WASHINGTON (AP) - From California to Maine, unions used their political muscle in the recent elections to help install Democratic governors, build labor-friendly majorities in state legislatures and defeat ballot initiatives against them.
The combination of union money and member mobilization helped Democrats take control of state legislatures in Maine and Minnesota.
In Michigan, voters repealed a law that allowed cities in financial distress to suspend collective bargaining contracts. But unions lost there on an effort to make collective bargaining rights a part of the state constitution.
FILE This Nov. 6, 2012 file photo shows New Hampshire Gov.-elect Maggie Hassan in Manchester, N.H. When Hassan won the New Hampshire governor's race, it wasn't just a victory for Democrats. Unions spent millions to elect Hassan because she can block a Republican legislature from gutting their organizing and bargaining ability. From California to Maine, unions used their political muscle to defeat ballot initiatives against them and elect labor-friendly governors and lawmakers. (AP Photo/Jim Cole, File)
In New Hampshire, unions helped Maggie Hassan win the governor's race. Unions spent millions backing Hassan with television ads and an extensive get-out-the-vote operation because she opposes a right-to-work bill to ban labor-management contracts that require affected workers to be union members or pay union fees.