Another name has been removed from Wisconsin Democrat Senate candidate Mandela Barnes’ short list of law enforcement endorsements — but the officer never endorsed him to begin with.
News broke on Tuesday that Racine County Deputy Sheriff Malik Frazier’s name was removed from Barnes’ list of Wisconsin law enforcement endorsements. Frazier’s name, which was included in a campaign press release on a list of endorsements last week, has since been removed from the campaign website. Frazier, who reportedly personally supports Barnes in the U.S. Senate race, did not professionally endorse him and was unaware his name and title would be included in the candidate’s list of endorsements.
According to Sheriff’s Department spokesman Lt. Michael Luell, “Frazier’s position is that it was a mistake by the Barnes campaign to list his name along with his employment as a deputy sheriff.” Meanwhile, Barnes campaign spokeswoman Maddy McDaniel said that because Frazier “is a non-elected active duty officer,” they “removed his name out of an abundance of caution.”
Frazier is not the only person to find himself listed under Barnes’ law enforcement endorsements without having actually endorsed him. When La Crosse County Sheriff’s Department Capt. John Siegel, the Democrat candidate for sheriff, saw his name listed, he “immediately” called Barnes’ campaign, saying he “never agreed to endorse Barnes for his U.S. Senate bid.”
“‘I had no idea on Friday my name had been up on a press release,'” Seigel said. Barnes’ campaign released a statement blaming the mistake on a “clerical error” and corrected it on the campaign website.
Sen. Ron Johnson’s campaign — the Republican incumbent and Barnes’ opponent for the November election — addressed this “endorsement scandal” in a press release. “Mandela Barnes can’t even tell the truth about who is endorsing his campaign — voters shouldn’t believe a word that comes out of his mouth,” said Johnson campaign spokesman Alec Zimmerman. Barnes’ “repeated lies are an attempt to distract from his support for defunding the police and abolishing ICE. Now his endorsement scandal continues to grow.”
Barnes has made many of his extreme views public, such as his support for the “Abolish ICE” movement, which is known for accusing ICE of “terrorizing our communities,”and advocates for the dissolution of law enforcement at the border in the name of “human rights.” Barnes was photographed holding up an “Abolish ICE” T-shirt.
Additionally, Barnes has taken many of his radical opinions to Twitter, such as perpetuating the Russian collusion hoax with the conspiracy theory that “Trump is a Russian Spy,” or spouting his anti-Israel sentiment to “normalize saying ‘Free Palestine.'” Barnes’ fake endorsements are just his campaign’s latest PR disaster.