Milwaukee's righty talkers were siding with Milwaukee County Sheriff David Clarke last week over trims to his budget proposed by County Exec Chris Abele.
Clarke is talk radio's second-favorite elected official - - Scott Walker being the permanent #1 - - so the takeaway here is that small government and cutting budgets is absolutely, positively mandatory - - except if sought from a conservative office-holder, and that's the end of the world.
Clarke claims constitutional authority to do pretty much whatever he wants, right down to a constitutional right not to submit reports, as he said in a public letter:
He does not run the Office of the Sheriff, and I do not take orders or directives from a county executive. Case law is very clear that the sheriff alone decides how to carry out his duty and responsibility. His budget is an obvious attempt to micromanage my office. I am independently elected by the voters of Milwaukee County...I'm still looking for that constitutional provision about reports. If anyone finds it, please report it to me.
He may think that he can require me to submit reports, but again, the state constitution is very clear when it states that no county official can require a sheriff to submit reports. He can create any study group that he wants and they can make any recommendations they want. Again, I will refer the county executive back to the state constitution and case law that show that the sheriff alone decides how to carry out the duties and responsibilities of his office. My advice to him is not to hold his breath, because he’s not getting any reports....
Chris Abele ran for county executive, not sheriff. If he wants to be in charge of my office, he’s going to have to run for sheriff in 2014.