By M.D. Kittle
MADISON — Lt. Gov. Mandela Barnes celebrated his upcoming 35th birthday Monday, a couple days early, with a Madison campaign fundraiser featuring some of the most radical leftists in Wisconsin, and perhaps the nation.
Barnes, arguably the most radical of the liberal candidates running for U.S. Senate in 2022, was right at home at the socialist mixer. Expected donations ranged from a low of $35 (birthday gift) to $500 (sponsor), according to Act Blue.
The guest list featured a who’s who in the Madison defund-the-police movement, including Madison School Board President Ali Muldrow. Muldrow led the charge to remove police officers — school resource officers — from Madison’s high schools. She compared law enforcement to Nazis and the Dane County Juvenile Detention Center to a concentration camp.
“I think that (it’s) important to talk about what it is like for students who are arrested at school and end up in the Dane County Jail. We would not talk about the role of the Nazis and act as if the experiences people had in concentration camps is a separate issue,” she once said.
Madison Police chief Vic Wahl warned Muldrow and her radical school board colleagues were courting disaster.
“It’s disappointing that the program appears to be ending, without recognition of the real work that the SROs have done or understanding of the consequences that will follow their removal from the schools,” Wahl said after last year’s vote.
He was clairvoyant.
Madison police officers have been called to East High School more than 60 times since the beginning of the school year. Earlier this month, officers responded to fights that involved dozens of students. Some 600 East High students stayed home the day after the brawl.
The board’s decision to remove the SROs was celebrated by Freedom Inc., a backer of last year’s Black Lives Matter rioters that wants to do away with police and insists looting is justifiable.
Barnes’ fundraising birthday bash also included Nada Elmikashfi, according to Act Blue. Elmikashfi is the “chief of staff” (the only staff) for state Rep. Francesca Hong, a foul-mouthed Madison liberal. Elmikashfi, a failed state senate candidate, tweeted her support of rioters who in June 2020 dragged down historic statues, smashed windows, tried to burn down public buildings on the Capitol Square and badly beat a gay state lawmaker.
It was another radical bash for a Senate candidate who will need to appeal to mainstream Wisconsin — voters who have grown increasingly concerned with lawlessness and disorder — if he wants to win the Senate seat held by two-term incumbent Sen. Ron Johnson (R-Oshkosh). Johnson has yet to declare his candidacy for a third run.
Barnes, thus far, has turned to far left political players in his fundraising efforts. His campaign raised $1.1 million in the third quarter (July through September), outpacing any other Democrat in the crowded primary race. But the contest features some 1-percenters, State Treasurer Sarah Godlewski and Milwaukee Bucks exec Alex Lasry, deep-pocketed liberals with the ability to robustly self-fund their campaigns.