Virginia’s Battle for Choice

In Right to Work Virginia, Democrats have nominated former Clinton fundraiser Terry McAuliffe for governor.  It is worth remembering that McAuliffe has a long history and relationship with the union bosses who are bankrolling his campaign in the hopes of turning back the clock and making the Commonwealth “friendlier” to big labor:

On 3/28/2013: The International Association Of Fire Fighters Contributed $100,000 To McAuliffe. (Virginia State Board Of Elections, Accessed 4/16/13)

• Labor Unions And Labor Union PACs Contributed At Least $574,500 To McAuliffe’s Campaign In The First Quarter Of 2013. (Virginia State Board Of Elections, Accessed 4/16/13)  • Unions Contributed Over $740,000 To McAuliffe’s 2009 Gubernatorial Campaign. (The Virginia Public Access Project,, Accessed 2/21/13) The President Of The Virginia Professional Fire Fighters Wants McAuliffe To “Repair Some Of The Things” Republicans Have Done To Protect Workers

April 2013: Mike Moehler, President Of Virginia Professional Fire Fighters, Hopes McAuliffe “Repair(s) Some Of The Things [Republicans Have] Done And Advance Legislation To Protect The Health, Safety And Financial Interest Of Our Members.” “‘We are hoping that Gov. McAuliffe would work with us to repair some of the things [Republicans have] done and advance legislation to protect the health, safety and financial interest of our members,’ said Mike Moehler, president of Virginia Professional Fire Fighters.” (Steve Contorno, “Outside Groups Pumping Cash Into Virginia Governor’s Race,” Washington Examiner, 4/16/13

In 2009, Labor Unions Hoped Their Financial Investments In Virginia’s Gubernatorial Democratic Candidates Would “Produce A More Labor-Friendly Administration In Richmond.” “Organized labor is attempting to capitalize on Virginia’s shifting political landscape by investing as never before in the race for governor, a gamble union leaders are hoping will bring them leverage in a state that has long resisted their influence. Union officials hope recent elections have brought lasting change and will produce a more labor-friendly administration in Richmond.” (Amy Gardner, “Unions Hope Patronage Translates To Leverage, The Washington Post, 6/6/09)

• A Union Leader In 2009 Reflected On Prospects With McAuliffe On The Gubernatorial Ticket: “We See This Election As An Opportunity For Unions To Have A Seat At The Table.” “‘We see this election as an opportunity for unions to have a seat at the table,’ said John Niemiec, president of the Fairfax County Professional Fire Fighters and Paramedics, which has endorsed McAuliffe.” (Amy Gardner, “Labor Unions Hoping Patronage In Governor’s Race Increases Leverage In Richmond,” The Washington Post, 6/6/09)

McAuliffe Would Not Say Whether Or Not He Supported The Employee Free Choice Act, Known As Card-Check. “McAuliffe was not as forthcoming when asked if he supported Democratic Gov. Timothy M. Kaine’s proposal to double the tax cigarettes… Nor would he say whether he supports the Employee Free Choice Act, federal legislation that could profoundly affect right-to-work states such as Virginia. The bill would boost union membership by having employees sign union cards to form unions instead of holding secret ballot elections, a measure business and industry groups vehemently oppose.” (Bob Lewis, “Ex-DNC Chair Opens Gov’s Race, Says Will Forgo Pay,” The Associated Press, 1/7/09)

• Richmond Times-Dispatch: McAuliffe Was “Afraid To Offend Unions Hungry For Payoff… But Worried About Losing Business Supporters Who Are Rattled By The Unions’ Revitalized Ambitions.” “But the man who would like to be the Democratic nominee for governor grew uncharacteristically reserved when asked about his position on federal card-check legislation that would effectively retire the secret ballot from union organizing elections. McAuliffe said he’d rather not comment on a bill that was certain to change as it wound its way through Congress. Well, what about the card-check bill passed by the House last year? McAuliffe waived that question away to on the grounds that it was old news. An easier way to duck the issue would have been to point out – quite accurately – that the Virginia governor does not vote in Congress. McAuliffe’s evasions illustrate the dicey position state Democrats find themselves in this year – afraid to offend unions hungry for payoff now that their favorite party is in power, but worried about losing business supporters who are rattled by the unions’ revitalized ambitions.” (Bob Rayner, “Labor Pain,” Richmond Times-Dispatch, 4/12/09)