Betsy DeVos and her family are doing whatever it takes to drag their handpicked sellout across the finish line in November. Their special interest PAC – which has essentially served as Dixon’s entire campaign apparatus – is spamming the airwaves with another false attack ad to distract Michigan families from Dixon’s dangerous DeVos-backed plan to dismantle public education.
The DeVoses are expected to spend upwards of “$30 million” in Dixon’s favor. Their investment 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:
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 each of her four 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.
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.
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 recently 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 and siphon up to $500 million annually from public schools into law as governor.
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.
While Governor Whitmer Has Delivered Historic Investments in Michigan’s Roads and Bridges, Dixon Has Dismissed Major Infrastructure Improvement Initiatives
Since taking office, Governor Whitmer has remained committed to her campaign pledge to fix the damn roads and has rebuilt over 13,000 lane miles of roads and over 900 bridges – a major undertaking that has supported nearly 82,000 jobs.
Earlier this year, Governor Whitmer worked across the aisle to strike “a major budget deal” with legislative Republicans that secured nearly $5 billion “to upgrade aging infrastructure.” This bipartisan infrastructure supplemental includes dedicated funding for local roads.
Due to these critical investments, “Michigan roads are in their best shape in years,” with the number of roads determined to be in “good condition” at its highest rates since the state began gathering quality data in 2004.
Meanwhile, Tudor Dixon has panned the bipartisan and historic Infrastructure Investment and Jobs Act set to create thousands of good-paying union jobs for Michiganders and deliver more than $10 billion for major improvements to Michigan’s infrastructure. She called the infrastructure bill “fake” – showing that no amount of good policy would deter her kneejerk hyperpartisanship.
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’s Dangerous Anti-Abortion Extremism Makes No Exceptions for Rape, Incest, or the Life of the Mother
Tudor Dixon stated that a child victim of incest and rape was the “perfect example” of someone who would not have access to an abortion, then doubled down on the callous statement by saying “I’m not hiding from it,” then – only after she faced considerable scrutiny – undermined her own attempt to paper over her comments by saying that her opposition to exceptions for rape and incest stems from the belief that there’s “healing through that baby.”
Dixon is backed by out-of-state special interests like Susan B. Anthony List, an anti-choice group with a mission to explicitly “end abortion” for her dangerous views. She is a staunch supporter of the currently dormant 1931 abortion ban that criminalizes abortion, makes felons out of reproductive health care providers and provides no exceptions for rape or incest. She has plainly stated that she is against all exceptions to abortion, even in cases or rape and incest, or when the health of the mother is at risk. Referring to the 1931 ban as a “good law,” Dixon has also committed to support new restrictions on abortion as governor.
She recently got caught for explaining that medical professionals are spreading “the devil’s lie” when they have determined a pregnancy is unsafe to continue. Dixon “has made no secret of her fierce opposition to abortion,” and equally has no intention of standing by her supposed exceptions for the life of the mother. None of this comes as any surprise considering Dixon recently took a swing at her worst nightmare – “single women working.”
Tudor Dixon Spewed Conspiracy Theories About Public Safety Measures
During her years as a host on far right-wing and Steve Bannon-headlining media outlet Real America’s Voice, Tudor Dixon platformed extreme views “for parade of fringe characters” and their conspiracy theories that often included “conspiratorial and violent rhetoric” and disinformation about the COVID-19 pandemic.
Without evidence, Dixon argued the virus could “completely go away without a vaccine,” was unable to be transmitted between children, and validated claims that the COVID-19 vaccines contained microchips and would be “The Mark of the Beast.” She also recently spread the lie that COVID vaccines were “experimental drugs.”
DeVos-Backed Special Interest PAC Michigan Families United Continues to Bankroll DeVos Sellout Tudor Dixon
Prepared to bankroll Tudor Dixon’s campaign at any rate necessary, the DeVos family has already “contributed more than $4 million to outside groups,” $1 million of which went to Michigan Families United, a PAC “shrouded in secrecy” that runs the majority of the airwave interference propping up Dixon’s campaign.
But the DeVoses aren’t alone. After they publicly lined up behind her, PACs supporting Dixon funded by other “deep-pocketed donors” were able to spend “a combined $2.18 million” in her favor to drag her through the bitter primary. This outpaces Dixon’s own advertising spending 20 times over and even surpasses what she raised for her campaign in total.