National Board of Directors (appointed) David P. White as National Executive ...

Appointed by Who?

“HO, ho!  Both of these sacks are full of  SAG-AFTRA members’ money!  Yep, they’re for your Executive Director David White’s salary”

Arl

The Ol’ SAG Watchdog

Following is the posting I did about AMEC ─ ASSOCIATION OF MEDIA AND ENTERTAINMENT COUNSEL. It contains snark and the photos on the red carpet are not so much actual snapshots as they are depictions of how White and Pisano imagined themselves on the nights of their respective awards.

 

The                                                            of  AMEC is

Ordinary sponsors include: 

In addition, SAG did not allow a full vetting of these issues prior to the confirmation of White by SAG’s National Board and that has given Membership First leaders an opportunity to attack White and the new majority.

Update: It is only fair to add however that the relationship between Dreier and White was public long before the NB and Hollywood Board meetings. Thus, MF could have raised the issue at any point. But they did not. Only after the piece in The Wrap did they even seem to notice.

White has made statements about his relationship with Dreier and the nature of his disclosure to SAG that leave some room for confusion. In December he told the National Law Journal that Dreier is “not involved in the operations at all” in his consulting firm, which advised entertainment lawyers and producers on how to deal with SAG’s labor agreements. But that statement seems to be inconsistent with the SEC affidavit. It is also inconsistent with the description by another member of an LA Dreier firm, John Mason of Mason Miller, a talent side law firm. Mason described a working relationship between his firm, White’s firm and a sports sector firm controlled by Dreier.

click on photo for full story stephen f. diamond

Click on Photo full story Stephen F. Diamond

SAG Actor Bulletin Board

 

ABOUT RESIDUALS AND EVERYTHING ELSE                         

The Counsel of Liars

 

Posted: Fri Jan 28, 2011 11:28 pm

by Eric Hughes

 

Renee Aubry wrote:

“Has William Richert brought his objections and/or grievances to the attention of the LA and BH Bar Associations? Did anybody investigate? If so, what was the outcome?”

From the MOTION FOR PRELIMINARY APPROVAL OF CLASS ACTION SETTLEMENT in KEN OSMOND VS. SCREEN ACTORS GUILD, INC:

 “The parties have attended a formal mediation session with mediator Joel Grossman (a mediator with an extensive background in the entertainment industry)…”


From the CLASS SETTLEMENT AGREEMENT in KEN OSMOND VS. SCREEN ACTORS GUILD, INC:                     

 

“The Settling Parties have engaged in a mediation before Mediator Joel M. Grossman, Esq., and now seek to comprehensively resolve the Action and the disputes between them covered by the Action.”

 

Grossman has not only stayed in the picture, he has infiltrated SAG.

From the CLASS SETTLEMENT AGREEMENT in KEN OSMOND VS. SCREEN ACTORS GUILD, INC:  

“V. TERMS OF SETTLEMENT

5. If counsel for Plaintiff believes that SAG has not acted in good faith in failing to implement any of the consultant(s)' recommendations or in withholding approval of a consultant(s), then the matter will be submitted to mediation before Joel Grossman. ”
                                                                                                                        This past November on the 18th, “emerging leaders in the entertainment and media industries” attended “a delightful dinner party” at which they had “the opportunity to hear” Joel Grossman “talk about collective bargaining agreements”.

And not only Grossman but Alan Brunswick as well.

Brunswick, now a partner and the chair of Entertainment & Media Employment & Labor at the law firm Manatt, Phelps & Phillips LLP, is the former Vice President and in-house counsel for the AMPTP.

He and Grossman go back a ways – all the way, in fact, to the1992 SAG/AMPTP Foreign Levy Agreement.

This “delightful dinner party” was officially known as the AMEC EMERGING LEADERS DINNER PARTY.

.​

AMEC is THE ASSOCIATION OF MEDIA AND ENTERTAINMENT COUNSEL which defines itself as “the leading trade association serving general counsel and business affairs attorneys at media and entertainment companies”.

