This Week in PM Blogging:
Wait for it… Wait for it… Is it 2038 yet? Gov. Snyder’s pitch to Michiganders that the state is on the road to recovery might take awhile to set in — about 24 years to be exact.
Gov. Snyder will defend most of his policies with a dry, almost robotic tone. But when you question why his right-hand man secured a huge windfall for his cousin’s furniture company — oh boy, now you’ve really struck a nerve.
Colonel Snyder Says: “We Do Fracking Right!”
Guest Blog: By Denny Green, Clean Water Action
This is just Finger Lickin’ Shameful!
Last Sunday, we saw the only Michigan Gubernatorial Debate for the November 4th election.
There was plenty wrong with what Gov. Snyder had to say on a number of issues (the huge funding cuts to education, the tax on senior pensions, the scandalous Aramark contract, marriage equality, etc.) but the one thing that any person who appreciates Michigan’s natural resources should find cringe-worthy was his position on fracking.
When the subject of renewable energy and energy independence was broached, Snyder assured us that he does want energy independence, but then had the effrontery to say, “fracking is one of the most effective tools to do it.” He just neglected to add the part about health risks, such as birth defects and infertility.
Snyder boasted that in Michigan, “We do fracking right!” This claim, in essence, made him the Colonel Sanders of dangerous practices. Now, call it a matter of semantics, but the word “right” should probably not be used for any practice that creates a low-hovering cloud of stench — that smells of sulfur, up to 80 miles away — like the one in Grayling, on Christmas morning of 2011.
As if his assertion that he is “very pro-environment” wasn’t enough to make you check your hearing, he actually had the brazen audacity to claim that Michigan has fracked over 10,000 wells and “Never had a problem.” If the Governor thinks that the inevitable environmental risks caused by deep-well drilling methods that use poisonous chemicals and consume tens of millions of gallons of water is not a problem, well, that’s a problem.
For a more detailed look at what is either blissful indifference or flagrant disregard for safeguarding Michigan’s environment, check out Snyder’s failing first-term scorecard, released last month by Clean Water Action.
So Much for Being Objective
Earlier this week, we released hundreds of pages of emails between Gov. Snyder’s chief of staff and State Superintendent Mike Flanagan.
A handful of emails showed that Gov. Snyder not only lied about the supposed “objective” process that goes into declaring financial emergencies for local governments and schools, but that his administration ultimately wants to dissolve the Highland Park School District.
Here is Snyder defending the “objective” process that goes into declaring financial emergencies in cities and school districts:
At MLive’s Ballot Bash: “My goal is wait until it’s truly [an] emergency, it’s objectively decided. There’s no subjectivity to deciding it’s an emergency or not.”
At the town hall at Wayne State: “It’s not a subjective process…I don’t simply decide that. Certain conditions and terms of financial emergency have to exist first.”
The documents we obtained through FOIA tell a much different story. The emails show that the administration was looking at emergency manager candidates well before Snyder officially declared a financial emergency in March.
In an email from Dennis Muchmore to State Superintendent Mike Flanagan, dated December 21, 2011, Muchmore says: “Some concern over the Highland Park schools EM choice. Any thoughts on that one?”
Flanagan replies the next day: “D, you asked about possible names for HP EM.” And goes on to suggest two people.
However, in one email string, Muchmore casually refers to the fact that the administration ultimately wants to dissolve the Highland Park School District in a January 17th email in 2012:
“Do we have an endgame regarding this system? I understand we all think it should ultimately be abolished, the hearing is set, we have an EM candidate and a date of the announcement should the Supt.’s designee find cause to move forward, but then what?”
So much for emergency management being an “objective” process.