As the primaries were starting to heat up last March and Bernie Sanders was starting to look like an actual threat to Queen Hillary’s coronation, the Democratic monarch felt she needed to spring into action. On March 6, two days before the Michigan primary, she stood next to her primary opponent on the CNN Democratic debate stage and made an impassioned plea to residents of Flint — and to the liberal suckers she panders to whenever she needs their support — by promising to help victims of the city’s contaminated drinking water crisis.
“The state should be sending money immediately to help this city,” she said. “The state of Michigan has a rainy-day fund for emergencies. It’s raining lead in Flint.” Never mind that by symbolically implying that it was “raining lead,” she was pivoting away from what is generally a more likely cause of increased lead levels in water: fracking. Of course, she didn’t want to link the two topics in anyone’s head since as secretary of state she had been a huge advocate of fracking.
(By the way, fracking didn’t cause the lead poisoning in Flint but there is fracking in Flint. It seems a tad hypocritical to support fracking while expressing heartfelt concern about the local drinking water there.)
The water crisis in Flint had been slowly unfolding, with little national media attention, for years but it didn’t explode until early 2016. That was the worst possible timing for Hillary since primary season was just kicking off and top Democratic state and federal elected officials had been implicated in the slow and negligent response.
In January, after lawsuits had been filed against government officials and investigations had been opened, Michigan Governor Rick Snyder declared a state of emergency in Flint and Barack Obama, Hillary’s former boss and chief political sponsor, declared a federal state of emergency. That much publicized step, which garnered saturation coverage from the media, authorized the Federal Emergency Management Agency to come to the aid of Flint.
Of course, Hillary’s impassioned plea for Flint on the debate stage was not a political stunt. “This is not the time for politics as usual,” declared the woman who has grown rich giving speeches to Goldman Sachs et al while claiming to be a great philanthropist dedicated to eradicating poverty through her family’s foundation. “I will fight for you in Flint no matter how long it takes!”
As a sign of her commitment, Hillary partnered with Karen Weaver, the city’s mayor, to launch the Flint WaterWorks Initiative on the very same day as the Democratic debate. She opted not to spend a dime of her own millions on her initiative, which was funded with a donation from two of her billionaire pals and Super Pac contributors, J.B. and M.B. Pritzker. In true Clinton Foundation style, Hillary named Chelsea to lead this deeply humanitarian venture.
There are many, many ways to help the people of Flint. Obviously, providing clean water is one. Donating and installing water filters is another. One might even set up a medical fund for those who suffered health problems from drinking the city’s lead-rich water.
But Clinton’s Initiative decided that the best way to help the city’s citizens would be to create a “WaterWorks” program to hire (up to a maximum) of 100 unemployed young adults between the ages of 18 and 24 to aid in Flint’s recovery and relief. OK, you’re no doubt saying, whoever funded and led the Flint WaterWorks Initiative and whatever its strategy, it did great things for the city, right? Actually, it looks like it has done virtually nothing at all, other than serve as a cynical campaign move by Hillary and get Mayor Karen Weaver on stage to endorse her.
The initiative is to run through November, which coincidentally, no doubt, is when election season ends. There are over 10,000 18 to 24-year-old unemployed people in Flint and so far not one a single one has gotten a job with this emergency initiative, according to various people involved with it.
Emails to the Flint’s mayor’s office, the Clinton campaign, and Mott Community College, which is assisting in the hiring process, resulted in only one reply. Dawn Hibbards, a spokeswoman at Mott, told me the hiring process had only recently begun. Meanwhile, many volunteer organizations, churches and non-profits have been working hard towards relief and recovery and actually making difference.
The track record of Hillary’s much-hyped initiative could not be worse. If Queen Hillary had really wanted to make a difference, she might have put up some her Goldman Sachs pocket change to match the $500,000 from her Super PAC donors. With that combined $1 million, Hillary’s initiative could have simply given $10,000 to 100 poor families in Flint. That would have made a real difference in people’s lives.
It’s raining alright, but it’s not lead that’s falling from the sky. It’s just Hillary’s bullshit campaign rhetoric.