Lt. Gov. Mandela Barnes (D) apparently believes that every crisis is an opportunity for fundraising, even the death of an African American that was likely the result of police brutality.
In an email to supporters on Friday, “We are done dying,” Barnes issued a call to action after the death of George Floyd. “So to the Wisconsinites and people across the country watching pain unfold in real time, I ask you to not just watch, but to speak out and to act,” Barnes wrote.
One of the actions Barnes’ supporters could take is to donate to the Democratic Party, right at the bottom of the email.
The office of Governor Tony Evers did not respond to an email request for a comment from either Evers or Barnes about the appropriateness of fundraising off the death of Floyd for political purposes.
Andrew Hitt, the chairman of the Wisconsin Republican Party, criticized the lieutenant governor.
“It’s unfortunate that while people are focused on how to best move forward after the events of the last several days, and money is being raised for the Floyd family, Lt. Gov Mandela Barnes saw this tragedy as a fundraising opportunity,” Hitt said.
Barnes’ fundraising email also echoed one of his Twitter comments that appeared to justify the violence of the riots:
Those who are protesting this injustice are doing so in order to save this nation, and they should be protected. To see a city burn on the outside is devastating but hardly compares to the implosion brought by systemic inequity and injustice. Like internal bleeding, you may not see it, but the outcome will be catastrophic if left untreated.
You can see the entire email below: