Tag Archives: Mandela Barnes

Wisconsin’s Democratic rising star

Here is my full column that ran in the Washington County Daily News yesterday.

Wisconsin Lt. Gov. Mandela Barnes has risen to be a leading light in Democratic circles and will likely have a role in the national Democratic convention next year. Unfortunately, as Wisconsinites have gotten to know our new lieutenant governor in the fraction of a year since he took office, we have learned that the man who is a breath away from being our governor has a detached relationship with the truth and a penchant for blaming others for his misdeeds.

The most recent revelation is that Barnes lied about being a college graduate. For years, Barnes has represented himself as a graduate of Alabama A&M University. He did so in various media interviews, on podcasts, and on social media. His graduation status was shared in innumerable news stories about Barnes that he never bothered to correct. It turns out, however, that Barnes never actually graduated. In an interview with The Isthmus, Barnes admitted that he did not graduate. He shared some excuses and stories about why he did not graduate, but nobody knows if he is telling the truth about that either.

During the same interview where Barnes finally confessed, he revealed another unappealing part of his character. He blamed a staffer for the lie. Last year, Barnes claimed that a staffer incorrectly identified him as a graduate in a candidate questionnaire for the Wisconsin State Journal. The problem is that the questionnaire was not the only place where Barnes claimed his higher education, nor does the fact that a staffer filled out the form absolve Barnes from responsibility for its content. After all, the staffer must have learned Barnes’ alleged graduation status from someone — most likely Barnes himself. For Barnes to blame a staffer for a falsehood that Barnes perpetuated for years is an ugly character trait. This incident with Barnes is part of a pattern of behavior. In June, almost six months after they were due, we learned that Barnes had not yet paid his 2018 property taxes in Milwaukee. Once again, Barnes’ first reaction was to lie. He claimed that he was paying his property taxes on an installment plan, but that lie quickly fell apart when the city treasurer disclosed that he was not doing an installment plan and had not made any payments whatsoever.

Barnes also still owes some property taxes from 2017, but claimed that the bill was sent to the previous owners. The problem, as any property owner knows, is that the property taxes follow the property, not the owner. One again, Barnes is caught doing something wrong, tried to lie about it, and then, when caught, tried to blame someone else.

Also this summer, WisPolitics. com revealed that Barnes had run up a staggering security bill. In just the first two months in office, Barnes utilized the Dignitary Protection Unit, the State Patrol agency that provides transportation and security for officials, nine times more than his predecessor did in the entirety of last year. It turns out that Barnes is using the taxpayer- funded protection unit to transport him to and from his home, political events, personal errands, and, of course, official meetings.

For weeks, the exorbitant security costs for our lieutenant governor defied rational explanation. Then we learned the reason. Barnes had $108 in parking tickets that he failed to pay on a car last year. The outstanding fines and penalties prevented Barnes from registering a car. Without a legal car to drive, Barnes decided to have State Patrol officers chauffeur him around at taxpayers’ expense. The taxpayers have already spent tens of thousands of dollars because Barnes did not want to pay a $108 fine.

And again, we get the same spun yarn from Barnes. He claims that he sold the car to a friend of his mother’s in November and that he was unaware of the fines. Given that he does not have any car registered in his name anymore, the timing would suggest that Barnes just decided to leverage the taxpayers’ largesse after the election instead of bothering with getting his vehicular affairs in order.

The good news is that although Gov. Tony Evers continues to publicly stand by Barnes’ honesty despite all evidence to the contrary, Evers has wisely withheld giving Barnes anything important to do. Unfortunately for the people of Wisconsin, should the unthinkable happen to Evers, Barnes will be handed everything important to do.

 

Wisconsin’s Democratic rising star

My column for the Washington County Daily News is online and in print. Here’s a sample:

Wisconsin Lt. Gov. Mandela Barnes has risen to be a leading light in Democratic circles and will likely have a role in the national Democratic convention next year. Unfortunately, as Wisconsinites have gotten to know our new lieutenant governor in the fraction of a year since he took office, we have learned that the man who is a breath away from being our governor has a detached relationship with the truth and a penchant for blaming others for his misdeeds.

[…]

The good news is that although Gov. Tony Evers continues to publicly stand by Barnes’ honesty despite all evidence to the contrary, Evers has wisely withheld giving Barnes anything important to do. Unfortunately for the people of Wisconsin, should the unthinkable happen to Evers, Barnes will be handed everything important to do.

