wisconsin capitol
Press Release
August 4, 2014

Milwaukee County Sheriff David Clarke Cashes In On Right-Wing Extremism With Big Bucks from National Rifle Association

Clarke Opposed Common Sense Gun Regulations, Bragged About Close Ties to Right-Wing Radicals... and Now He’s Taking Their Money

MADISON, Wis. — The latest campaign finance report for Milwaukee County Sheriff David Clarke reveals he’s cashed in on his extreme positions against common sense regulations of guns with big money from the National Rifle Association. Clarke reports receiving a $2,500 check from the political action committee (PAC) of the Virginia-based National Rifle Association (NRA) and a $250 personal check from the NRA Executive Director.

“Sheriff Clarke has taken extreme positions against common sense regulations of dangerous firearms and bragged about his close ties to right-wing radicals across the country,“ said One Wisconsin Now Executive Director Scot Ross. “Now he’s taking their money.”

Clarke opposes common sense measures to protect people from gun violence like expanded background checks and limits on high capacity ammunition magazines and even called for eliminating gun free zones for schools in the aftermath of the Sandy Hook school shooting.

But perhaps the most outrageous stunt was Clarke using taxpayer dollars to finance radio ads advising Milwaukee County residents to not call 911, but instead urging people to arm themselves and take matters into their own hands, only calling authorities after they had potentially shot and killed someone.

Besides the large contributions to Clarke directly from the NRA and its leadership, the organization has reportedly made a fundraising appeal on his behalf. According to Ross that likely explains hundreds and hundreds of donations Clarke reported coming from outside of Wisconsin from places as far away as Texas, Louisiana, Florida, California, South Dakota and Idaho.

In addition, Clarke is touting being honored as 2013 “Sheriff of the Year” by the Constitutional Sheriffs and Peace Officers Association, an ultra-extremist group that opposes any regulations on guns and advised Cliven Bundy to use women and children as human shields in his dispute with the federal government.

Ross concluded, “Sheriff Clarke’s opposition to common sense measures to protect people from gun violence is helping him get campaign cash from the extremists at the NRA and right-wing radicals across the county, but it’s sure not making the people of Milwaukee County safer.”

# # #

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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