The Interwebs are abuzz with Milwaukee County Sheriff David Clarke's latest outrageous tweet:
It makes one wonder why Milwaukee County's top cop is trying to incite a riot. If he wasn't the sheriff and if Wisconsin's governor and attorney general weren't as corrupt as they are, he might have been investigated for misconduct in office.
But, as the gentle reader might have guessed, there's more. There's always more.
As if Clarke's tweet trying to incite an open riot wasn't bad enough and only serves to highlight his outlandishness, it also shines a light on his hypocrisy.
Clarke, as it turns out, is even more corrupt as those he would have us riot against:
This "America's Sheriff" gig is certainly paying off for David A. Clarke Jr.
The Milwaukee County sheriff burst on the national scene not quite two years ago with his mix of pro-cop rhetoric and searing blasts at Black Lives Matter and President Barack Obama. Clarke's sudden rise to national prominence, earning him the nickname America's Sheriff, has been accompanied by an equally dramatic jump in his outside income.
Clarke's ethics disclosures show that he brought in slightly more than $150,000 in speaking fees, travel reimbursements, gifts and other items during 2015 — more than what he made as Milwaukee County sheriff, a job that pays $132,290 annually.
Notably, Clarke received a $40,000 trip to Israel and Russia funded largely by the National Rifle Association, earned $26,000 in speaking fees, locked up $22,500 in car services to shuttle to his various media appearances, took a plane flight valued at $9,000 to speak at an Idaho conference and scored playoff basketball tickets from the Milwaukee Bucks' GM.
During 2015, private groups or individuals paid $51,840 in airfare for Clarke to fly to 25 events, meetings or speaking engagements. That included $9,110 in airfare for Clarke, donning cowboy hat and uniform, to speak at the 33rd annual Allen & Co. conference — a four-day retreat for moguls and media figures — in Sun Valley, Idaho, on July 10, 2015. Overall, he had 11 flights that cost more than $1,000.
Among other items given to the sheriff in 2015 were:
- $26,000 in honorariums for speeches he gave to seven groups. His biggest was a $10,000 payment from the National Shooting Sports Foundation — the trade association for the firearms industry — for a talk at the group's annual trade show on Jan. 19, 2015. He was also given a $1,159 firearm.
- Two $175 tickets to a Milwaukee Bucks playoff game against the Chicago Bulls from general manager John Hammond on April 23, 2015. He also received four $58 tickets to a Milwaukee Brewers game on Aug. 14, 2015, against the Philadelphia Phillies.
- $22,500 in car services for media interviews. Clarke's form says this expense occurred in 2016, even though the report was supposed to cover only 2015 and was signed in January 2016.
- $600 annual membership to the exclusive National Republican Club of Capitol Hill. Clarke, who runs as a Democrat but lines up politically with Republicans, likes to say he belongs to neither political party.
- A black powder muzzleloader valued at $350 for winning the Charlton Heston Courage Under Fire Award in 2015 at the Conservative Political Action Conference, an annual gathering of thousands of GOP activists. Clarke's campaign reimbursed CPAC a little more than $3,000 for his expenses for this event.
If the gentle reader is thinking, "There oughta be a law!" against this sort of stuff, well, there is:
A former attorney for Milwaukee County says Clarke may have trouble justifying all of his gifts and expenses from last year.
"County ethics code is confusing, contradictory, frustrating," said the former official, who asked not to be named. "(But) Clarke’s fees, trips, meals, etc., seem a clear violation."
The ex-county attorney said it appears that Clarke is being given gifts and being paid fees to give speeches because of his position as sheriff.
The trips, in particular, do not seem to have any benefit to the county, the ex-county attorney said. They are not generating grant money for Milwaukee County or bringing support for positions taken by the County Board or the executive.
"Most of his trips are not publicized, or not until after the fact," the former county attorney said. "They are not publicized or promoted in any fashion beneficial to the county, only to himself."
Like I said at the beginning of this, if the governor and attorney general weren't as corrupt as they are, Clarke would be investigated and charged.