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Tool of the Week: Mandela Barnes, ‘coalition’ builder

Empower Wisconsin | Sept. 19, 2022

MADISON — Protip for Jesse Mandela Barnes: If you’re going to boast about a long list of endorsements, make sure you have a long list of endorsements.

Last week, Wisconsin’s part-time lieutenant governor and full-time candidate for U.S. Senate bragged about a coalition of Wisconsin law enforcement officers from across the state that have endorsed the Democrat. The “coalition” numbers nine officers — seven of them retired.

The two active officers on the endorsement list represent 0.01 percent of the approximately 13,400 active-duty law enforcement officers in the state.

The coalition apparently is a confederacy of dunces. According to the Barnes campaign press release, they “know that they can trust Mandela to support them and provide resources to ensure they can keep communities safe.”

They must not have heard about Barnes’ push as a lawmaker to do away with cash bail. Or seen the photo of him proudly holding an “Abolish ICE” T-shirt. Perhaps they’re not up to speed on all of that campaign cash from Defund the Police activists supporting Barnes. Maybe they buried their heads deep in the sand (or other locations) as Barnes was jumping to conclusions and vilifying police officers surrounding the Kenosha riots.

Barnes is doing better than Wisconsin Attorney General Josh Kaul. The state’s presumed “top cop” has a coalition of zero, as in no law enforcement endorsements.

Fortunately, Barnes got backup on his ridiculous endorsement boast from his good pals at Madison’s Channel 3000, which described the meager list as a “series of law enforcement endorsements.” This series has a shorter run than the 1983 ghost-themed sit-com “Jennifer Slept Here.” Channel 3000 could have written the press release for Barnes.

In June, Barnes announced a coalition of “more than a dozen” Wisconsin farmers endorsed his run for Senate. Fourteen in fact. The groundswell of support down on the farm for this former Milwaukee community organizer is impressive.

It takes a real tool to call just enough people to field a baseball team a coalition. Jesse Mandela Barnes is that tool.

Empower Wisconsin’s Tool of the Week.

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