This much should be said for Ted Cruz: At least he's paying attention. Rather than largely dodging the issue, as his fellow GOP frontrunners Donald Trump and Marco Rubio have done, Cruz has taken time this week to both lambaste all levels of Michigan government and actually do something about the water crisis in Flint, Michigan, that's led to a massive outbreak of lead poisoning among those, especially children, who've ingested any of the city's water supply. The crisis began two years ago when Flint's emergency manager — who was appointed by Governor Rick Snyder — dumped Detroit as the city's water supplier and instead had the city start getting water from the Flint River.
“What’s happened in Flint, Michigan, is an absolute travesty,” Cruz said earlier this week during a New Hampshire press conference. “It is a failure at every level of government, a failure of the city officials, a failure of the county officials, and the men and women of Michigan have been betrayed. Every American is entitled to have access to clean water, and to all the children who have been poisoned by government officials, by their negligence, by their ineptitude, it’s heart-breaking.”
Cruz's Michigan organization then picked up the torch. By Wednesday, Wendy Lynn Day, the Cruz campaign's Michigan state director, had managed to wrangle about 600 gallons of water, according to her post on Facebook. Day — who did not return a request for comment — and her fellow Michigan Cruz volunteers then distributed the water. Chief among the water's recipients were Flint's crisis pregnancy centers.
"We have been working with Flint Right to Life since Friday to find out how best to help Flint. This Wednesday volunteers from the Ted Cruz campaign and from Livingston County will be delivering water to Crisis Pregnancy Centers in Flint to give to expecting moms and moms of little ones. If you want to help, please let me know," Day posted on Facebook.
Crisis pregnancy centers are right in the severely pro-life Cruz's wheelhouse. They're the misleadingly advertised "clinics" that pop up high in Google results whenever one searches for abortion providers. They don't provide abortion services, nor any real information beyond telling a woman that she shouldn't, under any circumstances, get an abortion. White Rose Women's Center in Dallas carefully positioned itself near Routh Street Women's Clinic, an actual abortion provider. In an undercover video made by Vice News, workers at White Rose refused to discuss any services the clinic might provide until a woman made an appointment to come into the clinic. In the same report, workers at crisis pregnancy centers admitted that the centers are most effective when they look like an abortion clinic. The Routh Street Clinic has closed because of Texas' new restrictions on abortion. White Rose remains open.
When a pro-choice advocate at Refinery 29 highlighted Cruz's donation, suggesting that the donation might have been more effective had it been given to the many children in Flint already suffering lead poisoning, Day had a simple response: "Good grief. Some people really hate babies," she wrote.
Keep the Dallas Observer Free... Since we started the Dallas Observer, it has been defined as the free, independent voice of Dallas, and we would like to keep it that way. Offering our readers free access to incisive coverage of local news, food and culture. Producing stories on everything from political scandals to the hottest new bands, with gutsy reporting, stylish writing, and staffers who've won everything from the Society of Professional Journalists' Sigma Delta Chi feature-writing award to the Casey Medal for Meritorious Journalism. But with local journalism's existence under siege and advertising revenue setbacks having a larger impact, it is important now more than ever for us to rally support behind funding our local journalism. You can help by participating in our "I Support" membership program, allowing us to keep covering Dallas with no paywalls.