Unions spend big in Virginia governor race

Unions are spending hundreds of thousands of dollars to elect Democrat Terry McAuliffe as Virginia governor in the hopes he will roll back secret ballot protections during union elections and steer lucrative contracts to labor unions, observers say. 

According to McAuliffe's most recent campaign filing, unions have donated $562,030 to his campaign in direct and in-kind contributions. 

The American Federation of State County and Municipal Employees, the Service Employees International Union, the Communications Workers of America, and others have chipped in. 

McAuliffe's Republican opponent, Virginia Attorney General Ken Cuccinelli, warned on Thursday that McAuliffe may look to repeal recently passed measures that preserve ballot secrecy in union elections and keep members' personal information private. 

Unions "are talking about how they want McAuliffe to 'repair some of the things' Republicans have done," said campaign spokeswoman Anna Nix in a news release. 

"Do they mean ending Virginia's status as a right-to-work state?" Nix asked in the release. "Or repealing the Secret Ballot Protection Act, which guarantees the right to vote by secret ballot? Or the KEEP Secure Act that prevents third party groups from obtaining workers' personal information?" 

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