The River Speaks


Why this is about money more then health, Part Deux...

Here is an announcement from Tony Stamas's office:

Legislators call for responsible dioxin strategy in Midland

LANSING – State and federal legislators are calling on the Michigan Department of Environmental Quality to take a more responsible approach to dealing with dioxin levels in Midland.

Legislation in the state Senate and House calls on the DEQ to keep the action level for dioxin at the federal rate of 1,000 parts per trillion until there is compelling evidence that a reduction is necessary. Senate Bill 1276 and House Bill 5963 were introduced today.

“The health of our families and our neighbors has to be our primary concern” said state Sen. Tony Stamas, R-Midland. “This legislation is consistent with federal guidelines, which are based on measurable factors such as the health of the community. Decisions must be based on sound science.”

At a community meeting held Wednesday, the DEQ discussed with residents its plans to re-test Midland soils for levels of dioxin contamination. The DEQ’s dioxin action level for residential areas is 90 parts per trillion. Properties that test at levels higher than that would be labeled “facilities.” Properties not tested, but within areas expected to be contaminated, also would receive the label.

“Given what’s at stake in terms of the public health and economic health of Midland, we need to be cautious,” said Senate Majority Leader Ken Sikkema, R-Wyoming. “The DEQ should take into account health concerns that are based on real science and not just make an arbitrary decision without considering all the facts.”

The University of Michigan plans to launch a comprehensive health study on dioxin exposure in July. The study is expected to be completed in 18 to 24 months.

“Dioxin is not a new issue for those of us who live in Midland, who grew up here and who are raising our children here; and nothing is more important to us than protecting the safety and health of our families,” said U.S. Rep. Dave Camp, R-Midland. “We are all anxious to find out at what point excessive levels of dioxin become dangerous. However, the governor and her DEQ have no plan to answer that question – only a plan to dig up our yards and devalue our property. Scientists at the EPA are less than two years away from issuing updated dioxin regulations based on an exhaustive new study. We need to let these scientists complete their work, and we need to move forward with a comprehensive health study.”

State House Speaker Rick Johnson, R-Leroy, and state Rep. John Moolenaar, R-Midland, also urged a responsible approach to addressing dioxin in Midland.

“Residents in this area have worked their entire lives to build homes and create a comfortable existence,” Johnson said. “We must make sure the DEQ doesn't unnecessarily threaten thousands of people's livelihoods by virtue of some questionable bureaucratic label.”

Moolenaar, a Midland resident, also expressed concern over the DEQ’s aggressive plan and the long-term implications it could have on Midland.

“As a father raising six children here, I believe it is important to protect the public health of our families using good sound science and sound judgment. Enforcing the federal guidelines, with a health study guiding our efforts, is responsible and in the best interest of mid-Michigan,” Moolenaar said. “Implementing such an aggressive DEQ rule without the research to back it up has the potential to devastate our economy and the quality of life residents now enjoy.” ###

What I find offensive is people that obviously have no ethics and definate questionable ethics, are telling me that I'm what is important to them and that the millions that Dow ladles on them and their cohorts in government doesn't matter tot hem. Uh huh... I may have been born at night, but it wasn't last night...

There is no doubt that if the testing in Midland goes bad for Dow, the resulting cleanup will cost millions and millions of dollars. Money that would interfere with the Dow bottom line and cause those dividends to decrease and that stock to be of far less value.

Who do they work for when they support legislation like this? It's not the people living in the pollution from Dow Chemical! These politicians are basically being paid to not care. Meanwhile, Dow could walk away from this, like they did in the 80's.

Oh, and the bolded areas in the press release highlight examples of industry buzzwords that are used to either mislead the public or to imply some kind of agenda...

Beware of the person in politics that claims to not have an agenda...

More to come...


Why this is about money and not health.

Dow Chemical spends an enormous amount of money for lobbying. What is lobbying you ask. Let me explain it this way. Lobbyists are paid by companies and groups to visit your representitives in Wasnington DC, your state legislature and even your local city and country governments.

