Well, here it is the weekend and I had planned on regaling you with exploits from my recent trip to Alaska including hand to hand combat with an angry grizzly bear wearing a USAN tee shirt, an exciting night of passion with fiery-eyed Alaskan beauty Barbie NaNookey, not to mention the giant Sockeye Salomon that I reeled in with “will work for scale” attached to its fin.
But, but NOOOOOOOO! Here I am back in the middle of the fray.
As, I mentioned at the beginning of this election cycle, not only had I not made up my mind who to endorse, I hadn’t even decided who I would vote for. Since, I had also heard that one side was already discussing so called past offenses by one of the candidates, my only hope at that point, was that candidates would refrain from any mudslinging or name-calling.
Unfortunately, upon returning from my amazing trek, I realized my hopes had been dashed. My first night back, I decided to post the LA Times story in which Alan engaged in what could only be described as a personal attack against Seymour, with among other things his “Billy Carter” reference. It was at this point, and in context of the articles revelations, I mentioned that I had voted for Seymour.
WELL, EXCUSE ME!
The next day I got a rather detailed email from the head of President Rosenberg’s campaign Anne-Marie Johnson regarding my revelation that I had voted for Seymour. I informed her in a return email that I would be more than happy to post her email but, but that I would respond to her comments.
She responded that it was just a personal note. Fine. End of story, right?
Ah, ah, not quite. In the early evening, I got a call from President Rosenberg. Although I consider calls of this nature off the record, I can tell you that when a slight difference of opinion was raised about exactly what was said at the infamous Du-par’s Restaurant incident, I informed Mr. Rosenberg that I had CD of a pertinent portion of that very public incident.
I went on to tell him that although I hadn’t listened to the CD, I had talked to several participants of the meeting, and that if there was any real dispute, we could go to the tape so to speak.
(I handled the CD much in the same manner that I handled the infamous Laird Stuart Letter, making no mention of it, and filing it away, without even bothering to listen to it.)
Anyway, after the rather extended conversation with President Rosenberg ended, it was only a short time later that, who should give me a call but his campaign manager Anne-Marie Johnson.
Ah, ah, she wanted a copy of the CD. Nope! Then could I play it for her? I told her that this was much to do about nothing since I had no intention of posting the tape. (Like I said, I hadn’t even bothered to listen to the CD, when I had received it a couple of months or so before, but had simply filed it away with other CD’s. It was only after my call from Alan that I did so.) Anyway, I relented; I mean who could say no to the ever-lovely Anne-Marie.
And so our story ends, right?
Now, I get another call from Alan. And guess what he wants to hear? Right! The CD. So, I play it for him. I mean who can refuse the ever-lovely Alan Rosenberg? Alan and I then had another rather extended conversation. Now, the Ol’ Dog was led to believe that all of this was off the record, so you can imagine my surprise and chagrin when the next morning I received yet another call from the Prez in which he informed me that he had talked to SAG Legal about the CD–and he was giving me forewarning NOT TO DESTROY IT.
But, but WHY! Well, deep-breath from moi, it could be evidence in some sort of legal proceeding. GULP! But, but why? Response!
BECAUSE IT HAD BEEN RECORDED ILLEGALLY!
“Bye! Gotta go Doug is waiting for me.”
Gulp, Part Deux!
Now, now, I suppose there are two ways to look at President Rosenberg’s call.
1. In his duty as SAG President, he was simply doing his duty and giving advice to one of his constituents.
2. He was trying to scare the crap out of me in a form of subtle intimidation so that I would not post the infamous tape, ah, which had been recorded illegally.
Now, boys and girls, I will leave it up to you to decide what his intentions were. Personally, I was too busy calling SAG legal to give it much thought.
Anyho’, I had a pleasant conversation with the head honcho in legal, Duncan Crabtree Ireland. He agreed to send me an email on SAG’s stance on the matter. (He agreed to send me the email by the end of the weekend. Well, the weekend is over and I’m still waiting. When I get the email, I’ll let you know.)
Personally, I was never worried about the illegality of the CD, but I wanted to get SAG legal to give me a response in writing on the matter.
Actually, the person who should worry is President Rosenberg, for by asking SAG Counsel for legal advise on what is very clearly a personal campaign issue, President Rosenberg may very well have committed a Title IV violation of the labor code, which makes it clear the NO SAG funds can be used to aid candidates in an election. (And, and SAG Counsel is paid with SAG Funds. Gulp!)
