Monthly Archives: February 2016

First Do No Harm…..

First Do No Harm ImageThe most disturbing aspect of the Flint water quality fiasco was the Legionnaires’ Disease outbreak in Genesee County and its concealment from the public. Eighty-seven people fell ill and ten died, nine if you want to be fussy about one victim lingering more than a month after diagnosis. By MDHHS’ definition, it isn’t Legionnaires’ Disease if you linger longer than 30 days after your hospital stay. So one of the ten Legionnaires’ Disease deaths got scrubbed from the statistics.

Harvey Hollins III

Harvey Hollins III

AP is reporting that Governor Snyder’s immediate subordinates were discussing whether the Legionnaires’ Disease outbreak was related to Flint water quality by March 13, 2015   Harvey Hollins III, Governor Snyder’s Office of Urban and Metropolitan Initiatives Director, received an eMail from former MDEQ Communications Director Brad Wurfel referring to the Genesee County Legionnaires’ Disease cluster.

Far earlier, in 2014, Jim Henry in the Genesee County Health Department was emailing Flint city leaders, the Flint emergency financial managers, MDEQ, and MDHHS. MDHHS Chief Medical Executive Dr. Eden V. Wells said the June 2015 [Bohm] report on the first outbreak was shared with officials from the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention as well. No one in this vast chain of communications felt compelled to inform the public.

Dr. Eden Wells

Dr. Eden Wells

Dr. Eden Wells replaced Dr. Matthew Davis as MDHHS’ Chief Medical Executive at the end of March, 2015. One has to wonder why Dr. Davis suddenly returned to U of M after only two years as the MDHHS Chief Medical Executive, in the midst of the first Genesee County Legionnaires’ Disease outbreak. Did he jump, or was he pushed?  Perhaps MDHHS Director Nick Lyon found the career MDHHS bureaucrat Dr. Wells more accommodating than Dr. Davis? It was four months after Governor Snyder consolidated MDCH into the new MDHHS.  However, nothing in the U of M faculty manual suggests that Dr. Davis would have had to return to U of M to maintain his status there.

Dr. Matthew Davis

Dr. Matthew Davis

The public was not informed until Governor Snyder’s startling statement on January 13, 2016. Snyder said he himself was not informed of the Legionnaires’ Disease cluster in Genesee County until “days before” his public announcement. Michigan’s lefties have pounced on this 10 month delay, insinuating that Governor Snyder knew well before his announcement. This may or may not be true, and people will draw conclusions according to their political predilections.  Facts no longer matter on this question, even if you could penetrate the wall of obfuscation.

Director Hollins now says there was not enough information to take the issue to the Governor. Essentially, he is saying that no one could prove the source of the Genesee County Legionnaires’ Disease cluster, so there was no reason to disclose it to his superior. The other bureaucrats in this chain of communications also stayed mum, apparently following the same line of reasoning as Director Hollins.

There is a much bigger story here. One without any ‘he said, she said’ doubt.

It is now indisputable that a lot of CDC, MDEQ, MDHHS, and Genesee County Health Department bureaucrats knew of the first Genesee County Legionnaires’ Disease cluster by March 2015 and concealed it from the Michigan public for over 10 months.  Throughout the entire second Genesee County Legionnaires’ Disease cluster .

You Betcha! (14)Nuh Uh.(0)

Battle Cry – Ted Patterson

ICYMI - Highlights from the Battle Cry event.

If like me you were not able to attend this year, here is the first of a few highlights from the Battle Cry event this last weekend.

Ted Patterson serves as the Executive Director for the Foundation for Applied Conservative Leadership, and is a national consultant who has used the confrontational model to grow grassroots organizations and lead successful political projects around the country.

You Betcha! (6)Nuh Uh.(0)

Status Report-Recall

previewBeen a little busy circling the wagons here…

We are now in the process of organizing volunteer circulators, have at least some in 6 of the 8 counties involved in the Schmidt recall. The good news…

“The minimum number of valid signatures required on a recall petition is equal to 25% of the total number of votes cast for all candidates for governor in the relevant Senate district in the most recent gubernatorial election. MCL 168.955. There is no requirement that a certain percentage of signatures come from each county that comprises the Senate district.

