With just 50 days left until Election Day, Donald Trump is yet to release his tax returns to the public. Not only does Trump have a problem with being forthcoming with his own personal records, he has a penchant for surrounding himself with people like Milwaukee County Sheriff David Clarke who refuse to be transparent with the public.
Sheriff Clarke has spent the last few months stumping for Donald Trump, repeating the Republican nominee’s dangerous rhetoric and doubling-down on Trump’s reckless policy proposals. Reporting from the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel shows that Clarke received thousands of dollars in gifts, speaking fees, and traveling expenses – all as an elected public official. Clarke has refused to disclose everything he has received, raising serious questions about who he is truly representing as County Sheriff.
According to the report, in 2015, private groups or individuals paid $51,840 in airfare for the Milwaukee County Sheriff Clarke to fly to 25 events, meetings or speaking engagements – including a $40,000 trip to Israel and Russia paid for primarily by the National Rifle Association. Other items gifted to the Sheriff include a $1,159 firearm, a $350 black powder muzzleloader, and tickets to sporting events. In the interest of transparency to the public, Milwaukee County officials are supposed to report anything of value they receive.
State Department of Revenue officials say they have no record of Clarke’s 2015 state income taxes leaving it unclear if the Sheriff has reported the gifts and value of his travel on his income taxes.
“Sheriff Clarke must see Donald Trump as a role model since he’s not just copying his dangerous rhetoric, but also mimicking the Republican nominee’s unwillingness to disclose crucial financial records,” Democratic Party of Wisconsin spokesperson Brandon Weathersby said on Monday. “Unless Sheriff Clarke can prove otherwise, it seems he is using his elected position to reap huge gifts from private groups while also claiming to be a public official – that’s not how the system is supposed to work. Clarke needs to disclose his full financial history immediately to show he is working for the people of Milwaukee County and not right-wing special interests.”