(WJBK) - The dump this week of 274 pages of emails from the governor's office on the Flint water crisis is just one more reason to expand the state's Freedom of Information law to include the executive and legislative branches. That, from the Senate Democrat leader and the Detroit senator who introduced the legislation to do that this week.
Flint Democratic Sen. Jim Ananich has been on the front lines of fighting for his citizens on the water contamination problem in his city and his takeaway from the emails comes down to this: "It confirms this was a decision made by the Emergency Manager and confirmed by the state treasurer. It's the state's responsibility," the senator asserts again.
Asked if there were any smoking guns in the batch of emails from the years 2014 and 2015, the senator tells MIRS, "The problem is everyone is acknowledging we don't need a smoking gun. Mistakes were made. The decisions were made by the state."
The senator believes there are still too many unanswered questions. "There's a number of things dedicated, so many emails from 2013 not there. I think it shows there is a need to be an expanded FOIA for the executive and the legislature."
Former Chief of Staff Dennis Muchmore is featured in many of the executive office exchanges and the Flint senator accuses him of "trying to rewrite history to make his reputation look a little better. He should be thinking more about the lives of the people of Flint that have been harmed because of his inaction."
He goes on suggesting that Mr. Muchmore "knew for a long time and choose not to tell anybody."
Senator Coleman Young II was asked if the governor deserved any credit for doing what no other governor has ever done.
"No, not in the way he did it. It was dishonest and disingenuous. He's picking the truth." The Detroit senator goes on, "It is disgusting that the governor feels he can release the emails that he wants to release rather than all of the emails."
Reminded that he may have trouble getting votes to expand FOIA the senator conceded the point but counters, "It's the right thing to do."
For his part the governor told MIRS yesterday that he did not included the 2013 time frame because it had nothing to do with the lead contamination problem. He says that's what the critics said they wanted and that's what he did by the public disclosure of the emails for 2014 and 2015. He also asserted he had nothing to hide. "No, absolutely not," he tells critics.