Barnes Connects, Johnson Evades, in First Debate

In their first televised debate, on October 7, the contrast could not have been clearer between Lt. Governor Mandela Barnes and Senator Ron Johnson. Barnes’ campaign is based on his life experiences; Johnson’s is based on extreme ideology, coupled with money from the gun lobby and the fossil fuel industry.

Johnson refused to answer the question on taking action against climate change, even saying that the EPA should stop trying to regulate CO2. When asked what the minimum wage should be, he did not answer.  He claimed to believe that Social Security is an entitlement, but continued to insist that its funding be reviewed each year.  And on reproductive rights issues, he offered praise for the Supreme Court decision overturning Roe v. Wade; he refused to answer the question on how he will vote on the Respect for Marriage Act that would protect same-sex and interracial marriages.

Barnes talked to us, not at us, and drew on his life experience. He made clear that he will vote to codify Roe v. Wade, and to protect same-sex marriage. He asked us to remember that 140 police officers were injured on January 6, in contrast to comments by Johnson, who once referred to the insurrectionists as “patriots”. And he supports action against fossil fuel over-consumption, and supports the $15 an hour minimum wage.

Barnes offered practical solutions to our most serious problems. Johnson can run, but he can’t hide his record.

Other Campaign News (by Ben Wikler, Chair, Democratic Party of Wisconsin Democratic Party)

Gov. Evers’ Promotes Abortion Rights Referendum; Barnes, Pfaff Go on Offense Against Dangerous Opponents


On September 30, Lieutenant Governor Nominee Sara Rodriguez, State Treasurer Sarah Godlewski, and State Senator Kelda Roys came together to support Gov. Evers’ Special Session to restore abortion access in Wisconsin and highlighted the importance of following the will of the people – who overwhelmingly oppose the radical 1849 criminal ban.

Tim Michels has been silent on Gov. Evers’ special session, but that’s no surprise. Michels has previously called the 1849 criminal abortion ban an “exact mirror” of his position and has proudly bragged about how deeply “unpopular” his agenda is with Wisconsinites.

Meanwhile, Republicans in the State Legislature have already reasserted their extreme anti-choice agenda and promised to reject Gov. Evers’ Special Session next Tuesday.

Rep. Rodriguez, Treasurer Godlewski, and Sen. Roys decried Republicans’ out-of-touch agenda and encouraged Wisconsinites to call their legislators to tell them to support Gov. Evers’ proposal.


Mandela Barnes Launches Statewide Tour, Holds Ron Johnson Accountable on Dangerous Abortion Record


On September 30, Lt. Gov. Mandela Barnes announced the “Ron Against Roe” tour to hold Ron Johnson accountable for his record of working to rip away Wisconsinites’ ability to access abortion by co-sponsoring eight national abortion bans during his time in the Senate and confirming judges that are staunchly opposed to reproductive freedom, including abortion and contraception access.


Lt. Gov. Barnes is committed to enshrining Roe v. Wade as federal law and believes that lawmakers should not interfere with personal medical decisions that should be made between an individual and their doctor. The Ron Against Roe tour provide a stark contrast between Ron Johnson’s dangerous record on abortion and Lt. Gov. Barnes’ commitment to protecting reproductive health care.


Retirees Call Out Ron Johnson for Threatening To Cut Social Security


On Monday, ahead of Ron Johnson’s weekend visit to their city, La Crosse retirees held a press conference calling Johnson out for threatening to cut Social Security and putting tens of thousands of Wisconsin seniors at risk of losing their livelihood.


Ron Johnson has called Social Security a “Ponzi Scheme,” even going as far as to suggest raising the retirement age, and calling for Social Security to be put on the chopping block every single year. Wisconsin retirees made clear that they’re done with Johnson’s threats to Social Security and are ready to retire him this November,


Derrick Dodges Debates: Derrick Van Orden Hides from Radical Record, Refuses To Debate Sen. Brad Pfaff


In the 3rd Congressional District, Republican Derrick Van Orden is hiding from voters, refusing to debate State Sen. Brad Pfaff and answer for his radical record.


It makes sense that Van Orden would be afraid to get on a debate stage next to Sen. Pfaff. Sen. Pfaff has deep roots in La Crosse County and understands the challenges that farmers in the region face. An anti-choice insurrectionist, Van Orden is wildly out of touch with the issues that matter most to western Wisconsin while Sen. Pfaff is uniquely qualified to serve the 3rd District in Congress.