Weekly Roundup: Another Spicy Debate, Rinke Racks Up More Ls, and Kelley Does the Predictable

Time keeps ticking away in the chaotic and messy Republican race for governor. Though just over three weeks are left, Michigan Republicans keep experiencing “even more problems in sorting out” who voters will end up advancing to the general. Here’s how things remained murky this week.

If You’ve Seen One, You’ve Seen Them All

For the fifth time in a row, Dixon, Kevin Rinke, Garrett Soldano, and Ryan Kelley played all the hits of their wrong-for-Michigan agendas: drastically shrunken budgets that will simply work themselves out, no reproductive freedom for millions of women and families, a total disregard for common sense gun violence prevention measures – all against the backdrop of yet another screaming match of who is the most radical extremist.

Dixon in particular took a considerable amount of heat from Soldano, who accused her of being a “bought and paid for” establishment puppet of the “DeVos empire.” Kevin Rinke followed up after the debate by saying, “the one who doesn’t have any plan or any knowledge is Tudor.”

With regard to the multibillion dollar budget holes, following the debate Governor Whitmer raised the follow up they have so far failed to answer:

“I would be very interested in follow-up questions of the candidates about what they would do to balance the budget, what their bigger vision is. It’s easy to say ‘get rid of this’ or ‘get rid of that’ without actually having a responsibility to have a solution across the state budget.”

Kevin Rinke Continues to Pay the Price for His “Flat-Out False” Advertising

We’re struggling to remember a time when a singular ad has gotten debunked quite like Kevin Rinke’s “flat-out false” TV ad broadcasting completely unfounded conspiracy theories about our elections. 

Since it began airing last month, it has been ripped apart by several outlets including the Detroit Free Press, CNN, FactCheck.org, Daily Kos, and Politifact. But the cake-taking belongs with WLNS, who fact checked it, then had to come back and make it their top story after swimming through “stacks of viewer emails and phone calls with concerns.”

Apparently Detroit News has been receiving the same complaints, explaining that Rinke’s “divisive advertising” cost him their endorsement that would’ve otherwise been his. “We are weary of that sort of pandering to the fears and suspicions of voters,” the editorial board said of Rinke before giving the nod to rabid election conspiracy theorist Tudor Dixon. 

Engler Gets Back on the Horse

It’s got to be tough being a political insider or special interest witnessing the sorry state of this primary and how MIGOP has eroded at large. We almost feel bad. But there they boldly go, backing extreme candidates for lack of better options just to feel something. That’s the only mindset that explains former Governor John Engler’s tepid endorsement of Tudor Dixon this week, notably not rolling out the advisory and PAC treasurer clout bestowed upon James Craig when he earned his blessing last fall. We all know how that turned out.

Insiders gonna insider. 

Mr. Kelley Goes to Washington (Federal Court)

…Virtually, since we saw what happened last time Ryan Kelley was in DC. During his arraignment this week, he pleaded not guilty before a federal judge on all four of the criminal charges levied against him. But for his troubles, he’s raised nearly half his $50,000 goal for his legal defense fund, dollars from unverifiable sources that will assuredly be exhausted without a shred of oversight. The grift economy is booming and we just want to know if every Republican that leapt to his defense (see: all of them) hopped into their wallets with the same energy.

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