Out-of-touch millionaire Kevin Rinke was the focus of a profile by Detroit News breaking down his campaign and background as he angles to take his wrong-for-Michigan agenda all the way to the governor’s office. 

The piece opens with Rinke claiming that he “respect[s] the people of Michigan enough” to not solicit donations from them for his largely self-funded campaign – even though he is. His clear misunderstanding of how resources work and where they come from is further underlined by his push to “drain $12 billion in state revenues” annually without alternative funding for the critical services that would be drastically impacted by his budget plan. 

Still suffering the blowback of his “flat-out false” TV ad broadcasting completely unfounded election conspiracy theories, the used Toyota salesman once again claimed the intent was “tongue in cheek.”

See excerpts below from Detroit News on Rinke’s background, including the “multiple lawsuits” surrounding his “sexual and racist comments to employees,” and read the full report here.

Detroit News: Kevin Rinke Weighed Leaving Michigan. Now He’s Running for Governor

By Craig Mauger

[…] During an interview inside a Leo’s Coney Island in Bloomfield Township last week, Rinke said he’s heard the criticism that he’s just “some rich guy.”

“Gretchen Whitmer has got more money than I do,” Rinke said of the incumbent’s campaign war chest. “What the hell are they calling her? It’s utter hypocrisy. The fact of the matter is I respect the people of Michigan enough not to take their hard earned money, and I’m willing to use mine to represent them, and I’m called an a——? Are you kidding me?” […]

Now, he’s building his gubernatorial campaign around a pledge to do away with the state’s personal income tax, a plan that would drain $12 billion in state revenues and his critics view as improbable. Dropping Michigan’s 4.25% income tax is the quickest way to help every person in Michigan, Rinke contended. […]

While Rinke’s remarks on the campaign trail have heavily focused on economic policy, the main TV ad he’s sponsoring a month before Election Day features a zombie wearing voting stickers.

“Why is it that dead people always vote Democrat?” Rinke says at the beginning of the ad, which was released on June 2 and was still running this week.

The clip plays on conspiracy theories voiced by some supporters of former President Donald Trump that significant numbers of dead voters somehow cast ballots in Michigan’s November 2020 election, which Democrat Joe Biden won.

But a report released in March by Michigan’s Office of the Auditor General debunked the theories, finding no evidence that a significant number of fraudulent votes were cast on behalf of deceased individuals. And in May, multiple Republican candidates were thrown off the ballot because of a wave of fraudulent petition signatures, including some signatures from dead people.

“Why is it that dead people always vote Democrat?” GOP gubernatorial hopeful Kevin Rinke says at the beginning of his “Lay to Rest” TV ad. Rinke said the commercial is tongue in cheek. The Michigan Democratic Party claims the ad peddles a debunked election conspiracy theory.

The ad was meant to be “tongue in cheek,” Rinke argued. He’s a conservative who simply wanted to poke Democrats, he said. […]

[Republican operative John Sellek]: “The problem may be that it’s so silly that it won’t help him with the base but instead reaffirm that he isn’t one of them.”

But Rodericka Applewhaite, spokeswoman for the Michigan Democratic Party, had a different take on the ad, saying the commercial “has more holes in it than zombie flesh.”

“The election conspiracy theorist lacks the integrity to take this debunked ad off the air even after multiple thorough fact checks,” Applewhaite said of Rinke. “That’s because he knows spooking folks with these complete falsehoods is the only way anyone could be convinced to get behind his backwards agenda.” […]

Rinke’s time working at the car dealerships has also gained attention in the primary race because of multiple lawsuits from the 1990s that claimed he made sexual and racist comments to employees.

Two suits, reported by The Detroit News in December, involved four employees of Rinke Pontiac/GMC.

One worker, Michael Todd Blakes, alleged in a May 1992 filing that Rinke used a racist slur on three occasions. Another worker, Mona Kidder, alleged he once asked her if she had a “matching bra and panties on” and made derogatory comments about women.

Rinke has denied the allegations. […]

The post ICYMI: Kevin Rinke’s “Rich Guy” Campaign Features “Improbable” Budget Policies and Election Conspiracy Theories appeared first on Michigan Democratic Party.