FACT CHECK: Tudor Dixon’s Ad Covers Up Her Dangerous Agenda to Gut School and Public Safety Funding While Reversing Economic Development ￼
After relying on a patchwork of special interest advertising bankrolled by the Devos family, the Republican Governors association, Koch-backed PACs, and several others, bought-and-paid-for Tudor Dixon is spamming the airwaves directly from her own campaign.
Dixon’s ad buy in tandem with other outside groups and opponents have put more than $20 million towards pushing bogus attacks against Governor Whitmer this cycle. Here are the facts:
Over the Course of Her First Term, Governor Whitmer Has Signed Over 900 Bipartisan Bills, Including Three Tax Cuts and Four Balanced Budgets
Governor Whitmer has worked with anyone to deliver wins for working families. Since taking office, she has signed over 900 bipartisan bills that do just that. This is the exact kind of leadership that spurred over 150 prominent Republicans with experience in running state government to back Governor Whitmer over untested and “stunningly unqualified” Tudor Dixon.
For all four years of her first term, Governor 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.
Most recently, she signed a $76 billion bipartisan budget hailed by Republican State Senator Ed McBroom for “respect[ing] people’s money by not increasing taxes” along with “investing more in K-12 education, roads and infrastructure, keeping our communities safe, supporting job training, and paying down debt.”
Tudor Dixon Has Relied on Every Conspiracy Theory Under the Sun to Prop Up Her Wrong-For Michigan Agenda
Throughout her career and in her campaign, Tudor Dixon has made and embraced countless conspiracy theories and numerous wild and unproven claims to justify the “aggressively conservative” and dangerous positions she’s taken on several issues.
Before launching her campaign, Dixon – who called public schools “government indoctrination centers” – was notorious for diving headfirst into the conspiracy theory deep end, baselessly claiming that Governor Whitmer “has decided to represent cartels” and “supports the abuse of children at our Southern border.”
While serving as a host on far right-wing and Steve Bannon-headlining media outlet Real America’s Voice, Dixon’s show served as a platform “for a parade of fringe characters” and their conspiracy theories. Guests she invited took to her show to air “conspiratorial and violent rhetoric,” disinformation about the COVID-19 pandemic, baseless lies about the 2020 election, promote QAnon, and downplay the January 6th insurrection on the U.S. capital that killed five and injured 140 officers.
Dixon never pushed back on any of the outlandish statements made on her show, instead often chiming in with responses entertaining and amplifying the dangerous conspiracies theories.
Cashing in on her online commentator network, she appeared as the “featured guest” for a Connecticut fundraiser in spite of the fact that host and Newsmax anchor Carl Higbie has a history of making “racist, anti-Islam, and anti-LGBTQ remarks.” When asked about her awareness of Higbie’s background, Dixon lied and claimed ignorance, refusing to answer if “it would have impacted her decision to attend” regardless. In reality, Dixon had Higbie as a guest on her “Real America’s Voice” show at least twice and appeared on his Newsmax program three separate times this year alone.
On the campaign trail, Dixon got caught claiming that Planned Parenthood has employed a “business model” to “introduce sex” to “7th graders” so they can profit off of “plenty of abortions in high school.” She’s also said that child sexual assault victims should not have access to abortion because there’s “healing through that baby” and has made the “outlandish” argument that abortion incentivizes and allows sexual predators to abuse children.
And to erode public distrust in the democratic process, Dixon took to Twitter multiple times in the months directly following the 2020 general election to cry “sloppy and obvious” fraud and theft without providing any basis for these accusations. These claims were echoed over several debates this year, where she claimed that Trump “legitimately won the 2020 election in Michigan.”
Governor Whitmer Has Made Historic Investments in Public Education, Closing Funding Gaps Between School Districts Across Michigan
As part of the bipartisan budget, Governor Whitmer recently signed a record $19.6 million investment in Michigan’s K-12 schools that created the highest per-pupil state funding in Michigan history – $9,150 for every kid, in every district. She negotiated resources to recruit more teachers, increase mental health care, improve school facilities, boost “career and technical education programs by 27 percent,” and expand before and after-school programming as well as free tutoring. She secured hundreds of millions of dollars to help schools build new classrooms, labs, and libraries and more on top of that to support every single school with safety initiatives.
These massive investments built on the 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.
