Quantcast
Connect with us

GOP lead-poisoning truthers say Flint water crisis ‘vastly overstated’ — and might even be ’a hoax’

Published

on

A Michigan Republican suggested that Flint’s water crisis wasn’t all that bad — and might even be a hoax — during a lunch meeting of business leaders and elected officials.

Oakland County Executive L. Brooks Patterson said Tuesday during the Detroit Economic Club luncheon that the water crisis had been “vastly overstated,” reported the Detroit Free Press.

ADVERTISEMENT

Blood testing has found dangerously high levels of lead in Flint’s children after the cash-strapped city stopped buying pretreated Lake Huron water from Detroit and instead began drawing highly corrosive water from the Flint River.

Patterson, however, said a GOP political analyst and former lawmaker who lives in Flint had opened a debate on the scandal during a radio interview.

“I think, well, that’s the other side,” Patterson said. “Let’s wait and see what the facts show.”

Bill Ballenger said during an appearance on WJR-AM that tests on his own blood had found no elevated lead levels.

BillBallenger (WJBK)

BillBallenger (WJBK)

ADVERTISEMENT

“This has been a vastly overblown crisis, perpetuated by a lot of politicians with an axe to grind and, for that matter, the news media, and some national figures, some political, some entertainers who don’t know what they’re talking about,” Ballenger told WJR’s Frank Beckmann.

Ballenger said scientists had not collected enough data to determine the seriousness of the contaminated water, which runs brown from the tap.

“I had my blood tested just yesterday, and I have no elevated blood-lead level — it’s way down there,” Ballenger said.

ADVERTISEMENT

“The idea that the entire population of Flint has been poisoned and that we all have elevated blood-levels because of this is just a total canard,” Ballenger said. “It’s just a crock, and for this to be perpetuated as a story is doing a lot of damage to Flint as a community.”

Ballenger’s anecdotal data was good enough for Patterson to doubt whether Flint’s poor children, who don’t even have access to bottled water because the city lacks a single grocery store, had been exposed to contaminated water.

ADVERTISEMENT

“He was adamant that he lives in Flint, he drinks the water, he showers in that water,” Patterson said during the business luncheon.

Patterson said Ballenger had described the water crisis as “a hoax,” and said the situation was “one of the most overblown scandals in the history of the state.”

Ballenger stood by his remarks, saying that long-term results would not be known for years, but Patterson’s office said his comments had been misinterpreted by reporters.

ADVERTISEMENT

“Patterson never said he agreed with Ballenger’s comments,” his office said in a statement. “He simply noted there are other viewpoints on the subject.”

Both men’s comments contrasted with Republican Gov. Rick Snyder — who has apologized for his administration’s failure to quickly and seriously respond to concerns about the taste, odor and appearance of Flint’s water.

The 77-year-old Patterson is no stranger to controversial remarks, especially when it comes to Oakland County’s less-affluent neighbor.

“Anytime I talk about Detroit, it will not be positive,” he said during a 2014 interview. “Therefore, I’m called a Detroit basher. The truth hurts, you know? Tough shit.”

ADVERTISEMENT

“I made a prediction a long time ago, and it’s come to pass,” Patterson added in an interview published by the New Yorker. I said, ‘What we’re gonna do is turn Detroit into an Indian reservation, where we herd all the Indians into the city, build a fence around it, and then throw in the blankets and corn.’ ”

Watch this video report posted online by WJBK-TV:


Report typos and corrections to: [email protected].
READ COMMENTS - JOIN THE DISCUSSION
Continue Reading

Breaking Banner

‘Dead wrong’: House Dems release scathing rebuttal to White House’s widely panned legal brief

Published

on

The Trump White House's latest defense of the president ahead of his impending impeachment trial has been widely panned, and has even sparked speculation that Trump himself had a hand in writing it due to its low-grade legal analysis.

A legal brief filed by President Donald Trump's lawyers late last week called impeachment proceedings "constitutionally invalid," even though impeachment is literally a part of the Constitution, and also accused Democrats of engaging in a "brazen and unlawful attempt to overturn the results of the 2016 election," even though Vice President Mike Pence would take over in the event that Trump was removed by the Senate.

Continue Reading

Activism

White nationalist speaker heckled for denying Holocaust at Virginia gun march: ‘You are literally a neo-Nazi’

Published

on

A white nationalist speaker who has been affiliated with neo-Nazi rhetoric was caught on video denying the Holocaust at a pro-Second Amendment march in Richmond, Virginia.

The remarks were made by former Proud Boy Jovanni Valle, who goes by the name Jovi Val. Video clips of Valle's speech were shared on Twitter by writer Robert Evans.

"You wear a swastika and walk down the street," a man can be heard telling Valle. "You took it off and now you are like, oh no. You are denying the existence of the Holocaust."

Continue Reading
 

Breaking Banner

‘Not supposed to be that way!’ Bitter Trump whines about Senate possibly letting John Bolton testify

Published

on

President Donald Trump on Monday whined about the Senate potentially letting former national security adviser John Bolton testify during his impeachment trial.

"They didn’t want John Bolton and others in the House," the president wrote on Twitter. "They were in too much of a rush. Now they want them all in the Senate. Not supposed to be that way!"

In reality, the House impeachment investigators tried to get Bolton to testify during their inquiry, but he refused to appear unless he got legal clearance to do so. However, Bolton has now offered to testify before the Senate even though he did not comply with House requests to do the same.

Continue Reading
 
 
Help Raw Story Uncover Injustice. Join Raw Story Investigates for $1 and go ad-free.
close-image