On one day in February, Lt. Gov. Mandela Barnes drove to Kenosha, attended a Black History Month event at a school and had lunch in Racine before heading back to Milwaukee, where he started the day.
There, he had a call with the president of the Milwaukee Area Labor Council and by 5 p.m. was headed to dinner at the Mexican restaurant Cielito Lindo.
That day, taxpayers also picked up the tab for the State Patrol to put in 36 hours protecting him — the equivalent of three officers each working 12-hour shifts, according to a WisPolitics.com review.
It was part of a pattern for Barnes over just his first two months in office. The review found the state’s Dignitary Protection Unit put in nine times as many hours providing him protection as it did his predecessor during her final full year on the job.
The Dem’s office deferred to the DPU when asked if there was a specific threat to Barnes, the first African American to serve as lieutenant governor, that justified that level of protection. The Department of Transportation, which oversees the DPU, declined to comment, saying it “determined that providing this information would be contrary to ensuring the safety and security of the Lieutenant Governor.”
Still, an aide to his predecessor Rebecca Kleefisch said the former lt. guv didn’t receive coverage for purely personal events, such as going to church, even at the height of the Act 10 protests.
The complete story here > WisPolitics.com review: State Patrol hours to protect Barnes skyrocket compared to Kleefisch