Governor Whitmer’s unmatched investment boosted overall funding for schools by 10 percent and increased per-pupil funding by nearly $600 for 80 percent of districts, while the districts that already received the most funding saw a $171 per-student increase.
Earning the praise of Republican and Democratic legislators, Whitmer closed the school funding gap, “a goal the legislature has been working toward since 1994,” and is helping districts reduce class sizes and give students individualized attention.
To prevent devastating funding cuts to public schools, Whitmer vetoed a scheme to dismantle public education with devastating funding cuts that could have siphoned upwards of $500 million annually from public education.
Dixon Sold Out to Do Betsy DeVos’ Bidding and Rewrite Michigan’s Constitution So She Can Shortchange Our Kids
Tudor Dixon has been one of the most vocal gubernatorial candidates pledging to decimate public education funding by any means necessary. It’s no wonder the DeVos family is committed to bankrolling her campaign.
Last year, she voiced her support for “the latest effort by legislative Republicans to create a school voucher system in Michigan” and vowed to sign the DeVos-backed attempt to privatize education – a disastrous move that would immediately siphon $500 million annually from public schools and double the drain in just a few year’s time.
Dixon also announced that repealing Michigan’s constitutional ban on using public money for private education was a top priority for her campaign. Dixon said she “absolutely” backed a tax plan that would slash $3.5 billion from public schools.
Governor Whitmer Secured Major Funding Increases For State And Local Law Enforcement During Her Term
Governor Whitmer has actually been ensuring local law enforcement has the resources they need to maintain safe communities. Since taking office, she has “committed an additional $1 billion to law enforcement” over her four bipartisan balanced budgets.
In the newest budget, Whitmer is delivering funding to recruit more law enforcement officers and expand training, and she secured $100 million to protect the retirement of Michigan State Troopers. In the 2022 bipartisan budget alone, Governor Whitmer secured:
- $30 million for police recruitment and training
- Over $9 million for 130 new State Police troopers
- $3 million for de-escalation training for State Police
- $3.5 million for retail crime unit helping protect Michigan businesses
- $1.1 million for expanded efforts to fight cyber crime
- Nearly $1 million to fund “Secure Cities” partnerships between Michigan State Police and local law enforcement agencies
In 2021, she signed a bipartisan budget that included an 8 percent funding increase for Michigan State Police including millions for body cameras and a professional development bureau focused on de-escalation training and mental health. This built on the nearly $100 million Governor Whitmer has increased State Police funding by since taking office, signing two budgets that provided over $820 million in funding for the Department Of State Police.
Additionally, after billions in cuts by past governors, Whitmer boosted revenue-sharing programs to $1.36 billion, benefitting local law enforcement.
FBI Data Shows Violent Crime Decreased Across Michigan’s Largest Cities
Violent crime rates are either flat or down in several of Michigan’s largest cities in 2022 according to the latest FBI data. In Detroit alone, “the number of violent crimes…dropped 16.5% in this year’s second quarter compared with the same time a year ago.” Statewide, the murder rate has also decreased compared to 2020-2021.
In keeping with that trend, robberies and property crimes have also fallen significantly during Governor Whitmer’s first term. From 2017-2021:
- Robberies are down 38.1%
- Larcenies are down 25.2%
- Burglaries are down 40.7%
- Property crimes are down 24.3%
Tudor Dixon’s Budget Plan Would Slash Billions From Michigan Law Enforcement, Public Education, and Infrastructure
A major pillar of Tudor Dixon’s wrong-for-Michigan agenda is a “piss-poor public policy proposal” that would “primarily benefit the wealthy,” “be catastrophic for funding,” and force billions in cuts statewide to several services critical to working families, such as public education, law enforcement, and infrastructure.
It is estimated to eliminate nearly $12 billion from the budget and $8 billion from the general fund, threatening the “primary funding source” providing over 60% of Michigan State Police budget and threatening thousands of law enforcement jobs.
The Michigan Association of Police Organizations warned in 2017 that plans like these “would have a devastating impact on police budgets at the state and local levels” and leave law enforcement “crippled.” Earlier this year, MAPO reiterated their opposition to a similar plan, noting that it “would reduce police protection and create ‘long-term budget problems.’”
Dixon’s backwards budget plan would also cut $600 million from Michigan and Comprehensive Transportation funds which provide funding for state and local roads, directly threatening matching federal dollars which would undercut the state’s ability to keep making crucial repairs to roads and bridges.
