Shameless Tactic One: The Setup! (7/31/04) Members of Melissa’s Restore Respect controlled National Board passed the following resolution.
“Whereas, a group of members from the Hollywood Board of Directors has taken unilateral action in calling for the resignation of SAG’s chief negotiator;
Whereas, the same group of Hollywood board members issued a press release publicizing the results of their vote;
Whereas, this action is unprecedented and comes on the eve of crucial negotiations with theatrical and television producers;
Whereas, this action has jeopardized our union’s strength, public standing and unity heading into negotiations;
Whereas, this action by the group of Hollywood board members threatens the future and livelihood of all SAG members;
Be it resolved that while the National Board supports any individual or groups’ constitutional right to propose and vote on this and any other issue of policy, the National Board opposes the spirit and intent of the June 14th decision of the SAG Hollywood Division calling for the resignation of Bob Pisano;
Be it further resolved that the National Board of Screen Actors Guild calls upon this group of Hollywood board members to refrain from further actions that undermine our union and its negotiating team as we prepare for upcoming contract negotiations;
Be it further resolved that we ask the President of SAG to communicate to the members the content of this resolution in a way consistent with the SAG constitution and bylaws;
And be it further resolved that we ask the President of SAG to ask the membership to join together in unity as we continue the fight to bring job” STYLE=”text-decoration: none; border-bottom: medium solid green;” HREF=”http://search.targetwords.com/u.search?x=5977|1||||job|AA1VDw”>Jobs back to the United States and to improve the wages, benefits and working conditions of all SAG members.” (At the same meeting, the same Restore Respect controlled board VOTED NOT TO SUPPORT FTAC! Course, that little tidbit didn’t make it into the trades or their phony SAG press release.)
Hey, in Shameless Tactic One, not only did The Restore Respect Board pass this blatant political resolution, but their resolution went on to “twist” their party leader’s arm to distribute it— using your and my dues money along with more Shameless Tactics in a manner that clearly violates of Labor Law!
You see TITLE IV ELECTIONS of the Labor-Management Reporting and Disclosure Act of 1959 states that “(g) No moneys received by any labor organization by way of dues, assessment, or similar levy, and no moneys of an employer shall be contributed or applied to promote the candidacy of any person in an election subject to the provisions of this title. Such moneys of a labor organization may be utilized for notices, factual statements of issues not involving candidates, and other expenses necessary for the holding of an election.”
Okay, one might argue that the Restore Respect document is a factual statement–but can anyone doubt that with an upcoming election and with all the publicity in the trades, bulletin boards and e-mails naming Membership First as the Hollywood board members asking for CEO Pisano’s resignation–that the resolution does not involve candidates.
Well, apparently Melissa, and her Restore Respect gang, wanted to make absolutely sure that everyone who read their resolution GOT IT! You know, that they knew that Membership First, “Hollywood board members, threatens the future and livelihood of all SAG members.”
That’s were Shameless Tactic Step Two came into place! They sent out a phony SAG Press Release which identified Membership First Hollywood Board Members as the group of members that “that undermine our union and its negotiating team”
Variety’s, rookie reporter, Claude Brodesser was duped by this Shameless Tactic! He reported in his Aug. 1, 2004 Variety Article that “SAG’s press release accused the Membership First board members of acting to “undermine the public standing and unity” of SAG by attacking Pisano’s credibility as the union headed into negotiations.”
But according to SAG spokesman Scott Oster SAG had not issued such a press release! This didn’t stop several of Restore Respect’s candidates from making the most of the phony press release.
Commenting in the same Membership First bashing article, Restore Respect Candidate Stephen Collins* stated “Finally we have the national board taking an explicit position on the harmful and [b]shameless tactics of Membership First They (Membership First) have opposed every positive and progressive initiative that the leadership of this union has tried to take. And now their approach has been repudiated, and for good reason.”
Collins is right there are “shameless tactics” going on here but they’re not being perpetrated by Membership First! James Cromwell, the union’s treasurer and secretary, went further, saying the attacks on Pisano by Membership First partisans were “done simply to position themselves to increase their chances in the upcoming (board) elections.” (Poor Claude was having a bad day. In his article he mislabeled Collins as a board member! He ain’t)
Let’s get this straight now, James, “Memberships First Partisans” where simply positioning themselves to increase their chances in the upcoming board elections! Yet, Membership First in their resolution did NO Restore Respect Bashing, didn’t mention them once—even obliquely! They simply asked for Mr. Pisano to resign and gave their reasons why!
