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AFTRA Board Meeting: Conclusions, Exclusions & Contusions

April 19, 2007 (19:04) | 2007, SAG Politics | By: Arlin Miller

1180648394 69.230.213.108

Well, there was an AFTRA board meeting last night, 5/30/2007, and several things were revealed.

As of last night, two election challenges had been filed with AFTRA.

It was also revealed that there were some 26,000 ballots sent out to LA Members. Only 2078 of those were returned. That means only 8 percent of those ballots sent out were returned.

Why such a pathetic response from the AFTRA membership? No one can say for sure, but it is an indication of feelings of Apathy, Futility, Tedium, Resentment, Alienation, and other negatives!

Of those ballots returned, in regards to the AFTRA National Board election, there were 58 ballots uncounted because of over-votes or other reasons. (In light of the failure of the ballot to alert members that they could vote for no more than 13 National Board Candidates, I would imagine, this would be one of the reasons given by those two who, have thus far, challenged the election.)

A lot of unanswered questions regarding the delegates results remain, due to the fact that not only have the results been suppressed from the membership, but copies of the results were denied to AFTRA Board Members. (At least those members of the AFTRA Artist’s slate)

Those board members were ALLOWED to see the results but, but had to return the copies to AFTRA Staff after an allotted time. (And you thought AFTRA’s elected leadership was running the union?)

Another, anomaly has surfaced in the election. There was no candidate for Sportscaster, but there was a space for a write-in. And, a local sportscaster received 72 write-in votes. Now, Despite the fact that Department of Labor Election Guide states that “[1) If your union allows write-in votes, the ballot should so specify and have spaces for write-in candidates for each office. (2) If a union allows write-in votes, all such votes must be counted.

So, why hasn’t this individual been proclaimed the winner in that category?

Just one of many unanswered questions in this election, including why hasn’t a list of delegate members been released? Is their a problem? And what might that be?

If nothing else, maybe election challenges will get AFTRA members some answers.

A.L. Miller SW Editor & Chief WOOF !

The Ol’ Dog has learned that the top twenty delegate vote getters were pretty well divided between the two slates.

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Watchog Exclusive: AFTRA Election has been challenged

April 19, 2007 (19:04) | 2007, SAG Politics | By: Arlin Miller

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The Ol’ Watchdog has learned that a candidate in the recent AFTRA Election has challenged the election.

Although, I do not know the particulars of the challenge, there certainly are enough documented reasons to do so.

Not only were their mistakes on the ballot, but an AFTRA spokesman commented in the press with a statement that basically took sides between the two slatesnot to mention the photos of several candidates on the AFTRA website in direct violation of labor law. And then, as I can attest, contracts in dispute were not available at AFTRA for inspection as mandated by labor law.

There is going to be an AFTRA board meeting tomorrow night. Hopefully, the current leadership and staff will take it upon themselves to do the right thing, and order another election in regards to those contested seats, and this whole thing won’t have to be played out at the Department of Labor.

One thing for certain, if this election is rerun, members have the right to see those contracts in dispute to make up their minds if, indeed, undercutting is going on.

A.L. miller SW Editor & Chief WOOF !

The word is that others may also soon be filing a challenge!

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Memorial Day Remembrance.

April 19, 2007 (19:04) | 2007, SAG Politics | By: Arlin Miller

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A Day to remember and honor the brave men and women who made the ultimate sacrifice in the service of their country.

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Watchdog Exclusive: AFTRA Election Numbers Reveal it was Close

April 19, 2007 (19:04) | 2007, SAG Politics | By: Arlin Miller

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Here are the numbers from the AFTRA Election for everything, but the delegates race! Hope to have them soon.

You can see that the aftraleadershipteam did well when they ran unopposed. (Notice AFTRA Hollywood President Ron Morgan failed to make the National Board!)

However, when they faced opposition, it was a much different story. In the local board election, only a handful of votes separated the nine AFTRA Leadership Team candidates that were elected from the three AFTRA Artists candidates that were not.

How different had it might have been say, if AFTRA Artist candidate Steven Barr’s picture had of been featured on the AFTRA website during the election, rather than AFTRA Leadership’s Lori Alan–whose photo was featured twice in two different locations. Or might of AFTRA Artist’s candidate Carole Elliott finished 3rd if her photo had been featured on the website, rather than AFTRA Leadership Team candidate Bill Ratner.

Look, the Ol’ Dog ain’t blaming Lori or Bill, but still someone at AFTRA made a deliberate decision to feature several AFTRA leadership team candidates, while completely ignoring those candidates from the AFTRA Artist slate.

