Militant Union “UNITE-HERE” Puts $25,000 Into Measure L Campaign for By-District Council Elections

Unite Here protestorsThe campaign for by-district council elections has received another big union check: UNITE-HERE Local 11 contributed $25,000 to the Committee for District Elections, which is the “Yes on Measure L” campaign. 

Who does UNITE-HERE Local 11 represent? Hotel workers (and food service employees). Of what does Anaheim have thousands? Non-unionized hotel workers that UNITE-HERE not only wants, but needs as members. 

The only hotels in the Anaheim resort area with unionized workers are the Anaheim Hilton and the Disney properties.  

UNITE-HERE wants to change that.  It’s 501(c)4 satellite group, OCCORD, has been fighting the GardenWalk Hotel economic assistance agreement in court. By an amazing coincidence, OCCORD is being represented by Cory Briggs, the same left-wing ambulance chaser who is co-plaintiff with CATER against the Anaheim Convention Center expansion.

[OCCORD is housed in office next to UNITE-HERE, in a building owned by UNITE-HERE, and receives a $5,000 check from UNITE-HERE every month]. 

OCCORD doesn’t object to the city’s TOT subsidy for the GardenWalk project. What they (or rather, UNITE-HERE) want is for the GardenWalk owners to allow UNITE-HERE to unionize their employees. If the GardenWalk investors agreed to that, OCCORD’s lawsuit would go away. In the meantime, the OCCORD/UNITE-HERE strategy is to wear the GardenWalk investors with drawn-out litigation and force them to choose between agreeing to be unionized or giving up the project. 

Bu that is a laborious, expensive approach to unionizing hotel workers. It would be better for UNITE-HERE to have a left-leaning, Democrat-majority on the Anaheim City Council that made it clear to hotel developers that approval of their new or expanded projects hinged on having unionized workers or agreeing to “card check neutrality” as a condition of approval (in addition to incorporating similar demands into the conditions).

Since the at-large council election system has proven a barrier to electing more than one Democrat to the city council, UNITE-HERE and other left-wing constituencies want to replace it with by-district elections, which would structurally tilt council elections toward a Democratic majority. It’s no accident that nearly 92% of UNITE-HERE political contributions go to Democrats.

Orange County Republicans should consider that the pillar of Democratic power in Nevada are the unions representing hotel and casino workers.  Imagine how the political landscape in Orange County would be altered if the Left succeeds in passing Measure L and opening the door to unionizing the estimated 8,000 hotel workers in the Anaheim resort area. That’s a lot of union dues revenue available to fund the election of Democratic candidates.  

UNITE-HERE Local 11 needs members. Or rather, it needs the revenue from member dues. It also represents Aramark employees, and lost members when the Anaheim Ducks decided to get rid of Aramark and bring its food service operations in house.  UNITE-HERE lobbied the Anaheim City Council to require the Ducks to staff their in-house food service operation with UNITE-HERE members. They even pushed for the council to ask the Ducks to allow UNITE-HERE to organize their food service workers via card check. 

Since the four of the five members of the Anaheim City Council are Republicans, UNITE-HERE’s demands were rebuffed. Does anyone think that would have been the case if a Democratic majority were in control?

This is what is at stake in the battle over by-district election in Anaheim. It’s not the naive (and cynical) malarkey about “neighbors electing neighbors” or better city services (neither of which by-district elections would deliver). This is the opening salvo in a political campaign to shift Anaheim and Orange County to the Left. 


  1. They should give the $25,000 to rescue the 15,000 dogs and cats murdered by the County each year.

  2. Matt, thank you for keeping us post on this union play for control of Anaheim city government. It’s embarrassing how the OC Register and Voice of OC are ignoring this story.

  3. Well-done screed. But you are still like one of the blind guys exploring an elephant and saying, “No, it’s not a trunk, it’s a tail. Or an ear.”

    • Matthew Cunningham

      Whatever that means, Vern.

      • Ah…. thought I could use few words this morning, but apparently not. That means sure, districts could help unionizing, could help Democrats, and there’s a lot of other good things (or bad) that could come of it as well.

        You’ve found it useful as a propagandist to say that it is ONLY about unionizing and nothing else, we’ll see how that works for you, as a propagandist. But there are lots of other reasons to support it (or oppose it.) Mostly, democracy.

        • Matthew Cunningham

          Well, Vern – I’m still waiting for Measure L funding that DOESN’T come from a union or a liberal interest group. Funny how you gloss over that reality.

          • Yeah well who else that it would help has money? You’re expecting a big donation from the United Poor People of Anaheim? The United Brown People of Anaheim? CATER? The Anaheim Small Business Organization?

            Actually… that last group should. I think I’ll call them.

            • Matthew Cunningham

              Congrats on being beside the point. These special interest groups don’t spend that kind of money on a local initiative unless they expect a major benefit from its passage. You know that.

              And ASBO? You mean the group that explicitly said it won’t have a political action committee?

              • Actually my last comment was completely “on point” to your comment that preceded it. But I forget how that’s one of your favorite tactics – to conveniently forget what you write that a person is responding to. Pretty slippery practice, always a moving target.

                And it probably works for you. I bet most of your dumb readers believe that my comment was “beside the point” just because you said it was. (MOST of your readers – maybe even nine or ten of them!)

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