Kari Lake ad features woman who falsely says she closed her business due to inflation

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The ad features Kristine Wright, who says 'crazy inflation forced' her to 'shut down' her liposuction business. But the studio is still advertising its services and running October promotions.

Kari Lake, the Republican nominee for governor of Arizona, is running a misleading ad on television that features a woman who claims that inflation made her shut down her company — which is still operational.

The ad, targeting Lake's Democratic opponent, current Arizona Secretary of State Katie Hobbs, features Kristine Wright, who describes herself as a "middle-class mom of three" whose small business had to close due to inflation.

"This crazy inflation forced me to shut down my small business. I'm worried Katie Hobbs will make our economy even worse," Wright says in the ad.

However Wright's company, Savvy Charlie Studio, is not "shut down."

A listing on the website of the Arizona Corporation Commission shows that Wright registered "Savvy Charlie Studio LLC" on Sept. 25, 2020, and that the company is still active.

A Facebook page for the company, which says it provides "ultrasonic cavitation liposuction," posted a promotion for services on Sunday night.

"October Promotion," the post reads. "Only have one area to work on, introducing our 45 minute Cavitation session. Want to add a butt cupping session onto your Cavitation session? Add it for only $40 during October."

A Sept. 14 post on Savvy Charlie Studio's Facebook page said the company would be "temporarily" closing to relocate to an "in-home studio."

"Even though I tried to kept [sic] running amazing specials to help clients reach their goals during this crazy economic inflation, the appointments have decreased but our rental space remained the same. We are going back to how we started with an in home studio. It will just take a little bit to get it all set up again," the post reads. "Thank you to all my clients who kept us going these last few months. Keep up with your after care and I hope to see you the beginning of next month."

Less than two weeks later, on Sept. 26, the company said in a Facebook post that it is "back up and running, just 2 miles north of our location."

The reopening happened two days before the Lake ad attacking Hobbs hit the airwaves on Sept. 28, according to ad buy information obtained by the American Independent Foundation. The ad is slated to run through Tuesday, and is backed by more than $350,000.

The American Independent Foundation reached out to Lake's campaign to ask if it knew Wright's business was still operational when it made the ad. TAIF also asked whether the campaign would pull the ad after being informed that the company is not, in fact, shut down. The Lake campaign did not immediately respond to those requests for comment.

Republicans have sought to make inflation a focus of the 2022 midterms. A Yahoo News poll published on Sept. 29 found 92% of American adults say that inflation is a "very" or "somewhat" important issue in the midterm elections.

Republicans blame inflation on President Joe Biden.

However, a report posted to its website in August by the nonpartisan Economic Policy Institute says that inflation is a "global phenomenon" and that "high inflation in the U.S. has not been driven by any unique American policy—not the American Rescue Plan and other generous fiscal relief during the pandemic recession and recovery nor anything else U.S.-centric."

Inflation in eurozone countries rose to 10% in September, according to a report published by the Financial Times. Meanwhile, the New York Times reported that inflation in the United States slowed to 6.2% in August.

As for the Arizona governor's race, polling shows that it is a dead heat between Lake and Democratic nominee Katie Hobbs.

FiveThirtyEight's polling average shows Hobbs with a 0.5-point lead, which has narrowed dramatically in recent days as Election Day draws near.

Inside Elections, the nonpartisan political handicapping outlet, rates the race a "toss-up."

Published with permission of The American Independent Foundation.