Might not have AFTRA Artist Paul Napier done better in his bid for a National Board seat, he missed by 11 votes finishing 14th, if his photo had been featured on the AFTRA Website, instead of Jason George who finished 15th last year– and first this year? Might not that free exposure during an election helped him a tad?

What might have been the outcome of this election, if AFTRA’s, National Director of Communications, John Hinrichs had not interjected himself into this election, in what appears to be a violation of Title IV of the Labor Disclosure Act, by refuting the AFTRA Artist’s claim that AFTRA was undercutting SAG Contracts? And how would AFTRA’s membership have of responded, if they had actually been able to see those contracts, to decide for themselves if Mr. Hinrichs was being forthright in his claim favoring the AFTRA Leadership Team?

The results of this election have posed more questions than it has supplied answers. For instance, what effect did the failure of the AFTRA Ballot to warn members not to vote for more than 13 candidates for the National Board have on this election? We still have not been informed how many over-votes there were.

In that regard, the irony is that when only ONE candidate was running, they warned members NOT to vote for more than ONE candidatehowever in the hotly contested National Board Seat election they failed to warn them not to vote for more than THIRTEEN! (Was this omission by design, or simply the result of incompetence?)

How would this election have turned out, if it had been run correctly without all the blunders, and apparent violations of labor law?

I guess the only way to find out would be to do the whole thing again.

This time with NO candidate photos on the AFTRA website, NO comments from AFTRA spokespersons’ favoring one side over the other, a ballot that correctly informs members of how many candidates they can vote for–and a release of all AFTRA Basic Cable contracts–so that the AFTRA Membership can make up their minds on who was telling the truth when it comes to whether AFTRA is UNDERCUTTING SAG contracts, or not.

But, but then that will never happen. Ah, right?

A.L. Miller SW Editor & Chief WOOF !

The real irony here is that TWO DAYS after the election, you have to go to the Ol’ Watchdog to find out how this election turned out. I just checked the AFTRA Website, and not only no vote count but, but NO indication that this election ever even happened.

What are they hiding? I mean besides their Basic Cable Contracts.

* On the LA Director Sportscaster their were no candidates, but, I understand their were several write ins for one candidate, for whom, their seems to be no mention. Is their a mandated number of votes a candidate must receive to be elected? Or could it be that he might favor the AFTRA Artist Slate? Hmmm…

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More names from Hollywood Reporter Article: AFTRA Election Results

April 19, 2007 (19:04) | 2007 | By: Arlin Miller

American Federation of Television and Radio Artists NEWS RELEASE

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE: May 22, 2007
CONTACT: John Hinrichs, 323.634.8115

RON MORGAN REELECTED AFTRA LA PRESIDENT

Voting Held for Local Officers, Local and National Board Members, and Convention Delegates

LOS ANGELES — Actor Ron Morgan has been re-elected President of AFTRA Los
Angeles and will begin his new two-year term July 1. Unopposed in his bid
for reelection, Mr. Morgan is also a member of the AFTRA Los Angeles Local
Board and currently serves as a National Vice President.

Also uncontested in their reelection for two-year terms as officers for
AFTRA Los Angeles were First Vice President Susan Boyd Joyce, a singer; Lori
Alan, an actor, Second Vice President; Third Vice President Bobbie Bates, a
dancer; Fourth VP Jason George, an actor; and actor Jay Gerber continues as
Treasurer. Newly-elected to a two-year term as Recording Secretary was
actress Patrika Darbo replacing Dan Navarro who did not seek reelection but
will continue as a member of the AFTRA Boards.

Reelected to three-year terms on the Los Angeles Local Board were actors
Lori Alan, Audrey Baranishyn, Matthew Kimbrough, and Bill Ratner; announcer
John Harlan; dancer Sharon Ferguson; broadcasters Furnell Chatman and David
Horowitz; singers Jon Joyce and Dan Navarro; stuntperson Nick Brett.
Incoming Los Angeles Board members include actors Roxanna Cortes, Milo
Edwards, Morgan Fairchild, Robert Pine, and Joan Pirkle.
AFTRA Election Results

National Board members from Los Angeles reelected to four-year terms include
actors Andrew Caple-Shaw, Patrika Darbo, Jason George, and Sumi Haru; dancer
Sharon Ferguson; singers Linda Harmon Jon Joyce, and Dan Navarro; and
stuntperson Nick Brett. Newly-elected to the National Board are actors
Audrey Baranishyn, Bonnie Bartlett, Frances Fisher, and Bill Ratner.

