FACT CHECK: Perry Johnson’s New Ad Touts a Level of Quality Not Seen Throughout His Extreme Gubernatorial Campaign

Recently, “prolific junk faxer” Perry Johnson put his millions towards littering the airwaves with yet another misleading ad in order to artificially inflate his extreme gubernatorial candidacy. To date, the odd-quality guru has been responsible for more than half of the $7 million that has been spent attempting to undercut Governor Whitmer’s leadership since the start of the 2022 cycle.

As has remained his default over the course of his relatively short run for governor, the odd-quality guru blatantly mischaracterizes his record while touting his wrong-for-Michigan agenda. Here’s the truth:

By His Own Admission, Perry Johnson Has Employed the Deceptive Tactic of Making False Claims in Order to Elevate His Self-Funded Candidacy for Governor

Johnson has been spamming the airwaves with ads that “inflate his own role” within the auto industry – a bizarre claim even he had to concede was “a bit much” as it fully side-stepped the contributions made by “the people on the line that saved the auto industry.” He has also gotten caught trying to pass off stock footage from Russia and West Virginia to paint Michigan in a distorted negative light.

Perry Johnson’s Nominating Petitions Featured Signatures of Dead Voters, Duplicate Signatures, Apparent Forgeries, and Other Extensive Errors

Along with James Craig and Tudor Dixon, Perry Johnson is weathering a number of challenges filed against his nominating petitions. The unprecedented display of mass and blatant fraudulent activity evident throughout has been extensively reported on since last week

Demonstrat[ing] serious quality control issues,” Johnson’s petitions run the gamut of election law violations. Over 60 of the “voters” that offered their signatures to get him on the ballot were “legally dead,” while other signatures were found on his forms “multiple times.”  

Most damningly, Johnson is implicated in an illegal “round robin” signature forging scheme that AP described as “a small group of people sign[ing] names and addresses in turn, one per sheet, using a voter list.”

Johnson’s Business Operations Displayed His Backwards Sense of “Quality” That Included Sending Millions of Junk Faxes, Double-Dealing, Getting Suspended From Industry Boards, and Exploiting Prison Labor

Last month, Bridge Michigan took a look into Johnson’s companies, a detailed investigation which uncovered a number of shady, unethical, and illegal business practices that the off-kilter millionaire exploited to maximize his bottom line. 

He notably manipulated both ends of quality control, “creat[ing] one company that taught businesses how to pass certification audits, and another that actually conducted those audits,” a conflict of interest mill that put him squarely “on the wrong side of ethics.” This double-dealing led to Johnson’s companies being suspended by both domestic and international quality accreditation boards alike.

Additionally, Johnson’s company relied on state prisoners to make telemarketing calls, touting that the incarcerated were secured “for half the price” of outsourcing to India.

Johnson also sent so many unsolicited fax ads for his companies – nearly 12 million over a nine-year period – that he made history as “one of the first in his industry sued for violating rules designed to stop them.” 

Perry Johnson is an Anti-Choice Extremist That Won’t Even Back Exceptions for Rape or Incest

Johnson has gone out of his way to clearly state his draconian agenda against Michigan women and families seeking the privacy to make their own reproductive healthcare decisions.

During his campaign kickoff, Johnson “declined to rule out banning abortions for survivors of sexual assault” when asked where he stands on protecting reproductive rights in Michigan. He then doubled-down on his anti-choice extremism, even in cases of rape or incest, saying, “Two wrongs don’t make a right. I am pro-life.”

Johnson Has Established Himself as an Election Conspiracy Theorist That Has Fully Embraced Anyone Willing to Prop Up 2020 Lies

In the span of a few weeks, Johnson endorsed professional election conspiracy theorist Matthew DePerno’s bid for Attorney General and then stood beside him at Mar-a-Lago cheering on false claims that the election was stolen.

DePerno has used his campaign for Michigan Attorney General to elevate his singular agenda to decertify the state’s 2020 general election results. A mainstay at rallies across Michigan meant to keep dragging out whatever dangerous lie he thinks will aid him in his crusade to undermine and relitigate the democratic process, DePerno was called out by name in the Republican-led Senate Oversight Committee report on the 2020 election for spreading “demonstrably false” conspiracy theories “based on misleading information and illogical conclusions.”

Voter ID is Already a State Mandate in Michigan

Johnson’s pledge to enact voter ID laws rings hollow as it is already the standard in Michigan. But rather than acknowledge that fact, he has thrown his support behind the intentionally disenfranchising Secure MI Vote ballot petition. One of the main goals of the initiative founded by fellow election conspiracy theorists is to eliminate an affidavit option that allows voters without an ID to cast a ballot “under penalty of perjury” that already does not get counted until they are reviewed and approved by election officials.

Based on recent elections, eliminating this option would have shut nearly 20,000 Michiganders out of the right to exercise their vote, the majority of which came from communities of color.

Perry Johnson Supports a DeVos-Style School Voucher Agenda That Would Decimate Public Education

Johnson has already communicated to Michiganders that he’s “not interested in the same things” as them – such as a robust public education system that keeps students, parents, and educators first. That’s why his ad predictably fails to point out the disastrous impacts his education agenda would have across Michigan.

Johnson’s extreme education agenda – implementing a voucher-style funding scheme and pledging to shut down struggling schools – would dismantle public education as we know it.

While Perry Johnson Rattles off Platitudes, Governor Whitmer is Actually Cutting Costs for Working Families, Improving Education, and Making Michigan a Great State to Do Business

Governor Whitmer has consistently worked across the aisle to pass three balanced budgets and deliver cost-saving wins for Michigan working families without raising taxes. To put money back in the pockets of Michigan families, Governor Whitmer worked across the aisle to ink an “historic” bipartisan deal that has already begun sending $400 refund checks for every auto-insured vehicle in the state – a huge cost-saving reform that even top Republicans like Senate Majority Leader Mike Shirkey said “couldn’t have gotten done without her.” 

And in February, she signed “a trio of bipartisan bills aimed at lowering the cost of prescription drugs,” adding to her proposal made in the beginning of the year to cap the monthly cost of insulin at $50 so Michiganders don’t have to choose between their health and keeping food on the table. 

With Michigan seniors in mind, Governor Whitmer called on the legislature to fully repeal the pension tax which would save half a million households an average of $1,000 annually. Separately, Whitmer has also proposed more than tripling the Earned Income Tax Credit from 6% to 20%.

Last year, Governor Whitmer secured a bipartisan $17.1 billion dollar public education budget that completely closed a decades-long state funding gap between school districts, and made the “largest investment in PreK-12 schools in state history” — all without raising taxes.

Earlier this year, Governor Whitmer proposed the largest state investment in education in decades including a significant increase in the per-pupil funding for school districts along with a $360 million investment in student mental health, a sixfold increase from previous years.

In December 2021, Governor Whitmer signed 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.

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