Both Democrats and Republicans were quick Wednesday night to post dueling parody websites criticizing the two finalists for a U.S. Senate seat representing Wisconsin.
First, the state Republican Party posted that it had set up mandelabarnesforsenate.com, featuring a picture of Democratic nominee Mandela Barnes holding up a controversial “Abolish ICE” T-shirt. Barnes has said he does not want to eliminate the U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement agency, despite the photo.
“Mandela Barnes sponsored a bill to end cash bail in Wisconsin, and now he wants to take that disastrous agenda to Washington, which will only lead to even more violent crime,” the page states.
At the bottom of the website, the page says it was paid for by the Republican Party of Wisconsin.
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Not long after promotion of the Barnes site, Democrats pointed out that they had bought senatorronjohnson.com. The section under “Ron’s story” — for second-term Wisconsin Sen. Ron Johnson — begins, “Hello, all. I’m pathological liar, Ron Johnson. Where do we begin?!”
More:Wisconsin August 2022 primary election results
More:Mandela Barnes wins Wisconsin Democratic primary for U.S. Senate, faces Republican U.S. Sen. Ron Johnson in November
The website identifies itself as a parody website created by Toby Morton, a former MadTV writer and voice of a handful of “South Park” characters on episodes in the early 2000s.
Morton has created other parody websites for notable Republicans, such as U.S. Rep. Lauren Boebert of Colorado, U.S. Sen. Marco Rubio of Texas and Texas Gov. Greg Abbott.
In an interview with the Houston Chronicle, Morton said he’s raised enough money through donations to continue buying domains.
“I began just wanting to get a few reactions but now my hope is to bring more awareness to individuals who are running for office,” Morton said. “Plenty of others create videos, but I seem to be the only one creating mock websites for politicians so hopefully these will grow even more.”
Contact Daniel Bice at (414) 313-6684 or [email protected]. Follow him on Twitter @DanielBice or on Facebook at fb.me/daniel.bice.