Sheriff David Clarke of Milwaukee, WI has developed quite a following, but, according to his recent comments, he is not planning a run for Senate.
This runs counter to what operators of a PAC want his fans to think.
The Draft David Clarke for U.S. Senate group has a website that certainly would lead many to believe that it is acting on the authority of the well-known lawman. It features multiple photos of Clarke, a pledge to support the sheriff, and a large bobblehead featuring his signature cowboy hat.
A view of the site can be found HERE.
Despite the deceptive name, photos, and verbiage, Clarke was adamant that he has no plans to run for Senate and assigned the “ScamPAC” label to the campaign committee.
“I want to put this to a rest because it’s becoming a distraction. No, I’m not running for Senate,” Clarke told Vicki McKenna of WISN-AM (1130). “It’s a scam PAC really,” said Clarke. “They don’t need my permission to do it.”
Now, here’s where we see just how broken the system is: the committee, without authorization or encouragement from Clarke yet using his name, image, and brand to solicit donations, raised $1,960,332.98 in the first six months of 2017.
Did the group, which is actually based in North Carolina and not the Badger State, then keep the money in reserve to support a potential Clarke bid?
No. Without a campaign to mount, the organization managed to spend $1,886,142.71. That money bounced around from vendors, mail companies, and “list builders.” Many of these vendors have been tied up with other schemes, including the much-maligned Draft Ben Carson for President PAC.
Now, who is funding this organization? While there are some large donors to the entity, $986,168.04- more than half- of its funding comes from unitemized contributions. These are small dollar donors who do not meet the reporting threshold. Largely, these are middle class people giving what they can under the false pretense that it will be assisting a political figure they respect.
The system needs to be fixed. Assuming the sincerity of Clarke’s statement, it is a gross abuse of his name and reputation. It’s also a deception of donors hoping to make a difference with their money.
We’ve previously covered the issue of ScamPACs, including the FBI’s raid of a consulting firm that had operated a PAC falsely claiming to support Ken Cuccinelli. (https://takeback.org/scam-pac-operators-raided-fbi/).
Our system is clearly broken, and we will continue tracking issues involving ScamPACs. But, what do you think? Do you see this as a major problem? Join the conversation on Facebook and continue to check Take Back.org for the latest thoughts on reform.