Quantcast
Connect with us

Exclusive: Trump county so desperate for clean water they turn to GoFundMe

Published

on

Thanks for your support!
This article was paid for by reader donations to Raw Story Investigates.

This article was paid for by Raw Story subscribers. Not a subscriber? Try us and go ad-free for $1. Prefer to give a one-time tip? Click here.

Sarah Okeson
Sarah Okeson

A rural water district in a northern Nebraska county that voted for Trump in the 2016 presidential election had to resort to setting up a GoFundMe account when a flood wiped out running water to half of the county for six months.

Rancher Rex Black, the president of the Boyd County Rural Water District, hopes FEMA eventually reimburses the district 75% of the $1.7 million to $1.8 million cost to run a new water pipe under the Niobrara River and other expenses. The district got a no-interest loan from the state revolving loan fund, and Black’s wife and daughter set up a GoFundMe account which helped raise more than $300,000 toward the cost of repairs.

ADVERTISEMENT

“They told me it will be four to five years out,” said Black who voted for Trump. “I sure hope it comes through because it will be hard on our little water district if it doesn’t.”

A FEMA spokesman said the agency is compiling information about the project.

Residents of Spencer, Lynch, Anoka and about 450 farms and ranches in Boyd County relied on bottled water to drink after a dam on the Niobrara River failed in March, washing away the district’s water main. Much of the county went without running water they could drink until September.

Trump’s FEMA would rather spend our nation’s taxpayer dollars on forcing would-be immigrants to stay in Mexico instead of paying for disaster relief like Nebraska flooding or helping Puerto Rico recover from Hurricane Maria.

The Department of Homeland Security, now run by Kevin McAleenan, the acting secretary, told Congress that FEMA transferred $155 million from FEMA’s disaster relief fund to ICE to pay for temporary courts for asylum seekers along the border. The money will help ICE detain almost 50,000 immigrant children and adults at a time.

ADVERTISEMENT

DHS told Congress it was transferring the money instead of asking Congress for permission because under McAleenan, the department believes it has the authority to move the money after Congress didn’t fund more ICE detention beds in June.

McAleenan replaced Kirstjen Nielsen who resigned in April.

Our nation’s drinking water system needs an estimated $473 billion over the next two decades to improve pipelines and how the water is treated and stored. Most of the investment has been by cities, counties and states.

ADVERTISEMENT

“We are in a national crisis,” said water consultant Robert Bowcock.

In May, Trump walked out of an Oval Office meeting with House Speaker Nancy Pelosi and Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer where they were supposed to talk about a proposed $2 trillion plan for water projects, repairing roads and bridges, and other infrastructure improvements.

ADVERTISEMENT

Boyd County has fewer than 2,000 residents. The county is older and poorer than the national average with a per capita income of about $26,000 a year. Trump carried the county with more than 85% of the vote.

In March, the 92-year-old Spencer Dam failed during the bomb cyclone that inundated much of the Midwest. The water district provided water for showering, washing and toilets from three refurbished irrigation wells and distributed free bottles of drinking water.

This article was paid for by Raw Story subscribers. Not a subscriber? Try us and go ad-free for $1. Prefer to give a one-time tip? Click here.


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

Breaking Banner

Thieves and scoundrels spotted among COVID-19 bail out recipients

Published

on

The Trump Administration’s reluctant disclosure of the names of more than 600,000 recipients of Paycheck Protection Program aid has shown that many of the loans went to firms that are well-connected and that otherwise don’t fit the image of mom-and-pop businesses we were led to believe would be the main beneficiaries.

There is another problem: many of the recipients previously engaged in behavior that amounts to paycheck endangerment. They failed to comply with minimum wage and/or overtime requirements and thus paid their workers less than what they were owed. In other words, they engaged in wage theft.

Continue Reading

2020 Election

How Republicans are using technology to deny your right to vote

Published

on

How do you win an election? You could gain a majority of votes. Or you can cheat—as Republicans have been doing in force since 2010—with gerrymandering and other forms of suppression across the country so the minority party can gain and hold power even as its numbers shrink.

Now those who would discourage or disable unwanted ballots have a new potential tool: voting machines. If there aren’t enough working machines to enable people to cast their ballots, you blunt their will.

Continue Reading
 

Breaking Banner

A new civil war erupts inside Trump’s VA as Secretary Robert Wilkie is accused of pushing white supremacy

Published

on

Long before Donald Trump exposed himself as a cheerleader for white supremacy, workers at the Dept. of Veterans Affairs were complaining that the Neo-Confederate running the agency didn’t care about them and was “mimicking” the racist-in-chief.

Trump picked Robert Wilkie to run the VA in 2018, despite, or because of, the former naval intelligence officer’s long-established love affair with the 19th Century traitor Jefferson Davis and the “Lost Cause” of the Confederacy.

Continue Reading
 
 
You need honest news coverage. Help us deliver it. Join Raw Story Investigates for $1. Go ad-free.
close-image