Barnes Most Questionable Moments: Is He Too Radical for Wisconsin?
November 3, 2022

Tamira Musgrave


Lieutenant Governor Mandela Barnes has promptly labeled himself as progressive, and that may be wedging itself between him and the voters of Wisconsin. Barnes had lied about having a college degree, incited violence during the riots, threw a temper tantrum when he didn’t want to talk about his unpaid taxes, and has been endorsed by a highly radical organization that stands to defund the police.

Is Mandela Barnes too radical for Wisconsin? Is he mature enough, and does he possess the right temperament to represent Wisconsin in the Senate? Let’s look deeper at Mandela Barnes and his radical agenda.

Incited Violence Before Riots

Mandela Barnes jumped the gun when tweeting about the shooting of Jacob Blake before he had all of the facts. Not only was his tweet incorrect and inflammatory, but tweets like Barnes’ may have sparked the riots that followed.

The day after the shooting, on August 24, 2020, Barnes quickly demonized police and judged the situation prematurely via a tweet, “Last night, Jacob Blake was shot in the back seven times in front of his children. This wasn’t an accident. The officer’s deadly actions attempted to take a person’s life in broad daylight. Like many of you, the video is burned into my mind like all the past videos just like it. The irony is not lost on me that as Jacob Blake was trying to de-escalate a fight in his community, the responding officer didn’t feel the need to do the same – and now we all know Jacob Blake’s name.”

He also said the system was perpetuating “systemic violence.” He stated that communities are “overpoliced” and “children learn early on that police officers aren’t always serving and protecting them as they should.” 

Once we got a clear picture of what happened, we saw that the officer involved in the incident was cleared and that the shooting was justified. Did Barnes apologize for his reckless statement that targeted law enforcement and poured fuel on the fire? Unfortunately, no.

Instead, he doubled down on his tweet, saying, “I wish I could say that I’m shocked. It’s another instance in a string of misapplications of justice. It keeps happening, and there’s always a new excuse. The non-prosecuting DAs are as negligent as the officers in these situations. What is video evidence anyway if they watch it and interpret things other than reality? Police accountability is one thing, but there’s a much deeper failure that allows a person to see the footage and ultimately determine nothing went wrong.” 

He even went a step further and defended the destruction in Wisconsin communities. “To see a city burn on the outside is devastating but hardly compares to the implosion brought by systemic inequity and injustice.” Barnes mentioned that violent protests like the ones breaking out in Kenosha and other Wisconsin cities were necessary to “save this nation.” 

District Attorney Mike Graveley’s presentation went over all the facts. It made it crystal clear that the shooting was justified. Officer Rusten Sheskey said that Blake twisted towards him with a knife drawn. He and another officer attempted to taze Blake, which failed.

Blake admitted that he had a weapon, and the officer repeatedly ordered Blake to drop it. Jacob Blake did not comply. Blake fought with both the officers and got one of them in a headlock at a certain point. Jacob Blake was wanted on a felony arrest warrant and had his children in the car. 

Called Cutting Prison Population “Sexy”

Mandela Barnes said cutting prison populations is now “sexy” in a video from 2018. Today, we live in the aftermath of this questionable and dangerous plan. Perhaps the most disturbing thing is how eager Barnes and Gov. Evers are to release violent rapists and murderers into the state, sometimes without notifying the victims’ families

Governor Evers said back in 2018 that his administration and affiliated organizations like the DOC or the Parole Commission would “not release violent criminals.” Yet, today, we already have proof that Gov. Evers’ Parole Commission (AKA the individuals that Evers appointed to these positions) has freed close to 1,000 convicted criminals. In addition, Evers and Barnes’ prison slashing plan has released over 270 murderers/attempted murders and 44+ child rapists into Wisconsin communities. 

The list released by the Parole Commission includes some of the most brutal murderers and violent criminals in the badger state. This is just from 2019 to 2021. These public records revealed that many were serving life sentences, which do not qualify for mandatory release. The Parole Commission also confirmed that their list of 883 paroles did not include any inmates released under mandatory release. 

