Permalink

    ^^^ Peter Larson – You mean like the republicans do? Like the Bengazi. Commissions?

  4. tommy
    Posted January 19, 2016 at 5:04 am | Permalink

    They hadn’t gotten the change memo? That is all it would have taken, a change memo? I would like to see the contents of this memo.

  5. General Demetrious
    Posted January 19, 2016 at 8:55 am | Permalink

    Here is an interesting link that reveals a little more about the decision to use Flint river water:


  6. Eel
    Posted January 19, 2016 at 8:59 am | Permalink

    It’s not my fault that the people in state government didn’t get the “change memo” which clearly stated that, from now on, we are going to do things in a new and better way and not poison people.

  7. Mr X
    Posted January 19, 2016 at 9:06 am | Permalink

    The thing that pisses me off about the “change memo” comment is that it suggests that state employees were acting in this fashion before he took over. I’d argue that the opposite is true. When he came into office, he brought with him a corporate mindset and a culture of unaccountability. This didn’t happen in spite of him. This happened because of him.

  8. facebook stalker
    Posted January 19, 2016 at 9:21 am | Permalink

    Sky Palma on Facebook: “If you vote for a party that’s against government regulation, don’t be surprised if your tap water ends up poisoning you.”

  9. Meta
    Posted January 19, 2016 at 9:45 am | Permalink

    Mark Schauer has penned a list of 7 things he’d like to see the Governor do right now.

    What Flint needs now are answers and long-term solutions. The governor should immediately take bold action to protect the people of Flint and start repairing the damage he caused by:

    1. Waiving his office’s FOIA exemption and releasing all documents on the water crisis.

    2. Refunding Flint water bills for the entire period the water is contaminated, and providing free cartridge replacements for water filters.

    3. Firing Darnell Earley, who currently serves as emergency manager for Detroit Public Schools.

    4. Repealing the emergency manager law.

    5. Pledging to replace all lead pipelines in Flint by the end of next year and statewide by the end of this decade.

    6. Committing long-term funding for the collaboration between Michigan State University and Hurley Medical Center – led by Dr. Mona Hanna-Attisha – to mitigate developmental challenges faced by children who were poisoned by lead-tainted water.

    7. Hiring 100 new special education teachers for the Flint School District.

    It’s time for the governor to demonstrate real leadership by telling the public what he knew when, and working to clean up the mess he created by doing what’s right to help the people of Flint recover.

    Read more:

  10. Bob
    Posted January 19, 2016 at 10:02 am | Permalink

    Wtf is your stupid comment supposed to mean Peter? God, you are such a tool.

  11. Kim
    Posted January 19, 2016 at 10:09 am | Permalink

    What exactly are the “moving parts” that would keep him for making his emails public?

  12. Peter Larson
    Posted January 19, 2016 at 10:27 am | Permalink


    It could happen. Liberals might feel inclined to draw this out as long as they can, and milk it for as many political points as they can. If so, the truth might never be found.

    You don’t have to agree. You are very interesting.

  13. Peter Larson
    Posted January 19, 2016 at 10:30 am | Permalink

    “^^^ Peter Larson – You mean like the republicans do? Like the Bengazi. Commissions?”

    Yes, exactly like that.

  14. General Demetrious
    Posted January 19, 2016 at 10:46 am | Permalink

    I think he is saying the State of the State address is consuming his attention at the moment, so he has not had time to consider the email request.

    As a professional, I know I would want to give my work emails at least a quick breeze through before I dumped them to the public. Some have opinions about a third parties work, for instance, that I intended for the recipient only.

    The comment that Peter made, and had the courage to make using his real name is OK by me. I think it is equally true that Snyder used his office assure and the people of Flint that they were safe, when they were not. It was a massive mistake, and needs to be investigated.

  15. Peter Larson
    Posted January 19, 2016 at 11:07 am | Permalink

    I agree that an investigation is required.

    I fear, though, that in this election year, the issue will become a political tool and the investigation will lose significance.

  16. DB
    Posted January 19, 2016 at 11:20 am | Permalink

    Step One: Here Rick, drink this!

  17. site admin
    Posted January 19, 2016 at 12:49 pm | Permalink

    Can someone explain something unrelated to Snyder, and completely unimportant, to me? This post, according to the Facebook widget above, has 3 “likes.” On Facebook, however, it has over 20 “likes” and 6 “shares.” Are the two things not connected?

    Speaking of Facebook, our last post has over 2,000 “likes” now. Our record, I believe, is 3,000.

  18. Elviscostello
    Posted January 19, 2016 at 1:05 pm | Permalink

    General, Seems to me that with the amount of staff a Governor has, he probably wouldn’t be spending time reviewing his own emails. Don’t you think he has legal staff that would be handling that task?

  19. Jean Henry
    Posted January 19, 2016 at 6:25 pm | Permalink

    Now that I know how many people read this site, I will shut my cake hole. You are welcome.

  20. Posted January 19, 2016 at 7:26 pm | Permalink

    They’re all coming for your comments, Jean. Please don’t go.

  21. wobblie
    Posted January 19, 2016 at 8:33 pm | Permalink

    Peter,” I agree that an investigation is required.” and who do you propose do this investigation? The Republican controlled legislature, the Republican Attorney General, who do you propose.

  22. Jean Henry
    Posted January 19, 2016 at 9:06 pm | Permalink

    ‘They are all coming for your comments’ sounds a lot more exciting than it is in reality.

  23. DB
    Posted January 20, 2016 at 7:07 pm | Permalink

    We need an emergency Governor

  24. Josh Chamberlain
    Posted January 20, 2016 at 7:07 pm | Permalink

    Hey look, his policies didn’t work! We called it! Now no one will make the same mistake again, right?

  25. Gretchen Whitmer by proxy
    Posted January 22, 2016 at 9:59 pm | Permalink

    The Gov was advised today to bring in outside health experts to assist Flint. Instead, he brought in a new PR team.


  26. MSNBC's Kyle Griffin
    Posted June 14, 2017 at 8:49 am | Permalink

    FLINT, Mich. (AP) — The head of Michigan’s health department is charged with involuntary manslaughter in the Flint water crisis.

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