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Anti-Police Mandela Barnes Spent More Than Half A Million Taxpayer Dollars For Personal Security

Mandela Barnes thinks police should be stripped of resources that help keep you safe but uses your tax dollars for his own personal safety.


Wisconsin’s Lt. Gov. Mandela Barnes, who is running against incumbent GOP Sen. Ron Johnson in the U.S. Senate race this November, has quite a radical track record of opposing law enforcement. But in keeping with the Democrats’ hierarchical protection-for-me-but-not-for-thee framework, Barnes has reportedly spent more than half a million in taxpayer dollars for personal security to keep himself safe, prompting Wisconsin Republican audit committee leaders to launch an investigation.

Barnes has reportedly “averaged more than 13½ hours of security protection a day — including weekdays, weekends and holidays” during his first three years as lieutenant governor, racking up a total cost of $608,528 for a total of 14,370 hours of security from January 2019 to November 20, 2021. As the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel pointed out, at a cost of $660 a day for patrol officer wages, Barnes has used “more than 10 times the number of hours of security detail that [his predecessor Lt. Gov. Rebecca] Kleefisch received during her entire second term from 2015-’18. The total number of hours of protection that Kleefisch had over that four-year period was 1,377, an average of less than one hour per day.”

Wisconsin state Sen. Robert Cowles, R-Green Bay, and Rep. John Macco, R-Ledgeview, have requested security cost figures for both Barnes and Democrat Gov. Tony Evers from State Patrol Superintendent Tim Carnahan. The state lawmakers have also asked for information about how the level of security provided by the Dignitary Protection Unit for events is determined and details about security processes for political and private events. Carnahan has until Oct. 6 to respond.

Johnson spokesman Alec Zimmerman said he hopes the investigation sheds light on the truth, adding, “Wisconsin taxpayers deserve answers as to why Lt. Gov. Barnes had the audacity to push the defund the police movement while at the same time using State Patrol as his personal Uber service.”

Though Barnes has recently tried his best to distance himself from the extreme “defund the police” position, his past tweets and endorsements suggest sympathy for the radicalism. For instance, Barnes has called Rep. Ilhan Omar, the Minnesota Democrat who pushed to dismantle the Minneapolis police department, “brilliant.” His speaking engagements have included groups that back the anti-police movement — and have subsequently endorsed him. In fact, several national police-defunding groups have endorsed Barnes. And his tweets indicate he supports the “defund the police” movement, or at least believes it to be reasonable.

In a 2020 PBS interview, Barnes reportedly suggested taking money from police budgets and instead dumping it into vague community “programming” and “neighborhood services.” And last fall, he hosted a fundraiser in Wisconsin’s capital city, which Federalist contributor M.D. Kittle referred to as “featuring some of the most radical leftists in Wisconsin” and “a who’s who in the Madison defund-the-police movement.”

The U.S. Senate candidate was also photographed holding up a T-shirt that said “Abolish ICE,” which is an anti-law enforcement effort that seeks to remove ICE and border security in the name of human rights.

That isn’t the extent of Barnes’ law enforcement-related scandals, however. After the Barnes campaign released a list of the candidate’s law enforcement endorsements, two officers’ names were later removed, with both of them saying they never publicly endorsed him in the first place. Zimmerman said these “repeated lies are an attempt to distract from his support for defunding the police and abolishing ICE.”

Considering all of the law enforcement-related controversies involving Barnes, one thing is clear: The Democrat at best thinks your police department should be stripped of some of its resources that help keep you safe — maybe more — but is happy to use your tax dollars for his own personal safety.

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