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McDonnell, Bolling Snub SEIU

Tim Craig

GOP gubernatorial nominee Robert F. McDonnell and his running mate, Lt. Gov. Bill Bolling (R), announced today they will not fill out the Service Employees International Union (SEIU) questionnaire because, they say, the organization wants to undermine Virginia's right-to-work law.

"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," McDonnell said. "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."

The SEIU uses its questionnaire, which is due today, to help it determine which candidates it should back in this year's state races.

The SEIU traditionally supports Democratic candidates, but by ignoring the questionnaire McDonnell and Bolling are sending another signal they plan campaign this fall on a platform of preventing unions from gaining a larger foothold in Virginia.

Virginia is one of 22 states where workers can decide if they want to join a union. But unions have been pouring unprecendeted resources into the Virginia Democratic Party, causing McDonnell to argue they will push to overturn right-to-work should a Democratic be elected governor this fall.

All three Democratic candidates for governor, however, are on record supporting Virginia's right-to-work statue.

By Tim Craig  |  March 20, 2009; 1:45 PM ET
Categories:  2009 Governor's Race , Robert F. McDonnell , Tim Craig  
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Comments

As members of the SEIU candidate endorsement committee, we were disappointed to learn that the Republican candidates for Governor and Lt. Governor, former Attorney General Robert McDonnell and Lt. Governor Bill Bolling have refused to fill out our questionnaire and meet with us.

The Service Employees International Union is the voice for hardworking families across Virginia. We are commercial cleaners, security guards, home care workers and county government employees. We are proud to work side by side Republican members and work together on politics and issue campaigns. SEIU has endorsed and campaigned for Republicans at all levels of government and is an active participant in the Republican Governor’s Association, the Republican Main Street Partnership and other GOP organizations.

We unite behind candidates not based on their political affiliation but on their stance on issues important to middle class families, like affordable healthcare, a secure retirement and an economy that works for everyone--not just corporate CEOs. If McDonnell and Bolling had decided to meet with us this morning to go over our questionnaire, they would have learned how we are dedicated to improving our families’ lives, serving our communities and are fair in our endorsement process.

While we may disagree on some things with McDonnell and Bolling, we also have much common ground around rebuilding the economy, bringing accountability to government, and making Virginia a great place to live with strong communities.

The real question for this race is whether McDonnell and Bolling will play partisan games or will they recognize that Virginians want practical results from level-headed elected officials. We are looking forward to knocking on doors and making phone calls on behalf of our endorsed candidates. We are disappointed that McDonnell and Bolling have made our decision for us.

Maurice Thomas, Cleaner
Ralph Day, Cleaner
Shareen Miller, Homecare worker
Karen Conchar, Engineer
Heather Stewart, Engineer

Posted by: alittleriled | March 21, 2009 1:23 PM | Report abuse

The SEIU is one of the most partisan unions around. The only bi partisan unions are the FOP and SIU. McDonnell was right in not filling out the questionaire.

Posted by: jebw958 | March 21, 2009 9:57 PM | Report abuse

The Seiu is one of the most aggressive unions around, but it's bi-partisan. It contributed over a $ 1.5 million to GOP candidates and causes last cycle; supported over 350 GOPers on the Fall ballot; was the only union on the Host Committee of the GOP National Convention, and continues to support the RGA and other party organizations at top levels. While there are some pragmatic problem solving GOPers in Virginia such as Speaker Howell and folks like Tom Davis, an awful lot of GOP electeds in the Commonwealth have fallen off the edge of the earth. And you're wrong on right to work. In all 50 states, workers get to decide if they want to join a union. Some 20 states do allow the employer to assess non members a pro-rata representation fee payable to the union to cover bargaining and legal costs.

Posted by: Skipster1 | March 27, 2009 2:37 PM | Report abuse

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