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Wisconsin Lt. Gov. Mandela Barnes, the Democratic U.S. Senate candidate, has shown support for increased law enforcement funding during his campaign. Several campaign materials showcase this support, including ads and a page on his official site listing endorsements from law enforcement and a call to give police “the resources they need to keep us safe.”

But Barnes has previously expressed support for reducing funding to the police. In a 2020 PBS Wisconsin interview, Barnes said spending on Milwaukee police was “over-bloated,” but said it should not be “completely done away with.” He called for more money for “neighborhood services and programming.”  

Multiple organizations that favor defunding the police have endorsed Barnes’s campaign, including Center for Popular Democracy and Democracy for America. But a campaign spokesperson said Barnes does not endorse their stance on the issue.


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Team Mandela: Public safety: Mandela’s priorities for Senate

Mandela Barnes for U.S. Senate: More members of law enforcement endorse Mandela Barnes for US Senate

PBS Wisconsin: Communities chart course to address racism

Wall Street Journal: Democrats and defunding police

Wisconsin Journal Sentinel: Mandela Barnes distances self from increasingly unpopular, left-wing defund police and abolish ICE movements

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Jacob Alabab-Moser / Wisconsin WatchFact Checker

Jacob Alabab-Moser joined as Wisconsin Watch’s fact checker in September 2022, as part of the effort by The Gigafact Project in partnership with different state-level news outlets to combat misinformation in the 2022 midterm elections. Jacob has several years of experience as a fact checker and research assistant at a variety of organizations, including at The Gigafact Project. He holds a BA from Brown University and is pursuing a MSc from the London School of Economics and Political Science.