191 Los Angeles Delegates to AFTRA’s 70th Anniversary National Convention
were also elected. This year’s Convention will be held July 19 – 21, 2007,
in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania.

All Local Officer and Board terms begin July 1. National Board terms begin
at the conclusion of this summer’s Convention.

A total of 2,078 valid ballots were received in the AFTRA Los Angeles
election.

Voting in the AFTRA New York local election is still open with ballots due
by 5 pm May 25; results will be available after the ballots are counted on
May 29.
*

AFTRA retains incumbents
By Carl DiOrio

May 23, 2007

AFTRA Los Angeles president Ron Morgan and most other incumbents have been retained after several testy board contests in which some candidates with dual SAG affiliations raised Cain over perceived AFTRA slights to SAG.

An AFTRA Leadership slate, supporting current officers and policies of the 70,000-member performers union, faced off against a slate dubbed AFTRA Artists. The latter group, featuring such SAG/AFTRA members as JoBeth Williams, Frances Fisher and Kent McCord — currently first national vp for SAG — claimed AFTRA regularly settles for weak contract terms, effectively undermining SAG’s ability to negotiate more lucrative pacts.

As it turned out, the upstart slate made only minimal headway.

Of 13 AFTRA Artists candidates to AFTRA’s national board, only Farmer, Bonnie Bartlett and incumbent Sumi Haru won seats. None of the slate’s three candidates for local board seats were successful.

“The AFTRA Leadership team is very pleased and happy with the election results, and what we think this means is that the membership is pleased with the way things have been going,” said Morgan, an actor who ran unopposed for a new two-year term to start July 1. “We need people to understand that we are in favor of increasing our contracts, getting them more money, better terms and conditions. What members are telling us, really clearly, is that they want to work. They want the jobs, and they want the most money they can get.”

Morgan also is a member of the AFTRA Los Angeles board and a national vp of the union.

AFTRA and SAG/AFTRA negotiators will iron out eight contracts this year and next, with AFTRA’s sound-recording contract currently being negotiated. Morgan declined to discuss the ongoing talks.

About two-thirds of AFTRA membership is comprised of actors and performers, with the balance comprised of broadcasters and recording artists. About 40% of member actors and performers also are members of SAG, AFTRA spokesman John Hinrichs said.

“About 90% of our actor-elected leadership are dual cardholders,” Hinrichs added.

That number now includes actor Morgan Fairchild, who successfully ran for the AFTRA’s Los Angeles board as part of the AFTRA Leadership slate.

Voting for local board members and vps in New York continues through Friday, with those results to be announced May 29.

AFTRA New York president Roberta Reardon, an actress who has worked in daytime drama, commercials and TV voice-overs, was elected April 28 by the union’s national board to serve as AFTRA national president until July.

Reardon replaced acting president and radio host Bob Edwards, who was elevated to the position in March after the long-serving John Connolly resigned to become national executive director of Actors Equity. AFTRA membership will elect a president to a full two-year term in July at the union’s national convention in Philadelphia.

Also uncontested in their reelection for the AFTRA Los Angeles board were singer and first vp Susan Boyd Joyce, actor and second vp Lori Alan, dancer and third vp Bobbie Bates, and actor and fourth vp Jason George. Actor Jay Gerber continues as treasurer.

Newly elected to a two-year term as recording secretary was actress Patrika Darbo, replacing Dan Navarro who did not seek reelection but will continue as a member of the AFTRA boards.

Reelected to three-year terms on the Los Angeles board were actors Lori Alan, Audrey Baranishyn, Matthew Kimbrough and Bill Ratner; announcer John Harlan; dancer Sharon Ferguson; broadcasters Furnell Chatman and David Horowitz; singers Jon Joyce and Dan Navarro and stuntperson Nick Brett.

Incoming Los Angeles board members include actors Roxanna Cortes, Milo Edwards, Fairchild, Robert Pine and Joan Pirkle.

National board members re-elected to four-year terms include actors Andrew Caple-Shaw, Darbo, Jason George and Haru; Ferguson; singers Linda Harmon, Joyce and Navarro; and Brett. Newly elected to the national board were actors Audrey Baranishyn, Bartlett, Fisher and Bill Ratner.

McCord and 190 other delegates were elected to attend AFTRA’s national convention in July.

Hopefully, we’ll have the breakdown of the votes and the delegates SOON! Keep Checking!

A.L. Miller SW Editor & Chief WOOF !

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