With just a few weeks left in what has been a chaotic and messy Republican gubernatorial primary, out-of-touch millionaire Kevin Rinke has released yet another ad touting his wrong-for-Michigan agenda that would harm working families.
With this latest ad buy, Rinke has spent more than $3 million running misleading ads and leveling false attacks on Whitmer’s leadership since the start of the 2022 cycle. Here are the facts:
Out-of-Touch Kevin Rinke Sold Off His Family’s Business, Now He Campaigns Against Leveling the Playing Field for All Michiganders
As with one of his previous spots that attacked Governor Whitmer for securing bipartisan auto insurance reform that delivered $400-per-vehicle refund checks to every Michigan driver, the seedy used Toyota salesman’s new ad misleads about his record.
Rinke sold off a number of his family’s dealerships for a hefty sum after assuming management once his father retired, leading to him being described previously as “the classic wealthy baby boomer who was born on third base and thought he hit a triple.”
Rinke is now using that financial springboard that came from expanding foreign car sales in Michigan to push his oft-repeated stance that he doesn’t believe in equal outcomes as he runs to represent Michiganders from all walks of life.
Rinke Has Multiple Lawsuits From Former Employees Who Accused Him of Sexual Harassment and Racism
Rinke created and maintained a toxic workplace environment at his dealerships. According to court records, working for the Toyota car salesman was a deeply uncomfortable experience because he “believed he could get away with anything.”
Rinke was sued multiple times by employees, who alleged he asked women if they were wearing matching underwear, made lewd sexual gestures, employed “relentless racial slurs,” and even made sexually suggestive comments about infants. The constant barrage of offensive comments and racist language pushed employees to quit and cost Rinke thousands in settlement fees.
Rinke allegedly called a female employee at home and asked if she was receiving oral sex, said “women should not be allowed to work in public,” called Black staffers the n word, referred to a baby as “well hung,” and said that “I promise not to come in your mouth” was one of his favorite phrases.
Over the Course of Her First Term, Governor Whitmer Has Signed Over 800 Bipartisan Bills, Including Three Tax Cuts and Four Balanced Budgets
While Rinke runs his self-financed campaign for governor, Governor Whitmer has been working with anyone to deliver wins for working families. Days ago, she signed bipartisan legislation for the 865th time in her first term.
Included in these wins is legislation allowing small business owners to pay income taxes at the business rather than individual level – a massive reform that will equal an estimated $200 million in annual tax savings for hundreds of thousands of eligible businesses. In another move to keep building gains for Michigan’s robust economic recovery, she also signed an economic package that included a $75 million tax cut for small businesses.
And for the fourth year in a row, Whitmer signed a bipartisan, balanced budget that didn’t raise taxes on a single Michigander. These budgets haven’t been just business as usual, they’ve successfully closed multibillion deficits, earning the praise of Republican legislators.
Governor Whitmer Supports Both Federal and State Gas Tax Suspensions and Has Delivered Energy Cost Savings for Working Families
Governor Whitmer advocated for suspending federal and state taxes on gas. Referring to it as a “fiscally-responsible action we can take that will provide drivers relief at the pump right now,” she called on Congress to lift the 18-cent federal gas tax. Whitmer has done the same locally, urging the Republican-led legislature to suspend the 6% sales tax on fuel.
Last year, she allocated $54 million to help Michiganders cover heating and energy costs through the winter. And in February, she announced a program to ensure homeowners could not only cover utility costs, but mortgage payments and property taxes as well.
Governor Whitmer is Securing Clean Energy Investments and Fighting to Protect the Great Lakes, Which Provides Working Families Over $80 Billion in Wages Annually
For Michigan alone, the Great Lakes support more than 1.3 million jobs, generate $82 billion in wages each year, and supply drinking water for nearly half the state’s population.
