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Tuesday, January 19, 2016

Marty Knollenberg Answers!

Last week, we wrote to Marty Knollenberg with a question. We asked if he bore any responsibility for the man-made disaster currently poisoning the people of Flint?

His office replied. His complete reply is reproduced below, along with our response back.

Dear KTS:



Mike Murray
Chief of Staff
Senator Marty Knollenberg

(517) 373-2523


Dear Marty,

I find your response to my question utterly glib.

I guess I shouldn't be surprised, though. You conflate glibness with leadership. That's something you do on a regular basis. I can prove it by looking at your “leadership.” Let's review, shall we?

When you “led” the fight and introduced the bill to eliminate straight party voting in Michigan, people were, rightly, concerned. Naturally, you received an inquiry about why an appropriation was added to the bill. Your office informed your constituent that the appropriation was added at the request of the Ingham County Clerk.

What you didn't realize is that this constituent would follow up on your claim. This constituent contacted the Ingham County Clerk. As it turns out, you lied. You did what the politician always does: You blamed someone else for something you did purposefully.

And what of SB 571, the election law bill designed to silence municipalities? It was passed in dead of night at the end of the year, with changes described by the Michigan Municipal League as a “complete gag order on local officials" and "a disaster.” Of course, you voted in favor of it. (Roll call vote #655, pg. 2083.)

Let's not forget your recent performance at a Senate Education Committee meeting. In discussing how economic disadvantages and being nonwhite contribute to failing schools, you stated, loud and clear, “I know we can’t fix that. We can’t make an African-American white. That's just, it is what it is.”

Tell me: Was that simple glibness, sheer incompetence, or outright racism? It's probably a bit of all three, because you tried to clear it all up by explaining, “I have an African-American employee who works for me.”

So you'll forgive me if I don't take your glib, “No.” as an answer. Emergency Manager Act was foisted upon the people of Michigan. You supported it. The people of Michigan overrode the law by citizen veto. It was passed, again, adding a referendum to ensure the voice of the people of Michigan was ignored. You voted for it a second time.

The result of which is clear: Rick Snyder used the Emergency Manager to erase the duly elected voices of the people of Flint. That led to a man-made disaster and the poisoning of thousands. A disaster, which, according to Rick Snyder, will cost an estimated $767.4 millions dollars. $712.8 million to replace public water lines and $54.6 million for private water lines.

So I'll ask my question again: Do you bear any responsibility for the man-made disaster currently poisoning the people of Flint? Because if you, as an elected official who enacted the law, are not, who is?

You might want to take your time and answer these questions fully. Because lives have been irreversibly damaged and the people need more than glib answers.

We look forward to reading your response.


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