Yet, Restore Respect’s entire resolution is nothing but Membership First Bashing! It’s ironic that Brodesser’s Variety article reporting on the motion is entitled “SAG National Board Backs Pisano” while there is absolutely nothing in the motion stating that the board actually still backs Pisano!
It seems they were so intent on “positioning themselves” that they forgot to “position Pisano!”
But the political party that claims they abhor “shameless tactics” didn’t limit their phony SAG press release to trade magazines. They also sent it out in e-mails imploring recipients to pass it along. One of those who did was character actress and Melissaite named Kathy Joosten. She posted it on it on the popular website IdoTVads.
Ms. Joosten entitled her post FINALLY! Here are a few excerpts
The following is an official press release from SAG. This also includes the resolution that was passed by the National Board on Saturday. This is a defining moment for Restore Respect and for SAG. The National organization is now on record as repudiating the destructive tactics of a group of people that has been bent on manipulating this organization.
There will be a great deal of screaming from the destructive force within the guild about “legality” and “truth” and so-on. But remember three important points – (1)They initiated this process – (2) their bluff has been called – (3) and this was done in an open and democratic manner.
Please send this to your email lists. It is unfortunate that it has come to this – but this is about the best interests of the members and the integrity of SAG as an institution.
* * * *
SAG National Board Opposes Membership First Hollywood Board Members Attempt to Undermine Negotiating Team. At the National Plenary, the board made it clear that the move by Membership First Board members to remove Pisano was harmful to the interests of SAG members and that the June 14th resolution undermined the SAG negotiating team on the verge of critical negotiations
They [Membership First] have opposed every positive and progressive initiative that the leadership of this union has tried to take. And now their approach has been repudiated, and for good reason.”
Saturday’s National Board resolution states that this action was taken by Membership First to “undermine the public standing and unity” of SAG as they head into negotiations. (
For all of Ms. Joosten’s Phony Press release go to http://idotvads.com/cgi bin/index.cgi/read/17966
After informing Ms. Joosten that she had been duped– and requesting that she name the guilty party that had sent the bogus e-mail — her response was “I was informed that the resolution was not issued by the Board! Mea culpa, mea culpa.”
Actually, that wasn’t the way she initially entitled it! Her first version stated ” I was informed by Melissa that” Then for some inexplicable reason she quickly deleted the post and reposted it without Melissa’s name!
Ah, unfortunately, for Ms. Joosten, she hadn’t deleted it quick enough—and the Ol Watchdog called her on it!
She then came back and admitted that she had received the following e-mail from Melissa.
It read as follows:——“Hey Kath, There’s one little problem with your posting of the press release on idotvads. It was NOT and official guild communication. It comes from Restore Respect. I think a little mea culpa would be nice. There is an official communication coming from the guild today. That you can circulate and post with abandon. thanks, MG.”
“So there’s the answer from MG herself: The phony e-mail disguised as an Official SAG Press Release came from her own group Restore Respect!
Now, does anyone really believe that her disciples would make such a move without her knowledge! Hell, when Melissa orders Mea Culpa! Ms. Joosten proves that they damn sure “Mea Culpa, Mea Culpa!
So, the next time you hear about “shameless tactics” just remember Ol’ Jamie and his pals—and who’s really positioning themselves for the next election.
You know the sad truth is that Restore Respect Shameless Tactics manipulators can’t even be honest when they hold a campaign event! Just like their phony OFFICIAL SAG Press release. They try and con attendees into thinking that their campaign event is some sort of OFFICIAL SAG sponsored function!
I know it’s hard to read but the shameless tactic part can be found in the second and third line “This is a star studded evening and brought to your friends at the Screen Actors Guild Young Professionals”
Nope, their ain’t no such Guild associated group. Course, I guess some young performers will show up thinking that it’s sponsored by the Screen Actors Guild’s, Young Performers Group! Hey, but I guess that they’ll just have to learn the hard way that if you deal with the Restore Respect gang, you’re gonna have to deal with SHAMELSS TACTICS!
A.L. Miller SW Editor & Chief