Both Refuse to Participate in SEIU Questionnaire Which Asks Candidates to Support Overturning Virginia's Right to Work Law ... SEIU Strongly Supports Card Check; Questionnaire Due Today
Bob McDonnell, Republican gubernatorial candidate and former Attorney General of Virginia, and Bill Bolling, Lieutenant Governor of Virginia, announced today that neither will respond to a candidate questionnaire sent out by the Service Employees International Union (SEIU). The two cited the group's longstanding hostility to Virginia's Right to Work law and its advocacy for federal Card Check legislation. The questionnaire was sent to statewide candidates in Virginia. It is due today.
Questions to be answered by candidates responding to the SEIU questionnaire include:
"Virginia's so-called 'Right to Work' law does not guarantee any rights. In fact, by weakening unions and collective bargaining, 'Right to Work"'lowers wages for all Virginians, endangers safety and health standards that protect workers, destroys job security, and prevents Virginia's working families from earning health insurance benefits. Do you support a path to overturn the so-called 'Right to Work' laws?"
"If elected, will you publicly support workers who are forming unions by reaffirming the importance of unions to our communities and by taking actions such as contacting employers and urging them not to interfere with employee free choice, issuing public statements, honoring picket lines, attending rallies, sponsoring public forums, and otherwise supporting union organizing?"
Speaking about the SEIU questionnaire Bob McDonnell remarked, "Virginia's Right to Work law is a pillar of our private sector free enterprise system. The SEIU's opposition to Virginia's Right to Work law and their advocacy for Card Check puts them on the wrong side of the best interests of both Virginia's workers and employers. I will not answer a questionnaire from a group that is openly hostile to secret ballot elections and free choice as to whether to join a union when a worker gets a job. Every candidate who supports expanding free enterprise and creating jobs for our citizens should strongly support the Right to Work law and oppose Card Check."
Lieutenant Governor Bill Bolling noted, "Virginia's strong pro-business environment is founded in our Right to Work law. Given the economic challenges facing Virginia families and businesses, the fact that SEIU is outwardly advocating for Card Check and the elimination of the Right to Work, and using its repeal as a determining factor for their endorsement, is very troubling. Creating new jobs and getting our economy moving again is too important to be cast aside in the attempt to gain favor of a special interest group and their financial donations. Clearly, Right to Work and the ability of businesses to maintain and create new jobs is under attack in Washington and Richmond. I encourage my fellow candidates for statewide office to refuse to complete this anti-business, anti-jobs questionnaire."
Virginia is one of 22 Right to Work states in the country. In Right to Work states employees cannot be forced to become union members or pay union dues as a condition of employment. Studies have found that Right to Work states enjoy greater private sector employment growth rates than non-Right to Work states. In addition, this week the American Legislative Exchange Council announced its 2009 Economic Competitiveness Index. Utah was ranked first in the nation with the organization specifically noting the state's Right to Work law as a key reason for the ranking. Virginia was ranked fourth.
Unions have dramatically increased their political presence and donations to Virginia candidates and parties in recent years. The Washington Post recently reported that this past election cycle three individual Unions gave over $500,000 to the Democratic Party of Virginia in just September and October. These donations were some of the largest received by the Party in recent memory. From 1997 to 2004 union donations in Virginia totaled $4.5 million. But in the last three years, from 2005 to 2008, union donations to Virginia candidates and committees have skyrocketed to $6.2 million. The SEIU donated $50,000 to Sharon Bulova (D) in her campaign for Chairman of the Fairfax County Board of Supervisors this past February.
In a recent union picket line outside a Hilton Hotel in Northern Virginia all three Democratic gubernatorial candidates, and two Democratic candidates for Lieutenant Governor, were in attendance.
Cross-posted at SixtyFour81.com