Longtime Former Gongwer Editor John Lindstrom: Dixon is Unqualified to Be Governor

“Every policy area Dixon speaks of shows how little she understands governing.” – John Lindstrom

It doesn’t take someone with John Lindstrom’s four decades of experience covering Michigan politics and government to see that “unqualified” DeVos sellout Tudor Dixon would be devastating for working families. The longtime former Gongwer editor penned an op-ed walking through the many ways Dixon’s wrong-for-Michigan agenda has no business in the governor’s office.

In his piece, Lindstrom point out that throughout her run, Dixon has established herself as a staunchly anti-abortion extremist “even where women are victims of the criminal acts of rape and incest” and has put herself “on record supporting the lie” that the 2020 election was illegitimate. Lies that she’s now also using to “[give] herself advance notice to deny the 2022 results.”

Beyond that, Dixon’s operational vision for Michigan has several holes in it, the biggest being the “$13 billion” budget deficit she’s seeking to create in the general fund and suggested could be made up with a sales tax swap that would slap an additional 8% to all purchases – making a $30,000 car cost a working family an extra $4,200.

See excerpts below from John Lindstrom analysis of Dixon’s “utter inability to run the state” that she won’t “get tutoring time” to make up for if elected and read the full op-ed here.

Plain Speaking: Why Tudor Dixon Can’t Be Michigan’s Governor

By John Lindstrom

[Tudor] Dixon’s basic message calls for a return of “common sense” in Michigan government. That appears to include a fight against what the right wing sees as societal moral collapse. Her solution to alleged collapse seems to be giving parents total control of Michigan’s education system. Well, at least giving total control to parents who don’t like drag queens and transgendered folks.

Oh, and after she said there should be no exceptions to a total ban on abortion, Dixon decided there should be one exception: when a pregnant woman’s life is at stake. Otherwise abortion should be illegal, even where women are victims of the criminal acts of rape and incest. […]

Voters need no more than a moment to know Dixon is unqualified to be governor. She knows nothing about government operations, nothing about financing government, nothing about the governor’s role in executing programs, nothing on how to promote, protect and preserve the state.

And know this: Dixon must not be governor because she is on record supporting the lie that Donald Trump was robbed of the 2020 election.

Understand, when I say Dixon shouldn’t be governor, this reporter has never voted a straight party ticket. He has voted for both Republicans and Democrats for governor. This reporter considers Republican WIlliam Milliken the state’s greatest governor.

For the sake of our democracy, all candidates must acknowledge the 2020 election was honest. They don’t have to like President Joe Biden, but acknowledge Biden was the true winner. If a candidate insists, implies, or even tosses a glance to the idea Trump won, that candidate cannot morally serve. Such a candidate sides with the autocrats and cannot be trusted to protect our electoral system. […]

A candidate who says the election was stolen is guilty of a form of hypocrisy. Because the candidate is running in a system the candidate claims is corrupt and untrustworthy. Yet, the candidate will accept the results of that system if the candidate wins. Why? If the system is corrupt, then so too would be that person’s alleged victory.

Dixon is guilty of this hypocrisy. In a Washington Post article, on September 18, she refused to say she would accept the results of this election. Through a spokesperson, Dixon told the Post that if all state election laws are followed “to the letter of the law” then “we can all have a reasonable amount of faith in the process.”

“Reasonable amount of faith?” To call this weasel-worded insults weasels. Dixon falsely claims Secretary of State Jocelyn Benson broke election laws in 2020. Dixon therefore gives herself advance notice to deny the 2022 results, should she lose, by saying the laws weren’t followed to catch whatever “fraud” she would claim.

If the best Dixon can hope for is a “reasonable amount of faith” in the election results, why would she would go through the election?

Dixon’s fealty to a proven lie about the 2020 election should be enough for any voter to oppose her. If for some reason it is not, consider her utter inability to run the state.

Whichever candidate runs for a top job — president, governor or mayor — has to know how government works. A candidate doesn’t need decades of governmental service. But a candidate needs experience on how government works, how it’s funded, how the different branches intersect and coordinate. Dixon knows nothing of government operations.

Dixon calls for phasing out the state’s income tax. Which would slash some $13 billion in revenues. Most that money goes to the state’s general fund. The general fund pays for prisons, the State Police, Michigan’s universities and community colleges, public and mental health, social services.

How will Dixon support these programs if funding is ended? She doesn’t say. She says there will be no cuts to police and security programs, but how she’ll master that miracle is unknown.

Dixon said the public could increase the sales tax. Voters don’t approve sales tax increases often. When a sale tax increase was on the ballot in 2015, almost 80 percent of the voters rejected it. Voters approved a 1994 proposal to change the state’s school finance system because they had the choice of boosting the sales tax or getting an income tax increase.

How big a sales tax increase would Dixon call for? Replacing $13 billion will take close to eight cents on the dollar (each one penny increase raises about $1,7 billion). If you buy a $30,000 car today, you pay $1,800 in sales tax. With an eight cent sales tax boost you would pay a $4,200 sales tax.

Dixon has said Michigan’s universities should rely more on private funds. […] If the universities went private, how much would tuition increase? Private college tuition is higher compared to public schools. How are kids from middle and lower income households to pay for college, aside from spending their lives paying off college debt?

Dixon wants to eliminate “corporate welfare.” So did former Governor John Engler. He urged all states to drop their “corporate welfare” programs. Then General Motors dropped a huge plant into Texas. Gov. Engler suddenly became a big fan of such “welfare.”

If Michigan drops its corporate incentive programs a lot of our companies will waltz down to Indiana or Ohio or Texas to accept their incentives.

Then there is Dixon’s idea to pay the state’s per pupil grant directly to parents to spend anyway they choose: to parochial schools, private schools or home schools. And even public schools, well, wow. Michigan’s voters have repeatedly rejected paying public tax money to religious and other private schools. How will they be convinced to change the Constitution?

Every policy area Dixon speaks of shows how little she understands governing.

Governors have to govern from the moment they take the oath. They don’t get tutoring time. Other governors with zilch governmental experience learned that the hard way. If Dixon wins, will her autocratic and billionaire buddies step in to guide her towards the worst public policies? Limiting voting rights perhaps, as the Republican legislature has tried and been blocked by Gov. Whitmer? Doing greater damage to the environment? Risking basic rights women should have?

Can we afford that risk? No.. There is only way to prevent the chance of us suffering under a Tudor Dixon maladministration. Vote for Gov. Gretchen Whitmer.

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