By Dustin Hurst | Watchdog.org
Virginia’s Democratic candidate for governor Terry McAuliffe often professes his love of organized labor.
During his last run for governor, McAuliffe, Bill and Hillary Clinton’s biggest campaign fundraiser and a former Democratic National Committee chairman, told a 2009 debate audience that he hires union workers even when he’s building businesses in non-union or “right-to-work” states.
“I paid a little bit extra out of my pocket because it was the right thing to do,” he said.
But when McAuliffe was ready to open a factory for his Virginia-based car company, he chose right-to-work Mississippi — and apparently hired non-union workers.
GreenTech Automotive, which employs fewer than 100 workers in its Horn Lake, Miss., plant, is not unionized, the United Auto Workers organizing department told Watchdog. In fact, union officials said they’d never heard of the company.
“It’s not a plant that I recognize,” said Kim, a 22-year veteran in the UAW’s organizing office who refused to give her last name.
While the UAW speaks only for itself, the National Labor Relations Board, the federal entity tasked with enforcing labor rules and overseeing union elections, confirms that neither the UAW nor any other labor organizations have attempted to unionize the Horn Lake plant.
“As far as I know, there’s no union,” said Dave Glissendorf, a compliance offer in the NLRB’s Memphis, Tenn., office, just minutes from the GreenTech facility. “I have no evidence there’s a union there.”
While GreenTech, which builds the two-seat MyCar, an electric vehicle with limited range, could voluntarily recognize a union without the NLRB’s involvement, Glissendorf believes that’s unlikely.
“I’ve only seen one in my 27 years,” he said. “I highly doubt that’s happened.”
Neither McAuliffe nor officials from GreenTech Automotive have responded to requests for comment. McAuliffe’s campaign team also did not respond to a request for comment.
News that GreenTech has so far stiffed organized labor might come as a surprise to unions pouring cash into his Virginia gubernatorial campaign. According to recent filings, organized labor, including the American Federation of State, County and Municipal Employees and the powerful Service Employees International Union, among others, has spent more than $560,000 trying to help McAuliffe into the governor’s office.
Labor dumped more than $730,000 into McAuliffe’s failed 2009 gubernatorial run.
GreenTech announced Apr. 5 that McAuliffe had resigned Dec. 1 as company chairman. Skeptics noted that during that same four-month period McAuliffe continued to promote himself as the company’s chairman.
It’s been a rough few days for McAuliffe, who hopes to best Republican Ken Cuccinelli, the state’s attorney general, in the contest.
The New York Times wrote five days ago that McAuliffe’s foray into green manufacturing could backfire and doom his campaign. On Monday, The Drudge Report, a conservative news titan, picked up a Watchdog story detailing how GreenTech’s parent company has incorporated in the British Virgin Islands, a move commonly made to avoid income taxes.
On Monday, NBC12 in Richmond, Va., unloaded on McAuliffe for not keeping his job creation-promises to the people of Mississippi.
Contact: [email protected] or @DustinHurst via Twitter.
- VA: As he runs for governor, McAuliffe wheels and deals electric cars in Mississippi
- VA: Media echo Watchdog exclusive on McAuliffe’s electric car maneuvers
- No news here: PolitFact brands Terry McAuliffe’s electric-car claim ‘false’
- Experts question source of McAuliffe car-company funding
- Terry McAuliffe on business ventures: ‘Some work, some don’t’
- How McAuliffe’s car company failed the Virginia test, landed in Mississippi
- Virginia official wants probe of McAuliffe company ‘visa-for-sale’ program
- McAuliffe car company sues Watchdog in libel claim
- Barack Obama’s GreenTech connection: Rick Wade
- Silence, secrecy, cops follow GreenTech’s China deal
- McAuliffe hones China’s crony-capitalism model in U.S.
- Promises keep Tunica County afloat
- McAuliffe company’s China hook-up: Will it work?