To keep those waters clean, Governor Whitmer in 2020 revoked Line 5 easement for Enbridge after it was determined that the company made “persistent and incurable” violations of several terms of their easement agreement. These violations included major structural integrity issues like metal that should have been coated being exposed to lakewater, and was compounded by previous instances in which a pipeline dent caused $100 million in damages to underline power cables.
This year, she unveiled MI Healthy Climate Plan as part of her commitment to make Michigan carbon neutral within the next 30 years while creating tens of thousands of jobs and providing new economic development opportunities. She also secured $110 million in federal funding for expanded electric vehicle charging capacity and an additional $30 million to support the replacement of diesel vehicles with zero-emission vehicles.
Kevin Rinke is Pushing a Dangerous Agenda to Spur “Dramatic” Funding Cuts for Roads, Law Enforcement, and Public Education – and Won’t Explain How Funds Would Be Recovered
Kevin Rinke has passed on several opportunities to explain how he would establish revenue streams to make up for the “dramatic” losses from his backwards tax plan – a clear sign that he’s more interested in forcing his wrong-for-Michigan agenda on working families than protecting their interests.
Rinke’s plan would:
- Cut nearly $8 billion from the general fund, threatening funding for thousands of Michigan State Police and slashing nearly two-thirds from the main funding stream for the Departments of Health and Human Services, Corrections, and State Police, on top of half of all revenue for other critical departments.
- Slash $3.5 billion from the School Aid Fund, the state’s main funding source for public schools in line with his similarly disastrous agenda to convert Michigan to a school voucher system that would have reduced state investment in education by upwards of $500 million annually.
- Eliminate $600 million in transportation funding and threaten additional federal funds secured with matching state dollars. Rinke – who has failed to offer plans to continue strengthening Michigan’s infrastructure despite his months on the campaign trail – is seeking to undercut the state’s ability to keep making crucial repairs to roads and bridges.
Rinke’s plan “does not explain” how any of these significant revenue losses would be recovered, nor did he answer inquiries attempting to uncover whether he actually “weighed the potential damaging effects of such a plan if enacted.”
Previously, Rinke had indicated his “plain and simple” support for an “unsustainable” and “short-sighted” GOP tax plan that would have “disproportionately help[ed] the state’s wealthiest residents” and forced more than $1.8 billion in annual cuts to Michigan’s budget.
Over just three years, the GOP plan would have gutted public education resources to the tune of $624 million being stripped from the school aid fund.
The impacts are even more devastating for the efforts that go towards keeping our streets safe. The plan also threatened funding for over 5,000 state and local law enforcement officers and civilian employees. The potential impacts on Michigan State Police are even worse, as the cuts would have threatened general fund dollars that provide over 60% of MSP’s budget.
Rinke Has One of the Most Extreme Anti-Voter Agendas Among Gubernatorial Republicans This Cycle
Like the rest of the crowded Republican field, out-of-touch millionaire Kevin Rinke has downplayed the violent insurrection and propped up election conspiracy theories, all to achieve his ultimate goal of dismantling the democratic process.
When explicitly asked during an interview if he was planning to “understate or diminish what happened on January 6th…to court the former president’s endorsement,” Rinke refused to qualify the violent attempt to overturn the 2020 election as an insurrection, referring to it as a “Trump rally” instead.
And between his issues page and intro ad, Rinke made the baseless claim that “2020 election was rife with administrative problems, leading to a tainted election,” cited unsubstantiated “voter fraud,” and pledged to “audit the voter rolls” – an extreme step that even the most vocal candidates on this issue like Garrett Soldano and Ryan Kelley have yet to take in their crusade to undermine public trust in the electoral process and limit Michiganders’ freedom to participate in democracy.
Over the Republican primary debates that have taken place this cycle, Rinke has baselessly claimed that 2020 represented “maybe the greatest fraud ever in the history of our country.” He is using this lie to justify his plan to use state police to “aggressively pursue and stop any irregularities” supposedly taking place on Election Day, a move he knows would only intimidate voters in precincts – especially Michiganders of color.