Tim Kaine: Labor Man

Even though Virginia is a right-to-work state, Chairman Tim Kaine has a cozy relationship with unions. Organized labor has given Kaine nearly $1.7 million in campaign contributions.  In contrast, Senator Mark Warner, a fellow Democrat, has only raised about $425,000 from unions since first running for governor.  Kaine has also credited his political success to unions and admitted that he knows “the power of labor.” 


While organized labor has supported Kaine financially, his decisions as governor have given them a leg up too.  After over 20 years of control, Kaine gave the Dulles Toll Road to the Metropolitan Washington Airport Authority (MWAA), which put them in charge of the Dulles Rail Project.  The MWAA, controlled by representatives from union-friendly D.C. and Maryland, requires union workers for their construction projects, projects that Virginians will largely pay for.  This puts Virginia contractors at a disadvantage because only 4 percent of Virginia’s construction workers are unionized.  One Virginia leader was concerned the union rules would inflate the costs of the billion-dollar Dulles project by up to 18 percent. A recent cost estimate of Phase I of the project (which is 64 percent complete) shows that the first half is already $150 million over budget.  Thanks to Tim Kaine, Virginians have less control over what goes on in their backyards, and unions get overpriced contracts that Virginians get to pay for. 



Virginia Is A Right-To-Work State.  (National Right To Work Legal Defense Foundation, www.nrtw.org, Accessed 10/20/11)


Kaine Credited Labor Leaders For His Political Success. KAINE: “I Am Here With Great Friends In Labor To Jim And Doris And Larry And The Other Labor Leaders Who Are Here, I Wouldn’t Be Here If It Werent For You.” (Quote Appears At 1:06: http://youtu.be/7MX0op_4ZC4)


KAINE: “I Know The Power Of Labor” (Quote Appears At 1:37: http://youtu.be/7MX0op_4ZC4)


  • The 150,000 Member National Treasury Employees Union Plans To Funnel Money To Kaine. “The National Treasury Employees Union has put together a list of more than 20 pending bills in Congress that it calls ‘harmful’ to the federal workforce – such as extending the pay freeze or imposing mandatory unpaid furloughs.  With a Democratic Senate and a Democrat in the White House, chances seem slim that those measures would become law. But Colleen Kelley, who is the president of the 150,000-member union, said she’s still concerned that those stand-alone bills could become part of a larger, must-pass package, such as a measure to fund the federal government.  The union’s political arm is funneling money to a handful of Democrats running for Senate this year, including Cardin, Tim Kaine of Virginia…” (Seung Min Kim, “Federal Workers Under Siege,” Politico, 3/11/12)


  • 2012: “Today, The Virginia AFL-CIO Announced The Unanimous Endorsement Of Tim Kaine For U.S. Senate.” (Virginia AFL-CIO, “Virginia AFL-CIO Announces Endorsement Of Tim Kaine For Unites States Senator,” Press Release, 1/29/12)


Thus Far, Kaine Has Received $1,694,981 In Campaign Contributions Since He Ran For Lieutenant Governor In 2001:




  • Kaine Has Raised $125,500 From Labor In His 2012 Senate Race. (The Center For Responsive Politics, www.opensecrets.org, Accessed 3/23/12)


Since Running For Governor, Mark Warner Has Received $425,247 From Organized Labor For His Campaigns:


  • In Mark Warner’s Campaign For Governor In 2001, Mark Warner Accepted $127,847 From Labor.  (National Institute On Money In State Politics, www.followthemoney.org, Accessed 3/27/12)


  • Warner Has Raised $297,400 For His Senate Campaigns. (The Center For Responsive Politics, www.opensecrets.org, Accessed 3/27/12)


In March 2006, Plans Were Finalized To Transfer Control Of The Dulles Toll Road To The Washington Airport Authority (MWAA.) “Virginia leaders yesterday put the Washington airports authority in control of the Dulles Toll Road and construction of a Metrorail line to Dulles International Airport, a decision that cheered advocates of the rail project but led many others to question whether the authority would act in the best interests of commuters and the community.” (Steven Ginsberg and Alec MacGillis, “Dulles Rail Decision Met With Praise And Doubts,” The Washington Post, 3/28/06)

  • The Commonwealth Of Virginia Had Operated The Toll Road Since 1984. “When the federal government decided to build Dulles Airport in the 1950s, it also acquired a 17-mile highway corridor to provide access to the airport. Today, the corridor includes the Dulles Toll Road and the Dulles Access Road. Virginia operates the toll road, which opened in 1984, under an agreement with the authority that runs until 2082.” (Michael D. Shear and Steven Ginsburg, “Toll Road To Fund Rail Line To Dulles,” The Washington Post, 3/27/06)


  • By Transferring The Authority From Virginia To The MWAA, The MWAA Would Assume Responsibility For The State’s Portion Of The Cost For The Dulles Rail Project. “The deal would remove much of the uncertainty surrounding the nearly $4 billion project to build a rail line through Tysons Corner, Reston, the airport and Loudoun County because the airports authority would assume responsibility for the state and federal portion of the cost. If the memorandum of understanding is signed today, it would give the Metropolitan Washington Airports Authority the ability to guarantee that the train line would extend to Dulles — a part of the project that is not fully funded.”  (Michael D. Shear and Steven Ginsberg, “Toll Road To Fund Rail Line To Dulles,” The Washington Post, 3/27/06)


