Thousands of people gathered at the state Capitol this week to protest during Governor Rick Snyder’s State of the State speech. Protesters also gathered outside of the governor’s new personal residence in downtown Ann Arbor. There is a sharp rallying cry among some groups for Governor Snyder to resign because of his administration’s handling of the Flint water crisis. Snyder claims ignorance to the severity of Flint’s issues until long after damage was being done. So what claims and statements are truth… and which are fiction? The Michigan Truth Squad with Bridge Magazine deciphered a few misleading statements this week.
Bridge Magazine editor David Zeman joins Detroit Today Stephen Henderson to discuss the “fouls” called by the Truth Squad. Among the statements examined:
“City of Flint decides to use the Flint River as a water source” — Governor Rick Snyder
“This was a local decision to take themselves off the Detroit system and join this pipeline, and that’s what started this whole series of events.” — State Rep. Al Pscholka
“It is critically important that the record be set straight about the decision-making and approval processes that led to Flint joining the Karegnondi Water Authority (KWA) with the use of Flint River water as the interim water supply. The fact is, the river has served and been used as the back-up supply for decades, and this was the rationale given to me by staff and (then-Flint) Mayor Walling, who also serves as chairperson of the KWA board. Contrary to reports in the media and rhetoric being espoused by individuals, the decision (to use Flint River water) was made at the local level, by local civic leaders.” — Former Flint EM Darnell Earley
Chemicals: Zeman argues that instead of finger-pointing, officials should figure out who made the decision not to test or use anti-corrosive agents in the water. “Regardless of who made the decision to switch over to the Flint river, the more egregious action was not protecting the people,” Zeman says.
Notability: Zeman says he’s curious about why the public interest in the Flint Water Crisis grew so suddenly. “What was the event that took it from… simmering on medium for many many months, to a national, then international story?”
To hear more of this conversation click the audio link above