Michigan’s Republican Governor Rick Snyder Wins At Being The Worst
Fortune Magazine released their “World’s 19 Most Disappointing Leaders” list last April as examples of how not to lead.
Topping the list is the U.S. Governor Rick Snyder (R- Mich.). After his mishandling of the Flint water crisis, in which the city’s 100,000 residents were subjected to lead-poisoned water after the state switched to the Flint River to save money. The Michigan governor was given the “Don’t Blame Me, I’m Just The Governor” award.
“Snyder and his team sparked national outrage after an attempt at cost-savings left the impoverished city of Flint, Mich. with a lead-tainted water supply that is being blamed for illness and brain damage, especially among its youngest residents. Called to testify before Congress, Snyder, who touted his competence in his gubernatorial campaign, labeled the experience the ‘most humbling’ of his life—then attempted to shift blame. He described it as a ‘failure of government’ and blasted the Environmental Protection Agency for its ‘dumb and dangerous’ rules on allowable amounts of lead in water systems.”
Snyder beat out other leaders like Martin Shkreli, who raised the price of a sole-supply generic drug by over 5000 percent for no explainable reason. The Michigan Governor also beat out fellow Governor Chris Christie, who made the list after criticizing Donald Trump, only to sell out and endorse him when Gov. Christie ended his campaign. Among world leaders, Snyder beat out the former CEO of Volkswagon, after the company was discovered to have installed a mechanism that manipulated emissions testing machines on 11 million diesel vehicles.
NBC 25 reached out to the Governor’s office for comment, and got this response:
“Gov. Snyder is focused on fixing problems, not internet polls. Nevertheless, it is unfortunate that a major news publication would ask its readers to vote on something like this and then give them incorrect information on which to base their vote. The decision on whether to use corrosion control in the Flint water supply was not about saving money, but rather was a mistake made by bureaucrats who misinterpreted a flawed federal rule. Gov. Snyder is the only leader at all levels of government involved in the Flint water crisis who has been willing to stand up and apologize, take responsibility for what happened on his watch, and tackle the problems head on to fix what happened in Flint and fix the system that caused it to happen. Having a leader who is willing to apologize and accept responsibility for things that happened while they were in charge, staying committed to fixing the problem and the issues that caused the problem, and tackling larger issues at all levels of government to serve the people of Michigan better is a leader people should respect, not dismiss.”
By this response, it seems that “Don’t Blame Me, I’m Just The Governor” award was extremely apt.
It should be noted that, while Snyder has taken partial responsibility he completely denies having any knowledge of the disaster prior to October 2015, when it was publically announced that Flint’s water supply was compromised. However, emails dating back to 2014 show Snyder’s closest employees knew that switching the water supply to the Flint River could have dangerous consequences. Even the General Motors factory very publically announced they stopped using water from Flint after they discovered brand new auto parts were being corroded. The signs were everywhere, yet Republicans have firmly laid the blame at the Environmental Protection Agency’s feet.
We couldn’t think of a leader more disappointing than Rick Snyder, well done Fortune.