Arrests, Citations Lurk at Union Group Approved by Obama Admin to Promote ObamaCare in Wisconsin
Among the 165 groups approved by the Obama Administration to promote or set-up ObamaCare in Wisconsin is Wisconsin Jobs Now, a liberal get-out-the-vote group affiliated with the SEIU. According to the federal Department of Health and Human Services, the organization is working as a certified application counselor, or CAC. Numerous individuals who have been employed by Wisconsin Jobs Now or who work there now have been investigated, arrested or cited by law enforcement agencies for legal violations.
Wisconsin Jobs Now is not a health insurance group or healthcare provider. It is strictly a community organizing outfit. During elections it runs one of the largest voter turnout efforts in support of Democratic candidates in Wisconsin.
That voter turnout effort has landed the group some scrutiny. In 2011 during the union and Democrat-led effort to recall Republican state senators from office, prosecutors investigated Wisconsin Jobs Now for offering barbecue dinners and raffle prizes to prospective voters as they were recruited and then shuttled to an early voting center in Milwaukee. After SEIU operative Todd E. Stoner was investigated for using a hotel address and out-of-state ID to vote in a Wisconsin election, the group hired him help manage their 2012 political efforts.
A complaint was filed with the Federal Election Commission in 2012 alleging that Paula J. Zellner, formerly of Wisconsin Jobs Now, violated campaign laws while working for both WJN and the campaign of a Democratic candidate for Congress.
Police cited Zellner and 16 others for harassing and disrupting a political fundraiser held by a Republican state official in January of 2012. In addition to Zellner, at least three of those cited worked for Wisconsin Jobs Now. They were Matthew S. Finnell, who still blogs and writes for the organization, Nicholas A. Janis, and the previously investigated Stoner.
An early participate in the Occupy Wall Street movement, Wisconsin Jobs Now has hosted sit-ins at district offices of Republican members of Congress and recruited people to disrupt an in-district speaking engagement of Congressman Paul Ryan. The result was 19 people arrested for disturbing the peace at the office of Senator Ron Johnson, and three people arrested during the Ryan speech.
Former Wisconsin Jobs Now organizer Austin Lee Thompson was arrested while protesting a bank in downtown Milwaukee when he walked into the bank and shouted, “This is a hostile takeover.” When Milwaukee police officers arrested him he reportedly shouted, “This is robbery! We are being robbed!”
All told, Wisconsin Jobs Now can be tied to 40 arrests and several investigations. The number of people who have signed up for ObamaCare in Wisconsin on the health insurance exchange is estimated to be less than 55.