MADISON, Wis. — Milwaukee County Sheriff David Clarke, who spent much of the summer and fall outside of Wisconsin appearing on behalf of Donald Trump’s campaign, has been rumored to be under consideration for a position with the Department of Homeland Security. Today Clarke is once again not in Wisconsin to do his job, reportedly travelling to Washington D.C. today for an audition with Donald Trump.
“Characterizing his career as ‘all hat and no cattle’ would be appropriate for David Clarke, who likes to dress up and play cowboy on the taxpayer dime. But protecting our nation is no joke,” said One Wisconsin Now Executive Director Scot Ross. “This guy, who spends more time chasing media appearances than doing his job, has no business anywhere close to a job with responsibility for protecting national security.”
Ross cited the following as just some of the more appalling instances of the bombast wrapped with incompetence that have marred the tenure of David Clarke in Milwaukee County:
Multiple deaths at Milwaukee County Jail in 2016:
This year has seen four fatal incidents at the Milwaukee County Jail that Clarke oversees, including the death of a newborn. According to a notice of claim, jail staff ignored pleas for help from a 30-year-old woman who was nine months pregnant and being held for a probation violation in the Milwaukee County Jail. The woman gave birth while being held and the newborn died. Three other individuals have died while in custody at the Clarke run jail since April. In the case of a 38-year-old man who died of dehydration while incarcerated the manner of death was ruled homicide and local authorities are investigating the death as a criminal matter.
Calling for mob violence:
Just six weeks ago Clarke took to social media with a call for “pitchforks and torches” because he was upset with current events.
Absence after a mass shooting at a Sikh temple:
David Clarke was nowhere to be found when one of the worst tragedies in state history struck in Milwaukee County, when a mass shooting occurred at a Sikh temple in Oak Creek. Clarke was notable in his still unexplained absence in which six innocent worshippers were killed and four wounded by a white supremacist madman. When One Wisconsin Now requested records of his whereabouts, Clarke provided a calendar which was almost completely redacted.
Use of public tax dollars to promote vigilantism:
Clarke advised Milwaukee County residents that 9-1-1 was not their best option and instead encouraged them to pursue vigilante style justice. In taxpayer-financed radio ads, Clarke urged citizens to arm themselves and shoot people whom they felt threatened by, calling 9-1-1 only after potentially shooting and killing someone.
Shout out from the Cliven Bundy Ranch standoff:
Clarke was praised at a press conference by Richard Mack, Executive Director of the right-wing Constitutional Sheriffs and Peace Officers Association (CSPOA) at the ranch of extremist rancher Cliven Bundy during his standoff with the federal government. While at the Bundy ranch Clarke’s friend Mack, who according to the Southern Poverty Law Center has ties to right-wing militia groups, advocated for using women as human shields to generate sympathy.
Marriage equality meltdown:
After the landmark U.S. Supreme Court ruling on marriage equality, Clarke took to social media to post, “Next is rage, then revolt.” Not content to stop there, Clarke in a media interview pondered, “… who would have thought that in the 21st century homosexuality would come out of the closet and churches would be forced to go into the closet?” and opined, “If we don’t resist, we can see what is happening before our eyes …” It was also reported that in his radio show he advocated for, “pitchforks and torches” and that, “If you call yourself an American, then you have to start a revolution in this country after what happened last week at the United States Supreme Court.”
Tea Party Sheriff David Clarke declared that, “… blacks sell drugs and involve themselves in criminal behavior instead of a more socially acceptable lifestyle — because they’re uneducated, they’re lazy, and they’re morally bankrupt.”
Support for “nullification” of firearms regulations and other laws:
Clarke is supported by and was named “Sheriff of the Year” in 2013 by the Constitutional Sheriffs and Peace Officers Association (CSPOA), an organization that 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.
Childish insults of opponents:
Embroiled in a dispute over his office’s budget, Clarke lashed out at the Milwaukee County Executive and accused him of targeting the Sheriff’s office for budget reductions because of, “penis envy.”
Ross concluded, “David Clarke has shown incompetence doing his job, more interest in chasing airtime and being flown around the country to give speeches instead of showing up for work, bizarre and repugnant political views and an intemperate personality. Take your pick, there is no basis by which David Clarke is qualified to be anywhere near a position of responsibility protecting our nation.”