Wrong for Michigan: Kevin Rinke’s Agenda Will Hurt Michigan Families

Ahead of this Saturday’s MIGOP endorsement convention, MDP will be reminding Michiganders how the candidates vying for the top of the ticket have pushed dangerous agendas that would hurt working families. 

Rather than offer plans to build on Governor Whitmer’s strong legacy of working with anyone to deliver the wins that keep Michigan first, out-of-touch millionaire Kevin Rinke has used his wealth to push a wrong-for-Michigan agenda. The thoroughly offensive Toyota salesman with a failed business record envisions a Michigan that puts the reproductive rights of 2.2 million women in jeopardy, robs public schools of the crucial resources they need to operate, and uses the baseless 2020 crusade to justify purging an untold amount of voters from the state’s rolls.

MDP Spokesperson Rodericka Applewhaite issued the following statement:

“Out-of-touch millionaire Kevin Rinke has more than communicated just how harmful his dangerous agenda would be for all Michiganders – and that comes on top of the already disqualifying sexist and racist comments he’s made. The Toyota salesman has promised to back a draconian law from 1931 that would criminalize abortion, eagerly embraced a plan that would rob $500 million annually from our public schools, and shouldered the baseless 2020 crusade in order to justify his goal to limit who gets to participate in democracy. Michiganders can’t afford Rinke in the governor’s office.”

Supporting information can be found below:

Rinke Has Settled Multiple Lawsuits From Former Employees Who Accused Him of Sexual Harassment and Racism

Kevin 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.”

The out-of-touch millionaire 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 Pledged to Enforce Currently Dormant Near-Total Abortion Ban From 1931

Rights of Michigan women are among the most at risk in the nation. A currently dormant law from 1931 that remains on the books criminalizes abortion, makes felons out of reproductive health care providers, and provides no exceptions for rape or incest. Anti-choice advocates have touted the law as the most restrictive in the country, and would immediately go back into effect if Roe v. Wade gets overturned nationally.

Like the rest of the gubernatorial field, Kevin Rinke made a dangerous commitment to enforce Michigan’s extreme 1931 ban on abortion, saying that “as governor, I’m going to enforce that law of the land.”

Kevin Rinke Wants to Cut $500 Million Annually From Michigan Public Schools

Kevin Rinke has offered little detail on his vision for public education in Michigan if elected. However, what he’s previewed so far should be alarming to families and students that want to preserve equal access to a good education.

Rinke was critical of Governor Whitmer’s recent veto of “the latest effort by legislative Republicans to create a school voucher system in Michigan” that could have reduced state investment in education by upwards of $500 million annually, implying that he would have signed it into law instead. Additionally, he advocated for transforming Michigan’s public education into a voucher system, lacking detail on how such an initiative would operate and be funded despite calling it a “top priority.”

Rinke Stoked Distrust Around the Democratic Process, Then Used Baseless Fear to Push Extreme Anti-Voter Policies That Would Make it Harder for Michiganders to Vote

Like his nine other opponents, Kevin Rinke has both stoked distrust around our democratic processes and committed to support legislation that will make it harder for all Michiganders to vote. 

Between his issues page and intro ad, Rinke made the baseless claim that “2020 election was rife with administrative problems, leading to a tainted election” and pledged to “audit the voter rolls” – an extreme step that even the most vocal candidates on this issue have yet to take in their crusade to undermine public trust in the electoral process and limit Michiganders’ freedom to participate in democracy.

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