For years, New York State Assemblyman Bob Reilly has 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 Lorenzo and Frank Fertitta, accusing them of thwarting union organizing at the Las Vegas based Station Casinos chain. The brothers of course are also co-owners of the UFC.
In a move seen by many observers 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.
In 2006, Reilly had 211 identified contributions. The second largest personal contribution came from Unite Here.
In his hour-long interview with Larry Pepe of Pro MMA Radio, Reilly was asked about his relationship with Unite Here, and if it was really the deciding factor in lobbying against MMA.
"Unite Here is one of very many unions and if you go through the contributions that have been made to me, I would suppose aside from the Democratic Party which received much of their contributions from labor unions, you'll find many other unions contributing to me. I don't know the connection."
Pepe went on to explain to Reilly that it seems very political for a national hotel union that operates in New York as well as Las Vegas to lobby against the legalization of a sport that would bring in significant hotel revenue when the union is at odds with the organization trying to get it done.
Reilly replied with a simple "Okay."
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