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Milwaukee County Sheriff
To Protect (maybe) and Serve (if we feel like it)
While this tale is about something that happened in Milwaukee County it is also a cautionary tale of what happens when taxes and budgets are cut in an irresponsible manner. Before Scott Walker was elected as governor of Wisconsin he was the Milwaukee County Executive. In that role he slashed budgets. At one point during his term a chunk of concrete fell off a county owned parking ramp killing a child.

When Scott Walker became governor the slash and burn budgeting continued. Shared revenue to cities was cut. Unrealistic caps were put on property taxes forcing cities, counties, and school districts across the state in a financial bind. This combined with Act 10 has devastated Wisconsin.

In no place is this more evident than in Milwaukee County. After years of irresponsible budgeting the county has struggled to pull itself out of the hole. This past year Milwaukee County was forced to lay off 48 deputies. That is what irresponsible budgeting does.

The story does not end there though. Milwaukee County has a tea party sheriff and instead of fighting for a decent budget for his department, instead of pressing his case for why those 48 deputies are necessary he comes out with a radio ad that tells the citizens of Milwaukee County to become vigilantes (mp3 link).

Clarke urges listeners to take a firearm safety course and handle a firearm "so you can defend yourself until we get there."

"You have a duty to protect yourself and your family. We're partners now. Can I count on you?"

What the Milwaukee County Sheriff is requesting from the public is irresponsible. The duty of law enforcement is to protect and to serve. This post is not about gun control, it is not about whether or you should or should not have a firearm to protect yourself in your home. It is about irresponsible budgeting. When vital services like law enforcement, fire protection, education, ambulance services, and the list goes on and on are cut, the quality of life in a community declines.

Don't believe me? This happened shortly after the sheriff's ad:

The sign out front says trespassers will be shot, survivors will be shot again.

On Saturday, Cooper was arrested for firing one shot into the air after getting into an argument with a relative.

She's now in the county jail for a couple of misdemeanor gun violations.

In the criminal complaint she is said to have quoted Sheriff Clarke. Cooper said she knows her rights regarding having a firearm because she heard Sheriff Clarke on the radio stating that she could own a gun to protect herself.

This is the conservative self-fulfilling prophecy of government doesn't work. They make sure that government is unable to function by not funding government programs. When that program fails it is the fault of the government. Never once mentioning that there is not enough funding to hire the necessary people to to the job.

Originally posted to Daily Kos Labor on Thu Jan 31, 2013 at 03:30 PM PST.

Also republished by Badger State Progressive, Democracy Addicts, and Madison Kossacks.

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Comment Preferences

  •  Tip Jar (8+ / 0-)

    "Republicans only care about the rich" - My late Father (-8.25, -7.85)

    by Mark E Andersen on Thu Jan 31, 2013 at 03:30:08 PM PST

  •  Turning Wisconsin into Somalia. (4+ / 0-)

    And no one will pay attention to this story.  

    Shameful.  Just shameful.  This sheriff needs an attitude adjustment.

    "Nothing in all the world is more dangerous than sincere ignorance and conscientious stupidity." --M. L. King "You can't fix stupid" --Ron White -6.00, -5.18

    by zenbassoon on Thu Jan 31, 2013 at 03:59:53 PM PST

    •  As Paul Harvey would say: This is the rest (0+ / 0-)

      of the story.

      David Clarke is an African-American who runs as a "Democrat".  He was appointed to the position by his pal Scott Walker when he was Milwaukee County Executive (Walker made life miserable for the previous sheriff and he quit).   Of course, Clarke jumped at the chance because he knew Scotty was going places and he wanted that County Executive job when Walker moved on up.

      However, he won re-election after that through free air time on RW radio, public pronouncements which caused fear that only a "strong" Sheriff can prevent the (inset name of favorite fear producting boogeyman here) from coming to your door, and, here's the kicker, making sure nobody can run against him.

      Yes, that's right, nobody in the Sheriffs Department who would be qualified can run against him because he doesn't allow it!  His cronies are all in executive positions who wouldn't dare mess up their cushy jobs and salaries (and the possibility that they may one day be Sheriff when Clarke moves to higher office) and if he even hears a whisper about one of the Deputies considering a run, they're out the door on phonied up disciplinary charges.  Also, while he continues in office while running for re-election, there's a policy that he put in place that any Deputy has to take a leave of absence to run for political office.

      So, he gets votes by fooling people into thinking he's a Democrat, grabs some votes by"white guilt", and prevents any serious opposition.

      Man, the last time he was re-elected it was awful.  I had people telling me they felt they HAD to vote for him because he was Black.  No joke.  The best we could do was make it impossible for him to run for County Executive when Walker became Governor.  Sadly, the guy we have now was a Trojan Horse so we're not a whole lot better off.

      As he continued to dig his RWNJ hole deeper with stuff like this, I'm hoping the next election will have, shall we say, different results.

      PS - Besides Scott Walker, I also worked for this clown (he ran the County prison I worked at before I retired).

      There already is class warfare in America. Unfortunately, the rich are winning.

      by Puddytat on Thu Jan 31, 2013 at 10:13:50 PM PST

      [ Parent ]

  •  "due to cuts in the budget, we can no longer... (3+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Glen The Plumber, a2nite, Puddytat

    ...guarantee your safety"


    due to cuts in the budget, we can no longer guarantee your safety
    Not just in Wisconsin.  

    Also in Stockton and North Las Vegas.  In some locales, the police department will buy billboards warning of high crime.  In others, police officers will distribute fliers during sporting events, letting people know how dangerous the neighborhood is.

    Happening everywhere.

    Learn about Centrist Economics, learn about Robert Rubin's Hamilton Project.

    by PatriciaVa on Thu Jan 31, 2013 at 04:08:37 PM PST

    •  This is the Republican modus operandi (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:

      at every level of government the party controls:  On one hand refuse to fund adequately any program or agency having responsibilities to the commonweal while doling out  tax cuts to the moneyed interests with the other hand.  Then blame the Democrats, with or without evidence, of causing the budget shortfall.  Of course if and when the Democrats get back in power, they'll have to clean up the mess, raising taxes to pay for the services the people demand or cutting the services further to make up the budget deficit.

      Nice game they've got going.  Unfortunately much of the public hasn't caught on yet.

      "In this world of sin and sorrow there is always something to be thankful for; as for me, I rejoice that I am not a Republican." - H. L. Mencken

      by SueDe on Thu Jan 31, 2013 at 08:18:30 PM PST

      [ Parent ]

    •  Clarkes troubles though, as I pointed (0+ / 0-)

      out in a diary that included this information isn't just external budget stuff that his pal Scotty Walker has done, but a lot of it's self-inflicted.  

      He spends his budget unwisely.  Like on horses (that need stables, exercise grounds, vet care, food, equipment, and personnel) so he can ride in parades, a full fitness center that only he and his command executives can use, and in a mobile "command center" that's virtually a mansion on wheels.

      There already is class warfare in America. Unfortunately, the rich are winning.

      by Puddytat on Thu Jan 31, 2013 at 10:17:00 PM PST

      [ Parent ]

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