Republicans have come under fire from Lt. Governor Mandela Barnes supporters for running racist television advertising and mailings during the U.S. Senate campaign.
Barnes, a Democrat running to be the state’s first Black senator, is in a close contest against Sen. Ron Johnson, a Republican.
Barnes’ supporters encouraged Republicans and conservative organizations to drop the contentious commercials during a press conference on Wednesday in front of a Republican Party headquarters on the city’s north side.
Calena Roberts, a field director for SEIU Wisconsin, stated, “We’re calling on Ron Johnson to reject these commercials and for national Republicans to take them down.” “We are not naive. We are aware of their activities.”
Johnson’s top advisor, Ben Voelkel, referred to the insults and the charge of racism as “absurd.” He claimed that the reason why his followers are now criticizing him is that they are unable to justify the “disastrous effects of their extreme left policies.”
They are unable to dispute Mandela Barnes’ radical leftist views, which are supported by other radical leftists and are very different from those of Wisconsin voters, according to Voelkel.
None of the commercials receiving flak were created or funded by the Johnson campaign.
During the 1988 presidential campaign, state senator Chris Larson (D-Milwaukee) compared a few of the commercials to the infamous Willie Horton spot.
In that election, George H.W. Bush’s backers ran a campaign commercial attacking his rival, former Massachusetts Governor Michael Dukakis, of being lax on crime while displaying a threatening mug image of Horton, a murderer who was placed on furlough while Dukakis was in power.
Additionally, Barnes’ supporters questioned a mailer sent by the state Republican Party, which darkened one side of the leaflet to include a photo of Barnes. The back side, which promotes Johnson’s campaign, is unfiltered.