Katie Gage

By overwhelmingly electing Bob McDonnell as their governor, Virginians sent a clear message to national leaders about the future of small business. McDonnell made clear his opposition to the Employee ‘Forced’ Choice Act or EFCA, job-killing legislation that would give union bosses increased political spending power at the expense of worker freedoms and rights.

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Governor-elect McDonnell’s clear stance in support of Virginia’s employers, employees, and economy hit home with voters who grew weary and suspicious of Creigh Deeds’ avoidance on the issue, while accepting huge sums of money from union bosses throughout the campaign. Virginians saw Deeds’ unwillingness to speak out for what it was: a failure of leadership and an inability to stand up for those he aspired to govern.

The results in Virginia and the ability of Bob McDonnell to make EFCA a central argument in his campaign in relation to jobs and the economy should be an ominous sign for Big Labor’s supporters seeking election or re-election next fall to federal or state office.

The reality is, voters oppose the forced unionization that would result from card check or “quickie” elections, as well as forced arbitration empowering the government to mandate contract terms on small businesses without the consent of the employer or employee.

The Employee ‘Forced’ Choice Act would result in significant job loss, increased unemployment, and eliminate basic freedoms – like a private vote and voice in contract negotiations.

Voters in the Commonwealth of Virginia understood the state’s right-to-work status had allowed it to prosper and grow and were unwilling to undermine or threaten it in any way.

Governor-elect McDonnell was well aware of the importance of right to work, understood the negative impact increased costs and burdens would have on businesses, and pledged to Virginia workers that he would not stand by and let the people of his state be bullied and harassed by union bosses. McDonnell described EFCA as “one of the most anti-competitive, anti free-enterprise pieces that I’ve ever seen introduced by Congress” and repeatedly challenged Deeds on the campaign trail to take a firm stance and reject the legislation, which he was unable to do.

The outcome was that small business owners and other hard working Virginians were simply unwilling to support anyone who would consider supporting job-killing legislation or remain undecided while accepting the support of Big Labor.


Katie Gage

Katie Gage is the executive director of the Workforce Fairness institute.