The old saying that 'the squeaky wheel gets the grease' rings true when you consider the massive effect that the lobbyists have on the decisions that politicians make. Some people say that the lobbyists are the evil ones here, but others blame the politicians. I guess I find the majority of the fault on the politicians. If there hands weren't out looking for 'grease' and the receipt of that 'grease' didn't have such direct results for the lobbying company or group, then lobbying would die out. BUT, Washington DC runs with lots of 'grease'. Usually the more greased politicians become nothing more then bought and paid for shills or 'water carriers' for the industries that give them money. Now, onto Dow and lobbying.

According to, Dow ranked number 6 in 1999 lobbying activities. Here is the line from the report:

Dow Chemical
1999 Lobbying expenses $2,120,000
1998 Lobbying expenses $2,440,000
1997 Lobbying expenses $1,980,000
Average growth 3.5%

Some of the groups that Dow spent money on have clients like the Chlorine Chemistry Council (CCC), the Recording Artists of America (RIAA), Phillip Morris, DuPont, American Petroleum Institute, CBS, AT&T and Aventis.

Why is lobbying so bad? Here is the figures from the top lobbying organization in 1999:

Cassidy & Assoc
1999 Lobbying receipts $20,840,000
1998 Lobbying receipts $19,890,000
1997 Lobbying receipts $17,754,425
Average increase 8.3%

Yes, that's 20.8 million dollars! I feel like I should have my pinky in the corner of my mouth like the villan in Austin Powers. That's a heck of a lot of 'grease'. At this rate, people would have very little chance of fighting the will of the lobbyists.

Another thing that adds to the 'money over health' situation is the amount of contributions that Dow Chemical doles out to 'our' representatives.

In the 2002 US Congress race, according to again, Dow Chemical gave Dave Camp $11,000 and earned the 'top contributer' title to his campaign and Dow made the top 5 list of .highest contributors in the 2001-2002 race with a total amount contributed reported at $510,389. More grease...

Other 'representatives' that were taking money from Dow are Tony Stamas who took close to $5,000 in 2002 from the data at this site that reports on Michigan contribution recipients. According to 2004 data available, he is doing just as well now...

John Moolenaar is close behind in his collection of grease.

Why are political contributions so dangerous? Because, if they didn't work the corporations that are giving wouldn't give, would they...

Also at are information on personal assets. According to the 2002 personal finance report filed May 13, 2003, Dave Camp holds between $500,000 and $1,000,000 dollars of Dow Corporate stock and earns between $15,000 and $50,000 dollars a year in dividends from that stock!

Well, isn't that cozy. The person that is to represent us citizens of the great State of Michigan have someone who has a conflict of interest with a major polluter in his home district supposedly 'representing us'. Why does this become important? You will see... Do you, reading this now, think that Mr. Camp can be totally unbiased in any dealing with Dow and the chemical industry in general? But fear not, dear friends... Mr. Camp, with his huge amount of Dow stock, was on the 'Standards of Official Conduct Committee'! It's commonly called the 'House Ethics Committee' and 'deals solely with reviewing the behavior of House members'. Kinda ironic, huh... These political people are quite a bunch of funny people... I guess ethics are hard to come by for politicians these days but also missing is the ability to look at themselves to find the hypocrisy...

Welcome to the first post of 'The River Speaks'.

This is a blog about the mighty Tittabawassee River that meanders through several counties of Michigan. One particular county that the great river flows innocently through is the main reason for this blog. That county, and city, is Midland.

You see, Midland Michigan is the home hedquarters of the Dow Chemical megopoly.

This blog will contain information on the current issues facing the river and the political and health issues that were created the day that Dow Chemical decided that it was better to keep quiet about the pollution that they put in the river and the many communities that the river flows through after picking up it's cargo from the Dow plant.

This will also expose the lies and distortion of the Dow political relations animal and the attempts by the politicians in the area to make the people stupid and accepting of the pollution that their benefactor has spewed out into their communities.

Thank you...

The River Speaks!!!