A new TV ad launched by Johnson’s D.C. allies is falsely attacking Lt. Governor Barnes, candidate for U.S. Senate, for his record of supporting law enforcement and working to keep all Wisconsin communities safe. Meanwhile, Ron Johnson has voted against funding for law enforcement as he supports putting Social Security and Medicare on the chopping block. 

“Ron Johnson and his allies are lying about Mandela Barnes to cover up the fact that Johnson has voted multiple times against funding for law enforcement. From failing to prioritize safety to putting Social Security on the chopping block, Ron Johnson has failed the people of Wisconsin,” said Maddy McDaniel, spokesperson for Mandela Barnes for Wisconsin. 

FACT:  On Bail, Lt. Governor Barnes’ Plan Would Have Kept Violent Offenders like Darrell Brooks in Jail 

  • The 2016 Cash Bail Legislation Barnes Sponsored Would Require A Judge To Hold a Defendant in Custody if There Was “Clear And Convincing Evidence” That The Defendant Could “Cause Serious Bodily Harm To A Member Of The Community.” [Accessed 8/10/22; Assembly Bill 981, Sponsored 3/10/16, Introduced 3/10/16]
  • Darrell Brooks Showed Signs He Would Cause Serious and Bodily Harm to the Community. 
    • Darrell Brooks Was Legally Barred From Contacting His Mother Prior To Waukesha Christmas Parade Attack. [Milwaukee Journal Sentinel, 1/20/22]
    • 21 Days Prior To The Waukesha Christmas Parade Attack, Darrell Brooks’ Girlfriend Said He “Tried To Kill Her” After He Punched Her In The Face And Ran Over Her. [Milwaukee Journal Sentinel, 1/20/22]

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: The Evers-Barnes Administration Boosted Funding For Law Enforcement

  • 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: 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: 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: 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]
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