Meet the Democrat with a six-figure income who can’t afford shoes for his kids
In latest ad, Michigan House candidate Hillary Scholten says her family is giving up air conditioning and new shoes
Joseph Simonson • September 19, 2022 4:59 a.m.
Michigan Democrat Hillary Scholten, who is running in one of the most competitive congressional races in the nation, wants voters to believe she is “doing with less and making things last longer” just like them.
In his latest campaign ad, Scholten says his family has cut spending drastically due to inflation. Higher energy prices, for example, mean no more air conditioning for the Scholten family, the ad says.
Scholten cannot even buy shoes for her children. “Things [are] so expensive,” she says after the ad shows her son wearing duct tape sandals.
But those images may be a tough sell for Michigan voters, given that Scholten made more than $200,000 last year as an immigration attorney for a Grand Rapids-area law firm, according to a Free Washington Beacon review of its financial disclosure forms. Her family’s total income was likely much higher given that her husband received consulting fees from two non-profit organizations, in addition to his salary as a professor at a local university.
Scholten’s latest ad campaign is part of a larger trend of Democrats struggling to identify with average voters during a time of immense economic uncertainty. For candidates like Scholten, who earns about six to seven times Michigan’s median individual income, that means making questionable claims about their own financial security.
Scholten did not respond to a request for comment.
In the same ad, Scholten calls on Democrats to “stop spending” and promises to “focus on the issues that matter most to Michigan families because they matter to mine, too.”
Scholten, however, has seemingly backed every Democratic spending proposal since President Joe Biden took office. In March, she celebrated the first anniversary of the nearly $2 trillion US bailout.
“All Republicans voted against,” Scholten said. tweeted. “#Democrats deliver.”
Economists from all political persuasions blame the US bailout as part of the cause of the historically high inflation seen in the United States. Consumer price continued to increase in August despite lower gasoline prices.
Schoten too applaud the passage of the Inflation Reduction Act and claimed it would “reduce costs for working families across the country and improve the lives of all [West] Michiganders.” Contrary to the name of the bill, there is no evidence that the bill will significantly reduce inflation.
The Free tag in April reported that Scholten failed to provide medical coverage for his campaign staff. Scholten called health care a “human right”.
Scholten will face Republican John Gibbs in November for the state’s third congressional district, currently held by Republican Peter Meijer. Scholten ran against Meijer in 2020 and lost by 5 points.