MADISON – Last week, news reports surfaced naming Milwaukee County Sheriff David Clarke as a potential White House pick for a role with the U.S. Department of Homeland Security. The news comes after months of prolific spending on his behalf by the Sheriff Clarke for Senate committee, the official Draft Clarke super PAC.
In late January, the Sheriff Clarke for Senate committee registered with the Federal Elections Commission and aggressively fundraised to convince the Milwaukee County Sheriff into running for U.S. Senate. In just its first two weeks of operation, the PAC raised over $175,000 and secured 25,000 voters and donors promising to support Clarke in a potential run for Senate – by the end of it’s first thirty days the PAC had raised more than $300,000.
The PAC’s dollars went to promoting Sheriff Clarke with Clarke branded lip balm and bobbleheads in the Sheriff’s likeness at CPAC this year. Along with that, the Sheriff Clarke for Senate committee and another pro-Clarke group, the Committee to Defend the President, both paid for polls to see how the Sheriff would fair in a challenge to Senator Baldwin – both polls showed the Sheriff losing in a head-to-head match up. Currently, the group has a billboard up, on Highway 175 in Milwaukee County, promoting the Sheriff’s stance on immigration.
“Sheriff Clarke has tried everything under the sun to increase his profile. Whether it’s inflammatory statements online, regular appearances on cable news, or traveling the country to speak to conservative groups, Clarke is always looking for an out. It’s too bad for the Republican Party of Wisconsin that his exit strategy appears to involve working in the Trump Administration and not running for U.S. Senate,” Democratic Party of Wisconsin spokesman Brandon Weathersby said on Monday. “Now, with another top tier candidate being too afraid to challenge Sen. Tammy Baldwin, the Republican Party is only left with millionaires and candidates backed by millionaires to potentially run for Senate.”