Metro Weekly

Right-wing PAC falsely claims Tammy Baldwin wants to teach gay sex to 5-year-olds

Group purporting to support Milwaukee Sheriff David Clarke calls lesbian U.S. senator a "pervert"

Tammy Baldwin — Photo courtesy The Victory Fund International LGBT Leaders Conference

A right-wing political action committee that purports to be raising money to entice Milwaukee County Sheriff David A. Clarke, Jr. to run for U.S. Senate has made bizarre claims about incumbent U.S. Sen. Tammy Baldwin, calling her a “pervert” and suggesting she supports teaching gay sex to schoolchildren as young as age five.

The Milwaukee Journal-Sentinel reports that four different out-of-state political groups are trying to raise money claiming they are recruiting Clark to encourage him to seek national office. However, only one, the North Carolina-based “Sheriff David Clarke for U.S. Senate,” is recognized as an official draft committee by the Federal Election Commission. 

That PAC has raised more than $300,000 in 30 days to try and urge Clarke to jump into the Senate race. Should he win the Republican nomination, Clarke would face off against Baldwin, the Senate’s first out lesbian senator.

But three other PACs, thought to be “scam-PACs” — using a candidate’s likeness and name in fundraising appeals but who do not channel that money to said candidate — have also capitalized on Clarke’s larger-than-life persona, directing attacks at Baldwin to try and wrangle donations from conservative voters.

One of those scam-PACs, Restore American Freedom and Liberty, sent out an email to supporters asking for donations earlier this month. The group’s pitch provided a perfect example of gay-baiting, attempting to use Baldwin’s sexual orientation to smear her by playing off stereotypes of LGBTQ people as predators.

“Leftist lesbian Senator Tammy Baldwin is a pervert,” read the email. “She is working to end all marriage laws and require all Americans to be subjected to LGBT sensitivity training. In fact, she wants to require children starting at age 5 to learn about gay sex! She is disgusting, and it is vital that Sheriff David Clarke defeats her!”

Milwaukee Sheriff David Clarke – Photo: Gage Skidmore.

The fact-checking website Politifact investigated the group’s claim about Baldwin supporting teaching children about gay sex, and ruled it “False.” Baldwin did sponsor a bill that would have required the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services to award grants to schools to allow them to teach “age-appropriate” comprehensive sex education to elementary and secondary school students.

For elementary students, Politifact notes, the teaching would have been aimed at “broadening student knowledge about issues related to human development, relationships, personal skills and sexual behavior, including abstinence.” While the grants would only be given to programs that are LGBT-inclusive, the age-appropriate requirement would make it “highly unlikely” that 5-year-olds would be taught in detail about sex acts, says Politifact.

Clarke, who has made a name for himself among Republican circles through multiple appearances on FOX News and other conservative media outlets, where he has touted a “tough-on-crime” approach to criminal justice and has expressed contempt for the Black Lives Matter movement. A supporter of President Donald Trump, Clarke gave the closing speech at this year’s Conservative Political Action Conference, where, afterwards, he was mobbed by crowds of people asking for his autograph or to take pictures with him.

John Riley is the local news reporter for Metro Weekly. He can be reached at jriley@metroweekly.com