First, though, it seems the Virginia Republicans want you to know they have a sophisticated sense of humor and they appreciate irony. According to this press release, from August 5,
RICHMOND - Republican Party of Virginia Chairman Pat Mullins today noted the obvious irony inherent in Creigh Deeds' fundraising event with President Barack Obama tomorrow, given that Deeds notoriously picketed the very hotel franchise hosting the event. Obama is scheduled to appear with Deeds Thursday evening at the Hilton McLean Tysons Corner less than seven months after Deeds joined hotel union workers picketing the Hilton in Crystal City in Arlington.Unfortunately, the only quandary is why Republicans don’t know the difference between a corporate owned hotel and a franchise, owned and operated by a separate company. Perhaps if Republicans, like Mullins and Bob McDonnell, spent more time in college taking business classes than writing theses on how to turn the Republican Party into a theocratic organization, they would understand what a franchise is.
"This is rich," said Chairman Mullins. "Creigh probably doesn't know if he should grab a sign and start marching up and down the sidewalk or go on inside and start grabbing fat checks from donors. What a quandary."
I’ll go into more detail in a minute, but first here’s an email I received from an official of Unite HERE, Local 25:
Ok. I think the main thing is that the republicans were too lazy or uninterested to find out that the Hilton Cc is a franchise owned by csx while the Mclean is owned by Hilton which actually does have a good record with us.So, the Hilton that Obama and Deeds appeared at has a good labor record with Unite HERE, but the one in Crystal City does not. And they are actually owned by two different corporations.
The difference is the McLean Hilton is owned outright by the Hilton Corporation, which has very different corporate policies than the owner of the Crystal City Hilton, which is a franchise of a Kentucky company called Columbia Sussex Corporation.
Columbia Sussex holds a lot of franchises of big name, well known hotels and it doesn’t limit itself to Hiltons, though it owns a few of those throughout the country. It also owns the Sheraton Inner Harbor in Baltimore. In fact, it owns Holiday Inns, Courtyard Marriotts, and Crowne Plazas all over the country. And everywhere it goes, it foments union problems by trying to break pre-existing union contracts that were in place before they bought their hotel franchises.
Whatever you think of unions, it’s simple Business 101 to know the difference between a franchise and a company that is owned and operated by a parent corporation. So, even though both the McLean Hilton and the Crystal City Hilton share the same name, they are not owned and operated by the same central company. Columbia Sussex pays for the name, as they do for their Sheratons and Holiday Inns, etc. Here’s the complete list, from their own website, of all the different franchises they hold besides the Crystal City Hilton.
As the Unite HERE official, who contacted me, points out, the Republicans were too lazy to check their facts.
Intellectual laziness from a party that stresses respect for hard work, failure to understand the basic definition of a franchise from a party that claims to champion and understand business, dishonesty from a party that says it upholds traditional values – now that’s irony!
Happy Labor Day!