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Michigan Gov. Gretchen Whitmer is reportedly lying again, this time by fundraising off the unsubstantiated claim that Trump era Education Secretary Betsy DeVos is pining for her seat come 2022.
Whitmer’s reelection campaign has been sending fundraising emails claiming that DeVos is one of two candidates who’re running against her, according to the Detroit Free Press.
“The political insiders have spent months recruiting a candidate to run against me, and they’ve found not one, but two: James Craig and Betsy DeVos,” one of the emails reportedly reads.
“The news of Betsy DeVos’s run comes a day after I signed our public education budget. DeVos is a threat to public education and the future of our state, and we need to be ready to counter her billionaire-funded campaign,” the email adds.
Craig is the former chief of the Detroit Police Department. He retired in June. During an appearance a month later on Fox News’ “Tucker Carlson Tonight,” he announced that he’d launched an exploratory committee to look into the prospect of him running against Whitmer.
However, DeVos has done no such thing, according to the Free Press. In fact, the only “source” cited in the email is a post from an obscure local newsletter named the Michigan Information & Research Service (MIRS).
Apparently, MIRS recently ran a post claiming anonymous sources had claimed DeVos “has been asked to consider a run by more than two people.”
“The word is that she has not slammed the door shut but the door is not open (and) she has not done any polling or focus groups,” MIRS reportedly claimed.
Other than for this tidbit of anonymous gossip, there appears to be no other sign — not one — that DeVos is pining for Whitmer’s seat.
As to why the governor chose to essentially lie about DeVos, Michigan Campaign Finance Network executive director Simon Schuster suspects it’s because of the irrational hatred for the former Trump era administration official that so many Democrats have.
He “said the fundraising pitch is almost certainly the product of polling or focus groups that show just the mention of Betsy DeVos — who also backed the 2012 ‘right-to-work’ legislation opposed by Michigan unions — gets Democrats fired up,” according to the Free Press.
“This is clearly an example of what happens when our politics becomes laser-focused on raising the most amount of money possible, even if it may be playing fast and loose with the truth,” he said in his own words.
Asked whether the campaign has been overplaying the anonymous quotes about DeVos, a campaign spokesperson sidestepped the question.
“Whether as a candidate, major funder pulling the puppet strings or as an extreme ideological force, Betsy DeVos will continue to play a major role in the chaotic Republican primary and we will be running hard against her dangerous, extreme agenda one way or the other,” the spokesperson said.
Meanwhile, DeVos’s spokesperson expressed confusion.
“She hasn’t said one word about [running in 2022], but Whitmer sure seems scared of it,” he said.
The current Michigan governor has been using DeVos to fundraise for years, even before she became governor.
In 2017, a year before she won the 2018 Michigan gubernatorial raise but after she’d announced her candidacy, she reportedly used DeVos to grow her fundraising list.
Gretchen Whitmer’s early fundraising gubernatorial fundraising email focuses on bashing Betsy DeVos…Going national I guess. pic.twitter.com/OqVJnJz426
— Daniel Strauss (@DanielStrauss4) January 10, 2017
“DeVos was behind the out-of-control growth of charter schools in Michigan Their expansion here lacked the necessary overweight and quality control, and as a result, many charters lag behind their public school counterparts in critical areas like reading and math. And because of Devos’s reckless lobbying, we don’t have a way to fix failing charter schools,” the email seen above read.
“Add your name today if you agree we need to strengthen our education system, not deregulate it. With a strong governor like Gretchen leading us in Lansing, we can enact the reforms and policies necessary to help our schools succeed and educate all of our children,” the email continued.
Before she joined the Trump administration, DeVos was a high-profile Michigan Republican Party official who spearheaded the introduction of charter schools into Michigan.
“Before Betsy DeVos was nominated by President-elect Donald Trump to be the U.S. Secretary of Education, she played a significant role in shaping Michigan’s charter school sector as a long-time advocate and philanthropic-backer of school choice in the state,” according to Education Week.
“With the support of the DeVos family, Michigan was quick to jump on the charter school bandwagon in 1993—just two years after the nation’s first charter law was enacted in Minnesota,” Education Week notes.
And so when then-President Donald Trump nominated her to serve as education secretary in 2017, the left’s inexplicable hatred of charter schools quickly transformed into an inexplicable hatred of her — one that was capitalized on at the time by the likes of Whitmer and is still being capitalized on to this day.
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