All Posts by Empower Wisconsin

Defund Police group biggest contributor to Mandela Barnes’ campaign

Empower Wisconsin | Feb. 16,  2022

By M.D. Kittle

MADISON — For a guy who insists he doesn’t support defunding police, Lt. Gov. Mandela Barnes sure has taken in a lot of cash from supporters of the defund the police movement.

The single largest source of contributions to Barnes’ U.S. Senate campaign was from Lead the Way 2022, a far left joint fundraising committee. Lead the Way is benefactor to “some of the most radically left congressional candidates,” according to the Washington Free Beacon.

Barnes hauled in $28,000 last year from Lead the Way 2022 donors, according to campaign finance reports.

As the Free Beacon reports:

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.

The umbrella group contributed $5,000 to Barnes’ campaign, in addition to the hefty donation from the Lead the Way 2022 funding portal, according to Empower Wisconsin’s review of Barnes’ campaign finance records.

Way to Lead, a hybrid PAC/Super PAC, raised $2.4 million in the last election cycle, and spent nearly as much, according to OpenSecrets.org.

Barnes’ campaign did not return a request for comment from Empower Wisconsin. But campaign spokeswoman Maddy McDaniel told the Free Beacon 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,” McDaniel told the publication.

But Barnes, considered a front-runner in a crowded field of Democrats running for the Senate seat held by incumbent U.S. Sen. Ron Johnson (R-Oshkosh), has criticized what he describes as “overpoliced communities.”

His campaign benefactors are outspoken leaders in the Defund movement.

As the Free Beacon reports, Way to Lead’s 10-person advisory board includes high-profile activists in the movements to gut police funding and abolish Immigration and Customs Enforcement, according to the group’s website.

Greisa Martinez Rosas, executive director of the radical group United We Dream, is one of Way to Lead’s advisors. She has denounced the police and immigration enforcement agencies as rapists and white supremacists.

“We call it the three headed monster of police, ICE, and [U.S. Customs and Border Protection] that are coming into our communities,” she said in a June 2020 interview. “And they are even more empowered to conduct raids, to rape our women and people in detention.”

Another adviser, Jessica Byrd, who leads the Electoral Justice Project, has described defunding the police as “tak[ing] money in a place that is violent, that is not working, is proven to kill black people, move it into a place that means we want black people to live and to thrive.”

“I get so pissed when people say ‘Blue Lives Matter.’ Because it’s not a life. It’s a job,” she said.

Maurice Mitchell also serves on the Way to Lead board. Mitchell is national director of the far left Working Families Party (WFP), an organizational partner of Way to Lead. WFP, which has endorsed Barnes, has contributed at least $5,000 to his senate campaign, according to an Empower Wisconsin review of Barnes’ campaign finance reports.

The Working Families Party in 2020 launched its Justice Fund, providing direct financial support to liberal candidates committed to defunding the police. As the New York Post reports, the WFP is pressuring candidates who seek their endorsement in 2022 elections to shun support from law enforcement unions representing beat cops and correction officers.

In November, Barnes headlined an event hosted by the Center for Popular Democracy (CPD), a liberal activist group at the center of the movement to defund police.

Wisconsin’s lieutenant governor thanked the group for its support, saying he was “very honored” to land its endorsement given its “amazing work … in states all across the country.” CPD organized a number of “defund police” rallies in the summer of 2020, which the group claims it played a direct role in local officials’ decisions to cut tens of millions of dollars from their police budgets.

Listen to more:

Explore More
Spotlight: Johnson seeks to end military shot mandate

Spotlight: Johnson seeks to end military shot mandate

By M.D. Kittle MADISON — U.S. Sen. Ron Johnson (R-Oshkosh) wants to see an immediate end to the Department of…

Read More »

December 1, 2022
Who is Hakeem Jeffries?

Who is Hakeem Jeffries?

By Juliegrace Brufke, Washington Examiner Rep. Hakeem Jeffries (D-NY) made history on Wednesday as the first black lawmaker elected to…

Read More »

December 1, 2022
All Woke Up: Brinton’s got a brand new bag

All Woke Up: Brinton’s got a brand new bag

Empower Wisconsin | Dec. 1, 2022 Perhaps someone in the woke Biden administration should have told Sam Brinton that inclusion…

Read More »

December 1, 2022
Evers’ DNR turning harder left

Evers’ DNR turning harder left

By M.D. Kittle MADISON — Gov. Tony Evers has radicalized the Wisconsin Department of Natural Resources, and things look to…

Read More »

December 1, 2022
Poll: A majority of Americans have lost faith in elections

Poll: A majority of Americans have lost faith in elections

By M.D. Kittle MADISON — In the wake of prolonged midterm election ballot counts, a majority of American voters say…

Read More »

November 30, 2022
Audit exposes more problems with Evers’ COVID grant spending

Audit exposes more problems with Evers’ COVID grant spending

By M.D. Kittle MADISON —The Evers administration wrongly issued hundreds of thousands of dollars in business grants based on changed…

Read More »

November 30, 2022

2 thoughts on “Defund Police group biggest contributor to Mandela Barnes’ campaign

  • I really can’t think of anyone in the current political theater that I find more useless than Mandela Barnes. He seems to regard politics as a way to make a living without really doing anything and being held accountable for nothing.

    During his tenure as Lt. Governor, he hasn’t done anything really of note other than attend protest rallies and spout his radical left wing views including his support to defund the police. Granted, the Evers organization sets the bar really low in terms of finding anything to feel accomplishment about, but to even think about sending him to Washington as a representative of our state is too embarrassing to consider. He would be as useless there as Tammy Badwin is and make Wisconsin look ridiculous.

  • We have seen what has happened in NYC, Chicago, MPLS WA OR and CA AND MORE where police budgets were cut. DO THE PEOPLE OF WISCONSIN WANT TO BE LIKE THEM??

    These people better realize there are thousands of guns and gun owners in WI. If you get rid of cops or make them helpless you may have to deal with the above mentioned, because I doubt that we would take your criminal crap!

Leave a Comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *