By The Milwaukee Courier
Mandela Barnes is the change that we need in Washington.
While Republican Senator Ron Johnson has given Wisconsin voters plenty of reasons to vote him out of office, Lt. Governor Mandela Barnes has given his hometown and his home state so many more reasons to send him to the U.S. Senate in Johnson’s place.
The son of a third-shift auto worker and a public school teacher raised in Milwaukee, Mandela’s story resonates with Wisconsinites in every zip code and from every background.
It’s clear that even as his political career has taken off, he hasn’t forgotten his roots—he continues to work to better our neighborhoods, he regularly speaks at Sunday services, and he remains a fixture in the community he grew up in.
It’s his working-class upbringing and his track record as a community organizer, as a state lawmaker, and as Wisconsin’s first Black Lieutenant Governor that make Mandela Barnes the best candidate for U.S. Senate.
Mandela has worked all across the state, visiting all 72 counties and meeting with Wisconsinites of different backgrounds and identities to hear directly from them about the challenges they’re facing.
That’s why Mandela supports lowering taxes for the middle class, strengthening Wisconsin’s manufacturing industry, and supporting small businesses and farms across the state.
Mandela also believes that women should be able to make their own health care decisions and that politicians should be kept out of the doctor’s office. As senator, Mandela’s promised to codify Roe v Wade to protect access to safe and legal abortion.
All of this stands in sharp contrast to a politician like Ron Johnson, who has put our community on the back burner for the 12 years he’s been in Washington serving the wealthy and well-connected instead of working class Wisconsinites.
Johnson’s actions—or more aptly his inaction— make it an easy decision for the Milwaukee Courier to endorse Mandela Barnes for U.S. Senate to replace him.
If you look back at his time in the U.S. Senate, it’s clear just how little he’s actually done to help working Wisconsinites. Johnson has refused to support plans that would create new opportunities in our state and invest directly in the communities that need it most.
Johnson is more than happy to play partisan games rather than work across the aisle, voting against historic bills like the Bipartisan Infrastructure Law. He also voted against the American Rescue Plan, the CHIPS and Science Act, and most recently the Inflation Reduction Act—all pieces of legislation that bolster Wisconsin’s economy and lower costs across the state.
When Johnson isn’t voting against common-sense legislation or praying for gridlock, he’s pushing a reckless agenda that is wildly unpopular and deeply out of step with our values.
Take the 2017 GOP tax plan as just one example. The provision he added to that bill allowed him and his wealthiest donors to receive millions in tax breaks and deductions. Despite his claims, it was proven that the provision grossly benefited the wealthy over working Wisconsinites.
Johnson has also proposed, time and again, that we put Social Security and Medicare on the chopping block every year. Thousands of our seniors rely on these programs as their livelihood and Johnson is ready to strip it away. Wisconsin deserves better.
Johnson has also proven himself to not be trusted when it comes to protecting our citizens. He has changed his stance on the Respect for Marriage Act multiple times, originally saying he sees no reason to oppose the bill to now saying he absolutely will not vote for the legislation, codifying same-sex and interracial marriages.
Johnson has a long history of restricting women’s reproductive freedoms, cosponsoring eight bills that would strip away a woman’s choice to access an abortion. He’s callously told women that if they don’t like the abortion laws in their state, they “can move.” It doesn’t matter to him that the majority of Wisconsinites don’t support an abortion ban—he doesn’t care about representing anyone but himself in office.
We don’t need another six years of Johnson rigging the system for himself and his rich friends at our expense. Wisconsin needs a senator who is actually ready to work for us, not against us.
On Election Day, voters can either choose between Ron Johnson, an out-of-touch politician who has turned his back on Wisconsin, or Lt. Gov. Mandela Barnes, an empathic leader who understands the challenges our state is facing.
The choice is clear, Milwaukee—vote for Mandela.