Bureaucratic Capture In The Flint Water Fiasco, An Echo Of Proposal 1

Snyder's Email Dump Is Most Notable for What It Doesn't Show: Management

Snyder Steudle Image 1Governor Snyder went way out on a political limb supporting Proposal 2015-01. By the time this limb broke off at the polls on May 5th, his only remaining allies were MDoT, MITA, and Michigan’s nitwit media.

MDoT’s Director, Kirk T. Steudle, P.E. received lavish, flattering coverage in our nitwit media throughout the road funding proposal campaign. The Transportation Asset Management Council, an MDoT tool, packaged an avalanche of lies in glossy pamphlets for public consumption. An entirely fictitious Washington think tank, TRIP, used inside MDoT information to issue even more incredulous lies. Governor Snyder parroted these titillating lies thoughout his Proposal 1 media campaign. He was entirely comfortable promoting the agenda of his ‘technical experts’.

Pre SB 571 campaign finance law allowed us to watch MITA spend $ 5.4 million supporting this turkey, more than half the total spent by Safe Roads Yes! The Michigan Infrastructure and Transporatation Association is ostensibly a bunch of independent, competitive contractors. Somehow a fractious bunch of competitors planned and executed a well coordinated – if entirely devious – political campaign.

How did they coordinate?

How did this presage the Flint water fiasco?

The nexus of Proposal 2015-01 support was MDoT. The ‘technical experts’ at MDoT orchestrated Proposal 1. Can’t be proved, but you know it from the totality of events. And Governor Snyder carried the bureaucrats’ water.  He had been captured.

MDoT got what they wanted at the end of 2015. Governor Snyder – and the Michigan Legislature – were willing captives of MDoT ‘technical experts’. Michigan voters did not hold MDoT ‘technical experts’ in such high regard, but Michigan’s politicians were completely enthralled.

Now consider the Flint drinking water fiasco. Governor Snyder and his administration were trying to rescue Flint from its latest, sui generis, economic collapse. Nothing new, Flint’s first emergency manager was appointed by Governor John Engler in 2002. Flint’s city government simply does not behave responsibly without adult supervision.Karegnondi Seal

Flint was also being bled white by a variety of parasites; at the top of this predator’s list was the Detroit Water & Sewerage Department. Flint joined the Board of the Karegnondi Water Authority in October 2010, before Snyder is elected Governor. During an interregnum between Flint emergency managers. Well before Snyder appoints his first Flint emergency manager.

Flint’s popularly elected officials knew they were being ripped off by DW&SD. Those Flint elected leaders developed the plan to get out from under DW&SD’s yoke. It wasn’t a very good plan, but it was Flint’s plan – not Snyder’s, not the Treasurer’s, not any emergency manager’s. The Democrats and the lefties are lying.

Snyder was ambivalent about Flint abandoning DW&SD early in his first term, but Detroit’s Grand Bargain changed this. DW&SD was going to be confined to the City of Detroit proper once the Grand Bargain was implemented. Any revenue losses from Flint’s water resourcing would be borne by the Detroit suburbs’ new water authority under the Grand Bargain, not Detroit.

Flint Emergency Manager Protest ImageIt became clear to all involved in 2013 that Flint could not exit emergency management unless it shed DW&SD’s predatory water rates. Governor Snyder’s 2014 reelection was impending. The Democrats were stoking agitation against emergency management as a statewide political campaign tool. In 2013, Flint gets approval from Treasurer Andy Dillon to sign a water purchase contract with KWA. DW&SD retaliates with a one year termination notice. Flint is then staring at two years without water. The critical flaw in Flint’s plan. Everyone involved underestimated DW&SD’s intransigence.

Governor Snyder turns his attentions to other matters, soothed by MDEQ (and maybe MDHHS, too) ‘technical experts’. At this point, Governor Snyder must be thinking: How can you possibly screw up water? The Flint Water Plant comes through, demonstrating for all to see why Flint needs adult supervision. The Flint Water Plant completely screws up their water chemistry, in almost every way possible. A catastrophic performance, even when judged by Third World water standards. Only MDEQ or EPA ‘technical experts’ could have provided the adult supervision necessary to get Flint’s water chemistry under control. But they did not. It is pretty obvious now that none of Michigan’s ‘technical experts’ had a clue, or even the motivation to help Flint.

Snyder’s email dump last week is most notable for what it doesn’t show: management.

Flint Water ImageContemporary news reports from 2014 and 2015 show Flint residents bitterly complaining about taste and smell immediately after resourcing. Soon thereafter residents are waving bottles of brown water in front of the cameras. Flint issues repeated boil-water advisories for e.coli contamination. Residents march in the streets. GM abandons Flint water at their engine plant due to metal parts corrosion. TTHMs exceed Safe Drinking Water Act limits. Flint postpones $ 2.2 million in payments on their drinking water bonds, a ‘default event’. Genesee Circuit Court Judge Hayman overturns Flint’s 30% higher water rates, plunging Flint’s finances back into the financial abyss.

