Shocking Revelation: I think? Watchdog Exclusive; SAG 2009 SAG Presidential Candidates; It’s gonna be a three-way race
The Ol’ Watchdog has learned that it will be a three way race for SAG President. But first, here is an article from Variety.
Posted: Thurs., Jul. 23, 2009, 5:00pm PT
SAG group lists hopefuls Ken Howard to run for Guild prexy
By DAVE MCNARY
Ken Howard is running for president of the Screen Actors Guild as head of the Unite for Strength ticket as the self-styled moderates aim to strengthen their hold on SAG’s national board.
Howard, a 40-year showbiz vet, will be joined on the ticket by former veteran board member Amy Aquino for the secretary-treasurer slot. Christian Clemenson, Clark Gregg, Hill Harper, Michael O’Keefe and Nancy Travis are seeking board seats under the Unite for Strength banner.
As we told you in an earlier post, Amy Aquino is one of the behind the scenes leader of UFSand in fact formed the group.
Howard received an Emmy nomination last week for “Grey Gardens.” He’s probably best known for portraying the coach in the TV series “The White Shadow.”
Unite for Strength won six seats in last fall’s election after running on a platform stressing the need to work more closely with AFTRA and begin moving toward a merger of the two performers unions.
And let’s not forget that UFS was also based on Qualified Voting with a platform that initially wanted to set income as a qualification for voting. A platform that would disenfranchise 80 percent of SAG’s membership from voting.
The announcement of the slate came at the Thursday filing deadline. The hardline Membership First coalition, which lost control of the national board in the fall, has opted to announce its slate Sunday at a fund-raiser at the Beverly Hills home of board members Joe Bologna and Renee Taylor with current SAG prexy Alan Rosenberg and secretary-treasurer Connie Stevens hosting.
Rosenberg said conditionally on June 9 that he’d seek a third two-year term. But he may have lost his enthusiasm for another run after SAG members gave a strong endorsement of SAGs feature-primetime contract — despite fervent opposition by Rosenberg and Membership First.
About a third of the 71 seats on the SAG board are up for reelection. SAG won’t announce the official candidates’ list until Aug. 10 due to the need to check candidate eligibility; election results will be announced Sept. 24.
This from the Hollywood Reporter.
Top SAG race still a mystery
Only one faction has revealed its contenders
By Jay A. Fernandez
July 23, 2009, 11:07 PM ET
SAG’s filing deadline for fall elections came and went Thursday, and it remains unclear who will face each other for the presidency. Only Unite for Strength, formed last year in opposition to the MembershipFirst faction led by SAG president Alan Rosenberg, has gone public with its complete slate.
Ken Howard will lead the charge as Unite for Strength’s candidate for president, and Amy Aquino will run for secretary-treasurer. Unite for Strength also will field 33 candidates from the guild’s Hollywood Division for seats on the national board of directors.
Months ago, Rosenberg stated provisionally that he will seek a third term, but first national vp Anne-Marie Johnson or another candidate could heed the call to represent MembershipFirst in the elections.
On the eve of MembershipFirst announcing its slate Sunday during a scheduled fundraiser, the Unite for Strength candidates took direct aim at and issue with their political opponents of the past year.
“This election offers members a stark choice between two leadership approaches: Attempt to go it alone or unite for strength,” Howard said. “From 2005-08, SAG experienced the divisive, go-it-alone approach of MembershipFirst. They went to war with AFTRA, sought to marginalize New York and the branches and repeatedly alienated other entertainment unions.
Mr. Howard seems to have a revisionist take on things. As to SAG going to war with AFTRA; it depends whether you put SAG First or AFTRA. Howard and his USAN/UFS pals obviously put AFTRA First with no objections when AFTRA stepped in using their broadcasters to help pass an agreement that undercut SAG’s negotiations, eventually causing SAG to okay a contract that allows our signatories to produce NON-UNION WORK while eliminating residuals for new media work, and making consent of clips as a condition of employment, among other cutbacks.
“With increasing consolidation of media companies and new technologies transforming our business, we will pay dearly if we’re not smart and strategic about our future,” he added. “I’m running for president as a Unite for Strength candidate because I believe the only way actors will get our fair share of the pie is if we’re united both internally and with our labor partners.
Pie being the operative word, as we have learned under their new contract, SAG members are now being asked to work for food by one of their UFS spokespersons, acknowledged union hater, Kathy Joosten.
If SAG members elect me and my fellow Unite for Strength candidates, we’ll make a clean break with the divisive leadership approach of MembershipFirst and focus on building maximum unity with AFTRA and other entertainment guilds to give us real power when we sit down to negotiate contracts.
Translation: Under USAN/UFS leadrship SAG will continue let the DGA and AFTRA decide our contracts,.
