MADISON, Wis. — The front page of Milwaukee County Sheriff David Clarke’s website prominently features a picture of a beaming Clarke receiving an award along with a glowing quote from Richard Mack, Executive Director of the Constitutional Sheriff and Peace Officer Association (CSPOA). According to One Wisconsin Now Executive Director Scot Ross, Clarke’s proud association with the noted right-wing radical Mack raises serious questions about his judgment.
“Richard Mack is closely associated with anti-government right-wing groups, believes the U.S. government is a bigger threat than terrorists and advocated for using women as human shields in the stand-off staged by Cliven Bundy on his Nevada ranch,” said Ross. “It’s almost beyond belief that an elected official in Milwaukee County would be proud to accept the endorsement of such a vile character.”
Mack is the executive director of the Constitutional Sheriffs and Peace Officers Association (CSPOA), an organization that relies on largely rejected legal theories to call for county sheriffs to ignore federal laws and refuse to enforce common sense provisions to protect citizens from gun violence. He also has reported close ties to Tea Party groups and right-wing militia groups. According to the Southern Poverty Law Center, that tracks racist and extremist groups operating in the U.S., Mack was involved in the resurgence of the so-called “Patriot movement” that “define themselves as opposed to the “New World Order,” engage in groundless conspiracy theorizing, or advocate or adhere to extreme antigovernment doctrines.”
Mack also played a prominent role in the media surrounding the standoff between federal authorities and right-wing radical rancher Cliven Bundy and others at his Nevada ranch. It was reported that Mack 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, “Richard Mack advocates for some of the most extreme positions and promotes among the ugliest views in American politics today. It is disturbing to say the least that the current Milwaukee County Sheriff would proudly associate with this kind of person, and by extension share his views.”