Flint Michigan has seen its share of hardship in recent decades. After General Motors shuttered multiple factories there in the late 1980s, the city slipped into deep economic decline and has yet to recover. And now, to add insult to injury, Flint’s water supply has become contaminated with poisonous levels of lead – which may be connected to an outbreak of Legionnaires disease.

So who’s to blame for poisoning the city’s water supply? According to one progressive non-profit, Michigan’s Republicans.

‘We Had to Make Some Cuts’ 

The Agenda Project, the same group who portrayed Paul Ryan pushing a granny off a cliff in 2011, has a new ad that ties Flint’s water crisis directly to cost-cutting measures taken by the state’s Republican Governor, Rick Snyder.

The spot, titled “Republican Cuts Kill in Flint” features local news clips from the small town detailing the crisis, interspersed with the governor’s announcement of the decision to change their water source.

We hear the maddening repetition of a dripping faucet, as the ad repeats a clip of Gov. Snyder telling Flint “We had to make some cuts.”

So, what happened?

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As a cost cutting measure, in 2014 Flint stopped drawing its drinking water from Lake Huron (Detroit’s water source) and started getting it from the Flint River, and treating the water at a local city water treatment plant.

Residents began complaining that the water looked, smelled and tasted funny, but Michigan’s lawmakers weren’t particularly concerned – that is, until Virginia Tech researchers found that the water was highly corrosive. So corrosive in fact, that it stripped the city’s pipes and leaked dangerous levels of lead into the water. Flint switched back to getting their water from Lake Huron, but the damage was already done.

As a result, the National Guard has been dispatched to Flint to deliver water, and President Obama has declared a state of emergency in the city. Lead is highly damaging to developing children, and health officials in Flint have recommended that all 8,657 of Flint’s kids be treated for lead exposure.

Gov. Snyder is expected to speak about the crisis during his State of the State address tonight – and with the crisis even coming up in Sunday’s Democratic debate, this probably won’t be the last political ad we see about Flint.

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