‘Outrageous and Unprecedented’: Mandela Barnes Slammed for Massive Security Spending After Calling to Defund Police

Wisconsin Democratic U.S. Senate candidate Mandela Barnes speaks at a rally at John Marsha
AP Photo/Morry Gash

Radical Wisconsin Senate candidate Mandela Barnes was slammed on Tuesday for spending a large amount on security after calling to defund the police.

“Outrageous and unprecedented,” Sen. Ron Johnson’s (R-WI) campaign spokesperson, Alec Zimmerman, told the Associated Press about the contradiction.

Johnson is defending his seat in a state that President Joe Biden barely won by less than a point in 2020. Polling shows Barnes has a slight 2 point lead over Johnson, a gap that has been closing in recent weeks.

According to Daniel Bice from the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel, Barnes has “averaged more than 13½ hours of security protection a day — including weekdays, weekends and holidays — at a daily cost to the state of $660 for patrol officers’ wages. That’s more than 10 times the number of hours as his predecessor.”

Zimmerman added that Barnes, who is Lt. Gov. of Wisconsin, is hypocritical for using “the State Patrol as his own Uber service” while previously stating “over-bloated” police departments should be defunded. Barnes also pushed for abolishing Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) and ending cash bail.

On Tuesday, Barnes released a TV ad claiming he did not support anti-law enforcement policies, like defunding police and abolishing U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement.

“Look, we knew the other side would make up lies about me to scare you. Now, they’re claiming I want to defund the police and abolish ICE. That’s a lie,” Barnes said in the ad. “I’ll make sure our police have the resources and training they need to keep our community safe and that our communities have the resources to stop crime before it happens.”

Crime in Wisconsin is on the rise, according to a MacIver Institute report. Murders increased 62 percent, and violent crime rose 8.85 percent between 2019 and 2020. The Wisconsin Department of Justice reported that in 2021, there were 57,000 offenses of theft, over 29,000 offenses of assault, over 18,000 offenses of motor vehicle theft, over 13,000 offenses of aggravated assault, over 10,000 offenses of burglary, over 2,300 offenses of rape, and 70 offenses of human trafficking.

Barnes is one of the most radical senate candidates in the 2022 cycle. Barnes has objected to felons losing the right to vote and has supported the Green New Deal. He has also pushed for abolishing Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE), permitting driver’s licenses for illegal immigrants, and giving in-state college tuition to illegal immigrants. He favors an entirely government-run healthcare system, canceling the Senate filibuster, and packing the Supreme Court.

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


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