Rumors have swirled about this move for a long time, but it’s finally happened: President Donald Trump has brought Sheriff David Clarke into the administration.
The sheriff of Milwaukee County, Wisconsin and conservative icon has announced he will be serving as an assistant secretary in the Department of Homeland Security’s Office of Partnership and Engagement, where his duties will revolve around maintaining the Trump administration’s relationships with state, local, and tribal law enforcement and other authorities (UPDATE: the Administration has not yet confirmed the news — see bottom of story for latest).
The Milwaukee Journal Sentinel has more details:
Clarke said he would start the job in June and that one of his responsibilities would be to “take complaints of shortcomings in the Department of Homeland Security.”
“They feel like they’re being ignored,” Clarke said of his counterparts in local law enforcement.
The position of assistant secretary does not require Senate confirmation […]
When a Wisconsin sheriff leaves office midway through his or her term, the governor typically appoints a successor who would fill out the rest of the term and potentially run for election at the end of it, he said.
That’s how Clarke himself came to hold the job in 2002. He was appointed by then-Gov. Scott McCallum
Before making an appointment, [Wisconsin Governor Scott] Walker asks for applicants and then goes through a vetting process over a period of weeks, [Walker spokesman Tom] Evenson said.
Overall, Clarke, a conservative who runs as a Democrat, has been elected four times.
As TFPP readers are well aware, Clarke rose to prominence as a conservative media darling for a no-nonsense bluntness in speaking honestly about the Left that is arguably unmatched by any other elected officeholder in the country.
Of course, with Clarke officially joining the Trump White House, you can expect to hear a lot more of one particularly ugly smear against him. The Wisconsin Left, some national papers, and former WI conservative radio host-turned-MSNBC panderer Charlie Sykes, have been screaming that Clarke is supposedly responsible for the deaths of several inmates at the Milwaukee County Jail.
So be sure to arm yourself with the facts, such as this essential report from Milwaukee conservative radio commentator Vicki McKenna:
The medical contract is decided by the county executive (Chris Abele), and the costs approved by the Milwaukee County Board. Clarke has nothing to do with the selection of the contract, hiring the staff or setting the policy of the medical contractor. One more time: the inmate who had his water turned off had it turned off because he kept flooding his jail cell. He was given bottled water to drink instead. He refused to drink the water. He also refused to have his ongoing serious medical issues addressed by doctors outside or inside the jail. Missing those problems is on the medical staff attending to him, not Clarke or Walker. Clarke and Walker aren’t “wardens” of the county jail. They don’t sit in an office, Green Mile style and oversee operations. Michael Hafemann is the superintendent of the MKE co. jail system and oversees daily operations. But he is also not a doctor or responsible for the contract, medical staff, or medical policy.
As for the other inmates who died…, they were all in extremely poor health and autopsies did not find that jail staff or medical personnel were responsible for their deaths. And lastly, the MKE co jail actually performs on par with or better than other county facilities in WI. In fact, MKE co jail has received excellent inspection ratings from the oversight authorities in the state of WI.
Finally, speaking personally as a Wisconsinite, this author can’t help but feel some mixed feelings about today’s news, since it dashes dreams of Clarke one day succeeding Walker as governor. However, it’s definitely a win for the Team Trump — and if it raises the national profile of “America’s Sheriff” enough for more influential public offices in the future, it will be well worth the sacrifice.
UDPATE: Despite Clarke’s confirmation, the Daily Caller reports that a DHS spokesman has suggested it may not be a done deal yet.
“The position mentioned is a secretarial appointment. Such senior positions are announced by the Department when made official by the secretary,” Jenny Burke said to Politico, according to the DC. “No such announcement with regard to the Office of Public Engagement has been made.”
Could there have been a miscommunication? Did Clarke speak prematurely? Is the post really undecided, or is this simply a matter of the formalities to make it official having not yet been completed? Whatever the case may be, TFPP will keep you updated.