Archive for the ‘Doug Manchester’ Category

We’re Changing Our Name

Thursday, July 8th, 2010

It’s been just two years since a small group of friends and I started Californians Against Hate to draw attention to the mega-donors to California’s Proposition 8 campaign. It’s been a busy 23 months.

We began on July 18, 2008 by helping to assemble a coalition of LGBT organizations and labor in San Diego to boycott Doug Manchester’s three hotels. Doug Manchester had contributed $125,000 in very early money to quality and pass Proposition 8, which took marriage rights away from millions of Californians. Why should we support his three hotels, only to have that money used against us?

The Manchester Hotels boycott exceeded our wildest expectations. According to their own admission, the boycott is costing the Manchester Grand Hyatt Hotel alone approximately $1 million per month. This is due to dozens of canceled large meetings and conventions at Manchester’s flagship property, and thousands of individuals and businesses who refuse to cross our picket line.

Manchester also sold his Idaho hotel, and now rumors abound that his brand new $400 million Grand del Mar Resort in San Diego is in receivership. It has recently been reported that Global Hyatt Corporation may be buying a majority interest in his Manchester Grand Hyatt. The sale was just approved by the San Diego Port Commission.

We have led three other boycotts against the biggest donors to Proposition 8. We have settled two; one against Bolthouse Farms and another against Garff Automotive Group. Both had family members who contributed $100,000 to pass Prop 8. Now both companies are generous supporters of a variety of LGBT organizations.

Our one remaining boycott is against Terry Caster’s A-1 Self Storage Company. Terry Caster and his family gave a whopping $693,000 to Prop 8. Caster was even quoted in the San Diego Union-Tribune saying that gay marriage “would create a sick society.”

During the summer of 2008, we discovered the active involvement of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints (Mormon Church) in Prop 8. The Mormon Church had taken over virtually every aspect of the Yes on 8 campaign.

Mormon families contributed approximately $30 million of the $40 million raised, the Church produced 27 slick commercials, put up an expensive web site, bussed in thousands of volunteers from Utah, had massive phone banks yet only reported a mere $2078 in non-monetary contributions three days before the election. Two weeks later I filed a sworn complaint with the California Fair Political Practices Commission (FPPC) against the Mormon Church for not reporting its vast financial involvement in the campaign.

The Commission prosecuted the case, and conducted an unprecedented 19 month investigation of the Salt Lake City based Church’s finances. Three weeks ago the FPPC found the Mormon Church guilty of 13 counts of late reporting and they were fined $5539. That was the first time a religion was found guilty of election irregularities in the 36 year history of the FPPC.

I also have done battle with the Mormon Church’s front group, the infamous National Organization for Marriage (NOM). I have challenged all of their false and misleading actions for the last two years. It was all of their arrogant and illegal campaign activities last fall in Maine that was the final straw.

NOM contributed over $1.9 million to take away that state’s recently passed right to marry for all, and completely disregarded Maine’s long-standing election law in the process. NOM was required to report all its contributor names of $100 and more to election officials. NOM refused, and continues to refuse to turn over their records, even after being ordered to do so by three federal judges and the Attorney General of Maine. I have attended three separate Commission meetings in Maine to make sure they comply with the Maine election law.

As a result of all my efforts, I was subpoenaed by the National Organization for Marriage last September as part of their federal law suit, ProtectMarriage.com v. Bowen. That law suit was filed in California by the official Yes on Prop 8 committee and NOM to invalidate all campaign reporting laws in California. They subpoenaed me strictly to harass me and make me spend a lot of money. Thanks to the generous support of so many of you who contributed to my legal defense fund, Five for Fred, most all of the legal costs have been covered.

Now as we take on new challenges and go in new directions, we have passed a Board resolution to officially change our name. From this day forward, Californians Against Hate will be known as Rights Equal Rights.

Our new name reflects our new direction and makes us more national in scope.

Rest assured, that I have never been more determined and motivated to help lead the LGBTQ community in our fight for full equal rights in this country.

Younger people who begin to realize that they might be lesbian, gay, bi-sexual transgender or queer will soon be afforded all the same rights as their brothers, sisters friends and neighbors.
That is what our founding fathers had in mind when they wrote in the Declaration of Independence, “We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable Rights, among these are Life, Liberty and the Pursuit of Happiness.”

We will settle for nothing less.

Best regards,

Fred Karger
www.RightsEqualRights.com

News Release: State Bar Checks Out of Manchester Hyatt

Tuesday, December 22nd, 2009

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Contact: Fred Karger
December 22, 2009
619-592-2008

Metropolitan News-Enterprise:

State Bar Moves Its 2011 Annual Meeting to Long Beach

By SHERRI M. OKAMOTO, Staff Writer

The State Bar of California has reported that it is moving its 2011 Annual Meeting from San Diego to a location in Long Beach.

“This action is being taken on the basis of the bar’s business and convention needs and to make the convention as successful as possible,” a spokesperson for the State Bar said Thursday.

The State Bar was originally scheduled to return to the 1,625-room waterfront Manchester Grand Hyatt San Diego where the convention was held this year, but the spokesperson said “there was no availability at facilities throughout the state for a September or October date, which are the preferred months for our meeting because more people are able to come after summer vacations.”