Dixon has said she “absolutely” supported “phas[ing] out” funding streams for critical services as quickly as possible. She has yet to identify how or if she would replace the law enforcement funding eliminated by this “dramatic shift in state government operations.” Dixon has also still “has not provided specifics” of how she plans to rip billions out of Michigan’s budget, fully fund law enforcement, and build on Governor Whitmer’s gains in improving our roads and bridges at the same time.
Governor Whitmer is Keeping Michigan on the Cutting Edge of Auto Manufacturing
Governor Whitmer has secured 30,000 new auto jobs. She landed a $7 billion investment from GM the largest in the company’s history, creating and retaining 5,000 jobs, while generating thousands more jobs and producing $28.8 billion in new personal income for Michigan families. Building on her 2019 success of Stellantis bringing $4.5 billion and 6,500 jobs to Detroit, Whitmer secured another investment of nearly $2 billion from LG Energy Solution to expand electric vehicle battery production in Holland, supporting over a thousand good-paying jobs, and she recently brought in a $2 billion investment from Ford that will support 3,200 good-paying, union jobs in Michigan.
Thanks to her strong leadership to bring these jobs to stateside and keep them here, Governor Whitmer was singled out by Bloomberg for “presid[ing] over an economy that improved the most in its history since the pandemic began two years ago.” This strong economic recovery is further reflected in the state’s unemployment rate, which dipped below levels seen in 2018.
Dixon’s Prior Experience Includes Running a “Dirty,” “Nasty” Steel Foundry That Maintained an Unsafe Work Environment and Couldn’t Make Payroll
Tudor Dixon has frequently pointed to her experience as an executive leading sales and human resources at Muskegon steel foundry Michigan Steel for years before the company laid off its entire 300-employee workforce and was completely liquidated by 2013. In her own accounts on the campaign trail, Dixon established herself as a company executive with a hand in “every aspect” of Michigan Steel’s day-to-day operations.
Despite Dixon’s claims that she ensured safety was a priority, reporting from Bridge Michigan details how the foundry regularly cut corners under her leadership, creating a “friggin’ dangerous” workplace environment that resulted in serious injuries for employees as they handled heavy equipment and molten metals.
During Dixon’s tenure, Michigan Steel developed a pattern of workplace injuries so extensive the state’s Occupational Safety and Health Administration levied tens of thousands in fines against the foundry for repeated “regulatory violations.”
If that wasn’t bad enough, Dixon’s failed leadership resulted in Michigan Steel earning a reputation as a “half-assed” business that routinely couldn’t make payroll.
Under Dixon’s shoddy leadership, “dozens” of employees – from hourly production workers, all the way up to the CEO – were forced to file wage complaints against Michigan Steel after a string of bounced checks and missed paydays. The foundry was sacked with an untold dollar amount of fines for “repeatedly” violating basic wage laws.
Tudor Dixon Opposes Bipartisan Job Creation Efforts That Brought $4 Billion in Investments and Nearly 4,000 Jobs to Michigan in a Single Week
Tudor Dixon’s disregard for the auto industry has been evident to working families since she launched her bid for governor. She is staunchly opposed to the Strategic Outreach and Attraction Reserve, a fund which has proven “critical to strengthening the state’s economic foundation.”
Thanks to Governor Whitmer working with the Republican-controlled legislature to create SOAR, Michigan was able to secure not one but two billion-dollar investments from Our Next Energy Inc. and Gotion Inc.
Further solidifying Michigan’s as an auto industry leader not only in the past but as it evolves into the future of electric vehicles, this duo of “undeniable wins” totals “nearly $4 billion” and creates “close to 4,500 jobs” across Wayne County and Big Rapids with average hourly wages ranging from $30 to $35.
Before the Gotion deal was even finalized, Dixon demonstrated to Michiganders that nothing can spur her to put her kneejerk hyperpartisanship aside as she railed against the battery manufacturer and the jobs it would bring to Big Rapids in full force.
Similarly, Dixon was dismissive of GM’s $7 billion dollar investment in “making Michigan the ‘hub’ of electric vehicle development and manufacturing.” Dixon supporter and Senate Majority Leader Mike Shirkey even praised the deal as a “historic” job-creator, as GM is expected to bring 4,000 new good-paying positions to Michigan.
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