Unions Reward $2.2 Million To Terry McAuliffe’s Campaign After Changing His Stance On Right-To-Work Laws

(Photo by Win McNamee/Getty Images)

Nicole Silverio Media Reporter
Font Size:

Labor unions rewarded $2.2 million to Democratic Virginia gubernatorial nominee Terry McAuliffe’s campaign after the candidate changed his stance on right-to-work laws, promising to repeal them.

Right-to-work laws guarantee an employee’s right to work without being pushed to join a labor union and pay union dues, the National Right To Work Legal Defense Foundation reported. Virginia is one of 28 states to have these laws in place, which unions and progressive groups are fighting to overturn, according to Upcounsel.

McAuliffe said he would repeal right-to-work legislation if it had reached his desk, but that it had not had the ability to pass the state House and Senate in an April interview. (RELATED: Terry McAuliffe Criticized For Tweet Saying It Should Be Easier To Vote Than Buy A Gun)

“I get asked a lot about right-to-work and I’m very honest with everybody, and most international union support is with me. I have to work on things that I know can get done. Right-to-work has never seen the light of day in the Democratic Senate and in the House of Delegates it went down in defeat in a Democratic legislature,” McAuliffe said. “I work on things I know I can get done, if it came to my desk, sure, I would sign it but you can’t get it through the House and Senate.”

Since this announcement, the gubernatorial nominee received a total of $2,231,107 from influential labor unions as of Friday, amounting to 30% of his financial haul of the latest reporting period, according to campaign financial records. The campaign received a half-a-million from the Service Employees International Union, $402,947 from the American Federation of State, County and Municipal and $250,000 from the American Federation of Teachers (ATF).

In the past, McAuliffe continuously claimed to support right-to-work, promising to keep it under his leadership. The candidate came out in support for right-to-work laws at a National Federation of Independent Business event in January 2013.

“We are a great right-to-work state, we should never change that,” McAuliffe said in 2013. “It helps us do what we need to do to grow our businesses here in Virginia.”

However, McAuliffe opposed right-to-work in 2003, warning New Hampshire that the Democratic National Convention would give Michigan the privilege of being the first state to hold presidential primaries, according to the Washington Free Beacon.

The Republican Party of Virginia criticized McAuliffe for changing his position on the issue twice throughout his career, calling his labor union rewards “Clinton-style corruption.”

“Terry McAuliffe is flaunting his Clinton-style corruption right in the face of Virginians,” Republican Party of Virginia Chairman Rich Anderson said Monday in a statement to the Daily Caller.

McAuliffe served as governor from 2014 until 2018, when former Democratic Lt. Gov. Ralph Northam defeated him in the state’s 2017 gubernatorial election. McAuliffe announced his 2021 gubernatorial bid for reelection in December, 2020.

During his current gubernatorial run, the former governor received criticism for changing his position on Northam following the 2019 blackface scandal, announcing that he is “honored” to have his support after formerly calling on him to resign.

Virginia, one of two states to elect a governor this year, will hold its gubernatorial election Tuesday, Nov. 2. McAuliffe will challenge Republican candidate Glenn Youngkin.

McAuliffe’s campaign did not immediately respond to the Daily Caller’s request for comment.