2009 Boycott

Several individual attorneys and legal organizations had objected to the 2009 venue, which was the target of a boycott organized by Californians Against Hate, a non-profit organization devoted to drawing attention to the major donors to the Yes on 8 campaign, and UNITE HERE, the hotel workers’ union.

The hotel is owned by the Manchester Financial Group LLC, whose chairman contributed $125,000 towards overturning the rights of same-sex couples to marry, and is operated under lease by the Global Hyatt Corporation.

About 30 protesters with signs chanted slogans and circled the drive of the hotel as the 82nd annual State Bar conference kicked off this past September, followed by a larger protest involving the Lesbian and Gay Lawyers of Los Angeles, the Beverly Hills Bar Association, the Bar Association of San Francisco, Barristers Club, California Employment Lawyers Association, National Lawyer’s Guild and Santa Clara County Bar Association.

LACBA Action

The Los Angeles County Bar Association also declined to host an exhibit at the hotel or participate in any activity at the Hyatt, instead setting up a booth at the nearby Hilton San Diego Bayfront where the Conference of Delegates of California Bar Associations convened.

Various organizations, including the American Association of Law Schools and the American Association for Justice—formerly the Association of Trial Lawyers of America—also relocated events that had been scheduled to be held at the Hyatt over the past year.

The State Bar, which had contracted with the hotel to host its 2009 and 2011 annual meetings before the divisive Proposition 8 campaign began, acknowledged strong opposition to the venue from members of the legal community but took the position that it could not breach its contractual commitments because the cost of doing so, if borne by the members, could violate the U.S. Supreme Court ruling that prohibits public entities from using mandatory dues money for political actions.

Contract Renegotiation

A spokesperson from the State Bar said that the organization is renegotiating its contract with the Hyatt to return to the hotel in 2014 and insisted that the 2011 move had nothing to do with the controversy.

“It was all about what’s best for the convention,” which was obtaining a date in September for the event, she explained.

“As a result of the current economy and the bottoming out of the convention market, we were able to obtain September dates in Long Beach,” the spokesperson said, adding that the exact date and location have not yet been determined since the State Bar is in negotiations with multiple facilities.

The 2010 conference is scheduled to take place Sept. 23-26 in Monterey.

News Release: San Diego Office Opens + Boycotts

Friday, December 11th, 2009
Californians Against Hate Opens San Diego Office

Californians Against Hate Opens San Diego Office

Californians Against Hate Opens
San Diego Office

SAN DIEGO, CA – Fred Karger cut the ribbon earlier this week, or rather the caution tape, to officially open their first real office in the 301 University Building. The 301 Building is very unique. It houses a dozen different LGBTQ organizations in San Diego for very low cost in the old No on Prop 8 headquarters.

“We are excited to have an official office, and we’re thrilled to be in the 301 Building” stated Californians Against Hate founder, Fred Karger. “There are lots of new young activists working out of here, and it’s a wonderful place to be. Lots of future leaders all under one roof. It’s very encouraging to see, and we’re glad to be a part of.”

“Having an office in San Diego will enable us do more on our two remaining boycotts, Doug Manchester’s Hotels and Terry Caster’s A-1 Self Storage Company. Manchester gave $125,000 of very early money to qualify and pass Proposition 8, and Caster gave a whopping $693,000. We have led successful boycotts of both companies for over a year. Now we can ramp them up and utilize more volunteers in San Diego,” concluded Karger.

If you’re in the neighborhood, stop by. If you would like to volunteer, let us know: info@californiansagainsthate.com

Thank you!

Manchester Hotels Bleeding $1 Million
per Month = $16 Million

Recent estimates have determined that Manchester’s two remaining hotels are losing a combined total of well over $1 million per month. This loss is a direct result of the 16 month old boycott started by Californians Against Hate and Unite Here, Local 30. The downtown Manchester Grand Hyatt and the new resort property, the Grand del Mar are “bleeding money in canceled and lost bookings.” Sales at the properties are reportedly way down.

Swedish model, modeling a Boycott Manchester Hotels T-shirt at Stockholm Gay Pride Festival Last Summer.  Over 1 million people turned out for the 5 day celebration. This is part of the Manchester Hotels Global Boycott.

Swedish model, modeling a Boycott Manchester Hotels T-shirt at Stockholm Gay Pride Festival Last Summer. Over 1 million people turned out for the 5 day celebration. This is part of the Manchester Hotels Global Boycott.

Last April, hotel officials admitted to having lost $7 million in the first 9 months of the boycott, and the longer it goes on the worse it gets.

Five for Fred Gets off to Great Start

A BIG thank you goes out to so many people who pulled out their MasterCards, Visas and American Express cards and donated to Fred’s Legal Defense Fund, Five for Fred

It’s actually very easy to help Fred. You just need to go to the www.fiveforfred.com web site and click on the bright red DONATE button in the upper right part of your screen. It directs you to the ever so easy to fill out donation sheet. It only takes 42 seconds to make a difference. If you haven’t donated to help defray Fred’s mounting legal bills, please do it right now: Five for Fred

Contributions of $5.00 (the price of a latte + tip) and up have come in from generous donors in 25 states – from Arizona to Wyoming. It has been incredible, and is really helping to make a dent in the bills. Please help if you can.

Thank you one and all!!!!