Wisconsin Truth PAC — which is funded by the special interest donors Ron Johnson delivered $215 million in tax deductions to — is falsely attacking Lt. Governor Barnes over his record of working to keep all Wisconsin communities safe.

Lt. Governor Barnes has consistently advocated for law enforcement to have the resources needed to combat violent crime and for crime reduction through investments in quality education and job creation. Meanwhile, Ron Johnson has voted against funding for law enforcement and recently opposed a plan that would recruit and train new officers.

“Ron Johnson is lying to distract voters from his record of opposing funding for law enforcement and failing to stand up for Wisconsin communities,” said Maddy McDaniel, spokesperson for Mandela Barnes for Wisconsin. “While Ron Johnson votes against funding for the police and uses taxpayer dollars to fly from his ritzy Florida vacation home, Lt. Governor Barnes has worked to keep communities safe and create opportunity for working people across Wisconsin.”

FACT: Lt. Governor Barnes Does Not Support Defunding the Police 

  • Barnes Firmly Said He Did Not Support Defunding The Police, Saying He Favored Providing Police With The Resources Needed “To Keep Us Safe.” [Milwaukee Journal Sentinel, 2/15/22]

  • Barnes’s Spokesperson Said He Did Not Support Defunding The Police, “What He Does Support Is Investing Just As Heavily In Preventing Crime From Occurring In The First Place.” [Washington Post, 7/30/22]

FACT: Under the Evers-Barnes Administration Funding For Law Enforcement Was Increased

  • The Evers-Barnes Administration Invested Additional $45 Million On Violence Prevention Efforts In Wisconsin, Including $10.4 Million For A Competitive Grant Process To Support Violence Prevention Projects Statewide. [News 8000, 10/13/21]

  • The Evers-Barnes Administration Used $50 Million In American Rescue Plan Funding To Support Police, Sheriff’s Offices And Criminal Justice Initiatives. [WBAY, 3/15/22]

FACT: Security Decisions For the Lt. Governor Are Made by Wisconsin’s Dignitary Protection Unit

  • Associated Press: “Wisconsin State Patrol Spokesman Mark Rescheske Said The Decision [For Increased Security] Was Made By The Patrol And The Governor’s Office.” [Associated Press, 5/14/19]

  • Wisconsin’s Dignitary Protection Unit, Part Of The State Patrol, Decided What Level Of Security Coverage Was Required For The Governor And Lt. Governor.” [Associated Press, 5/14/19]

  • Wisconsin’s Dignitary Protection Unit Also Decided What Security Coverage Was Required for Past Administrations. [Governor Walker] said the security needs continue and are set for him, his family and Kleefisch by the same law enforcement team that set the security levels for his predecessor, Jim Doyle.” [WISN, 7/14/14]

FACT: Lt. Governor Barnes Has Worked to Keep Wisconsin Communities Safe

  • Barnes Is Committed To Continuing Investment In Struggling Communities And Giving Law Enforcement Officers The Resources They Need To Prevent Crime Before It Happens. [Mandela Barnes Public Safety Proposal, 3/26/22]

  • Barnes Called For More Funding For Law Enforcement Officers So That They “Have The Resources They Need To Keep Us Safe,” And Called For More Investments In Crime Prevention.  [WUWM, 7/18/22]

  • 2013: Barnes Released A Statement Regarding Gun Violence In Milwaukee, Saying, “As Elected Officials, We Have An Obligation To Our Constituency To Take The Necessary Actions To Ensure The Public Safety.” [Milwaukee Courier, 8/10/13]

  • 2014: Barnes Joined Milwaukee Mayor Tom Barrett and Police Chief Edward Flynn As He Gave A Speech Addressing A Spate Of Shootings In Milwaukee. [Milwaukee Journal Sentinel, 8/10/14]

  • 2022: Barnes Praised The U.S. House Agreement On Police Funding And Safety Bills, Saying, “We Must Ensure Our Police Officers Have The Resources And Accountability They Need To Keep Wisconsin Safe.” [Mandela Barnes, Press Release, 7/29/22]

FACT: Sen. Ron Johnson Has Voted Against Funding and Resources for Law Enforcement 

  • Senator Ron Johnson Opposed A Plan To Recruit And Train 100,000 New Officers [WTMJ-4, 8/30/22]

  • Senator Ron Johnson Voted Against The American Rescue Plan Act. [CQ, 3/6/21; Vote 110, H. R. 1319, 3/6/21]

    • The Evers-Barnes Administration Used American Rescue Plan Funds To Allocate $56 Million In Federal Funds To Address Public Safety, Including Nearly $19 Million For Local Police Departments. [Wisconsin Public Radio, 3/15/22]

  • Johnson Voted To Advance FY 2013 Toomey Budget Plan that Experts Said Would Endanger Law Enforcement [CQ, 5/16/12; S.Con.Res. 37, Vote 99, 5/16/12]

    • Johnson Supported Toomey’s Budget Proposal, Calling It “Serious,” Because “The First Step Should Be To Establish Hard Spending Caps To Instill Fiscal Discipline, And To Force Washington To Prioritize Spending.” [Office of Sen. Ron Johnson, Press Release, 5/10/11]

    • Center on Budget and Policy Priorities: Toomey Budget Would Endanger Important Programs Such As “Law Enforcement, Veterans’ Health Care, Education.” [Center for Budget and Policy Priorities, 5/6/12]

FACT: Ron Johnson Used Taxpayer Dollars to Fly Between his Florida Vacation Home and D.C.

  • Ron Johnson Used Taxpayer Dollars to Cover the Cost of Nine Trips Between His Florida Vacation Home and Washington, D.C. Last Year [Milwaukee Journal Sentinel, 5/26/22]
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