The irony here is that, I had intended to let the matter drop after my voting revelation, and then was willing to let it pass after those “confidential” calls, but, but now I can tell you that after the brief warning, I no longer am content to say, simply,that I voted for Seymour, I now want to tell the world that I ENDORSE Seymour Cassel.
BIG FRIKKING DEAL
Exactly, my point. No one is going to change their vote, cast a last minute vote for Mr. Cassel just because the Ol’ Dog voted one way or another, nor will there be a last minute rush to vote just because I endorse one candidate or another. How does the saying go, “Alan, let sleeping Watchdog lie!”
You can decide if President Rosenberg is sweating this election, but the truth is that if he loses, it won’t be necessarily because of how he has handled the issues, but, rather, because of his volatile personal conduct during the first two years of his reign, and how he has conducted himself in this campaign.
His ill-advised email, his petulant response introducing race as an issue, when it was not, because he didn’t get his way in the Hollywood VP dispute.
And now what is truly disconcerting, is how he has engaged in the very tactics used against Membership First by their opponents in the past. The idea that if Membership First won it would be chaos. And indulging in personal attacks calling them everything from Embedded Union Busters to misanthropes.
Look, at one time when MembershipFirst leaders where falsely accused of name-calling, I could safely challenge those making the charges to produce one shred of evidence in which Membership First leadership, either in the press or campaign literature, had ever reverted to personal attacks on their opponents.
Well, thanks to Mr. Rosenberg, unfortunately, I can no longer make that claim. (Although to their credit, Membership First official campaign literature has not mirrored President Rosenberg’s remarks in the press)
Here are some of President Rosenberg’s comments about his opponent, Seymour Cassel:
“Rosenberg says Cassel is too explosive for the job.”
“But having him be president would be like having Billy Carter run the guild instead of Jimmy Carter. He’s not a team player. He’s a loose cannon.”
“It’s his megalomania that prompted him to run for this office,”
“Seymour was very nonspecific about the issues. I don’t think he even knows how he voted half the time. Seymour is just sadly inappropriate for the job. He’s a thug. He’s not a team player.”
“Seymour says he’s tougher than me. But he’s not. He’s a joke.”
Above Quotes were attributed to President Rosenberg in articles in the Los Angeles Times: Bare-knuckle battle in SAG and MediaBistro.com
Now, After all the above provocations, here is Seymour’s only quote about Alan Rosenberg,
“Alan is a politician and I’m not. I don’t take a lot of bull.”
(Quoted in both Los Angeles Times: Bare-knuckle battle in SAG and MediaBistro.com)
So, I leave it up to you. Who has acted the most presidential in the media during this campaign. President Alan Rosenberg, or his challanger Seymour Cassel?
Look, like I have already said, whomever wins this election will get the Ol’ Dog’s support, as long as he stands up for our membership against our employers in collective bargaining negotiations, and those forces that are trying to weaken us, or destroy our great guild.
Did you know that Paul Christi and his USAN leadership is trying to intimidate our NED and President with a letter writing campaign in which they urge their followers to threaten that if unit voting is implemented in up coming collective bargaining negotiations that they would not honor any strike action–and would scab. (More on this in an upcoming post.)
Do we need tough leadership right now. DAMN right!
Can Alan be more articulate and eloquent than Seymour in making a presentation, as I have been told by friends who support him? Well, maybe he can, but sometimes I think that Nick Counter, and his pals, are more impressed by someone like the head of the Teamsters who eloquently articulated to him that if he tried to mess with him and his membership he would, “Kick his ass!”
Ah, kind of hard to whipsaw that, Baby.
A.L. Miller SW Editor & Chief
Look, despite President Rosenberg’s personal misstep’s, I believe that he, along with NED Allen and MembershipFirst’s counsel, have the ability to lead this union. I also believe that Seymour Cassel, if elected, will rise to occasion and rank right up there with Bill Daniels as one of our great presidents.
We will know within a few days who the members have chosen. And whomever it may be, I feel assured that all of our great leaders, no matter whom they favor now, will step up and offer their advice and counsel to the winner.
Hey, that’s why they are great leaders, and why SAG is a great union.