Barnes, Fitzgerald Fined For Excessive Campaign Donations

Lt. Governor Mandela Barnes and Senate Majority Leader Scott Fitzgerald have both been fined for accepting excessive campaign contributions.

Barnes’ campaign was fined more than $1,600 for taking too many in-kind contributions from a political action committee. Originally, the campaign stated they received a donation as a payment for legal fees to the state Elections Commission, which was reported by the campaign inaccurately.

Fitzgerald received his penalty as a result of an October oversight where his campaign accepted excessive campaign contributions.

State law limits a candidate for lieutenant governor to $26,000 in donations from a PAC. According to records, Barnes’ campaign received at least five in-kind donations from the Wisconsin Working Families Party Political Action Committee in 2018 totaling $27,652.

Barnes paid $1,652 to the state Ethics Commission for the excessive amount. Republicans argue the oversight fits a pattern for Barnes, who has been delinquent on property taxes in the past and was blocked from registering a car because of unpaid parking tickets.

Barnes’ campaign responded by accusing Republicans of focusing on issues from the past. Barnes has indicated he’s thinking of running for Ron Johnson’s Senate seat in 2022. Johnson has not decided if he will run for a third term.