Republican group spends $ 500,000 on advertisements criticizing Whitmer’s trip to Florida
A group backed by the Republican Governors Association announced on Tuesday that it would spend more than half a million dollars on TV ads criticizing Gov. Gretchen Whitmer for his flight to Florida.
“As the Michiganders complied with Gretchen Whitmer’s COVID-19 restrictions, the governor hopped into bars across Michigan and visited the Sunshine State,” RGA spokesman Chris Gustafson said .
“Whitmer’s rampant hypocrisy knows no bounds and leaves the Michiganders no choice but to fire the Damn Governor.”
The announcement comes from the Get Michigan Working Again group, a political action committee affiliated with the RGA. In April, he reported raising $ 15,000- $ 10,000 from Tesla’s and $ 5,000 from Perdue Farms.
The ad features a woman named Suzette explaining how Whitmer went to see her father, but she was not allowed to see her own father until he died in a nursing home.
By the time Whitmer visited to visit her father in mid-March, the nursing home visitation ban that existed during most of the pandemic was no longer in effect. The MDHHS recommended, but did not prohibit, out-of-state travel.
Related: Whitmer visited his father on an out-of-state trip
Whitmer, whose office initially obscured details of the trip, including when it took place, has since explained why she made the trip. She worked while she was there, she told a press conference on May 12, and did a lot of cooking and cleaning for her father, who was ill. She noted that going back to her campaign, she spoke about taking care of her mother at the end of her life.
“It’s part of my story. And so for anyone to be surprised that I have a family member who has had a lot of health issues, that I showed up to check in … they obviously don’t care who I am and what that I do, ”Whitmer said at the press conference.
She said at the time that the theft was not a gift and was not paid for at taxpayer expense. MIRS News later broke the news that the a501 (c) 4 nonprofit, Michigan Transition 2019, had paid $ 27,500 for the charter flight, and Whitmer had paid $ 855 for his seat on the flight with his money. staff.
The Michigan Rising Action conservative political action committee filed a complaint with the IRS about the transaction, alleging the expense was a private benefit to the governor and outside the group’s stated purpose.
There is not yet a favorite among the Republican gubernatorial candidates.
Candidates who have officially announced races are Austin Chenge, Bob Scott, Ryan D. Kelley, Ralph Rebandt, Garrett Soldano and Tudor Dixon. There is speculation that other Republicans, such as former Detroit Police Chief James Craig, former congressional candidate Lena Epstein, or former Michigan East District Attorney Matthew Schneider, could step into. the race.
Even with a volatile field, large spending indicates great interest in Michigan this cycle.
“The RGA is committed to defeating Gretchen Whitmer because she is one of the most vulnerable Democratic governors to be re-elected. We are confident that Michigan Republicans will name a leader who can defeat her next fall, ”said Gustafson.
Simon Schuster, executive director of the Michigan Campaign Finance Network, said that, historically speaking, Michigan has not been targeted by an outside group for this amount of ads bought this early in the cycle.
“I think this is really indicative of the political moment we find ourselves in. Campaign seasons continue to get longer and longer,” said Schuster.
The Michigan Democratic Party hit back at the announcement in a press release.
“As Michigan reopens, National Republicans are launching deceptive political ads to distract from their failed response to the fight against COVID-19. This desperate attack on Governor Whitmer does not change the fact that his leadership saved the lives of countless Michganders, especially our elders, ”said CDM spokesperson Rodericka Applewhaite.
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