This is the first in a Daily Caller investigative series.
The politically aggressive Service Employees International Union (SEIU) has quietly created a national network of at least eight community-organizing groups, some of which function alongside the Occupy Wall Street movement, a Daily Caller investigation shows.
Incorporated by the SEIU as local non-profits, the groups are waging concerted local political campaigns to publicly attack conservative political figures, banks, energy companies and other corporations.
Each local group has portrayed itself as an independent community organization not tied to any special interest. But they were founded, incorporated, and led by SEIU personnel.
The individual activist groups use benign-sounding names including This Is Our DC; Good Jobs, Great Houston; Good Jobs, Better Baltimore; Good Jobs Now in Detroit; Fight for Philly; One Pittsburgh; Good Jobs LA; and Minnesotans for a Fair Economy.
In reality, they are creations of the wealthy and influential labor union, amounting to a secret network of new SEIU front groups.
On two occasions in 2011, approximately 30 Our DC protesters descended on the congressional office of Republican Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell. The first of those two December efforts was part of a “Take Back the Capital” campaign orchestrated by union officials and coinciding with an Occupy DC rally.
A source told the Daily Caller that while African-American and Hispanic protesters sat in McConnell’s office, two Caucasian women from Our DC directed the protesters from the hallway. The staffers called reporters, operated laptops and posted messages to Twitter.
That event was promoted through a “99% in DC” website, which Internet Web server records indicate was managed by the union. But Our DC activists were quick to advise local media outlets not to confuse them with the Occupy movement.
Still, Washington activists themselves reported on an “Occupy K Street” rally later that same weekend in which Occupy DC and Our DC groups marched side by side.
Other protest events organized by Our DC have targeted House Speaker John Boehner, House Majority Leader Eric Cantor and Virginia Republican Rep. Frank Wolf.
In the months since Occupy DC began growing in numbers and influence, Our DC has cooperated with that movement at several protest rallies.
One was the “National Day of Action for the 99%,” which shut down portions of the Francis Scott Key Bridge connecting Washington, D.C. with the state of Virginia.
Another was the series of demonstrations against the Conservative Political Action Conference in February. At that event, Our DC members wearing the group’s t-shirts carried “We are the 99%” signs alongside Occupy DC protesters.
A YouTube video titled “Occupy CPAC” shows an “Our DC member speak[ing]” through a megaphone in front of several “99%” signs.
Another video, shot at the same location and published by The Huffington Post, shows a giant “Occupy United” banner in front of protesters waving identical “99%” signs.