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For some Milwaukeeans, Sheriff Clarke has become a national embarrassment - one worthy of being recalled. (PHOTO: WikiCommons/Gage Skidmore)

Clarke's "pitchforks and torches" comments could make recall a reality

My sister, who lives in New York, called me Monday. I assumed it was to talk about the horrors of the Green Bay Packers.

Instead, the first words out of her mouth were, "Hello, brother. What's up with your sheriff?"

She had read about David Clarke and his resounding call on Twitter for people to take up "pitchforks and torches" to fight a battle for "conservative justice" in this country.

I explained to her that he was a right-wing surrogate for Donald Trump. She wondered how a sheriff in Milwaukee could fill that role. I told her that the black Democratic sheriff began that evolution when he became a go-to black guy talking head for Fox News.

"He's black," my sister shouted. "Black?"

It may be hard to believe, but for many Milwaukeeans, it's all too real, as Clarke has become a national and international embarrassment to the city. He doesn't appear to be doing much "sheriffing," but he does manage to fly around the country making media appearances and giving speeches to every manner of right-wing group.

Newspapers and sites around the world too countless to name all took note of our sheriff, complete with his signature cowboy hat, calling for "pitchforks and torches" to lead his revolution. His call to arms was posted his blog and Twitter.

Milwaukee is a city that is trying as hard as it can to establish itself as a great place to live and do business. The one thing we don't want is to have people laughing at us, but that's what our sheriff has brought down on our collective heads.

Can you imagine a business executive somewhere being asked to consider moving a company and jobs to Milwaukee? I can just hear the executive saying, "Isn't that the place with the crazy sheriff?"

He followed that viral weekend tweet on Monday when he joined the Fox News morning panel of bumpkins for a six-minute crazed rant. Judge for yourself.

I can't bear watching and listening to this guy, thinking that people around the world are getting their impression of Milwaukee from the antics of this clown. All he needs is a red nose to complete the impression.

There is no longer any question that David Clarke should not be our sheriff. Yet he keeps winning elections – running as a Democrat no less, which is something like Donald Trump running as the "sanity candidate."

So what to do?

Well, four years ago, people were angry at Gov. Scott Walker. In 60 days, his opponents garnered 931,053 signatures and forced a recall election. The law is very clear on this. In order to force a recall, you need to register and then you have 60 days to gather signatures. The number needed is equal to 25 percent of the total number of votes in the last election of the officer holder being recalled.

Well, the last time Clarke was elected there were 368,095 votes cast for sheriff. That means you would need 92,032 signatures on petitions to force the recall election.

On one hand, that seems like an awful lot of signatures. But the last census says there were 947,735 people in the county and 236,933 were under 18.

That means there are 710,802 people over the age of 18 and legally able to sign the petition. All we have to do is get 13% of that population to sign, and we have a recall election.

Of course, there would need to be a candidate to run against Clarke, but first things first.


Talkbacks

TheyThink | Oct. 21, 2016 at 11:05 a.m. (report)

I'm sorry, I must have missed Dave's previous articles condemning Bernie for calling for a "revolution" and condemning Obama for saying that Democrats needed to bring "guns" when Republicans brought "knives." If you can't see a political metaphor when it's as obvious as Clarke's, then you may need to get out of the journalism business.

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mjfried46 | Oct. 21, 2016 at 3:13 a.m. (report)

Perhaps after we recall David Clark, we could replace him with someone, who in your opinion, would be "pure and honorable and would be motivated to serve his constituents". These are the exact words that you used to describe your former boss --State Senator Gary George--- as he was about to be sentenced to prison and fined $250,000. For those of you who don't remember, George, a Milwaukee Democrat, pleaded guilty in 2004 to conspiracy to defraud the government after a federal probe into corruption allegations. You Mr. Begel were his loyal spokesperson. My point is this: your credibility in judging who's a good leader and who is NOT-- to say the least--- is questionable. My suggestion: Stick to theater reviews. By the way, I will say this, your theater reviews are well written and very informative. Mike Friedman

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