Ron Johnson Slams Mandela Barnes for Releasing ‘270 Murderers and Attempted Murderers from Prison’

KENOSHA, WI - AUGUST 27: Lt. Gov. Mandela Barnes speaks at a news conference on August 27,
Brandon Bell/Getty Images, Samuel Corum/Getty Images

Sen. Ron Johnson (R-WI) on Thursday slammed his opponent, Lt. Gov. Mandela Barnes (D), and Gov. Tony Evers (D) for releasing “270 murderers and attempted murderers from prison.”

“Tony Evers & Mandela Barnes have released 270 murderers and attempted murderers from prison. They are now back on Wisconsin streets,” Johnson tweeted. “The radical soft-on-crime policies of Tony Evers and Mandela Barnes threaten the safety of all Wisconsin communities.”

According to Wisconsin Right Now, Barnes and Evers’s Parole Commission has allowed at least 884 convicted criminals back onto the streets by releasing them on parole. The massive number of convicted criminals reportedly includes 270 murderers and attempted murderers, as well as at least 44 child rapists:

How brutal are these killers? Carl Beletsky, then 39, of Oconomowoc, shot and decapitated his bank manager wife, Kathleen, with a large kitchen knife and then tried to burn her head in a wood-burning stove in 1982. Newspaper articles from the time say that Beletsky, who was worried she was going to leave him, placed Kathleen’s headless body in the trunk of a car, dumped the body in a cornfield, and then went to drink liquor.

Beletsky, now 79, was paroled in August 2019 by the Evers administration and now lives in Hatley, Wisconsin.

There are many cases that rival Beletsky’s in their outright brutality. And don’t think they’re all old. The average age of the released killers and attempted killers is 54, and they range in age from 39 to 79.

Barnes, who was a community organizer before becoming lieutenant governor of Wisconsin, is one of the most radical Democrats running for office in 2022, though he reportedly does not call himself a “progressive” Democrat anymore to “appear less polarizing” in his race against Johnson.

Barnes has advocated for defunding “over-bloated” police departments, allowing felons to retain the right to vote, 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, eliminating the Senate filibuster, packing the Supreme Court, and passing the Green New Deal. Barnes also derided small business owners as “selfish” for wanting to serve customers during the pandemic.

Despite Barnes’ radical position on law and order, he has spent large amounts of money on security for himself. 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.”

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

Polling suggests Barnes has a slight two-point lead over Johnson, a gap that has been closing in recent weeks.

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


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