CNN reporting on a story of liberal hypocrisy may, in and of itself, be the story. “Wisconsin Democratic Senate nominee Mandela Barnes has previously signaled his support for removing police funding and abolishing ICE, according to a review by CNN’s KFile, despite claiming otherwise in a recent ad in which he speaks directly to the camera to defend his record on those issues” CNN reports.
“Look, we knew the other side would make up lies about me to scare you. Now they’re claiming I want to defund the police and abolish ICE. That’s a lie,” says Barnes to the camera in a recent 30-second television ad called “Truth.”
CNN calls out the Democratic candidate:
But a CNN KFile review of Barnes’ social media activity and public comments he made in interview appearances reveal a different and more nuanced picture in which Barnes often signaled his support for such positions.
In multiple posts from 2018 uncovered by CNN, Barnes liked tweets that criticized the immigration agency and called to abolish them. He told a group that supported abolishing the institution in 2019 that the “wrong ICE” was melting and attended one of their “Abolish ICE” local rallies.
CNN found yet another disparity between Barnes’ claims and his actions:
Though Barnes has never outright embraced the “defund the police” slogan, he has on numerous occasions said he supports redirecting or decreasing police funding – even before the slogan gained popularity in 2020 following the murder of George Floyd by police.
In one 2020 interview reviewed by CNN, Barnes told a local Wisconsin public radio show that funding should go to social workers and a “crisis intervener or a violence interrupter,” instead of police.
Additionally, spokesperson for the Barnes campaign, Maddy McDaniel, also claimed Barnes does not support defunding the police or abolishing ICE.
“As independent fact-checkers have verified, Lt. Governor Mandela Barnes does not support abolishing ICE or defunding the police” said McDaniel.
CNN called out Barnes’ campaign once again:
In previously unreported activity on social media reviewed by CNN’s KFile, Barnes repeatedly liked tweets about abolishing ICE
He liked one September 2018 tweet that used the “#AbolishICE” hashtag and compared the agency to “modern day slave catchers.” His Twitter account also liked other tweets calling for abolishing ICE twice in July 2018 and twice in June.
“Imagine a world without ICE,” read one of the tweets liked by Barnes.
Barnes also once solicited an “Abolish ICE” T-shirt on Twitter in 2018 writing, “I need that,” when offered the Democratic Socialists of America-branded shirt. A photo of Barnes holding a similar shirt later circulated on social media. Barnes told the Milwaukee Journal-Sentinel, which first reported on the shirt, he was not part of the abolish ICE movement saying “no one slogan can capture all the work we have to do.”
While speaking to the Wisconsin-based immigration group Voces de la Frontera Action in 2019, Barnes alluded to calls to get rid of the immigration enforcement agency.
“We’re bringing science back. We’re bringing science back for the next generation. We’re bringing science back because the wrong ICE is melting,” Barnes said.
As for defunding the police, CNN reports that “while he has never outright embraced the ‘defund the police’ slogan, Barnes has long called for reforming or changing policing, especially in communities of color and reducing their budgets.”
Specifically, CNN writes:
Speaking in 2015 on a panel entitled “Civil Rights in the Age of Extremism,” Barnes called police officers who don’t live in communities in which they police an “occupying force.” He also advocated reducing police budgets even before the “defund the police” slogan became popular on the far-left in the summer of 2020.
Which policies the “defund the police” slogan stands for are actively debated, with some arguing it means abolishing police departments all together, while others have embraced shifting police funding to other social services in the community. Barnes reiterated support for the latter in a 2012 survey for the organization Vote Smart where he indicated he supported slightly decreasing budgets for law enforcement and corrections.
In early June 2020, Barnes said “defunding” police wasn’t as “aggressive” as it was portrayed, citing budget cuts to other social services.
“Defunding isn’t necessarily as aggressive as a lot of folks paint it,” Barnes said. “You know, school budgets get cut almost every year.”
When asked directly if he supported defunding the police, Barnes told Wisconsin public radio in late June 2020 that he thought funding for police was a “mismatch” compared to other services in the city.
“You can look at the City of Milwaukee, for example, where 45% of the departmental allocations that goes to police while libraries are like two or three percent, neighborhood services, two or three percent,” Barnes said. “I think that you can look at that a, a priorities mismatch.”
Barnes, comparing police budgets to money spent on prisons and the military, said the money could be better spent on social workers or violence interrupters.
“We’re working to reduce our prison population, we’re very intentional about making that happen and it takes that intentionality,” he said. “It’s easy to look at the police department and say, ‘Well, yeah, we are spending a lot of money. How do we get smarter about this?’”
“It becomes the conversation about needs,” he continued. “This isn’t about attacking the police. If anything, it’s about making their jobs easier by implementing programs … where we have services where they wouldn’t have to respond to things that aren’t crime, where they don’t have to respond to, you know, instances that would be better suited for a social worker or some sort of crisis intervener or a violence interrupter that would help, you know, uh, promote peace and communities in the first place.”
“I think that’s where our funding should go,” Barnes reiterated. “What’s going on right now isn’t necessarily working, you know, police brutality is one thing – but in general, uh, the idea of promoting safer communities, I don’t, I don’t think that we’re doing a good job at that.”
Michigan asks residents to house migrants, enroll children in school and help adults find employment
Michigan is asking its residents to help with the mess its leadership created and house migrants in their own homes. The state Department of Labor and Economic Development said volunteers who participate must commit for at least 90 days as part of the refugee support program.
In addition to opening up their homes, sponsors are expected to support newly arrived refugees by greeting them at the airport, securing and preparing initial housing, enrolling children in school and helping adults find employment.
“Programs like the Welcome Corps advance the Office of Global Michigan’s mission to make Michigan the home for opportunity for our immigrant, refugee and ethnic communities,” said Poppy Hernandez, Global Michigan Director and Michigan’s Chief Equity and Inclusion Officer. “Expanded refugee resettlement pathways empower more Michiganders to support our state’s growing refugee population and build a more welcoming and inclusive Michigan for all.”
The migrants will come from Cuba, Haiti, Nicaragua and Venezuela, all points of origin where many have been hoping to apply for asylum at the U.S.-Mexico border.
Fox News reports “cities like New York and Chicago have also dealt with issues related to migrants committing crimes, as well as pushback from residents who have voiced anger and concern over the influx. Migrant shelters in those cities have largely been full, forcing officials to come up with ways to safely house the migrants.”
Last year, Massachusetts officials asked residents to open their doors as migrant shelters were full at the time. “Most importantly, if you have an extra room or suite in your home, please consider hosting a family. Housing and shelter is our most pressing need and become a sponsor family,” said Massachusetts Lt. Governor Kim Driscoll.
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