2020 Video: Democrat Mandela Barnes Refused to Detail Costs of Job-Killing Climate Report 

MILWAUKEE, WISCONSIN - AUGUST 07: Wisconsin Lieutenant Governor Mandela Barnes who is runn
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Democrat Wisconsin candidate Mandela Barnes refused in 2020 to detail the cost of his “Task Force Report on Climate Change” because opponents of the plan “would like to use certain numbers as a cudgel,” a video unearthed by the Republican National Committee shows.

Barnes, the chair of the Governor’s Task Force on Climate change in 2020, spoke with Wisconsin Public Radio to promote his climate change report that called for avoiding all fossil fuel infrastructure investments and divestment from fossil fuel stocks. The report is 120 pages in length with 55 recommendations and includes an acknowledgment which stated, “The work that led to this report took place on land that was stolen from indigenous people.”

When asked why his “Governor’s Task Force on Climate Change” report had no funding projections associated with the actionable items, Barnes said it was not politically expedient to reveal the cost of the plan to taxpayers.

“[I] wanted to leave the door open” because “the thing is a lot of people who would like to use certain numbers as a cudgel,” Barnes said. “They would like to use those numbers to beat us over the head and say ‘oh, this is very unrealistic.'”

In an interview with the Associated Press, Barnes defended his plan as a means by which to protect “communities of color” from global warming.

“The climate crisis is taking a toll on everyone in our state, but communities of color and low-income communities are more likely to face the harshest impacts of climate change, despite contributing the least to the problem,” Barnes said. “Anything less will continue the long pattern of environmental racism we have witnessed in this country.”

It is not the first time Barnes has connected global warming to race. In the 2020 report, Barnes stated the nation must take “urgent action” to stop global warming with “equitable and inclusive” measures to end the “long pattern of environmental racism we have witnessed in this country.”

“Environmental racism and climate change are inextricably linked because the embedded racism and bias that exist within social, government, corporate, and financial systems deem who benefits from activities that produce harmful emissions and who suffers most from the consequences,” the report stated.

Barnes’s radical statements in the report are not outliers. He also claimed last July that national parks “weren’t made for the enjoyment of people who weren’t white.”

“We’re still waiting for our moment for America to be great,” Barnes said. “We still don’t comprehend that campaign slogan because it is meaningless to us as a community.”

Barnes is challenging Sen. Ron Johnson (R-WI) for his Senate seat. Recent polling shows Johnson leads Barnes by 5 points.

Follow Wendell Husebø on Twitter @WendellHusebø. He is the author of Politics of Slave Morality.


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