Prosecutor: SEIU organizer committed voter fraud in 2011 Wisconsin Supreme Court election
Prosecutors believe a Service Employees International Union (SEIU) organizer fraudulently voted in a 2011 election in Wisconsin, according to documents provided to the Daily Caller by the Wisconsin-based government watchdog group Media Trackers.
An investigation by the Milwaukee County District Attorney’s Office has led to a subpoena of SEIU’s Washington, D.C. headquarters and has implicated the prominent labor union in a voter fraud case that threatens to lead to criminal prosecution.
Then-SEIU Senior Organizer-in-Training Clarence S. Haynes, who is no longer affiliated with the union and whose whereabouts are currently unknown, voted in the hotly contested April 2011 election for a Wisconsin Supreme Court seat despite not being a resident of Wisconsin and leaving the state shortly after voting, according to an October 19, 2012 affidavit prepared by Bruce J. Landgraf, the assistant district attorney for Milwaukee County.
Haynes, who maintained an official permanent residence in Clearwater, Florida, allegedly voted along with two other SEIU organizers in Glendale, Wisconsin on April 5, 2011 — using a Residence Inn as their official address.
Haynes’ Bank of America debit card was used to make a final transaction in Glendale, Wisconsin on April 11, 2011. He checked out of the Residence Inn on April 18. His debit card transactions from May through August 2011 “appear to be concentrated for the most part in the State of Florida,” according to the affidavit.
“I think it reasonable to conclude that Mr. Haynes left Wisconsin in April 2011 and returned to his home state of Florida,” Landgraf wrote in the affidavit.
“Based upon these Affidavits, I would respectfully submit that there is probable cause to believe that Mr. Haynes voted without the proper qualifications as an elector when he cast a ballot on April 5, 2011,” Landgraf concluded.
Read the documents:
Milwaukee County Court Commissioner Barry Slagle agreed, writing, “The Court … finds that probable cause exists to believe that the documents named in the attached subpoena constitute evidence of the commission of Election Law Crimes,” in issuing a subpoena for Haynes’ bank records.
The Milwaukee County District Attorney’s Office has been investigating Haynes’ vote since November 2011. In April 2012, prosecutors issued a subpoena for Haynes’ employment records to the SEIU’s national headquarters in Washington, D.C. Another subpoena issued in October 2012 for Haynes’ bank records yielded the new revelations.
The April 2011 Wisconsin election pitted incumbent Republican David Prosser against pro-union Democrat Joanne Kloppenburg in a state Supreme Court race that was viewed as a referendum on Republican Governor Scott Walker’s collective bargaining policies.
Pro-union groups spent heavily on television ads supporting Kloppenburg.
In a letter endorsing Kloppenburg, leaders from the American Federation of Teachers Local 212 declared, “[O]n April 5 we will continue the process of defending our college and taking back our state from walker and the anti-union ideologues who presently control it … A vote for Prosser is a vote for Walker. It’s time to get even. Vote Kloppenburg on April 5.”
Kloppenburg declared victory April 6 after an initial count showed her winning the election by 204 votes. But a subsequent recount showed numerous vote-counting errors, including the election-night loss of 14,000 votes when the Waukesha County Clerk failed to properly save data on her personal computer.
Prosser ended up defeating Kloppenburg by 7,199 votes, less than one-half of one percentage point, in the general election.
Haynes, meanwhile, left the SEIU after Kloppenburg’s defeat.
Haynes ended his employment with the SEIU on May 5, 2011, exactly one month after voting in Wisconsin. He received two direct-deposit payments from the union in the weeks following his departure, for $50,429.70 and $22,162.54, respectively.
Haynes did not report the two payments to the IRS as taxable income on his 2011 W-2 report, leading Landgraf to conclude that Haynes and the SEIU worked out a “severance payment” that was “intended to be tax-free.”
“Based on my review of IRS publication 4128 (Rev. 5-2011), severance pay is taxable,” Landgraf wrote.
“Likewise, it occurs to me that documents relating to the payment of the sum of $75,000 may provide evidence of the fact that, well before April 5, 2011 (Election Day), Mr. Haynes knew that he would not be working for SEIU either in Wisconsin or elsewhere. Such evidence, in turn, will bear on his intent to remain in Wisconsin at the time he registered to vote in April 2011,” Landgraf wrote.
The SEIU, at its Washington, D.C. headquarters, declined to comment for this story, directing The Daily Caller to its Wisconsin state counsel, who did not respond to a request for comment. The Milwaukee County District Attorney’s Office also did not respond to TheDC’s request for comment.