press release

News from Progress Michigan

January 26, 2016

Contact: Sam Inglot, 616-916-0574,

Snyder Taps Scandal-Plagued Lackey to Advise in Flint 

MICHIGAN — It was recently reported that Gov. Rick Snyder had tapped Rich Baird, one of his scandal-plagued advisors, to coordinate the state efforts in Flint. On Monday, it was announced the state was alreadyscaling back its efforts to reach Flint residents with filters and water.

“The definition of insanity is doing the same thing over and over and expecting different results. The fact that former Flint Emergency Manager Darnell Earley is at Detroit Public Schools and now Snyder is tapping Rich Baird to run his response to Flint despite the fact that Baird has a history of scandal and secrecy in Michigan shows that the Governor will not be able to build back the trust necessary to recover from this man-made disaster,” said Lonnie Scott, executive director of Progress Michigan. “Snyder’s response to this man-made crisis has been abysmal. Instead of hiring PR firms and sending in his cronies to try and fix his image, Governor Snyder should be in Flint himself fixing this problem his administration ignored until they couldn’t ignore it any longer.”

In 2013, Baird was the one who spearheaded a secretive “Skunk Works” group to try to push a school voucher program on Michigan despite rejections by Michigan voters of such a program in past elections.

In August 2014, Baird was embroiled in a scandal where he was registered to vote in different states and was claiming property tax exemptions on two houses in two different states.

Earlier that year in September, Baird was caught in an email obtained by Progress Michigan asking Treasury officials about the “investment value” of Aramark company, which was ousted from Michigan’s prison food service in July 2015. A report released by Progress Michigan revealed numerous oversight failures from the Snyder administration.


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