Campaign finance information easily accessible at www.vpap.org — the web site of the nonpartisan Virginia Public Accountability Project — shows that Big Labor has already poured roughly $3 million into the campaigns of the Democrats running this fall for governor, lieutenant governor, and attorney general. This sum will undoubtedly swell vastly by Election Day, and it is far from comprehensive. A substantial share of the Virginia slush fund Big Labor has amassed, mostly with forced union dues and fees that out-of-state workers are forced to fork over as a job condition, will remain out of sight for a long time, or perhaps forever.
As the Washington Free Beacon analysis linked below indicates, government union bosses such as the Washington, D.C-based hierarchy of the American Federation of State, County and Municipal Employees (AFSCME/AFL-CIO) are among the biggest bankrollers of Democratic gubernatorial nominee Terry McAuliffe. Government union chiefs have also made hefty contributions to Democrat state Sens. Ralph Northam and Mark Herring, who are running, respectively, for lieutenant governor and attorney general.
What does Big Labor expect to get in return from McAuliffe, Northam and Herring? To a large extent, they have played their cards close to the vest on the Right to Work issue. Bu this year’s Democratic candidates for statewide office in Virginia have nevertheless made their support for monopolistic unionism perfectly clear to Big Labor bosses.
For example, Terry McAuliffe has acknowledged on the campaign trail that he would “definitely sign” legislation handing government union officials monopoly-bargaining privileges over police and firefighters. McAuliffe would thus repeal a 20-year-old ban on public-sector union monopoly bargaining that was adopted with bi-partisan support and signed into law by Democratic Gov. Doug Wilder during his last year in office.
And Sens. Northam and Herring have both voted in Richmond against pro-Right to Work legislation prohibiting union-only “project labor agreements” on state taxpayer-funded public works in Virginia.
As governor, MacAuliffe could push for repeal of Virginia’s ban on public-sector monopoly bargaining, or simply try to circumvent in through administrative actions. As lieutenant governor, Northam would lead the state Senate and could sabotage legislative efforts to protect Virginia’s Right to Work law. Meanwhile, as attorney general, Herring could undermine the law by refusing to prosecute union bosses who violate it.
In stark contrast to McAuliffe, Northam and Herring, Ken Cuccinelli, E.W. Jackson, and Mark Obenshain, the Republican nominees for, respectively, governor, lieutenant governor, and attorney general, have all pledged to continue opposing forced unionism 100% if they prevail next week.