County Board Shouldn’t Bother Itself with Clarke’s Antics

Plenty of political activists are now suggesting the Milwaukee County Board should censure Sheriff David Clarke for his over the top grandstanding on issues he has no control over.

They are wrong.

There is no reason to give Clarke more of a soapbox. The more attention he is given, the wackier he will become. Clarke is a bully. He thrives on the attention. It doesn’t matter whether it is positive attention or negative attention. Clarke loves to play the martyr. There is no reason and nothing that can be gained by giving Clarke any ammunition that can allow him to play the martyr card.

And really, what would censure do? Nothing. Nothing at all. Censure by the County Board is the equivalent of saying “naughty, naughty”. There are no ramifications.

County Executive Chris Abele has a strained relationship with Clarke — for good reason. Clarke recently said Abele has penis envy. Despite his poor behavior, low class antics and combative attitude, Clarke continues to get re-elected.

Yes, Clarke takes positions on issues he has no control over. For the most part, his department doesn’t fight crime. The Sheriff’s department patrols the freeways, occasionally responds to calls in the parks, and oversees security in the courts and in the jail. Most of the calls in the County are responded to by the most populous city in the County — Milwaukee. That falls under the purview of Milwaukee Police Chief Ed Flynn, not County Sheriff David Clarke. Yet it is Clarke who is urging people to arm themselves and using tax dollars to do so, not Flynn.

The guy who actually is responsible for dealing with people who decide to arm themselves and go on rampages, isn’t Clarke at all. It is the Police Chief of whatever municipality that a problem might arise in. So Clarke really has very little impact on fighting crime.

Clarke is simply like the Emperor with no clothes.

Now why would the County Board choose to be like Clarke? Why would they choose to jump in and take a position on Clarke and his antics when their opinions are just that — opinions. They have no legislative authority to do anything about Clarke’s buffoonery.

If anything, Abele and Clarke are a match made in heaven.

Abele, who has no legislative experience, suggests that he knows best how to reform the legislative branch of county government. Not surprisingly, if he gets his way it will mean that Abele will have more power and more people will pay attention to him. Clarke, who has very little crime fighting experience is now suggesting to homeowners that they should arm themselves. The result here is that if Clarke were to get his way then more people will pay attention to him and he might even get elected to a higher office which will mean he’ll have more power as well.

All of these antics remind me of basic parenting skills. If every time a baby screams, yells or throws a temper tantrum they get picked up and rewarded with attention, they are taught that bad behavior gives them what they wanted in the first place.

I think it’s time for a “time out”.



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