There are more than 13,000 active-duty law enforcement officers in Wisconsin, but Mandela Barnes could only scrounge up 2 of them to endorse his campaign.
His campaign is so desperate to cover up his anti-public safety record that they actually touted this paltry number in a press release, bizarrely labeling it a “coalition.”
It reads like an article in Babylon Bee, but it’s actually true: Barnes revealed the laughable endorsement list in a press release to try to fend off criticism that he is soft-on-crime.
The same press release touted a grand total of 9 cops endorsing Barnes, but 7 of those are retired or former law enforcement officers.
Furthermore, his list did not include any police chiefs or sheriffs.
[As a side note, Attorney General Josh Kaul lists ZERO law enforcement endorsements; his Republican challenger Eric Toney has been endorsed by more than 100 bipartisan sheriffs, police chiefs, and law enforcement associations.]
So who are the Barnes 9? One of them, Paul Piotrowski, recently ran an unsuccessful state Senate campaign as a Democrat. During that campaign, he was denounced by the Portage County Deputy Sheriffs’ Association.
The association criticized Piotrowski for comments he made critical of police in the Jacob Blake case, writing, “While Mr. Piotrowski admitted he does not have all the facts, this did not keep him from condemning the actions by the police, calling their use of force unjustified.” The police officer who shot Blake was later exonerated by a Democratic DA.
Another, Gloria Reyes, was president of the Madison School Board. She backed removing police officers from schools.
The truth is that Barnes has a horrible record on law enforcement and public safety issues both as a legislator and lieutenant governor. He advocated reducing the prison population by 50% and once called it “sexy” to do so.
Barnes is part of an administration whose Parole Commission has released some of the most violent and heinous murderers in state history and dozens of rapists and child rapists.
He rushed to judgment against the Kenosha cop who shot Jacob Blake, helping incite riots there that led to the city burning.
Barnes pushes “bail reform,” and, as a legislator, he voted against making it a felony to threaten a police officer or assault or threaten a prosecutor, their family, or a cop’s family.
The more voters are learning about Barnes’ record, the more his poll numbers slip. His list of 9 endorsements also appeared rushed out as CNN is reporting that Republicans have shifted money from messaging on inflation to crime.
To make a point, we suggested that we could get U.S. Senator Ron Johnson more than 9 endorsements in a few hours on our Facebook page from officers.
We did. Barnes’ campaign has had months and has only come up with 9.
Who are the 9?
Darlene Jenkins Ray, Retired Captain (Milwaukee, WI)
Greg Thompson, Retired Police Officer (Milwaukee, WI)
Paul Piotrowski, Retired Police Sergeant (Stevens Point, WI)
Gloria Reyes, Former Police Officer (Madison, WI)
Eddie Albritton, Retired Police Officer (Milwaukee, WI)
Malik Frazier, Deputy Sheriff (Racine, WI)
John Siegel, Police Captain (La Crosse, WI)
Steven Madsen, Retired Police Officer (Racine, WI)
Connie Cobb Madsen, Retired Police Officer (Racine, WI)