For the 37th State Senate District, the minimum number of valid signatures required is 23,384. For the 35th Senate District, the minimum number of valid signatures required is 22,491.”

The above quote is from the Bureau of Elections response to our e-mail concerning minimum requirements, this means that we could theoretically collect ALL 23,384 signatures from ONE county. Any one county come to mind? This alters our approach only slightly though, as circulators within and without Senate District 37 are hell bent on putting Wayne on an August recall ballot. So we will attempt to collect throughout the district.

In additional to the March 8th Presidential primary, in the first week of March, at least two of the candidates have scheduled visits to Traverse City. Donald Trump is one of them, and if previous crowds at his rallies are any indication, a few well placed circulators should have a field day roaming throughout the crowds. I would assume these same politicos will stop in Grand Rapids, aiding the folks running the Meekhof recall.

We have also scheduled an rVotes training session for our group(s) in mid-March to identify and contact likely signers and voters for reduction into highly ;localized walking lists. This system will allow us to contact and canvass the most likely signers of the petition, and these will be the most likely to vote to replace Schmidt.

We have reserved a domain name for the recall, which will be announced after the website has been established, along with a DBA, committee, and bank account for State and Federal (if necessary) accounting/reporting purposes. The site will also have a “Donate” button/page for contributions. Other campaign ‘goodies’ are in the works, but first we must establish a cohesive organization and business model.

2,000 petitions have been printed, and will be distributed shortly after Valentine’s Day (this one’s for you, Wayne)…Some basic training for new circulators will be accomplished at the same time, and signs/handouts distributed at these meetings. We have established County Captains (coordinators) in 4 counties to facilitate and monitor the petition process. We have 3 weeks to prepare for the signature launch, any volunteers may contact me at my e-mail: retvet242@yahoo.com, which has survived several hack attacks last month, or by phone: 231-709-0474.

Also of note, we have been warned to stay away from Charlevoix County by one John Haggard, which we take as a direct challenge of course.

Wish us good luck here in the second phase of this process. This is our chance to conduct a referendum on Wayne Schmidt’s performance as not only a State Senator, but a Rep in the 103rd and 104th. His record in the House is now also ”fair game”.

In pursuit of freedom,

Tom Backers

You Betcha! (22)Nuh Uh.(2)

A Winter Interlude

Departmental self promotion is apparently nothing new.

Oh.

I guess Kirk Steudle wasn’t the first propagandist within the roads department.  Apparently some of his predecessors also made films to let us know what a grand job the highways departments are doing. From “gay holiday crowds where everyone is having a good time” to the storm blasted snow drifting over our roads, this film teaches us what Michigan is all about.

How could we possibly know otherwise?

Enjoy.

You Betcha! (8)Nuh Uh.(0)

Time to Light These Clowns Up

Someone needs to impress upon the MRP legislative and executive leadership that “NO” means “NO” . . . period.

Roughly nine months ago, We the People of Michigan, by a record-breaking 4-to-1 statewide margin, told our elected nobility in Lansing “HELL NO” on a proposed tax increase, which they’d tried to sell as a road proposal, but which the voting public saw clearly as a political sausage job that produced a cronyist’s grab bag of goodies. Thus, every single county in this state, without exception and in no uncertain terms, clearly delivered a mandate-level message that we are no longer interested in extending the legislature a taxpayer-funded line of credit, until such time as they get their spending priorities in order. You would think that a statewide vox populi shellacking, with a turnout rate typical of the biennial congressional primaries, would clue in the GoverNerd, and the rest of the MRP/MIGOPe professional political establishment, that We the People are done being their ATM.

You would think that . . . but you would be wrong. Six months after that ballot box rejection, while most of us were tucking our children into bed (or monitoring local election results), the lords and barons in the Michigan Legislature essentially told we the proletariat that our opinion is irrelevant, and that “no” really means “don’t ask again” – which, of course, they didn’t – by passing a “road funding” tax package that was nearly identical to the core of Proposal 15-1, less the elements required to force it onto the ballot. In doing this, they flatly rejected the clear will of the people, imposed through legislative fiat that which they couldn’t persuade the electorate to publicly ratify, and took yet another step toward government by aristocracy.

You Betcha! (30)Nuh Uh.(6)