Breitbart Sports for a run-of-the-mill article on the battle for sanctioned MMA in New York, the office of Assembly Speaker Sheldon Silver denies that Culinary Union influence is a factor in keeping the MMA bill on ice - which, of course they would.
Here's the relevant quote:
But the office of New York State Assembly Speaker Sheldon Silver, whom [UFC COO Lawrence] Epstein labels as “very, very much aligned with organized labor,” disputes the notion that a union three time-zones away has influence on the Empire State’s decision to keep out MMA. The powerful speaker has consistently kept similar bills from receiving a vote in the past. “The union issue is fiction,” Michael Whyland, press secretary for Speaker Silver, bluntly tells Breitbart Sports.Epstein counters with this gem:
“The local union here in Las Vegas has hired a lobbyist in New York,” Epstein notes. “His name is Neal Kwatra. They’re paying him tens of thousands of dollars to lobby on mixed-martial arts in New York. Why would a Las Vegas union be meddling in the internal politics in New York?”There is less than a month left in the legislative session. Think anything is getting done?