The Emperor has no
Sheriff David Clarke made that completely obvious when he first lied
about how many signatures he had, and then submitted less than he
needed. Only though
incompetence of election commissioners did he manage to get on the
blatantly Republican loyalties have earned him the love of talk
radio show hosts. But
if republican radio is going to provide free advertising for him day
in and day out, they should at least be consistent in their message.
Republicans claimed that the Clinton impeachment hearings were all
about lying and not really about sex.
What message does this send to our children -- that it’s ok
to lie? At least that was their whine, as though their failure to
teach their children morals was the entire responsibility of a
politician. But to use
that same twisted logic, what does it say when the Clarke campaign
says they have 5000 nomination signatures and then shows up at City
Hall with less than the 1500 valid signatures needed to get on the
Clarke submitted less signatures than were needed and an
incompetent election commission still put him on the ballot.
signatures from Racine, Glendale, Franklin, Wauwatosa and even
submitted signatures that put peoples residences as PO Boxes, a
banana factory, a church, office buildings and even one signature of
someone who put The Rave nightclub as their address.
Clarke even managed to get one woman who signed to perjure
herself by swearing in an affidavit that she lived at a Milwaukee
address when her soon to be ex-husband pointed out that they have
been estranged for a year and she has not been living where she
pointing out these gaffes belongs solely to Mayoral hopeful Vince
Bobot. Early last year
I pointed out in this column that the then-unknown Bobot had
potential to make it through the primary as the dark horse in the
Mayoral race and that prediction is fast becoming fact.
Bobot, who stepped down from his position as Judge to run for
Mayor, is emerging from the field as a detail oriented, friendly guy
willing to point out what is right and what is wrong with our
community. Some Clarke
supporters blasted Bobot for pointing out Clarke’s errors, but
Bobot, can’t be faulted for a mistake he did not make.
Credit candidates like Vince Bobot and Tom Barrett for
submitting twice as many valid signatures as he needed to get on the
ballot, while Clarke didn’t submit enough.
There was no
conceivable way that any remotely competent election commission
could have put Clarke on the ballot.
The staff at the
election commission deserves to be congratulated for recommending to
the commission that David Clarke not be included on the ballot.
The fact is he didn’t submit enough signatures.
It’s a simple gaffe that even novice political players
don’t make, but Clarke who has in his own right been elected
Sheriff, should have known better.
It was the commission, not the staff, who decided to put him
on the ballot despite the obvious failings of his signatures.
commissions are supposed to be objective, but when Clarke excused
himself from the commission hearings, one of the commissioners shot
him a “thumbs up” sign as if to say, “hey, don’t worry buddy
– I got ya covered”. And
sure enough, at the end of the evening they had put Clarke on the
But you have to
ask yourself, why would Clarke lie about how many signatures he had
prior to submission? There
was nothing to be gained from claiming he already had 5000
signatures. If he was looking for a way to send a message to his
volunteers that they could relax and not work on the campaign,
telling them he already had the needed signatures and any more was
just gravy certainly would have done the trick.
held Clarke to the same standards as they held Clinton, his efforts
to get on the ballot would have been lambasted.
With those same standards in mind, police officers are
supposed to tell the truth, right?
We’re supposed to be able to trust them, right?
Don’t we all tell our kids that police officers tell the
truth? What are we
supposed to tell then when the County’s top cop lies?
Imagine the conversation parents would be having with their
kids if a child could wrap their mind around Clarke’s most recent
debacle. ‘No little
Johnnie or Janie, it’ not ok to lie just because the Sheriff
This is a man who
could have picked up the phone to call his buddy Charlie Sykes and,
like a bullhorn; an immediate call to action would have been issued
on WTMJ radio. With
that sort of power, Clarke could have likely gotten more than enough
signatures in a single day. The
radio talker is a regular shill for Clarke.
Although his show is essentially a rip off of the format of
talk radio host Mark Belling, Sykes pulls in a larger audience –
in no small part because of an aggressive advertising campaign with
Sykes claimed that
Clarke immediately took responsibility for the gaffe, which is
unusual for Clarke. You
may have remembered the many times over the past two years that
there were crises in the Sheriffs department and Clarke would march
out and proclaim with astounding predictability, ‘some people in
this department still don’t get it’.
This time the
person who just doesn’t “get it” is Clarke.