- McAuliffe car lags in Domino’s delivery
- McAuliffe car co. parent in off-shore tax shelter
- Lawmaker gives feds one more week for EB-5 answers
- Bolling: McAuliffe’s Mississippi package ‘attractive’
- Inside, execs knew McAuliffe plan had ‘substantial risk’
- Union darling McAuliffe and his non-union car company
- Did Clinton aid the birth of ‘McAuliffe’ car company?
- McAuliffe feels heat over GreenTech resignation
- TV report: One year later, ‘party is over’ at GreenTech
- Months after he said he left company, McAuliffe kept talking GreenTech
- Clinton connection: More money for McAuliffe
- Terry McAuliffe used loophole to avoid key SEC oversight of his car company
- VA officials: McAuliffe green car more politics than biz
- McAuliffe car company announces it’s ready to roll — again
- Before Watchdog, McAuliffe blamed federal officials for money trouble
- McAuliffe gets cash from GreenTech exec, board members
- Watchdog report on McAuliffe spurs FOI request to Homeland Security
- McAuliffe leaves GreenTech questions hanging at debate
- Totally wired: McAuliffe went to Napolitano to expedite company funding
- McAuliffe bragged about GreenTech’s cash position while begging feds for faster processing of ‘cash for visas’
- Investigation targets Homeland official’s relationship to McAuliffe company
- Even before news of federal probe, McAuliffe ducked GreenTech questions
- McAuliffe company pressed Homeland official on 81 investor visas
- Rodham company sought visa for controversial Chinese exec
- Immigration official says he met with McAuliffe to discuss visas for foreign investors
- Whiners: Mayorkas says Gulf Coast ‘continues to complain’
- VIDEO: Ex-GreenTech employee says little happened at Horn Lake plant
- Online ad to Terry McAuliffe: Drop your lawsuit
- National security on ‘hold’: Lawmakers press McAuliffe for answers
- Citizens United documentary film delves into McAuliffe, GreenTech
- VIDEO: Terry McAuliffe’s 15 million-square-foot car plant … in China
- Feds call McAuliffe car company’s use of investment program ‘possible fraud’
- GreenTech courted Obama’s Solyndra aide
- GOP legislators call for McAuliffe to answer GreenTech questions
- McAuliffe ‘desperate’ over documentary, Citizens United says
- GreenTech weighed Fisker-style federal loan
- Group tells Terry: Follow ‘McAuliffe Standard’ on disclosure
- Car and Driver races into GreenTech controversy
- Congressman: McAuliffe owes Virginians explanation about White House meeting
- Feds loosen oversight as McAuliffe car company makes mysterious management change
- GreenTech execs use Times and ABC to throw McAuliffe under the (non-electric) bus
- Aide in union contribution swap hosts California fund-raiser for McAuliffe
- Despite denials, docs show McAuliffe company asked feds to fast-track visa for investor tied to spy list
- Former Democrat Party director was on GreenTech payroll
- More bad news for McAuliffe car company as GreenTech China venture stalls
- Clinton Foundation posts deficits on McAuliffe’s watch
- VIDEO: GreenTech record dogs McAuliffe at energy forum
- Auto industry expert labels McAuliffe electric car ‘preposterous’
- Democratic leaders have their own Bain pain in Mideast private equity deal
- Hillary PAC adviser served as GreenTech spokeswoman
- New emails add evidence McAuliffe pressed U.S. officials to approve GreenTech funding
- After endorsement, Post shrinks facts to cover Terry McAuliffe
- Ties that bind: Following the McAuliffe-Clinton money trail
- McAuliffe tilts at windmills; Chinese venture goes bust
- Federal investigations cast shadow over McAuliffe on Election Day
- DHS inspector over GreenTech-McAuliffe case is under investigation
- McAuliffe names former GreenTech employee secretary of commonwealth
- McAuliffe lawyers, accountants sort GreenTech stock amid federal investigations
- Nuking filibusters, Dems clear way for Mayorkas at Homeland Security
- U.S. judge hands Watchdog a victory over VA governor’s green-car company
- Attorney: McAuliffe is ‘100 percent divested’ of GreenTech
- Investigation finds Mayorkas used visa program to help White House allies
- Criminal investigation sought in McAuliffe-Mayorkas dealings