Opinion – Lt. Gov. Barnes: I’ll Break the Rules If I Can’t Get My Way  
October 4, 2022

Ben Voelkel

Senior Adviser to Ron Johnson for Senate

Mandela Barnes threatened to eliminate the filibuster if elected to the U.S. Senate, claiming he would be the “51st vote.” Barnes’ comments (see first video below) that the filibuster is a “relic of the past” and that it is “getting in the way of so much we need to progress as a society” indicates how much he wants to fundamentally change America.


The Senate’s filibuster helps make sure that on most issues, there is bipartisan support for a bill to become law. This is important. Requiring broad buy-in means there must be discussions and debates and often results in a better bill. That’s why Ron Johnson has said he would oppose eliminating the filibuster.

But because he couldn’t get enough support for his far-left policies, Mandela Barnes wanted to change the rules to push his dangerous, radical agenda through the Senate.

And what is that agenda?

Mandela Barnes has said he’d change Senate rules to codify legal abortion up to the minute of birth. He’d change Senate rules to change the Supreme Court so liberals can install activist judges. He’d change the Senate rules to advance the Green New Deal and raise taxes on Wisconsin families and farmers. He’d change the Senate rules to pass a bill to make taxpayers pay for Democrat politicians’ campaigns.

The bottom line is if Mandela Barnes can’t get his way, he wants to change the rules.

Ben Voelkel is a senior adviser to Senator Ron Johnson for Senate and former Lt. Governor candidate for the 2022 Republican Primary.

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