Former Milwaukee County Sheriff David Clarke

Former Milwaukee County Sheriff David Clarke

Former Milwaukee County sheriff David A. Clarke Jr. will be the keynote speaker at the 2018 Yellowstone County Republican Lincoln-Reagan Day Dinner.

The tagline for the event is "LETS HAVE A BALL AND BUILD A WALL!!!"

In addition to fundraising, organizers said the event will look to celebrate law enforcement, first responders, veterans and active duty military members. The dinner is the committee's largest fundraiser for the year, Yellowstone County Republican Central Committee Chair Tim Stark said.

Clarke, a popular conservative commentator, has faced criticism and legal action for deaths and alleged mistreatment of inmates while he managed a Wisconsin jail and recently had access to his Twitter account suspended for posting messages calling for violence against the media. 

Clarke will be available for a private meet-and-greet with a limited number of ticket buyers. He will also autograph books, said Yellowstone County Republican Secretary Barb Scheppele. 

Also speaking at the event will be Jodi Moore, wife of former Broadwater County Deputy Mason Moore. Moore, 42, was killed last May during a high-speed chase in which shots were fired at him from the suspect vehicle.

Prosecutors say after Moore was wounded, the two suspects, Marshall Barrus and Lloyd Barrus, made a u-turn, came back to Moore's patrol car and repeatedly shot him. 

One of the suspects, Marshall Barrus, was later killed in an exchange of gunfire with law enforcement. His father, Lloyd Barrus, faces numerous charges in Moore's death. 

Rep. Greg Gianforte and "2018 Senate Candidates" are also expected at the event, according to a description of the event posted on the website EventBrite

Part of the event will include "a mini wall," related to a fundraising activity, said Stark. Stark said specifics were still being worked out on how the mini wall would be used for fundraising but said an auction or bidding element could be involved.

Clarke's profile grew nationally among conservatives after he gave a speech at the 2016 Republican National Convention.

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Clarke has adamantly defended law enforcement in recent years the wake of controversial incidents in national spotlight. His law enforcement career spanned nearly 40 years, including 15 years as the Milwaukee County sheriff. He was originally elected as a Democrat. Clarke resigned from the sheriff's office in August.

Clarke is among 29 defendants named in a civil rights lawsuit filed in August by the family of an inmate who died from dehydration after he was left without water for a week, according to the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel.

Clarke had been considered by the Trump administration for a position as an assistant secretary in the Department of Homeland Security, but he withdrew his name from consideration in June 2017, according to the Washington Post.

In the event description for the Lincoln Reagan Dinner, Clark is described as "a 'General' in President Trump’s external army," who "will also support candidates who commit to the Trump-Pence agenda of putting America First."

Recently, the Journal Sentinel reported that Clarke was briefly suspended from Twitter for violating its terms of service for a series of tweets including a now-deleted tweet in which Clarke wrote "When LYING LIB MEDIA makes up FAKE NEWS to smear me, the ANTIDOTE is to go right at them. Punch them in the nose & MAKE THEM TASTE THEIR OWN BLOOD. Nothing gets a bully like LYING LIB MEDIA"S attention better than to give them a taste of their own blood #neverbackdown."

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Night Reporter

General assignment reporter for The Billings Gazette.