Ng-if and Scope
Scratched my head on this one for a few.
Inside of ng-if is a new scope. So a model on $scope.modelName will have to be referenced as $parent.modelName in the view.
Basically it worked on another page so I knew it should work here. When I moved it out of ng-if it worked so it had to be related to that. Finally this post made some sense of it
So now my filter works.