New York State Assemblyman Bob Reilly has been a strong adversary to the legalization of mixed martial arts (MMA) in the state of New York.
For years, Reilly has been against the sport, saying the idea of legalizing MMA to help "The Empire State" financially is "a pretty horrific type of attitude and position to have." Reilly has also claimed to be opposed to MMA because of its "brutality," but there may be more to the story.
Hotel union "Unite Here" has engaged in an ongoing feud with the co-owners of the Ultimate Fighting Championship (UFC). Station Casinos, owned by the Fertitta brothers Lorenzo and Frank, has been targeted by the union because it wants the staff at the Las Vegas chain of casinos to unionize and has accused Station of using threats against their staff members as a preventative measure.
In a move seen by many MMA fans as sour grapes, Unite Here has refused to support the UFC's road to legalization in New York. In fact, they have continued to lobby against it.
So, what does this have to do with Assemblyman Reilly?
In 2006, Reilly had 211 identified contributions. The second largest personal contribution came from Unite Here. Yes, the same Unite Here that currently has nine affiliates/local unions in the state of New York.
Sound fishy to you?
Read the full story by Fernando Quiles Jr. at SB Nation