CLINTON TOWNSHIP, Mich. — Macomb County Prosecutor Eric Smith says he will charge a Clinton Township man who allegedly operated a dentist office in his basement where he saw one or two patients a day, according to the Associated Press. The suspect’s identity as not been released, but he is scheduled to be formally arraigned Friday.
In a statement release Friday, Smith said police found a dentist chair, an X-ray machine, molds for teeth and other items in the suspect’s home. Smith went on to say authorities “are thankful that someone had the courage to come forward.” The man allegedly used referrals from his local church to find and treat patients.
Now, parents out there, I don’t want to hear about you getting caught tying a string around your child’s deciduous tooth that’s loose and yanking it … ’cause yannow … operating as an unlicensed health professional is 4 year felony in Michigan. You have been warned.
Why would we expect anything else from the party of Clinton?
Democrats have been screaming about Republican leadership’s failure on the Flint water issue.
While we have no overreaching love for the governerd, who brought us expansion of Obamacare, lost our insurer of last resort, broke the law for his ‘roads’ funding boondoggle, and still hands out money like its not his own, it was not Rick Snyder who put lead in the pipes of Flint. He took credit for the failure of his bureaucracy to properly assess a fast developing public health issue, but he surely did not cause the problem.
Was it the bureaucracy itself? Yes. Decades of poor decision making by those who have by hook or crook made their life’s work to be the decimation of ‘Buick City.’ Poor planning and perhaps a little power mongering graft? From Reuters:
“Henderson’s lawsuit alleged that Mayor Karen Weaver ordered her assistant and a volunteer to redirect donors from a local fund set up to help families affected by the water crisis to her political action committee instead.
The lawsuit charged that the city employee was “specifically directed” to instruct people “step-by-step” to donate to the mayor’s “Karenabout Flint” fund through its website, rather than the Charity Safe Water/Safe Homes fund through the city’s website.
The entire world now knows what crass bureaucratic stupidity, feeble political direction, and witless press coverage did to Flint. We have demonstrated that Flint’s politicians and financial managers made terrible decisions in an effort to replace plunging tax revenue, which had reached statutory and constitutional rate limitations.
The foremost source of revenue expanded was Flint’s water & sewerage charges. Annual free cash flow from water & sewerage charges was increased from nil to $ 28.7 million (bottoms of page 3-13) over the decade from 2004 [FY2005 CAFR, large file] to 2014 [FY2015 CAFR, large file]. The big jump in free cash flow from water & sewerage charges occurred in 2014 as a consequence of Flint River sourcing. Flint only had to pay the DW&SD pirates for water up to April 25th in 2014. Annual free cash flow from water & sewerage charges in 2013 [FY 2014 CAFR, large file] was only $ 9.4 million when they paid DW&SD all year. Why Flint resourced to the Flint River in one number: $ 19.3 million more in cash flow. And most of this $ 19.3 million is now gone with the return to DW&SD water. We will know how much gone later this year.
That $ 28.7 million in free cash flow during 2014 was a 77% markup on actual Flint water & sewerage costs. Only $ 7 million of it was used for infrastructure, mostly to prepare for the now abandoned Flint River sourcing. Only $ 2 million of it was used to pay off water & sewerage debt. The remaining $ 18.5 million was used by other Flint city departments and applied to other Flint obligations. That $ 18.5 million dollars became 22% of all Flint City revenues. Greater than any other source of revenue, greater than income tax revenue, greater than property tax revenue, greater than State revenue sharing, greater than Federal revenue sharing. That $ 28.7 million dollars was the only reason Flint was able to exit emergency management. That and a $ 65.3 million theft from restatement of Flint’s water and sewerage enterprise fund net positions, from their 2014 CAFR to their 2015 CAFR (compare ending 2014 to beginning 2015 net positions on the bottom of pages 3-13).
Let’s consider a counterfactual. Suppose that Michigan’s bureaucrats and political leaders were actually competent and, under the unrelenting scrutiny of a watchful press, arranged for proper chemistry controls of Flint River sourced water. No Flint residents were exposed to lead, no one died from legionella pneumophila, and Flint residents sang the praises of their new water. Its tough to ignore recent history, but do so for a moment so we can explore a very important question:
Would the financial reorganization of Flint under its popularly elected politicians and emergency managers have worked?
