FACT CHECK: In New TV Ad, Kevin Rinke Paints Distorted Picture of His Record to Push His Wrong-for-Michigan Agenda That Would Hurt Working Families

Because he’s apparently failed to make a dent with Michiganders, out-of-touch millionaire Kevin Rinke returned to the airwaves yesterday with another ad to introduce himself to voters. 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.

More than $5 million has been spent leveling false attacks on Whitmer’s leadership since the start of the 2022 cycle. Here’s the facts:

Kevin Rinke Has Settled 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.

Rinke Stood Against GM’s Historic Investment That Will Bring Thousands of Jobs to Michigan and Cheered on the Blockade That Hampered the Auto Industry for a Week

On the campaign trail, Rinke has repeatedly “denounced” the bipartisan economic development fund that lawmakers on both sides of the aisle credit for “help[ing] convince General Motors to invest $7 billion to expand its electric vehicle and battery production in Michigan.”

A “big win” that represents GM’s “single largest investment announcement” in the company’s history and creates 4,000 good-paying jobs, Michigan has become “the ‘hub’ of electric vehicle development and manufacturing” for decades to come – thanks to the bipartisan created Strategic Outreach and Attraction Reserve (SOAR), “a fund aimed at luring large development projects.” 

This isn’t Rinke’s first time standing against working families and Michigan’s economy. Showing up outside the GM announcement event where Governor Whitmer spoke and Republicans like Senate Majority Leader Mike Shirkey praised the deal as a “historic” job-creator, Rinke voiced his disapproval of GM’s decision to invest in Michigan

And when a blockade on Ambassador Bridge impacted $356 million of goods daily, caused the auto industry to suffer “$299.9 million in direct losses,” and forced assembly plants at GM and Ford to cancel shifts, Rinke was one of several gubernatorial Republicans urging it on – even as auto workers weathered up to $51 million in lost wages.

Governor Whitmer Continues to Lead Michigan Through a Strong Economic Recovery With Historic Investment, Tax Cuts, and Support for Businesses

Governor Whitmer has remained committed not only to restoring Michigan’s standing as a leader in the auto industry, but to strengthening all aspects of the state’s economy as well.

That’s why she 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.” Building on the fact that Michigan’s economy continues to outperform the nation and remain first in “equally weighted measures of employment, personal income, home prices, mortgage delinquency” and others, Whitmer announced a new $409 million grant to provide businesses across the state with the support they need to “retain or create jobs and boost our state’s economy.”

And thanks to her work that has made Michigan one of the top states to do business, LG Energy Solution recently announced they would be making a nearly $2 billion dollar investment to expand electric vehicle battery production in Michigan – creating over a thousand good-paying jobs. Since Whitmer took office, 20,000 auto jobs have been created in-state. 

In December 2021, Governor Whitmer signed legislation to cut taxes for small businesses – 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 businesses.

Governor Whitmer Secured a Historic, Bipartisan Education Package That Made the Largest Investment in Public Schools in State History – Without Raising Taxes

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

And to ensure those inequality gaps don’t once again broaden, Whitmer recently vetoed “the latest effort by legislative Republicans to create a school voucher system in Michigan” that could have reduced state investment in education by upwards of $500 million annually. She also vetoed a  $155 million voucher program in July of this year.
For the 2023 fiscal year, Governor Whitmer proposed a school aid budget that “would be the biggest state education funding increase in more than 20 years,” raising Michigan’s per-pupil investment to over $9,000 annually – once again without impacting taxpayers.

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