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We need to hear the Republican candidates talk about the Flint water crisis.

Whether it happens at tonight’s debate or later, it is important that the Republicans asking the American people to trust them with the governance of the United States speak to the governance of one of their own in Michigan. 

Rick Snyder, elected in the 2010 Tea Party wave, was named Thursday in a class action lawsuit along with his state and the city of Flint. Why? Per a ClickOnDetroit report, three plaintiffs allege that they suffered injury from drinking contaminated city water.

This crisis began in 2014, three years after the former auto manufacturing hub was taken over by Snyder’s emergency managers. To save money, the city began using the water from the Flint River rather than water from Lake Huron. It’s since switched it back, but too late. And they knew that the river water was polluted and that lead seeped in from pipes, creating health threats ranging from increased lead exposure to a spike in Legionnaires’ disease. Snyder last week declared a state of emergency, but the damage is still being done

He is a Republican governor presiding over what appears to be a generational disaster. There are some calling for his arrest. This story stinks not just of neglect, but outright corruption. We need to know where the candidates stand on Americans being poisoned in their own homes more than we need to hear their takes on, say, each other.