Flashback: Flint's Trump-Hating Mayor Now Caught in Scandal of a Lifetime


Editor’s Note: Our readers responded strongly to this story when it originally ran; we’re re-posting it here in case you missed it.

Many cities strive to become well known nationally, but Flint, Michigan, has recently found itself on the map for some very dire reasons. Flint became infamous for having drinking water so terrible it was literally poisoning its residents — and more and more, it looks like corruption is the root cause.

Flint, located 70 miles northwest of Detroit and once home to a thriving automotive industry, saw its population fall by nearly half since its peak in 1960.

All the while, the increasingly crime-ridden city has had nothing but Democrat mayors since 1975 … yet those liberals have consistently pointed fingers at Republicans for the area’s problems.

You’d think that after decades of watching a once-proud city turn into a hellhole under Democrat leadership, Flint’s residents would at least try a different tune. But no: In 2015 they once again elected a liberal, Karen Weaver, as mayor.

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Predictably, Weaver has been a vocal anti-Trump critic from the start, while also blaming conservatives at the capitol in Lansing for almost every issue under the sun.

Back in 2017, the liberal mayor slammed President Trump over Puerto Rico hurricane relief and voiced her solidarity with San Juan Mayor Carmen Yulin Cruz.

In a twist of irony, however, both Cruz and Weaver are now facing serious scandals over how they handled their respective emergencies. In both Puerto Rico and Flint, there are signs that corruption and incompetence are rampant … and Trump may end up having the last laugh.

Weaver is now accused of using the Flint water crisis for personal gain by re-directing donations to a political fund she controlled.

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“Mayor Karen Weaver asked employees to redirect charitable donors to a nonprofit fund she created shortly after taking office in 2015, an ex-city official testified during a federal whistleblower trial in Detroit on Wednesday,” MLive reported.

The Democrat mayor, of course, is denying the allegations and doing her best to deflect the public relations nightmare, but many observers aren’t buying her story.

“They got slick,” community activist Arthur Woodson bluntly told MLive. “They were trying to steal the money.”

Slick is certainly the right word. If the accusations are correct, Weaver used her emergency declaration during the peak of the water crisis in 2015 as a catalyst to receive a significant amount of money from sympathetic donors trying to help the city’s residents. The way those donations were handled is what first raised eyebrows.

“By January 2016, Weaver, who was elected and took office the previous November, created her nonprofit, Caring for Flint,” explained MLive. But there were red flags from the start.

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“The nonprofit was created as a 527 organization, usually a form of campaign fund created for politicians. Under federal law, a 527 account isn’t required to register or report to the state, can accept direct corporate contributions and is only obliged to report donors and expenditures if contributions exceed $25,000 in a year,” the newspaper continued.

At the center of the controversy are Jody Lundquist and Natasha Henderson, the city’s former chief financial officer and city administrator, respectively. They’re now whistle-blowers who are speaking out about what they saw at city hall.

The two former officials say that Mayor Weaver directed her staff to funnel donations meant for the city into her new account, which made them uncomfortable.

After Henderson began asking questions about how the donated funds were being handled, she was fired by the Democrat mayor.

“The termination prompted Henderson, who claims she was fired for pointing out the questionable donation diversion, to file a federal Whistleblower Protection Act lawsuit in May 2016 against Flint and Weaver,” MLive said.

That suit has since morphed into a U.S. Sixth Circuit Court of Appeals case, which is still ongoing.

No political party is spotless, but there does seem to be a shocking trend of Democrat leaders using their power for personal gain. Hopefully, the truth in this case will come out — and at the very least, Flint’s residents will think twice about who they’re voting for in the future.

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Benjamin Arie is an independent journalist and writer. He has personally covered everything ranging from local crime to the U.S. president as a reporter in Michigan before focusing on national politics. Ben frequently travels to Latin America and has spent years living in Mexico.