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Despite promises, Barnes still taking money from corporate PACS

By M.D. Kittle

MADISON — In July, 2021, Mandela Barnes boldy declared on his twitter account, @TheOtherMandela,  “I want to be clear — I’m not taking donations from corporate PACs, which means we need people like you with us.”

Some other Mandela may not be taking donations from corporate PACS, but Wisconsin’s part-time lieutenant governor and full-time campaigner for U.S. Senate still is, according to a review of his latest campaign finance filings.

Barnes, the presumed frontrunner in a crowded filed of Democrats vying to face off against Republican incumbent Sen. Ron Johnson, accepted $15,000 from political action committees that accept corporate PAC contributions. It’s the latest “dark money” trick from the same Democrats who hypocritically accuse Republicans of taking “dark money.”

Barnes’ Senate campaign received $5,000 from U.S. Sen. Richard Blumenthal’s Nutmeg PAC, a so-called Leadership political action committee richly funded by mega corporations like Microsoft, Pfizer, Lockheed Martin and Comcast.

The Congressional Black Caucus PAC chipped in another $5,000 to Barnes’ elections efforts, which has received lots of money from corporations like Walmart, BP North America, Anheuser-Busch, General Election and PNC Financial Services.

U.S. Rep. James Clyburn’s Bridge PAC gave Barnes $2,500 in the recently ended quarter. And Bridge PAC has received hundreds of thousands of dollars from corporations like Google, Charter, Toyota and JPMorgan Chase.

And the beat goes on.

Barnes may claim he’s not taking donations directly from corporate PACs, but thousands of dollars in corporate PAC money are financing his campaign.

At the same time, the far left Democrat in the first three months of this year raked in more than $50,000 from executives at some of the largest corporations in America. The list includes contributions from Ann Johnson, corporate Vice President at Microsoft, Antoinette Bush, Executive Vice President at News Corp,  Laura Sherrod, director of Government Relations for Dentons Global Advisors, Laura Volluz, former executive director of Marketing at AT&T, and Nina Tassler, former executive at CBS.

Corporate lobbyists also kicked into Barnes’ Senate campaign in the first quarter, including a $500 contribution from Jennifer McCadney, of Washington, D.C.-based Kelley, Drye  & Warren.

Barnes took in more than $1.7 million in campaign donations in the first quarter. He finished the period with about $1.62 million in his campaign coffers.

Barnes received the vast majority (73%) of individual campaign contributions from out-of-state donors during the period. Campaign cash from California and New York amounted for 27 percent of Barnes’ haul, as much as he received from Wisconsin donors.

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