Thursday was the last day individuals and groups could file petitions stating intent to run for office in the fall elections. The guild does not make the names official until Aug. 10, when it will announce qualifying candidates for open officer and board seats.
In addition to the president and secretary-treasurer positions, a third of the 69 national board seats are open.
Ballots are scheduled to go out to members Aug. 25, with results due Sept. 24. The newly seated board will meet for the first time Oct. 5.
On Tuesday, the Los Angeles Economic Development Corp. delivered a report that none-too-subtly implied that the outcome of SAG’s fall elections will be critical to the health of film and TV production during the next year-and-a-half.
In their violation of federal law, the LAEDC with members such as Time Warner, Paramount studios, and NBC made it clear who they want elected, the USAN/UFS AMPTP First slate. A group of candidates in the Lew Wasserman tradition that “A compliant union is a good union.”
“The balance of power between the moderates and the hardliners will be important as late in 2010 a TV contract will have to be negotiated,” the report said.
Veteran LAEDC economist Jack Kyser indicated that self-described moderates maintaining control of SAG’s national board would be a better development for the Los Angeles film community because the Hollywood recession has been amplified by a nine-month contract impasse while MembershipFirst hardliners were in power.
More revisionist History! Hello! USAN/UFS took power in the 2008 election on September 18, 2008 and reached a ‘deal’ 8 months later on April 19, 2009, but, but, hey, let’s not let facts get in the way. Right!
Candidates on Unite for Strength’s national board slate include incumbent Hollywood Division board members L. Scott Caldwell, Gabrielle Carteris, Assaf Cohen, Tim DeKay, Dule Hill, Clyde Kusatsu, Doug Savant, William Smitrovich, Richard Speight, Stacey Travis, Ned Vaughn and Marcia Wallace.
Joining them are actors Michelle Allsopp, Christian Clemenson, Ellen Crawford, Patrick Fabian, Richard Fancy, Jason George, Clark Gregg, Hill Harper, Gregory Itzin, David Lawrence, Dawnn Lewis, John Carroll Lynch, D.W. Moffett, Jenny O’Hara, Michael O’Keefe, Mandy Steckelberg, Amir Talai and Nancy Travis; background and motion-capture artist Woody Schultz; voice actor Bob Bergen; and stuntman/coordinator Conrad Palmisano.
Howard, elected last year to the national board, is Emmy-nominated for the HBO telefilm “Grey Gardens.” He has been a theater, TV and film actor for 40 years.
Aquino, who has acted in the business for two decades, has been a guild vp and board member.
The union’s outgoing board will hold a national plenary Saturday by video conference.
AFTRA will hold officer elections Aug. 8 during its convention, with results available that night.
Although the trades have not announced other candidates, the Ol’ Dog has learned that Anne-Marie Johnson will head the membership First slate and Seymour Cassel will run as an independent. (Just for your info, Martin Sheen took out a petition, repordedly to run for the SAG board. Hmmm…)
The Ol’ Dog has also learned that SAG’s staff, under the direction of the current leadership, is doing everything under their power to taint Ms. Johnson and Mr. Cassel in an effort to make sure they will not win.
As for candidate Ken Howard, it is questionable whether he is popular enough to win the presidency when you realize that when he ran for the SAG board in 2004, he was not even able to get elected as an alternate to the SAG Hollywood Board with a vote of just 4575 or 36.76% of Hollywood membership voting. (In 2008 he did get on the board with just over six thousand votes or 46.26% of those voting.)
Anyway, get set for a big smear campaign against both Ms. Johnson and Mr. Cassel by both USAN/UFS, NED David White and the AMPTP compliant media and everyone else who wants SAG to have compliant leadership.
A.L. Miller SW Editor & Chief
Well, here it is Friday Afternoon. I don’t know why it is, but I always get a little “dingy” on Friday afternoons. Maybe, its because, as a freelance actor, I feel a little cheated by the weekend being just another two days.
But, I digress. Anyho’ I was sitting here at the Ol’ computer trying to figure out why UFS picked Ken Howard as their candidate for SAG President. No star power there-and not necessarily a sure vote getter as the 2004 election proved.
Could there be some conspiracy going on here? Well, as we know, the USAN/UFS AFTRA First slates are doing everything they can to make SAG over into the image of AFTRA. Huh? And then it came to me. Has anyone noticed how much SAG Presidential Candidate Ken Howard looks like AFTRA Hollywood President Ron Morgan?
Uncanny! Now think how easy it would be with a little disguise to make the two interchangeable?
Yikes! Come on, the truth, can you tell the difference? Suppose, Ken won and Ron Morgan was posing as SAG president in place of Ken Howard, is there anyway you could you tell?
But, If Ken were elected, and you weren’t sure if you were actually talking to the SAG president, there would be one way to tell. Just wave past him and say, “Oh, hi, Roberta!” If the he clicks his heels. It’s Ron Morgan!