Evers Says Barnes was “Truthful”

Liars gonna lie. And apparently our governor is cool with that.

After the reporter told Barnes that the governor had been asked the question, Evers leaned into the podium and said ‘‘I’ve talked to the lieutenant governor about all sorts of things, including this, and I feel confident that he’s been truthful.’’

Later in the news conference another reporter asked

Evers to explain why he thought Barnes had been truthful. Again Barnes jumped in before Evers could respond.

‘‘Hey, Mandela here,’’ he said. ‘‘I’m actually here.’’

The reporter said he was looking for Evers’ opinion, to which Barnes replied that the questionnaire came from his campaign staff.

‘‘That didn’t come from me,’’ Barnes said. He then added his name is in ‘‘the graduation book.’’

‘‘I was literally there. I didn’t just pop up and say ‘oh, hey, guys,’’’ he said. It wasn’t clear if he was referring to A& M’s graduation ceremony. Barnes last year posted photos of himself in a cap and gown at A& M’s 2008 graduation ceremony.

One of Evers’ media staff told the governor he could answer the question.

‘‘Right,’’ Evers said. ‘‘I believe those responses are responsible responses, and as a result I believe that he’s been truthful.’’

Our Dishonest Lt. Governor

Dan O’Donnell opines.

This seems to be his natural defense when confronted with his various misdeeds. No matter how minor an infraction–failing to graduate from college, for example–Barnes believes he can lie his way out of it.

More troubling, however, is his equally instinctive accusation of racism against anyone who calls him out on his dishonesty. The Isthmus reports:

He calls the GOP narrative about him “race baiting.”

“They don’t challenge me on my policy positions, ever,” he adds. “This is a tried and true strategy: racism. It’s not any different than what Reagan did with that supposed welfare queen. It’s not a dog whistle if everybody can hear it. And these are people who hate taxes. Which is a disgusting irony.”Answering legitimate criticism of his irresponsibility with the vile presumption that such criticism is race-based is both beneath the dignity of his office and yet another example of Barnes’ fundamental dishonesty. Republicans constantly challenge his policy positions: They just spent the past seven months battling him and Governor Evers on the state budget. Did a single Republican launch a single attack on Barnes that could possibly be construed as racist during that tense fight? Of course not. Yet Barnes hurled the smear anyway.

This reveals far more about his character than that of his critics, and this entire episode has shown Barnes’ character to be quite lacking. There is simply no other way to say it: Mandela Barnes is a fundamentally dishonest person.

Indeed. Usually, one could shrug and say “who cares?” After all, the Lt. Governor has virtually no power except what the Governor chooses to give him. But he is only one breath away from being our governor. And Governor Evers is a 67-year-old survivor of esophageal cancer. It is not unrealistic, although it might be a bit ghoulish, to think that Evers might be incapacitated or die before his term runs out.

If the Democrats were smart, they would distance themselves from Barnes before he assumes the mantle of heir to the throne, but they won’t be that smart.

Madela Barnes Lies About Being College Graduate

Let’s see… doesn’t pay his parking tickets. Doesn’t pay his property taxes. Now this. It seems that our Lt. Governor has an arms-length relationship with the truth and a deadbeat’s attitude to paying bills.

A year after telling the public as a candidate he had obtained a bachelor’s degree, Lt. Gov. Mandela Barnes said Thursday he hasn’t completed his degree at Alabama A&M University.

The Democrat revealed to the Isthmus newspaper that he completed coursework to resolve an incomplete class but never turned it in. He called it “a small technical thing.”

[…]

However, in response to a Wisconsin State Journal candidate questionnaire last year when he was running in the Democratic primary for lieutenant governor, his campaign stated he had a “BA in Broadcast Journalism – Alabama A&M University.” A BA is a bachelor of arts degree.

“Taxes are for little people,” says Lt. Governor Barnes

Well, with his actions.

Lt. Gov. Mandela Barnes is delinquent on property taxes for Milwaukee condo
Milwaukee Journal Sentinel
Daniel Bice
June 14, 2019

Even as Gov. Tony Evers is proposing to raise taxes in his state budget plan, records show his top deputy isn’t even paying the taxes he already owes.

Lt. Gov. Mandela Barnes is listed as failing to pay at least $2,225 in property taxes, interest and penalties on his Milwaukee condo.

“There is no installment plan, and the taxes are delinquent,” Jesicca Zwaga of the city Treasurer’s Office said Friday.

