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HomeBreaking NewsWisconsin Taxpayers Paid $608,000 for Mandela Barnes' Security, Including at Chicago Marathon

Wisconsin Taxpayers Paid $608,000 for Mandela Barnes’ Security, Including at Chicago Marathon


More than 10 times as much money has been spent protecting Barnes than was spent protecting Kleefisch.

State taxpayers have paid hundreds of thousands of dollars for security for Lt. Gov. Mandela Barnes, including for personal activities such as a marathon, climate change conference, and a campaign event.

That comes from a report in the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel, which reported that Mandela Barnes’ security costs were “$608,528 for a total of 14,370 hours of work” in the first three years he was the state’s lieutenant governor.

The newspaper reported that Barnes received taxpayer-funded security for the Chicago Marathon, a virtual event for Planned Parenthood, a climate change conference in Washington D.C., the Credit Bureau Cherry Blossom Ten Mile Run, and church attendance.

In 2019, the Journal Sentinel reported that Barnes’ vehicle registration was suspended when he didn’t pay parking tickets on time. “It’s a good thing that Lt. Gov. Mandela Barnes has had state security officials to chauffeur him around the state,” the newspaper reported at that time.

In 2020, Barnes called for funds to be shifted from police departments to neighborhood programs.

Alec Zimmerman, communications director for U.S. Sen. Ron Johnson, called Barnes’ security costs “outrageous and unprecedented” in an interview with the Journal Sentinel, accusing Barnes, who is running against Johnson, of using “the State Patrol as his own Uber service.”

Mandela Barnes’ Security

Barnes has “averaged more than 13½ hours of security protection a day — including weekdays, weekends, and holidays — at a daily cost to the state of $660 for patrol officers’ wages,” the Journal Sentinel reported.

According to the newspaper, former Lt. Gov. Rebecca Kleefisch declined security for personal activities.

More than 10 times as much money has been spent protecting Barnes than was spent protecting Kleefisch.

The state Dignitary Protection Unit makes the call on when to provide security for a public official, the newspaper reported. The Journal Sentinel story added that Barnes’ campaign has reimbursed the state $21,920 during his U.S. Senate campaign.

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Jim Piwowarczyk
Jim Piwowarczyk is an investigative journalist and co-founder of Wisconsin Right Now. Married with 3 kids, a chocolate lab, and a german shepherd. Jim served as a police officer in Wisconsin for more than 20 years. His career started as a police officer in Milwaukee County in 1994 as a patrol officer, until he was promoted to patrol sergeant in 2003 where he worked until he left in 2009 to pursue business aspirations. Jim Piwowarczyk was a field training officer, evidence technician & hostage negotiator and conducted many drug investigations. Jim continued to work part-time for an area police department. Jim is avid real estate investor, and small business owner & developer. Jim has coached youth football and basketball. Jim is also an avid fisherman and hunter.

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