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Milwaukee's Daily Magazine for Tuesday, Sept. 30, 2014

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Sheriff Clarke and Milwaukee County Supervisor John Weishan Jr.'s feud is just the latest example of failed civility.
Sheriff Clarke and Milwaukee County Supervisor John Weishan Jr.'s feud is just the latest example of failed civility.

Civil discourse is a faint memory

When newly named Republican vice presidential candidate Paul Ryan attempted to make his first stump speech on the "soapbox" at the Iowa State Fair Monday, he was greeted by a small chorus of hooligans who shouted at him the entire speech.

Undaunted by their rude taunting, Ryan responded, "Iowans and Wisconsinites, we like to be respectful of one another ... These ladies must not be from Iowa or Wisconsin."

I'm afraid the Janesville congressman was reading from an old playbook that no longer applies. In Wisconsin, civil discourse, much less compromise, appears to be dead.

Another reminder of the lack of civility came this week in Milwaukee.

Milwaukee County Supervisor John Weishan Jr. released the following statement Monday regarding Milwaukee County Sheriff David Clarke Jr.'s decision to provide security for a Republican rally featuring Ryan and his presidential running mate, Mitt Romney, in Waukesha County on Sunday.

"In yet another display of misplaced priorities, Sheriff Clarke opted to compromise the public safety of Milwaukee County taxpayers yesterday when he misappropriated law enforcement resources to protect GOP candidates Mitt Romney and Representative Paul Ryan. In February 2012, Sheriff Clarke made the decision to assign sheriff's deputies to only partial security during President Obama's trip to Milwaukee to visit Master Lock. At that time, the Sheriff cited 'elimination of dignitary protection funding' from the sheriff's 2012 budget as reason for limited support. Yet, somehow, when GOP hopefuls came to a neighboring county, Sheriff Clarke had no problem with providing security and resources that should be focused on his own county. Once again, Sheriff Clarke has chosen to put his personal ideology ahead of his responsibility to protect and serve. The taxpayers of Milwaukee County pay Sheriff Clarke to administer law enforcement services, not to raise his personal profile as a conservative ideologue. All high ranking officials, no matter what party affiliation, deserve to have the utmost protection and security when visiting Milwaukee County."

On Tuesday, we received a press release with the following headline from Clarke: "Idiot Supervisor At It Again." Clarke then issued the following statement:

"Apparently this partisan hack has pulled his head out of his ass once again to say something stupid. The next time little boy Weishan says something intelligent or accurate will be the first. This is the same idiot who recently diminished the danger of law enforcement work several weeks before one of my officers lost his life in the line of duty. He would do Milwaukee County good by crawling back into his hole."

Alrighty then. I need not add anything further to this conversation, because it speaks volumes all by itself.

Talkbacks

devidia | Aug. 15, 2012 at 11:43 a.m. (report)

I'm with treynolds on this one. Clarke is an idiot. And lose the cheesy cowboy hat, too. You look ridiculous. Don't worry, we get how "tough" you are.

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treynolds | Aug. 14, 2012 at 9:06 p.m. (report)

Sheriff Clarke is a disgrace to the uniform. And the hat. You kiss your Mom with that foul mouth? How unprofessional can this guy get? The goofs on talk radio will cover his back. But the board should censor him or suspend him.

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fetlarpo | Aug. 14, 2012 at 7:01 p.m. (report)

Mr. Weishan voted to cut 50 current Milwaukke County sherrifs instead of cutting benefits for employees that haven't worked for the county in ten years. Then Weishan goes after new guns for law enforcement. My understanding is Weishan was a marine wouldn't you be scared of this guy if he was Commander and Chief and you were serving in Afiganistan. Sorry, soldier no body armor for you.

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mikeb | Aug. 14, 2012 at 6:59 p.m. (report)

I'm a conservative and I can't stand David Clarke. Sure, every now and then, he manages to say something constructive on issues. Most of the time he simply panders to his buddy Charlie Sykes. Either that or he's too busy reminding us that he's the sheriff. From new paint jobs for the vehicles, to plastering his face everywhere, to showing up at the Cathedral 2-3 times a year and sitting down in the front row it's been clear that the job is all about him. Most of the County Board is a joke, but there's no need to lower yourself to their level.

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TheyThink | Aug. 14, 2012 at 5:17 p.m. (report)

You're right Steve, it shows was a complete buffoon Weishan is. He decides to run to the media with no facts, stats, or any other proof about his claim yet the JS runs with it, and then you fall for it too. Sad.

I'm guessing you feel it ok to make baseless accusations against other people and then when the other person responds tersely to those accusations, you then label that person as lacking "civil discourse."

What would you do if someone spread lies/slander about you and your job to the media? Just sit there and take it? I'm guessing not.

Stick with business topics, this kind of stuff isn't your particular brand of vodka.

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