Justin Roberson, age 6, and Mychal Adams, 1, wait on a stack of bottled water at a rally where the Rev. Jesse Jackson was speaking about the water crisis at the Heavenly Host Baptist Church in Flint, Mich., Jan. 17, 2016.
Bill Pugliano/Getty Images

In what's looking like an executive CYA move (and outside pressure), Michigan Gov. Rick Snyder released a flurry of emails this week relating to the Flint, Mich., water crisis, essentially throwing his staff under the bus for the disastrous, heinous debacle that has gotten worldwide attention and even led to calls for his arrest.

Snyder, under fire since news of Flint‚Äôs poisonous water supply broke, is holding on by a string, especially given that it was his policies‚ÄĒspecifically the Emergency Manager Act‚ÄĒthat many believe led to the calamity in the first place. This week, the heads have begun to roll, including that of the area‚Äôs regional Environmental Protection Agency boss, who resigned Thursday. ¬†

Occupy Democrats reports that Snyder released some 274 pages of emails between 2014 and 2015 related to Flint, the most significant of them (those of ‚Äúhigh importance‚ÄĚ) so heavily redacted that they are basically unreadable.

What did come through, however, was the Snyder administration‚Äôs callous dismissal of complaints from the people of Flint, who had been complaining of foul-smelling, brownish water for some time‚ÄĒwater that turned out to contain high levels of dangerous, poisonous¬†lead, coliform and even fecal bacteria‚ÄĒsaying that they were overly concerned with ‚Äúaesthetics.‚ÄĚ

A Sept. 25, 2015, email from Snyder‚Äôs chief of staff, Dennis Muchmore, to the governor is perhaps most damning, accusing the people of Flint of using their children‚Äôs lead exposure as a ‚Äúpolitical football.‚ÄĚ


The New York Times reports that Muchmore wrote that the two state agencies responsible for health and environmental regulation ‚Äúfeel that some in Flint are taking the very sensitive issue of children‚Äôs exposure to lead and trying to turn it into a political football claiming the departments are underestimating the impacts on the populations and particularly trying to shift responsibility to the state.‚ÄĚ

The email continues: ‚ÄúI can‚Äôt figure out why the state is responsible except that Dillon did make the ultimate decision so we‚Äôre not able to avoid the subject,‚ÄĚ he said, in a reference to Andy Dillon, then the state treasurer.

The Times also reports that from the time in 2014 that the city began drawing its water from the Flint River (as opposed to water from Lake Huron), officials were not only dismissing concerns but also ‚Äúcelebrating‚ÄĚ because the switch allowed the city to save $1 million to $2 million per year, according to emails.


Sadly, the Times also notes that within months of the switch, a General Motors engine plant in Flint found that the city’s water was corroding metal and stopped using it, as did a hospital and local university.

But, alas, the city did not.