FACT CHECK: In New TV Ad, Kevin Rinke Paints Out-of-Touch Picture of His Record to Push His Wrong-for-Michigan Agenda That Won’t Cut Costs for Working Families

Out-of-touch millionaire Kevin Rinke has released yet another introductory ad clouding the particulars of his record in order to elevate his self-funded candidacy for governor. 

Rinke has spent more than $1 million running misleading ads and leveling false attacks on Whitmer’s leadership since the start of the 2022 cycle. Here’s the facts:

Out-of-Touch Kevin Rinke Got Wealthy From Selling Off His Family’s Business, Now He Campaigns Against Leveling the Playing Field for All Michiganders

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.

Rinke sold off a number of his family’s dealerships for a hefty sum after assuming management once his father retired, leading to him being described previously as “the classic wealthy baby boomer who was born on third base and thought he hit a triple.”

Rinke is now using that financial springboard that came from expanding foreign car sales in Michigan to push his oft-repeated stance that he doesn’t believe in equal outcomes as he runs to represent Michiganders from all walks of life.

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.

Rinke Has Actively Campaigned on Keeping Money Out of Working Families’ Pockets

From the beginning, Rinke has strongly opposed Michigan families receiving a $400 refund check for every auto-insured vehicle in the state – the result of Governor Whitmer working across the aisle to put Michigan first and inking an “historic” bipartisan deal that is already delivering savings for drivers. 

Using his millions to bankroll his campaign, he has attacked measures to help Michigan families, including a previous ad ad alleging that Whitmer imposed a “bad program” on Michigan drivers when in reality, she worked to drastically lower MCCA fees to the lowest they have been in nearly two decades. On the trail, he’s described the cost-cutting reforms as a “mistake” and saying he would have vetoed it had he been governor instead. 

Governor Whitmer Has Pushed for Several Proposals That Would Cut Taxes and Reduce Costs for Working Families Without Raising Taxes

Governor Whitmer has worked across the aisle to pass three balanced budgets without a tax increase. 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%.

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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