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One Wisconsin Now

Does Milwaukee County Sheriff Support Nullification of Federal Gun Safety Laws?

Clarke Campaign Website Touts Endorsement From Extreme Right Wing Group That Opposes All Gun Laws, Calls for Local Sheriffs to Not Enforce Federal Laws

MADISON, Wis. — Does Milwaukee County Sheriff David Clarke support the nullification of all federal gun control laws by local elected officials? An organization that Clarke identifies with, naming him “Sheriff of the Year” in 2013 and soliciting campaign contribution on his behalf, encourages local sheriffs to ignore federal laws, like firearm regulations, that they believe are at odds with the U.S. Constitution and Bill of Rights.

One Wisconsin Now Executive Director Scot Ross commented, “The Republicans at their state party convention in Milwaukee this summer were apparently not the only politicians in the area talking about so-called nullification. David Clarke is working hand in glove with a collection of right wing extremists pushing nullification across the country.”

On the front page of his campaign website, Clarke prominently displays a picture with Richard Mack, Executive Director of the Constitutional Sheriffs and Peace Officers Association (CSPOA). Along with the picture is a quote form Mack in which he praises Clarke and predicts he will, “go down in history as one of the greatest statesmen and sheriffs of our time.”

In addition to presenting Clarke with their “Sheriff of the Year” award in 2013, the CSPOA is soliciting campaign contributions for his re-election on their website. And, in a video of a press conference featuring CSPOA Executive Director Richard Mack at the ranch of right-wing rancher Cliven Bundy during his standoff with the federal government, Clarke receives a specific mention. Mack praises Clarke as one of a number of sheriffs “standing against gun control.”

While at the Bundy ranch Clarke endorser Mack also reportedly advocated for using women as human shields to generate sympathy saying, “If they are going to start shooting, it’s going to be women that are going to be televised all across the world getting shot by these rogue federal officers.”

Ross concluded, “Tea Party darling Sheriff David Clarke has allied himself with people promoting an extreme right-wing ideology that includes things like nullification and refusing to enforce federal gun safety and other laws. He needs to come clean with the people of Milwaukee County about whether he shares their radical ideology.”

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One Wisconsin Now is a statewide communications network specializing in effective earned media and online organizing to advance progressive leadership and values.

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