The Milwaukee County District Attorney’s office recently subpoenaed the Service Employees International Union (SEIU) headquarters for the employment documents of a senior organizer under investigation for voter fraud in Wisconsin, according to records obtained by a conservative watchdog group.
The Wisconsin-based Media Trackers reported Monday that the Milwaukee D.A. had subpoenaed the SEIU headquarters in Washington, D.C. for the employment records of Clarence S. Haynes, a senior organizer for the national public-sector union.
Haynes, along with two other SEIU organizers, registered to vote for the Badger State’s April 5, 2011, election using an out-of-state ID and claiming a Marriott hotel in Glendale, Wisconsin, as his residence, Media Trackers reported in October 2011.
In response to the report, the Milwaukee District Attorney’s office began investigating Haynes and his associates.
Assistant District Attorney Bruce Landgraf wrote in the April 17 affidavit requesting the subpoena that he had “probable cause to believe that Mr. Haynes voted without the proper qualifications as an elector when he cast a ballot on April 5, 2011.”
“Moreover, based upon the statements of Austin Thompson and Todd Stoner as well as the hotel records of the Marriott Inn, I submit that there is reason to believe that Mr. Haynes had no intent to remain a resident of the State of Wisconsin at that time he made such a representation to Glendale election officials,” Landgraf continued.
SEIU documents obtained by Media Trackers show the union spent $146,000 on the hotel, and Landgraf’s affidavit reports as many as 50 SEIU employees lived in the hotel in late 2010 and early 2011.
Media Trackers communications director Brian Sikma said the incident was part of the SEIU’s history of foibles and follies.
"The SEIU has a history of questionable tactics, and some of its top leaders have worked for and on behalf of extremely liberal candidates, including President Obama,” Sikma said in a statement. “What remains to be seen is whether or not this union will take internal action to prevent its employees from committing voter fraud, or whether it will simply look the other way and refuse to halt its questionable and suspect tactics.”
Justin Wilson, the managing director of the Center for Union Facts, said Haynes’ actions were so blatant that he believed there is no way it could have been official policy for the SEIU.
“I’m almost positive that it’s not a policy of the national headquarters,” Wilson said. “Something like this is just another headache that they’d want to avoid. To that extent, it’s surprising.”
However, the investigation has raised questions about Wisconsin’s lax requirements for voters. Wisconsin allows same-day registration and voting, and one must be a resident of a district for only 28 consecutive days to meet eligibility. Two state judges have declared a recently-passed voter ID law to be unconstitutional.
"This case proves that Wisconsin elections, with same-day voter registration and no photo ID requirement, can be abused," Sikma said. "Wisconsin elections should be participated in by Wisconsin residents, and out of state individuals no matter their ideological affiliation should not be allowed to taint our electoral process.”
“In light of Wisconsin’s fight over voter ID requirements, that kind of changes the conversation,” Wilson said. “It’s a good indication that the way that requirements for people to register to vote and vote seems to be ripe for the possibilities of individuals taking advantage of that.”
A portion of the records requested by Media Trackers was denied by the District Attorney’s office because “the case remains under review and release of the records could hinder the ongoing investigation.”
The SEIU did not return requests for comment.
The Milwaukee County District Attorney’s office also did not return requests for comment.