Some of the murderers include:

  • A killer blew his parents’ heads off with a rifle and then went out to party, bragging that his mom and dad were “laying around the house.”
  • A murderer who hid in the woods and sniped an older woman walking her dog along Menomonee River Parkway simply because he wanted to kill someone. 
  • A woman stabbed an elderly grocer in Richland County 63 times over $54. 
  • Another man strangled a baby with a cord. 
  • A man went to a technical college with the plan of suicide but then decided to murder a technical services coordinator. 
  • A foster father beat a 2-year-old to death because he soiled himself. 
  • A biker cut a woman’s throat to partial decapitation after being violently gang-raped and thrown in a manure pit. 

Evers and his administration, including Lt. Gov. Barnes, support the parole system and its current operation. We heard it from Evers’ mouth. When Evers first commented about the paroles and the victim notification issues, he told Wisconsin State Journal on October 6, 2022, “I think we’ve got the right system; we just need it to work appropriately.” But, he added, “At the end of the day, I believe the system has and does work.” 

Something is unsettling about Barnes using the term “sexy” in relation to releasing convicted criminals who have raped and murdered innocent people, including children. 

He Once Posed With an “Abolish ICE” T-Shirt, Now He is Endorsed by Anti-ICE Group

Mandela Barnes was also confronted with scrutiny because of a picture that depicts the Senate candidate posing with an “ABOLISH ICE” T-shirt. PolitiFact claims Barnes was only holding the shirt to stand in solidarity with immigrants who have been separated from their children at the border. 

However, Barnes has also been endorsed by a highly radical anti-police group calling for defunding law enforcement and abolishing Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) and Customs and Border Protection (CBP). The organization, called Color of Change PAC, celebrated Barnes as a former field organizer of the state and has called for voters to make Barnes the “first Black senator from Wisconsin.”

The group brags about being the “nation’s largest online racial justice organization” and has engaged in harsh judgment and rhetoric targeted at law enforcement and other policing policies and institutions they deem “racist.”

There are many problems with illegal immigration, which is why America has existing immigration and border laws designed to keep our citizens safe. There is nothing wrong with legal immigration. Some of the issues concerning illegal immigration include lost jobs, depreciated wages, stolen taxpayer resources, and increased crime, anything from human trafficking to voter fraud. 

Americans understand that not all illegal immigrants are criminals, but that is not the point. The United States welcomes legal immigrants that enter the United States legitimately, following the guidelines and application process. In addition, if the U.S. were to abolish ICE or other organizations that help secure our border, it would essentially wave a giant white flag to anyone who wants to come into this country with harmful or malicious intentions. 

Like many other locations across the globe, border control and management are necessary to keep the citizens safe and the country secure from various hazards. 

Lied About Having a College Degree More Than Once

In 2019, Barnes publicly claimed that he finished college and earned a degree but then went back on his comment, saying he didn’t graduate, according to the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel

Finally, in 2020, he told the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel that he got his degree from Alabama A&M University 12 years after he initially claimed. Then, as if that isn’t awkward enough, he lied multiple times about his imaginary degree, once to Milwaukee Journal Sentinel, then again in his candidate questionnaire (claiming he had a bachelor’s degree), and then once more to the Capital Times in a podcast. 

In his statement, Barnes said that his “incomplete” grade was due to a “minor technical issue” and “internal error.” This comment contradicts his earlier statements that suggested the incomplete grade resulted from work that was “never turned in.” This isn’t the first time Barnes has shown his lack of attention to detail, which Senators should be readily equipped with. 

He’s Endorsed by Radical Organizations That Support Crime and Oppose Law Enforcement 

As we mentioned earlier, Barnes has been endorsed by the radical, far-left, anti-police group that has called for defunding law enforcement, abolishing Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE), and Customs and Border Protection (CBP); Color of Change PAC

Minneapolis City Council decided to hold a vote on whether to disband the city’s police department. Color of Change made a statement of support, calling policing “a violent institution that must end.” The vote failed. 

Color of Change also has a project called “No Cash From Cops.” Their website states, “Elected officials have a responsibility to hold police accountable for the ongoing violence and abuses of power against black people. In doing so, they must act independently from police unions and others determined to stand in the way of common-sense solutions that keep communities safe. We call on all elected officials to reject political donations from the Fraternal Order of Police.”

