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Pay no attention to the people behind the curtain

Wednesday, October 11, 2006

Don Holt Writes a Letter

October 7, 2006

Sheriff David A. Clarke
Re: Debate Challenge

Dear Sheriff Clarke:

Because the sheriff’s election is very important, the citizens of Milwaukee County deserve the courtesy of hearing, first hand, the fundamental differences and values that separate us. Don’t you agree? For this reason I challenge you to debate the issues.

The public has the right to know the status of some very serious issues.

The facts are:
  • You do not believe strongly in traffic enforcement, but rather voluntary compliance and have cut the patrol strength during the largest highway reconstruction project in Wisconsin’s history. Also, the freeway revenue is down.

  • Your booking process has required that detainees often spend over 30 hours waiting to be processed.

  • You discontinued park patrols and, without respect for input from the Milwaukee and suburban chiefs of police, you TOLD them they “will patrol the parks”.

  • Although you are a member of Milwaukee County Law Enforcement Executives Association (MCLEEA) you have not met with them in nearly over a year. The exchange of information by this group of professionals is key to county-wide law enforcement planning.

  • You proclaim to be “hard on crime” yet cannot site any example were you have made improvements in the last 4 years. In fact during the 4th Street Forum on 10-05-06 you admitted that we are worse off now than 4 years ago – “backsliding” – your own word!

  • You have cut DARE and TABS. During a debate moderated by Eric Von on WMCS you justified pulling out of the TABS program by citing some obscure study out of Washington D.C saying the TABS program was ineffective. It seems it was not the program that was ineffective but rather the management of the program as Racine’s TABS program reduced the truancy rate in their schools from 21.7% down to 9%

  • Many of your disciplinary actions and promotional practices have been challenged and overturned. You have retaliated against your employees for exercising their right to free speech. This has markedly affected morale.

  • You have touted the fact that you have had budget surpluses over the past several years. It appears that you are inflating your budget in order to show a return at the end of the year for political purposes. It is also noted that from 2004 to the current proposed 2007 budget there is a loss of total revenues of over FIVE MILLION DOLLARS. The citizens of Milwaukee County need to know why.

  • You have pretended to be tough on crime while pulling your personnel out of all interagency drug and crime fighting initiatives.
AND perhaps the greatest difference between us is ethical.
  • You have illegally used department funds to put your name on billboards during your last campaign.

  • You are illegally using your county owned vehicle, purchased with asset forfeiture funds, for personal and political purposes. (A complaint is pending before the Milwaukee County Ethics Board on this issue).

  • You have a double standard. You violate your own policies by wearing your uniform and firearm while serving alcoholic beverages.

  • You wore your weapon into an area of the jail where this is prohibited. You recently escorted a dangerous prisoner into the jail wearing your sidearm. This transgression was especially serious due to the past history of the prisoner – truly a foolish action.
I challenge you, David Clarke, to a live debate on radio and on T.V. The media times and dates are to be mutually agreed to.

Don Holt
cc: Milwaukee Media

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