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Just Who is Sheriff Clarke Serving?

Issue of the Week

Oct. 11, 2016
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We’ve all seen and heard Milwaukee County Sheriff David Clarke give his over-the-top support to the gun rights movement. Now we’re wondering if his position is based on principle or profit. 

According to Clarke’s 2015 financial disclosure statements filed with the county, and unearthed by the Journal Sentinel, Clarke raked in more than $150,000 in speaking fees, travel expenses and gifts in just one year. That includes a $40,000 trip to Israel and Russia; the tab was picked up by the National Rifle Association, the CEO of a gun parts manufacturer, and a Russian gun-rights group. Why is Clarke trying to arm the Russians? Clarke was also gifted with a $10,000 speaking fee from the National Shooting Sports Foundation, a .45-caliber handgun and a black powder muzzleloader.

The problem, of course, is that Clarke isn’t supposed to be personally profiting from his position as sheriff. He’s only supposed to be compensated for work that benefits the county. We’re not sure how Clarke’s networking with Russian gun-rights activists is helping to make Milwaukee County safer. Clarke’s windfall should be the subject of an investigation.

Clarke’s always relished the attention he’s gotten as he makes outrageous claims to conservative gatherings while promoting gun ownership and condemning those who want sensible gun regulations. Now that we know more about his $150,000 in gifts and travel, we’ve got to wonder if Clarke is a man of principle or just a grifter who’s using the gun-rights movement to line his pockets. 

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