On December 29, 2006, Virginia Officially Gave Control Of The Dulles Toll Road To The Airport Authority. “State officials said last week that on or around Dec. 29 they will sign documents to hand over control of the toll road to the authority, which runs Dulles and Reagan National Airport…” (Alec MacGillis, “Va. Handing Airports Authority Keys to Toll Road, Dulles Rail,” The Washington Post, 12/21/06)


  • The MWAA Board Members Are Appointed, 5 By The Governor Of Virginia, 3 By The Mayor Of Washington, 2 By The Governor Of Maryland, And 3 By The President. “The Metropolitan Washington Airports Authority is governed by a 13-member Board of Directors with five members appointed by the Governor of Virginia, three by the Mayor of the District of Columbia, two by the Governor of Maryland and three by the President of the United States.” (Metropolitan Washington Airport Authority, www.mwaa.com, Accessed 3/22/12)


  • Maryland And The District Of Columbia Are Not Right-To-Work States. (National Right To Work Legal Defense Foundation, www.nrtw.org, Accessed 10/20/11)


A Virginia Delegate Was Concerned Union-Friendly Agreements Could Increase Costs 12-18 Percent. “Del. Tom Rust, R-Loudoun, said he was concerned about the airports authoritys decision to require contractors building the second phase of the rail project to institute a union-friendly labor agreement, which opponents argue could drive up the ever-ballooning cost of the project by 12 percent to 18 percent.” (David Sherfinski, “Virginia Panel To Grill Board On Dulles Project,” Washington Examiner, 5/25/11)


As Of March 2012, Phase 1 Was 64 Percent Complete.  (Dulles Corridor Metrorail Project Website, www.dullesmetro.com, Accessed 3/27/12)


  • According To A February 2012 Cost Summary, Phase 1 Is Estimated To Be $150 Million Over Budget. (Metropolitan Washington Airport Authority, www.mwaa.com, Accessed 3/27/12)


James Bacon, Op-Ed: MWAA Requires Contractors To Use Union Workers. “… [A]lso to require contractors to use union labor – despite the $6.6 billion project’s massive cost overruns and Virginia’s status as a right-to-work state.” (James Bacon, Op-Ed, “Metrorail’s Taxation Without Representation,” The Washington Times, 5/19/11)


  • MWAA Voted To Require Contractors To Offer Union Wages, Union Benefits, And Hire Union Workers. “The MWAA boards 11-2 decision last week to mandate a project labor agreement, or PLA, for the second phase of Dulles Rail construction, will not preclude nonunion contractors from bidding on the multibillion-dollar project. If they win the bid, however, it will require they follow specific wage guidelines, offer union benefits and hire union workers. The move comes on the heels of the boards decision to spend $330 million more on the Washington Dulles International Airport train station, against the wishes of state and local officials.” (Leah Fabel, “Airport Agencys Pro-Union Pact Angers Va. Officials,” Washington Examiner, 4/15/11)


Phase 2, Most Recent Funding Formula: 54% Dulles Toll Road, 4.9% Virginia, 21% Loudon & Fairfax Counties, 4.1% MWAA, 16% Federal Grants.  “Until recently, it was not clear how the second phase of the Dulles rail project, from Wiehle Avenue to Dulles Airport and Loudoun County, would be paid for. Last month, U.S. Transportation Secretary Ray LaHood helped broker a dealon financing the estimated $2.8 billion Phase 2 project.  Nearly 54 percent of the cost of Phase 2 is expected to come from Dulles Toll Road users. An additional 16 percent is to come from federal grants, 4.9 percent from Virginia, 4.1 percent from the airports authority, and the rest from Loudoun and Fairfax counties.” (Dana Hedgpeth, “Open House On Dulles Toll Road,” The Washington Post, 12/7/11)


Phase 1 Funding:

  • 41% MWAA (Dulles Toll Road)
  • 15% Fairfax County
  • 10% Virginia
  • 34% Federal Grants  (Dulles Corridor Metrorail Project Website, www.dullesmetro.com, Accessed 3/27/12)


Only 4 Percent Of Virginia Construction Workers Are Unionized. “Only about 4 percent of Virginias construction workers are union members, according to Associated Builders and Contractors Inc. an association of nonunion companies.” (Leah Fabel, “Airport Agencys Pro-Union Pact Angers Va. Officials,” Washington Examiner, 4/15/11)


The Airport Authority Said They Would Fund Virginia’s Share Of The Rail Project By Regularly Raising Tolls. “Authority officials have said they would fund the state and federal share of the rail line by regularly raising tolls on drivers, but they have not provided any specifics about how often and how much they would raise prices.” (Michael D. Shear and Steven Ginsberg, “Toll Road To Fund Rail Line To Dulles,” The Washington Post, 3/27/06)


The Current Finance Formula (Phase 2): MWAA: 4 Percent; Fairfax Co.: 16 Percent; Loudon Co.: 5 Percent; Dulles Toll Road: 75 Percent. “Under the agreed- to funding formula, financing the second phase of Dulles Rail construction will be split between the authority at 4 percent, Fairfax at 16 percent, Loudoun at 5 percent, and toll revenue at 75 percent.” (Leah Fabel, “Va. Officials Wary Of MWAA Offer On Dulles Rail,” Washington Examiner, 5/27/11)