Critics question Sheriff Clarke on Romney/Ryan security detail
Tom Murray reportsPhoto: Video by tmj4.com
WAUKESHA - White House hopeful Mitt Romney and newly named running mate Paul Ryan took center stage in Waukesha on Sunday. Behind the scenes, Milwaukee County sheriff's deputies appeared to play a big role in the security detail.
Deputies were on motorcycles in the motorcade and the sheriff's mobile command unit was in the parking lot outside the Expo Center.
Milwaukee County Supervisor John Weishan accuses the Sheriff David Clarke of playing politics with protection services.
"What Sheriff Clarke is trying to do is enhance his profile with conservatives in Waukesha County instead of tending to the needs of the citizens of Milwaukee County," Weishan told TODAY'S TMJ4 reporter Tom Murray.
The same critics came after Sheriff Clarke when President Obama visited Milwaukee in February. The sheriff's office passed off some of its regular duties to the Wisconsin State Patrol, insisting the office could not afford to help out as much as usual. Clarke blamed county budget cuts.
"We provided what we could afford for that detail," Clarke told TODAY'S TMJ4 in February.
Critics are asking where the money came from for the Waukesha rally.
"If you have to scale back for the President of the United States here in Milwaukee County, you certainly should scale back for some partisan, some Republican Rally in Waukesha," said Graeme Zielinski, spokesperson for the Democratic Party of Wisconsin.
Clarke insists those critics have it all wrong.
"This fabrication that some dignitaries are receiving more protection than others is inserting political gamesmanship into a protection operation where it doesn't belong," Clarke said in a statement. "This nonsense puts protectees at risk."
The Wisconsin State Patrol, Milwaukee Police Department and Waukesha County Sheriff Department assisted the Secret Service on Sunday. All agencies, including the Milwaukee County Sheriff's Office, said they cannot release details of what resources they provided.