Barnes disputed the information earlier this week, sending the Journal Sentinel a screenshot of a portion of a 2018 tax bill that he said was proof that he was paying his property taxes in installments.

But Zwaga said the record from Barnes was just the original tax bill that included the monthly amounts he would owe if he opted to pay in installments instead of a lump sum. She said he failed to make the first payment in the agreement by Jan. 31.

“It is delinquent,” Zwaga said.

Barnes’ Insecurity

Just think of all of the venom, threats, and hate that Lt. Governor Rebecca Kleefisch went through and she still used a tiny fraction of the security Barnes is using. Looks like good ol’ Becky is much tougher than Barnes.

On one day in February, Lt. Gov. Mandela Barnes drove to Kenosha, attended a Black History Month event at a school and had lunch in Racine before heading back to Milwaukee, where he started the day.

There, he had a call with the president of the Milwaukee Area Labor Council and by 5 p.m. was headed to dinner at the Mexican restaurant Cielito Lindo.

That day, taxpayers also picked up the tab for the State Patrol to put in 36 hours protecting him — the equivalent of three officers each working 12-hour shifts, according to a WisPolitics.com review.

It was part of a pattern for Barnes over just his first two months in office. The review found the state’s Dignitary Protection Unit put in nine times as many hours providing him protection as it did his predecessor during her final full year on the job.

Barnes Stokes Racial Hatred on MLK Day By Spreading Lie

The video makes it clear that the original characterization of the encounter touted by leftist activists was wrong, and yet here is our Lt. Governor – days after the truth has been revealed – spreading a lie. Shameful.

Barnes, speaking at UW-Madison, also waded into the viral social media controversy about an encounter near the Lincoln Memorial between a group of white teenagers wearing “Make America Great Again” gear and a Native American man.

Barnes called the Native American, Nathan Phillips, an “American hero” and the teenagers a “mob” who surrounded and taunted him — although information that surfaced after the encounter caused some to temper their initial condemnation of the teens.

[…]

Barnes, while discussing what he described as work still to be done, said: “Unfortunately, America can still be a mob of high school students wearing red hats, inspired by what they see in the nation’s highest office.”

Wisconsin Politician Invited Folks to “Vicky’s Secret Party” with Prizes for “girl goin’ the hardest”

Oh wait… it’s Mandela Barnes? Never mind. The Democrats are making it clear this election that power is more important than respect for women *cough Keith Ellison*

MADISON, Wis. — Wisconsin Democratic lieutenant governor candidate Mandela Barnes was tagged as the co-host of a lingerie party in 2009 when he was 22, extending an online invitation that joked about “stimulus packages” and used derogatory slang to refer to people who would be turned away.

Barnes, now 31, is Tony Evers’ running mate after winning his primary in August. He served in the state Assembly from 2013 to 2017.

[…]

But the 2009 invitation to the “Pretty in Pink a Vicky Secret Affair” took a different tone. The invitation is unsigned, but Barnes is listed at the top as one of nine hosts. He also commented on the invitation, which was still publicly available on Facebook as of Tuesday afternoon but was deleted after the AP inquired about it.

The invitation refers to past parties, promising that the one scheduled for Sept. 11, 2009, in Whitewater would be “even bigger and better than the last time!!!” The invitation said that 203 people went to the party and 381 were interested.

Cash prizes and a Victoria’s Secret gift basket were being offered “for the girl goin’ the hardest in her Vicky’s!!!” The post also said, “Somebody said its a recession, so if you the baddest, it may be a stimulus package for you!!!”

Referencing men who planned to attend, the invitation told men that security would be there “handin’ out free choke slams and sleeper holds!!!” But it goes on to say, “Its a Vicky’s Secret party, why would you wanna roll on the ground wit a dud anyway???”

Barnes Blames Christianity for Orlando Killings

While the media is loving focusing on the heated rhetoric being exchanged between two lawmakers, let us not lose site of the fact that a Wisconsin Democrat took to Twitter to blame Christians for gay Muslim man killing 49 people.

“How many people have been driven to hate and act violently towards the lgbt community by ‘conservative Christian’ ideology?” Barnes tweeted Sunday.

“So many terroristic enablers in churches, in Congress, and state houses. Whether by discriminatory policy or the love affair with guns,” read another Barnes tweet.

Barnes is either a bigoted disgrace or extremely stupid. I don’t rule out the possibility that he is both.