All Posts by Empower Wisconsin

A closer look at Mandela Barnes’ far left record

By Heather Smith, the MacIver Institute

MADISON — In a surprise to many, virtually the entire field of Democratic candidates for U.S. Senate dropped out of the race last week, all throwing their support to the now-prohibitive-favorite Lt. Gov. Mandela Barnes.

First Tom Nelson, who unsurprisingly left the race after a lackluster and crabby debate performance.

Then Milwaukee Bucks executive Alex Lasry dropped out of the race after being statistically tied with Barnes in the June Marquette University Law School poll and putting in the strongest debate performance with the most direct answers and specific plans. Speculation as to why a self-funding frontrunner would drop out is a question for the pundits, but he too endorsed Barnes as he exited.

Sarah Godlewski used her debate time to self-identify as incompetent, insisting her only job for Hillary Clinton’s campaign was to get women to vote to defeat Donald Trump, a job at which she failed so desperately she did not even manage to get herself to the polls. She hung in a couple days past Lasry, ultimately throwing her support behind Barnes.

This exodus leaves an all-but-certain Democrat nominee who has taken the most extreme positions in a primary field of radicals. He’s also the candidate who has claimed – with a straight, outraged face, all evidence to the contrary – that he didn’t ever really take many of those unpopular positions.

Gaslighting and Flipocrisy

As we’ve reported, flipocrite Barnes’ positions on major policy questions are fuzzy when they’re not shifting, and contradictory when they’re not blatantly hypocritical.

The mainstream media have handled him with such kid gloves that he hasn’t had to explain the flip-flops, the parsing of words, the fabrications and evasions that have marked his career.

Barnes was sent to a private choice school by his Milwaukee Public Schools teacher mom – who thoroughly understood how badly MPS has, and still does, fail students. His family had the option to do better for their son and they took it. But Barnes, whose educational opportunities obviously helped him rise to lieutenant governor of the state, wants to shut down the option for other families like his. He refuses to admit the role a choice school played in his education, referring only to his graduation from an MPS school he transferred to in his teens.

Compounding the calculated evasions is the fact that on the occasions someone tries to pin him down, Barnes gets angry, aggressive, and confrontational.

When asked in 2019 about his repeatedly delinquent property taxes, in a scheduled interview, his anger visibly builds as he gaslights the female reporter before shouting to draw the crowd’s attention to her outrageous questioning of him on Juneteenth.

In 2015, he became so incensed at being asked to explain a vote, later in the day he was caught on CCTV cameras barreling out of a restaurant to confront the reporter, shoving and threatening him in front of witnesses who confirmed on camera the angry Barnes was physical.

The debate gave another opportunity for Barnes to be pushed to explain his multiple positions, but viewers got no more clarity because although moderators asked for specifics, they didn’t get a single one.

Now that Barnes is all but certain to win next week’s primary, knowing where he stands – on issues like the economy, crime, election integrity, immigration, and costly climate change policies – is a priority.

Dealing in Green

Barnes has been the point person for the Democrats on climate change issues, not just at the state level leading the task force, but internationally, advocating the end of capitalism in the United States. at the United Nation’s Climate Conference in Madrid in late 2019. Barnes said we needed to “stymie capitalism” to achieve his climate goals, echoing socialist enviro-warriors the world over, including Princeton Professor Ashley Dawson, who advocated putting corporations under public control, dismantling our “planet-destroying” economy through an “assault on private property” just a few months before Barnes parroted him in Spain.

Barnes brought this and other radical ideas to the table for discussion at his climate change state task force meetings, including changing the presumption from innocent to guilty for those accused of environmental racism, closing prisons, automatic voter registration of 16-year-olds (a bill Barnes authored as a legislator), and, of course, the stickiest wicket of all in the international climate change debate —free transgender transition surgery because, you know, carbonfossilfuelgreensomethingsomething justice.

The goal of the task force, to make the state carbon-free by 2050, comes with huge costs, not only in higher prices to heat our homes and fuel our cars, but in higher taxes to finance new “incentives” and larger government to enforce the many new regulations. Wisconsin already has the second-highest residential and commercial electric rates in the Midwest, and even one of the task force members expressed concern about the “trillions” in new state and federal spending being proposed.

Meanwhile, in the real world, the North American Electric Reliability Corporation has placed Wisconsin at high risk of energy emergencies warning of blackouts as demand grows and capacity falls short of predicted peak demand. Reliability concerns like these prompted a delay in planned retirement of coal-fired plants. But Barnes’ Climate Change Plan doesn’t share concerns of reliability, and instead pushes for accelerated closures, amplifying the risks.

As the architect of the plan, Barnes touts solar as the solution to many of these potential little hiccups like blackouts. Even now, Evers-Barnes Public Service Commission appointees, one a former industry lobbyist, are fast-tracking a previously rejected plan to allow the solar sector to function as a Wisconsin utility without being defined or regulated as one.

Love Songs and Jobs

Barnes is currently claiming he will “breathe new life into our manufacturing industry.”

As a legislator a few years back, Barnes declared Wisconsin’s manufacturing industry dead, saying that a job in manufacturing is no longer the way to go, while criticizing Republicans for trying to boost manufacturing jobs.

And more recently as lieutenant governor, he was calling for an end to the Manufacturing and Ag tax credit, what would have hiked taxes millions per year on both manufacturers and farmers.

He may believe he found a love song that will raise the dead, or he could have embraced the Republican belief in the sector, but his newfound belief in manufacturing warrants a question or two.

Crime and Public Safety

This week, the Milwaukee Police Department released data showing the homicide rate is up 40% over the same time last year. And last year the city broke the previous record.

Some of these murders can directly be traced to the left’s years long soft-on-crime insistence that criminals commit crimes because too many things are against the law, and public safety has to be sacrificed because locking up criminals is too expensive, and it makes them feel bad about themselves. So, people get raped and murdered by habitual criminals who are out on bail or out on early release or who were able to plea bargain away felonies to avoid punishment.

We’ve covered story after story of how hugs for thugs kills, and have only scratched the surface: Wilson Medina Cruz, Allan Dale Grant, Roberts and Marcinkiewicz, Darrell Brooks,

Barnes has been right there with the far left.  He and Evers prioritized releasing half the prison population, and they’ve freed 15% so far. The only bail reform Barnes is interested in is the elimination of cash bail. He is focused on systemic racism as the cause of every societal ill – crime, climate change, etc.

Read more at the MacIver Institute.

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