Wisconsin Lieutenant Gov. Mandela Barnes (D), the presumptive Democrat nominee for U.S. Senate, spent nearly $600,000 on his police detail over two years, despite being backed by pro-“defund the police” PACs.
Barnes’ police detail cost Wisconsin taxpayers $587,281 between January 7, 2019, and November 6, 2021, Fox News reported.
The more than half a million dollars spent on police protection included 8,868 regular hours, 4,900 overtime hours, and 203 holiday hours, a records request detailed.
However, Barnes spent $587,281 on his police detail while taking campaign cash from groups at the forefront of the defund the police movement.
For example, Barnes’ single largest contribution to his 2022 U.S. Senate campaign came from Lead the Way, a far-left joint fundraising committee that supports other pro-defund the police campaigns. That fundraising committee provided Barnes’ 2022 campaign with $28,000.
As the Washington Free Beacon explained:
Lead the Way 2022 was created by Way to Lead, a progressive umbrella group. The PAC supports 12 campaigns, including “defund the police” advocate Rep. Cori Bush (D., Mo.). As a joint-fundraising committee, Lead the Way 2022 collects and distributes donations to its affiliated candidates. The $28,000 came from individuals who donated to Barnes through Lead the Way.
Despite cozying up with PACs that promote defunding the police, Barnes’ campaign has insisted the candidate does not support the movement.
Barnes’ spokeswoman Maddy McDaniel said:
The lieutenant governor does not support defunding the police. He does support investing just as heavily in preventing crime from occurring in the first place by investing in schools, good-paying jobs, and opportunities for all, in addition to ensuring law enforcement agencies have the resources they need to keep us safe.
However, during an interview last year, Barnes criticized “overpoliced communities.” The Democrat candidate also held a speaking engagement for the Center for Popular Democracy, which is a group at the forefront of the defund the police movement.
“Defund police. Defund police states,” the group tweeted in May of last year. “Defund militarized occupation. Defund state-sanctioned violence. In Palestine and everywhere.”
Barnes was reportedly “very honored” to receive the Center for Popular Democracy’s endorsement and praised their “amazing work.”
Barnes is running in Wisconsin to unseat Republican incumbent Sen. Ron Johnson (R-WI), who hopes to secure his third term in the Senate.