The Flint emergency managers had only one common thread in their backgrounds, long records of administration in government and the nonprofit sectors. No productive experience. Experts at spending other people’s money. Well paid experts. Outright Democrats or chameleons politically; typical politics of the bureaucratic class. Look at the backgrounds of the Flint emergency managers:
Emergency managers are not viceroys with absolute powers. The evolution of emergency management in Michigan was frustrated by public union opposition. Five successive laws, one repealed by referendum. The law in force during the critical Flint water fiasco decisions is PA 436 of 2012. The powers it confers upon emergency managers are:
(2) Upon appointment, an emergency manager shall act for and in the place and stead of the governing body and the office of chief administrative officer of the local government. The emergency manager shall have broad powers in receivership to rectify the financial emergency and to assure the fiscal accountability of the local government and the local government’s capacity to provide or cause to be provided necessary governmental services essential to the public health, safety, and welfare. Following appointment of an emergency manager and during the pendency of receivership, the governing body and the chief administrative officer of the local government shall not exercise any of the powers of those offices except as may be specifically authorized in writing by the emergency manager or as otherwise provided by this act and are subject to any conditions required by the emergency manager.
The emergency managers replace the mayors, council, and chief administrative officers of the municipal governments. While this does indeed give them extraordinary powers of control, their control is anything but absolute. The municipal charter continues in effect and continues to protect the prerogatives of lesser bureaucrats. The vague statutory powers of emergency managers beyond replacing the mayor, council, and chief administrative officer poses unremitting legal jeopardy to emergency managers. Encourages timidity and bureaucratic subterfuge. Not absolute control.
Michigan Political subscription newsletter drives into the ditch.
On the left side.
Susan Demas has hardly ever pretended to be fair or balanced, much less a fan of conservative or GOP causes in the state. Her liberal bent was often on display in her distorted reporting style, so when Bill Ballenger sold the subscription based newsletter he founded in 1987 to her it seemed to many, that the end had come to his labor of love.
Demas’ statement upon taking the successful newsletter Inside Michigan Politics on its last ride was
“Inside Michigan Politics is the gold standard for political journalism in Michigan. I look forward to ensuring that IMP continues its tradition of fair and non-partisan reporting and analysis. Most of all, I look forward to the opportunity of working with Bill, who has been a friend and mentor to me for many years.”
A friend indeed.
She fired him for having an opinion that was not in line with her view of the Flint Water crisis.
Water Has A Very Special Attribute In Southeast Michigan
You probably think the water which comes out of the taps in your house is for drinking and washing. You would be wrong. Michigan drinking water is first and foremost a mechanism for Michigan politicians to evade limits imposed upon them by the Headlee Amendment. You probably think Michigan water systems have quality as their top concern. You would be wrong. Michigan water departments are directed to maximize revenue by their political masters. These unfortunate facts are the genesis of Flint’s sorry water quality.
Michigan’s lefties and the ignorati in our media have fabricated a popular history of the Flint water situation which begins with Governor Snyder and his emergency managers on 25 April 2014, the date Flint started drawing its drinking water from the Flint River. Craven emergency managers appointed by Governor Snyder plotted to poison Flint residents to save a few bucks. The truth is rather different.
The history of this calamity actually begins in 1978, when the Headlee Amendment to Michigan’s Constitution was passed by outraged Michigan voters.
Snyder’s ineptitude at handling the Flint situation, plunging from a deep hole into the abyss, also creates great risks for taxpayers across Michigan. We have already pointed out that skilled, predatory legal vultures are circling the Michigan Treasury. The torrent of adverse publicity will predispose any jury they impanel to hammer the State of Michigan financially. Now a variety of self-interested parties within and without Flint are proposing an avalanche of new, State-paid goodies for the citizens of Flint. These acts of contrition will be paid for by Michigan taxpayers who played no role in the Flint water situation and will not receive any benefit from a lavish expenditure of their hard earned dollars.
Snyder’s political career is over, but he will enjoy his remaining days living in well earned obscurity akin to his mentor Bill Milliken. You can safely bet that our accountant-in-chief will use his single real world skill to avoid paying the penance for his decisions. Michigan taxpayers, Republicans, and conservatives will take the big hit here.
Senate Joint Resolution M: Paying for Michigan's Role in the Flint Water Disaster with Roads Funding?
Four Republican Michigan State Senators introduced Senate Joint Resolution M on December 15th to abrogate the just enacted PA 179 (HB 4370) deal which will eventually apply $ 600 million from State General Fund to roads repairs. SJR M replaces this funding by raising the Michigan sales tax from 6% to 7%. The four Republican Senators are:
Ken Horn, District 32
Rick Jones, District 24
Darwin Booher, District 35
Mike Green, District 31
Horn thinks the current plan relies too heavily on shifting money from other areas of the budget – especially with some big expenses on the horizon.
“That has me a little bit nervous,” he said. “If we tie our hands with $600 million out of the general fund, how do we ever manage new expenses?”
What “big….new expenses” cropped up in Senator Horn’s mind over the last 60 days?