Another organization named Citizen Action of Wisconsin seeks to ban gang databases and make Wisconsin a sanctuary state, among other radical and risky ideas. Barnes and the CAW also have quite a history.

The CAW wants to “immediately” release all elderly convicts from prisons and jails, decriminalize ALL drugs and voluntary adult sex work, allow all incarcerated and formerly incarcerated people to vote, prohibit the construction of new prisons, and eliminate law enforcement gang databases. The group also supports replacing “police surveillance in schools and direct resources toward violence prevention.” 

Barnes openly admitted his close partnership with CAW on their podcast, “We’ve worked together for a long time now, and I’m excited about the idea that we can finally get rid of Ron Johnson together.” The host responded to Barnes, “You are someone who has been a part of our movement and a part of Citizen Action for a number of years. Your agenda aligns with us.”

Wisconsin registered voters have expressed that crime and public safety are at the forefront of their minds. Polls reveal that inflation and crime are some of the top issues voters will consider when casting their votes this year. Unfortunately, Mandela Barnes hasn’t made much effort to reassure Wisconsin residents that their safety will be a top priority. Instead, there are a lot of red flags suggesting that he’s more concerned about criminals and their rights. 

Abandoned Interview When Asked Questions He Didn’t Want To Answer

Barnes stomped out of an interview with a reporter when they asked him about his delinquent property taxes on his Milwaukee condo. The Milwaukee Journal Sentinel reported that Barnes was “listed as being delinquent on his 2018 tax bill of $2,225. He also did not pay a $70 balance on his taxes from 2017.” Barnes tried to cover up his mistake by telling the Journal Sentinel that he was on an installment plan with the city, a claim that the City Treasurer’s Office refuted. 

According to city records, Barnes did not pay the 2018 property taxes on his condo. With interest and penalties, he owes a total of $2,225.43. This wasn’t the first time he was late on a payment; a Milwaukee municipal judge found Barnes guilty of not paying three parking tickets. He could not renew the registration until he paid the fine of $108. 

Mandela Barnes missed the two-month deadline and did not pay. Once he found out this news was making headlines, he decided to pay up. Until then, he was being driven around by a State Patrol protection unit on the taxpayers’ dime. 
Barnes’ delinquent property tax bill from 2019 stated his property was eligible for foreclosure action, something homeowners typically have to fall behind on for two to three years before action is taken. However, when asked about it, he tried to distract from the entire situation, saying, “This is Juneteenth, and they want to talk about property taxes.”

Thoughtless Tweets

Barnes tweeted on 9/11, “I have a problem with people that feel the need to mention ‘Islamic’ before terrorists when speaking on 9-11… looking at you Rudy Giuliani.” He downplayed ideological radicalism that motivated that attack on Americans. The attack killed over 3,000 people and injured thousands more, and on the anniversary, Barnes chose to complain about individuals who dared to mention that it was indeed a terrorist attack. Americans shouldn’t blame terrorists for 9/11 because it triggers Mandela Barnes.

On another occasion, Barnes tweeted and suggested that the accurate term “illegal alien” is actually racist and fearmongering.

In March of 2017, Barnes once again suggested border-security concerns are racist and compared support for a border wall with “xenophobia” rather than engaging with Americans’ concerns.

In May 2021, Barnes exposed his anti-Israel stance when he tweeted, “Normalize saying Free Palestine,” a phrase that has been long associated with Hamas and terrorist organizations with the goal of erasing the Jewish state from existence. For years, this phrase has been the mantra of those who want to wipe Israel from the map.

Barnes will give you a good idea of how extreme he is just through his Twitter account alone. However, it’s essential to look at other facts that the media isn’t keen on displaying. Mandela Barnes has openly and willingly lied to the public and was caught, he has multiple extremely radical organizations endorsing him, he feels like he doesn’t need to answer to anyone about anything and walks away from interviews, he has signaled his support for defunding police, and he thinks letting murderers and rapists free in Wisconsin is “sexy.” Even with all this information stacked against him, he still claims his opponent, Ron Johnson, is a danger to Wisconsin and a “threat to the stability of this country.”

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