This page contains, first, an actual publication of the three or four most recent news releases issued by the LPM and its affiliates. Second, it contains a table for linking to earlier releases in the current year. Third, we link to the archive tables for previous year’s releases here: http://old.michiganlp.org/?page_id=1587
Latest Full News Releases
For Immediate Release – January 23, 2016
Kimberly Moore, Chair
Libertarian Party of Michigan
Libertarians Call for Independent Investigation
It has been stated that the Flint Water Crisis is Governor Snyder’s Katrina. Hurricanes are natural disasters though, which can be predicted and reaction plans can be formulated. Preparations could have been made to mediate the damage, but the hurricane could not have been avoided. That is not the case in Flint, MI. There is nothing natural about the water crisis and it was completely avoidable.
There is plenty of blame to go around, as detailed in numerous articles. There were several areas over the years where all levels of government were responsible for decisions that lead to this disaster. The Flint City Council voted to leave the Detroit Water system and use Flint River water until a new source was ready, and the emergency manager approved it. The Michigan DEQ was inadequate in addressing the situation in a timely manner. A federal EPA employee sounded the alarm, but the only official agency response was further dialogue with the DEQ.
What is apparent is the government at every level failed to protect the public. It took people outside of the government to prove what was going on. And yet, the answer is to bring in the Federal Government, who already knew about the situation and did nothing, and the National Guard to help remediate the problem. Will maintaining government control of water fix the problem when the government let this happen in the first place? Would private companies have done better? Maybe not, but at least they are held more accountable. They would be more inclined to provide better service because you could leave them and go elsewhere. Leaving government utility programs is not easy, as there are few other options.
It is time we begin having a more accountable system of services in all aspects of programs offered by the government. This can be done through the free market. Edwardsville Water Corporation of Georgetown, Indiana is one example of a private company providing an alternative option to government controlled utility monopolies as they maintain a transparent reporting practice.
It would be outstanding if government were held to the same accountability as private industries but they are not. The government failed to provide safe water. Had a private company done this they would likely be facing financial retribution if not criminal charges. That is because an outside agency would be doing the investigation. If those companies went bankrupt only the owners and investors would suffer.
Government failures however affect everyone. Michigan is being sued by Flint residents. Any penalties awarded will come out of tax dollars from the state residents, including those residing in Flint. They will be paying for the damage caused by others. Will government officials be held accountable? Although the Attorney General is investigating, it is essentially an internal audit as one branch of the government is reviewing another. The federal EPA is also forming an investigation, but they had advanced warning of this also, and did nothing at the time. An independent review of the missteps in this debacle would be more credible.
The Libertarian Party of Michigan calls for an independent investigation of the events leading up to this public health crisis. Any officials found to be negligent should be fired and prosecuted, but unfortunately most have immunity from legal action.
# # # # # # # # # # # # # # # # # # # # #
Contact: Kimberly McCurry, Chair, Libertarian Party of Michigan
For Immediate Release – January 21, 2016
Kimberly Moore, Chair
Libertarian Party of Michigan
State of the State Response from the Libertarian Party of Michigan
The Michigan State of the State address had a somber tone this year. Though Governor Snyder started out by sincerely thanking the service people from our state and country, and ended on what he considered a hopeful outlook, the crises that currently plague the state were difficult to overcome.
The Flint Water Crisis is a horrendous event. There is plenty of blame to go around; as the Governor said, “government failed you – federal, state and local leaders”. Yet the solution presented is even more government. The Libertarian Party of Michigan will release a separate statement regarding Flint’s water problem. We are reluctant to believe though that the same government that created the problem can provide a good and timely solution.
The Governor’s remarks on that issue led to addressing the failing infrastructure across the state, praising the “investment” made by the legislature into roads this year. An investment that comes from the pockets of Michigan residents against their will, as they voted down a similar tax hike in May of last year.
Citing the Flint water pipes as one of many infrastructures that need to be addressed around the state, he issued an executive order to create a Building 21st Century Infrastructure commission. We hope alternative materials such as hempcrete and hemp plastics will be considered. These are not only environmentally friendly but more cost effective, especially if the hemp products are grown and manufactured in Michigan – an agricultural and industrial stimulus with great job creation potential.
Other areas of focus the Governor mentioned included the Detroit Public Schools, which are severely in debt and under the control of an emergency manager. The proposed legislation included calls for more tax funds. Raising taxes to rescue a failing system does not address the root problem of mismanaged funds. Until that problem is fixed, no additional monies should be taken from the people of the state to be spent by incompetent management.
There are better answers. The school system could raise funds by selling off properties not in use, such as abandoned schools. This would raise money for the school system and would also increase Detroit’s tax base. This could help repair schools with structural issues or retire some debt. Instead these buildings sit as a burden to tax payers, and the government wants to raise our taxes even more. The legislature could also increase the ability to allow more types of fundraisers. When it comes to education there should be no limit to what can be done.
Detroit is supposedly on the comeback and it was pointed out that we were sixth in the nation for private job growth in 2015 by adding 20,000 private sector jobs. That is less than 1% of our population, and many people in Michigan are still feeling the hard times. If they are working it may not be what they were doing ten years ago, or at the same wage rate. Even though manufacturing jobs may be coming back, people do not see them returning to previous levels.
Manufacturing jobs could be better stimulated if hemp production were allowed. Our state legislature and executive office do not seem keen on legalizing it anytime soon though. Michigan is well equipped to handle a hemp industry, with a substantial agriculture base and idle factories from defunct manufacturing companies. This one product could help reduce the real unemployment numbers, which includes those who have left the workforce and under-employed part-time workers.
Instead, Governor Snyder is expanding state programs that act as business welfare, picking winners and losers instead of letting the market decide. There is no guarantee those subsidized jobs be there in a few years and prevent unemployment from rising again.
With all the programs the Governor wants to address, it is surprising we have anything left to invest into a 300-acre Smart Car testing facility for car manufacturers. He praised the tax increase passed in December for roads, discussed proposed legislation for schools, and stated – rightly so – that Michigan needs to compensate Flint residents for the harm done. All of this is coming from Michigan taxpayers who are still in recovery, and then we are told that some of our money will go to help the car industry by building a testing facility. Automobile manufacturers should use their own funds for that purpose. Taxpayers should not be paying for private industry research. It should be reflected in the price of the vehicles, not in the taxes of those who may never buy one.
The Libertarian Party of Michigan is disappointed in state leaders and the lackluster report on the state of the state. We hope the investigations into the Flint water crisis will provide insight into its causes and lead to changes in crisis management for the responsible government agencies.
# # # # # # # # # # # # # # # # # # # # #
2015 Table of Less Recent News Release Links
Libertarians – “Just Say No to Senate Gas Tax Hike”
|April 22, 2015||
Libertarians Issue Statement In Opposition To Proposal 1
Libertarians Issue Statement In Support Of Reverend Neil Carrick On Religious Freedom
|LPM, Mary Buzuma|
|February 5th||Rev. Neil Carrick To Speak to Wayne County Libertarians on Marriage and Religious Freedom||LPWC, Ray Warner|