This is all occurring in Michigan’s seventh largest city, smack dab in the middle of Michigan’s fourth largest metro area. Snyder knew what was happening, its mounting severity was obvious, but he left Michigan’s response to MDEQ ‘technical experts’. The emails Governor Snyder received from those same ‘technical experts’ portray a gradually developing bureaucratic charlie foxtrot. No matter, Governor Snyder was still a true believer in ‘technical experts’.

Only when lead poisoning statistics shock the entire nation does Governor Snyder finally step up to challenge Michigan’s inept ‘technical experts’. Snyder’s response? 7 brief emails; the first written on September 5th, 2015! 498 calendar days after the Flint water changeover, 355 business days after the changeover.

Before May 5, 2015 you might be able to excuse an accountant’s complete deferral to state government ‘technical experts’ on Flint water issues. After May 5th? There ain’t no education in the second kick of a mule.

Last week Governor Snyder’s capture by Michigan’s ‘technical experts’ finally ended.

Snyder appeared on MSNBC’s Morning Joe program last Friday, 22 January. His comments suggest a new found fury against Michigan’s government technocrats:Snyder Morning Joe Image

“The department people, the heads, were not being given the right information by the quote-unquote experts, and I use that word with great trial and tribulation because they were considered experts in terms of their background, these are career civil servants that had strong science, medical backgrounds in terms of their research. But as a practical matter, when you look at it today and you look at their conclusions, I wouldn’t call them experts anymore…..
What’s so frustrating and makes you so angry about this situation is you have a handful of quote-unquote experts who were career service people that made terrible decisions in my view and we have to live with the consequences with that. They work for me, so I accept that responsibility.”

At last he questions Michigan’s sorry ‘technical experts’. The most egregious incompetents are being shown the street.  This comes too late for Flint residents or Michigan’s taxpayers. Way too late for the smeared opponents of Proposal 1.  However, better late than never….

You Betcha! (15)Nuh Uh.(0)

  13 comments for “Bureaucratic Capture In The Flint Water Fiasco, An Echo Of Proposal 1

  1. Sue Schwartz
    January 26, 2016 at 9:47 am

    Thank you soooo much! There are so many lessons learned here--1. The truly competent experts would never seek gov. employment. 2. I saw headlines in a rag saying basically Flint's problem is racial--What!!!!!! Read "A Civil Action" by Jon Harr--the bible on how to conspire potable water cover-ups. It ain't racial its $$$$ you idiots. 3. The best lesson so far is tracing Legionnaire's to a hospital. Now that's about as scarry as it gets and this knowledge was withheld too long. Did they not know the water was rusting parts at GM? Were they really allowing patients access to unfiltered-parts rusting water? 4. FEMA denied assistance--evidently, they only assist in natural disasters not man-made tragedies. That's good to know for future reference.

    I love everyone rallying to donate bottled water. Really?????? Doesn't anyone understand that that bottled water is really just packaged filtered water? No interest loans to homeowners for Whole house filters (to be paid when the house sells) or minimally shower/tap filters--would be much more useful.

    All this reminds me of the fiasco of trying to invent a writing instrument to use in space--Million$ later, the Russians merely packed pencils.

    You Betcha! (2)Nuh Uh.(0)
  2. KG One
    January 26, 2016 at 10:32 am

    I try to avoid the "Morning Joe" as much as humanly possible, but you did remind me of something that I mentioned earlier.

    If you haven't seen Snyder's 2016 SOTS speech, I recommend doing so (feel free to skip the first 10-minutes or so of fluff at the very beginning and get right into his Flint "timeline"/mea culpa.

    Everything in his body language during that part of his speech just screams that he hasn't exactly been forthcoming with what he really knows and when he really know it.

    We'll be learning about it as well, because I wouldn't be surprised in the least if Pres. B.O. gave Loretta Lynch marching orders to have (metaphorically speaking, of course), Rick Snyder's head on a pike for all to see during the waning days of his administration.

    It'll rile up their base and definitely get them fired up to go out and vote in the fall.

    Just watch.

    You Betcha! (2)Nuh Uh.(0)
  3. Corinthian Scales
    January 26, 2016 at 12:40 pm

    Roh-roh: http://www.detroitnews.com/story/business/columnists/daniel-howes/2016/01/25/howes-spinning-flint-water-crisis/79327260/

    All the player names in collusion ^, were mentioned here first: http://rightmi.com/inside-michigan-officially-falls-on-its-side/#comment-7215

    It Baird's repeating: https://twitter.com/ChadLivengood/status/692036225088106496

    Snyder/Calley has met his Waterloo. Most likely, Snyder/Calley's two year long coverup will take down Cuck Schuette, too, which is the best damn possible outcome for the good people of Michigan.


