FACT CHECK: New DeVos TV Ad Buy Tries to Prop Up Tudor Dixon’s Wrong-for-Michigan Agenda

Following reports that Betsy DeVos and her entire family are expected to spend upwards of “30 million” to prop up Dixon’s campaign, the special interest PAC they’ve directed the most funds to is out with another ad trying to distract from Dixon’s wrong-for-Michigan agenda.

To date, outside groups and opponents have already spent more than $16 million to push bogus attacks against Governor Whitmer this cycle. Here are the facts:

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. 

Dixon Sold Out to Do Betsy DeVos’ Bidding and Rewrite Michigan’s Constitution So She Can Shortchange Our Kids While Governor Whitmer Continues to Protect Public Education 

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.

Meanwhile, Governor Whitmer is protecting public education in Michigan and exhibiting the strong leadership that it takes to keep our students first. This year, she secured a bipartisan $17.1 billion dollar public education budget, “largest investment in PreK-12 schools in state history,” that completely closed a decades-long state funding gap between school districts, tripled the number of literacy coaches in schools, and added hundreds of school psychologists, social workers, and counselors — all without raising taxes

Dixon Cheered on the Ambassador Bridge Blockade, Panned GM’s 4,000 Job-Creating, $7 Billion Dollar Investment in Michigan

Tudor Dixon’s disdain for the auto industry has been evident to working families since she launched her bid for governor.

As “major international gateway” Ambassador Bridge was shut down due to an illegal blockade that impacted $356 million of goods daily, Dixon threw her support behind this major economic chokehold on Michigan and encouraged it to continue.

The auto industry suffered “$299.9 million in direct losses,” and assembly plants at GM and Ford were forced to cancel shifts due to a lack of parts traveling across the bridge, which resulted in workers weathering up to $51 million in lost wages.

Additionally, 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. 

Tudor Dixon Ran a “Dirty,” “Nasty” Steel Foundry That Maintained an Unsafe Work Environment and Couldn’t Pay Its Bills

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, recent 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 “struggled to pay bills” even while the steel industry was booming.

The company failed to pay vendors, bounced checks, got sacked with tax liens, refused to pay utility bills to the point that even trash pickup got suspended, had foundry property “seized by court officers,” and “maintain[ed] its own operations by using ‘other companies’ money.’” The foundry racked up dozens of lawsuits from as many entities over unpaid bills. Michigan Steel even failed to honor a number of the court-ordered settlements totaling half a million dollars owed to vendors, an agreement breach that was never satisfied upon the foundry’s closure.

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

Governor Whitmer is delivering an estimated $200 million in annual tax savings for hundreds of thousands of Michigan businesses. In another move to keep building gains for Michigan’s robust economic recovery, she signed a $75 million tax cut for local businesses.

Through her Growing MI Business program, Whitmer invested over $400 million to help local businesses “retain or create jobs and boost the state’s economy.”

Governor Whitmer has secured 25,000 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 in the community and producing $28.8 billion in new personal income for Michigan families. Building on her 2019 success of Steallantis bringing $4.5 billion and 6,500 jobs to Detroit, Whitmer secured another investment of nearly $2 billion 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.

To connect small businesses with local talent, Whitmer set up free virtual job fairs that have connected over 2,600 employers and 9,900 job seekers. The Governor additionally created nearly 1,500 apprenticeships in new sectors with an emphasis on recruiting Michiganders from historically underrepresented groups, while addressing labor shortages. Due to her leadership, Michigan experienced the fastest small business growth in 23 years as they added nearly 170,000 jobs and reported increased revenues by 24% in 2021. In line with this robust growth, roughly 150,000 new small business applications were received that year, up nearly two-thirds from 2019.

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