Oh no! Michigan Governor, Rick Snyder, is having a sad. Poor little governor is really upset because people are mad at him over the Flint Water Crisis. In an interview with WWJ Newsradio 950’s Charlie Langton, Snyder talked about how he’s been heckled or worse, threatened. While dining at a restaurant people yelled things at him, which, to be fair, isn’t the worst thing that could happen. The worst thing would be if the servers poured him a glass of Flint’s water while he was dining.
“I mean, I did have my meal, I didn’t just leave,” Synder said proving that sticks and stones can break his bones but words will never hurt him. “But, yeah, I was heckled and other things like that have been going on for some time now…. And from a personal perspective, I’ve had things aimed even at my family.”
Now, to be fair, death threats are never appropriate. The only thing anyone should aim at Snyder should be water balloons filled with Flint’s water.
Local Ann Arbor resident, Laura Tanner, told The Ann Arbor News that she and a friend were one of those who had a lot to say to Snyder when she saw him dining at the Old Town Tavern. “How was your water? Was it clean?” she said that she yelled at the governor.
He was just eating his meal, drinking fresh water, like he didn’t have a care in the world, and this was my chance to tell him what I think of him. I don’t know how he sleeps at night, to be honest… In our defense, we let him finish his meal before shouting at him.
Amen to that, and she has nothing to be defensive about. But here’s the most hilarious part of this story: They made Snyder feel bad.
“It makes you feel terrible, Charlie,” he told Langton in the interview.
Oh, woe is me! Is Snyder really trying to play a victim? He feels terrible because people are mad at him but not terrible because of what he did to the people of Flint?
I wrote about the Flint water crisis before and outlined how this all came into being. Snyder has always been about turning the state of Michigan into more of a business than a government. And, boy, have his policies reflected it. In April 2014, Snyder wanted to save $5 million. What businessman wouldn’t. Except, Michigan isn’t a business, it’s a state, and residents aren’t customers who can just go to another city to drink or bathe in water. These so-called “customers” are people and families.
One of Snyder’s first efforts in Michigan was to take over city governments. He got a lame-duck legislature to pass a bill that would allow him to appoint “emergency managers” to oversee cities and school boards if he determined they were unfit to govern. These emergency managers had all the authority and zero transparency or accountability to citizens. In fact, the bill that was passed was actually a proposed ballot initiative in November 2012, but people voted it down, knowing what an incredibly bad idea it was. Of course, that didn’t stop Snyder.
It was Flint’s Snyder-appointed emergency manager, Edward Kurtz, who made the decision to move to a different water supply from the Detroit system hoping to save money. After Kurtz, successor, Darnell Earley too over. He made the ultimate decision to go with the Flint River as a water supply while the city waited for a pipeline being constructed to deliver water to the residents from Lake Huron. The sad thing is that Detroit was fine helping Flint with water until the pipeline was finished. But, Snyder, and his emergency managers wanted to save a buck.
After Darnell Earley came a new emergency manager, Jerry Ambrose. When the Flint City Council didn’t want to use the Flint River as a water source, back in March 2015, they voted to return to Detroit. It was Ambrose who overruled their vote because emergency managers have that unchecked power as bestowed to them by Governor Rick Snyder to do whatever they want. It was the emergency management law that ultimately took the power away from the people who wanted to protect Flint and gave it to people who wanted to treat the Flint citizens like they were only customers. Snyder fought for that law and he’s the reason that it is there today.
He has no one to blame but himself and should accept responsibility for his terrible actions. The legislature should pass a bill to change the emergency management law and let cities make their own damn decisions. Ultimately, Snyder needs to be more than heckled, he needs to be in jail.
Featured image via Michigan Municipal League/Flickr.