    Watch the four current top videos and, if you have any cognitive ability at all to grasp the depth of treachery within the MI-GOP, you'll understand: https://www.youtube.com/user/bakersgreenacres/videos

    You Betcha! (2)Nuh Uh.(0)
  4. Granny17
    January 26, 2016 at 2:26 pm

    I deal with these "technical experts" on an almost daily basis. Believe me - they are not technical and they are not experts. They are from almost every department in the state, county, township and city and I can tell you one thing - they are there for a paycheck and benefits only. No common sense what so ever and not the brightest bulbs in the bunch. Sad state of government affairs eating at every last penny from our pockets.

    You Betcha! (3)Nuh Uh.(0)
    • Corinthian Scales
      January 26, 2016 at 8:51 pm

      So, elected a Nerd, why?

      You Betcha! (0)Nuh Uh.(0)
    • JD
      January 26, 2016 at 9:10 pm

      "..They are from almost every department in the state, county, township and city and I can tell you one thing - they are there for a paycheck and benefits only. No common sense what so ever and not the brightest bulbs in the bunch.."

      I agree..yet they often aren't stupid in terms of covering their tracks.
      These people have no problem releasing emails or covering FOIAs as they very simply do not communicate in any manner that is legally retrievable when anything of consequence is ever discussed (see any other crook).

      What IS retrievable (even staged) is RARELY analyzed in terms of how "x" could possibly happen without "y" being involved and "z" paper/money/chain of command trail 'normally' occuring given what little communication has (supposedly) taken place in a(ny) sprawling bureaucracy.

      In other words, our side does a poor job of not only fighting for tough transparency legislation (for decades now) but simply taking what we get and still solving the mystery anyways. As Granny alluded to, these aren't even 'bright' immoral moochers simply calling it in every day...yet you have to give them this:

      They realize that there are very few of us out here willing (or able?) to put 2 and 2 together in even the simplest of equations involving what they do every day behind closed doors. This has been proven many times here in Michigan and I just don't believe that they even try very hard (anymore).

      You Betcha! (0)Nuh Uh.(0)
      • Corinthian Scales
        January 26, 2016 at 9:20 pm

        "In other words, our side does a poor job of not only fighting for tough transparency legislation (for decades now) but simply taking what we get and still solving the mystery anyways."

        Sounds like you're describing a bunch of elected cucks to me, which are still kicking you're ass around the block, to the other side of the street, and out of sight.

        Oh, I know, let's have a conversation about that...

        You Betcha! (2)Nuh Uh.(0)
        • JD
          January 27, 2016 at 6:43 am


          I'd rather have a conversation about how our children will never have the chance to succeed in this nation any more than we just failed at without tougher transparency legislation than we have right now. This should have been the #1 issue that the entire conservative movement went after in '09 and I don't believe that a single person (now at least) would argue it.

          We have ALL had doors rudely slammed in our faces (or worse) when we didn't care to play nice with those using 'transparency guidance' lacking any teeth whatsoever to further cement our children's fate. Any failures that we have had to date using a rule of engagement on the political battlefield that we have chosen to 'live with' are still victories in our children's minds ONLY if we don't quit fighting to make it easier for them. Right now? We haven't even figured out how their FUTURE government should indeed work...let alone being hard at work lobbying for just that.

          I do find it somewhat curious though that you seem to be at the very least 'ambivalent' to any one of us struggling with the cards that we are indeed dealt (now)...as yes...that is EXACTLY the conversation that we must ALL start having if a strategy is indeed what is SOUGHT in this historic election year...vs comediennes/'rah rah' get togethers with angry gatekeepers at extremely expensive venues.

          "..Sounds like you're describing a bunch of elected cucks to me, which are still kicking you're ass around the block, to the other side of the street, and out of sight.
          Oh, I know, let's have a conversation about that..."

          Yes. we're losing...and any one of us losing (on any battlefield of brothers) should be a cause for concern and more importantly focus.

          You Betcha! (1)Nuh Uh.(0)
          • Corinthian Scales
            January 27, 2016 at 8:31 am

            Ambivalence? No, JD. I call bullshit, bullshit where and when I see it. Frankly put, JD, some hothouse flowers are just too low energy and, I even could assert with agenda, to own up to that fact.

            You Betcha! (0)Nuh Uh.(0)
  5. JD
    January 27, 2016 at 6:16 am

    Question: Why aren't we compiling a list of every single legislator's "when did you iknow about this (and why not)" for the upcoming election?
    Could it be the same reason that we never demand that they appear publicly before us in the first place with questions indeed answered? That absolutely ALL communications of consequence be recoverable, that they be MADE in a manner that IS (including recordings) and that no one approached OUR employees without a record of what happened?

    We complain about bad employees.
    Yet our founders told us (and they didn't even know how easy it would be with 21st century technology, a few simple laws and a search engine) that we had to actually act like an employer to keep our freedom.

    "Evidently" we either never got as angry as they were or valued the concept NEAR enough for our children's sake.

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

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