FACT CHECK: New Soldano Ad Distracts Michiganders From His Disastrous Agenda

Today, snake oil salesman Garrett Soldano released his second ad of the cycle,a tirade meant to distract working families from his harmful, wrong-for-Michigan agenda.

Outside groups and Republican gubernatorial candidates have already spent more than $9 million to paper over their records and push false and misleading attacks against Governor Whitmer this cycle. Here are the facts:

Garrett Soldano’s Wrong-For-Michigan Agenda Includes a Disastrous Budget Plan That Would Slash Billions From Public Education

In lockstep with many of his Republican gubernatorial opponents, Garrett Soldano – who has called for across-the-board blunt cuts to the budget – has backed a “piss-poor public policy proposal” that would slash $3.5 billion from the School Aid Fund, the state’s main funding source for public schools.

Soldano has additionally thrown his support behind an “unsustainable” and “short-sighted” tax plan that would have forced billions in cuts statewide to several key initiatives that address the issues that matter to working families, such as public education and law enforcement.

Aside from the fact that it “disproportionately helps the state’s wealthiest residents,” these disastrous proposals would have forced more than $1.8 billion in annual cuts to Michigan’s budget. Over just three years, the GOP tax plan would have gutted public education resources to the tune of $624 million being stripped from the school aid fund.

And in the case of Michigan’s 15 public universities, Soldano vowed during the first Republican primary debate of the cycle to cut funding to what he described as “indoctrination centers.”

Governor Whitmer Has Repeatedly Affirmed Parents’ Right to be Involved in Their Student’s Education

As a member of the legislature and parent of children that went to public schools, Governor Whitmer voted multiple times in favor of legislation aimed at implementing systems for public schools and school districts to implement plans “designed to increase parental involvement in schools and instructional programs.

Garrett Soldano is a Snake Oil Salesman Who Spread Anti-Vaxx Disinformation About COVID-19

At the beginning of the COVID-19 pandemic in April 2020, Soldano operated as a national marketing director of Juice Plus+, a product he claimed would “literally” turn consumers’ bodies “into an environment of greatness and you’ll dominate any virus.” His snake oil salesman-type false advertisements of the product were so aggressive it forced the company to “issue a statement backing away from the claim” two months later.

Since then, Soldano has been a prolific spreader of anti-vaxx conspiracy theories and disinformation, getting banned by Facebook for “advocating the spread of COVID-19.”

Last year, he was banned from YouTube for “making videos that contained false messaging against COVID-19” and “unsubstantiated claims about the pandemic. And his similar anti-vaxx disinformation campaign on TikTok earned him national attention for the way he used the platform to “[cast] doubt on the severity of the COVID-19 pandemic and the effectiveness of masks.”

Soldano Has Repeatedly Propped Up Any and All Election Conspiracy Theories to Cast Long-Term Doubt on the Integrity of the Democratic Process

Among the crowded Republican field, rabid election conspiracy theorist Garrett Soldano has remained hell-bent on putting Michigan through costly and unnecessary audits in his endless crusade to undermine the democratic process and reverse the past.

Last September, he held a large rally in Antrim County to further the baseless belief that the 2020 election was stolen and advance the belief that “a full forensic audit of 2020 remains essential.”

Soldano has also refused to acknowledge the fact that the Republican-led Senate Oversight Committee released a 55-page report definitively stating that there was “no evidence of widespread or systematic fraud.” Presented by Committee Chair Sen. Ed McBroom (R-Vulcan), the report additionally referred to the 2020 crusade as “a nationwide conspiracy to steal the election” in which its supporters “place all other statements and actions they make in a position of zero credibility.”

Soldano was one of the first to defend fellow gubernatorial candidate Ryan Kelley after he was arrested by the FBI during a raid on his home for multiple criminal charges stemming from his participation in the violent insurrection that took place on January 6th. He explicitly accused the FBI of being “an arm of the Democrat Party” and “intimidating Republicans.”

While Garrett Soldano Traffics in Conspiracy Theories, Governor Whitmer Has Been Making Historic Bipartisan Investments in Michigan’s Schools

Governor Whitmer has proposed a multibillion dollar investment in public education that includes a significant increase in the per-student grant each individual school districts receive along with pay raises for educators and school personnel.

Last year, she secured a 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.

Working with the legislature, Whitmer also successfully secured a $73 million ‘Classroom Heroes Grant’ that provided hazard pay to teachers and educational support staff, rewarding them for staying on the frontlines of the pandemic. 

Whitmer has tripled the number of literacy coaches “work[ing] with teachers to get kids to reading proficiency” since she took office. She’s also made critical investments to help schools add hundreds of school psychologists, counselors, social workers, and nurses.

Governor Whitmer is working to secure a major expansion of student mental health services proposing a $316 million plan that would add new mental health professionals and counselors in schools and open 40 new school-based mental health centers across the state. She also announced the MI Kids Back On Track Plan to invest $280 million to expand tutoring and learning support for K12 students and provide 10 hours of additional tutoring for 1.4 million children

Governor Whitmer is working to address the teacher shortage proposing annual retention bonuses for teachers of up to $4,000 and $600 million for educator recruitment in the form of training and “expanded programs to attract and keep teachers in their own communities.”

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