Super-PAC Making Extraordinary Splash
A newly organized political action committee is opening eyes among the nation’s top conservative fundraisers and political organizers. Formally registered with the FEC in late January, the PAC is the Official Draft Campaign dedicated to convincing Milwaukee’s conservative black Sheriff David A. Clarke, Jr. to run for the United States Senate against liberal Democrat incumbent Tammy Baldwin, of Madison.
Though most PACs take months to get noticed and even longer to become effective, in its first two weeks of operation the aggressively-run Clarke Draft Campaign has raised over $175,000.00 and secured 25,000 pledge signatures — voters and donors promising to support Clarke if and when he announces his candidacy.
The PAC’s national chairman is Jack Daly, a Trump fundraiser who served as Republican Counsel to the Senate Judiciary Committee under Attorney General designate Jeff Sessions. Daly credits the success of the committee to intense focus and to Clarke himself. “Putting something like this together is tedious and hard work, but we all believe in Sheriff Clarke, and let’s face it: we have a very good product to sell.
“This man campaigned for President Trump in 39 states, and it was glorious, smash-mouth politics at every stop,” says Daly. “Spend five minutes with this guy, and you will love him. Sanctuary cities are a disaster. Black Lives Matter is a fraud, a hate group. The NRA is a civil rights organization. Inner city ghettos are not caused by white racism, but by moral decay and foolish liberal policies that condemn young blacks to failed public schools and homes without fathers. Here is a man who speaks the truth no matter what.”
“My favorite line of all,” says Daly, “was delivered to those of us at President Trump’s inauguration DeploraBall: ‘The only reason I’ll be reaching across the aisle is to grab one of them by the throat’. That’s not just a laugh line. It’s the mindset of a man who says the way our Republican leadership has caved in to Obama and the Left is just flat out unacceptable. I believe that, and I think most true conservatives believe that as well. Sheriff Clarke certainly does. We’re gonna get this man a vote in the Senate.”
The draft Super-PAC’s rapid success, say veteran organizers, is all but unheard of. “This is an aggressive and well run campaign,” said one such graybeard. “They have been really effective in a very short time, and the surprising thing to me is that it’s not the ‘usual suspects’. This Advisory Board — it’s mostly fresh faces, it’s legit. Everybody is this business is kind of watching them to see what they do next.”
The PAC’s Advisory Board is a broad collection of individuals ranging from other black conservatives who, like Clarke, have served in elected office, to well-known conservative actors Nick Searcy and Robert Davi. It includes Trump campaign surrogate Kay Daly, who won the CPAC Ronald Reagan Award largely on the strength of her work seeking Senate confirmation for President Bush’s conservative federal judicial appointees.
The Board also includes Duane “Dog the Bounty Hunter” Chapman and his wife Beth Chapman, who is the National President of the largest association of Bail Bondsmen in the country.
In a political era defined by attacks on law enforcement — both political and deadly — the Board includes decorated war hero Cody Stanton, a U.S. Army MP who lost both legs in Afghanistan, and former Congressional Chief of Staff Nate Pendley, a trial attorney who spent years defending police officers and jailers against charges of misconduct.
The PAC’s work has been noticed. It has been profiled on Wisconsin’s largest television station, in the political columns of the state’s largest newspaper, and on all major in-state political newsletters. Most entertaining of all for Daly is the fact that the liberal blogosphere has started to engage. “The thought of David Clarke being in the United States Senate is sending liberal snowflakes into fits of paroxysm all over the country,” says Daly, “and I couldn’t be happier.”
For direct mail, the PAC has enlisted the professional services of Eberle Associates, whose former clients include the committee that successfully drafted Dr. Ben Carson to run for President. For polling, the PAC has signed Jim McLaughlin, whose former clients include the Super-PAC that helped Senator Ron Johnson (R-WI) defeat Russ Feingold (D-WI). Daly says the committee intends to begin polling and broadcasting ads on television and radio when the fundraising reaches the quarter-million dollar mark. “We know the support is there. We just have to show Sheriff Clarke that there will be a strong campaign infrastructure in place when he announces.”
Milwaukee’s principal political journalist describes the committee’s website as “incredibly elaborate.”