The AMEC was formed in early 2006.

“AMEC is designed to support the career development and honor the achievements of in-house counsel and business affairs attorneys at major entertainment and media companies.”

Its claim to be “the leading trade association” of its kind is I believe reasonably based on the fact that it is the only association of its kind.

The primary purpose of its existence is the Media and Entertainment Counsel Awards which “recognize those members who have achieved the highest levels of successes in their areas of expertise and to honor the top media and entertainment counsel as selected by their peers”.

 

The distinctive Counsel of the Year Awards statuettes were created by Bennett Gallery, which has designed awards for the NFL, NBC Universal and the American Red Cross.

 

 

 

Among the awards presented are:

Entertainment Technology and Games Counsel Award

Sports Counsel Award

Rising Star Award

Deal Maker Award

Outstanding Media & Entertainment Law Firm Award

Foley & Lardner LLP is a multi-service law firm with offices throughout the United States and in Brussels, Shanghai, and Tokyo providing industry-specific corporate legal services including intellectual property and IP litigation to a client base which includes global multinationals.

“Foley is proud to be the presenting sponsor for the Media & Entertainment Counsel of the Year Awards recognizing the industry’s top legal talent.

Virtually every professional in the entertainment industry    has been recognized for achievement in their respective discipline – 

from actors, writers and directors,

to make-up artists,

various awards honor excellence.

One prominent group has historically been ignored –
business and legal affairs attorneys in major entertainment companies.”

 

What could it have been like for A. Robert Pisano and David White and Duncan Crabtree-Ireland having to attend the SAG Awards while living with the reality that they too are “entertainment professionals” but when awards season comes around they have “historically been ignored ”.

When would they walk a red carpet laid just for them?

After all, Helen Mirren would not even be employed were it not for the contracts negotiated on her behalf.

There would be no Helen Mirren performances to award if the financing of those audiovisual works in which she has performed had not been finalized by “savvy media and entertainment counsel”.

And Pisano and White and Crabtree-Ireland know that she isn’t really the creator of her own performances — that’s why there’s a shadow collective bargaining agreement between SAG and the AMPTP authorizing SAG not to pay out to Helen Mirren any of the performers’ royalties it collects in foreign countries for her performances in audiovisual works.

At the third annual AMEC COUNSEL OF THE YEAR AWARDS on DEC.7.2007, Michael Fricklas, Executive Vice President and General Counsel of Viacom Inc., delivered the Keynote Speech
.

When Bob Pisano set out for the House of Blues that night he thought he would just be giving the Media and Entertainment Counsel of the Year Awards Keynote Speech, which of course focused on copyright protection.

But he could neither have suspected nor imagined that he would wind up taking home the AMEC special achievement honor, being surprised with the award after delivering his speech.

And at that moment Bob Pisano had officially left the company of those historically ignored and had walked a red carpet laid just for him.you.​

When Bob Pisano set out for the House of Blues that night he thought he would just be giving the Media and Entertainment Counsel of the Year Awards Keynote Speech, which of course focused on copyright protection.

But he could neither have suspected nor imagined that he would wind up taking home the AMEC special achievement honor, being surprised with the award after delivering his speech.

And at that moment Bob Pisano had officially left the company of those historically ignored and had walked a red carpet laid just for him.

David White would have to wait just under a year to join him.

On DEC.18.2009, the  “House of Blues on West Hollywood’s Sunset Strip was buzzing with the ‘who’s who’ of entertainment law” and as “the lights went down, it was clear that this year’s Counsel of the Year Awards was the brightest event to date”.

“The awards recognize the tremendous talent and contributions each of these professionals make to their companies and to their overall industry”, said Peter Winkler of PricewaterhouseCoopers, one of the founders of AMEC.

And what a night it was.

“Bigger and better than ever, this year AMEC presented fourteen awards—up from three in 2006—while honoring an additional five people with Founders Awards in honor of the organization’s fifth year of operations.

Jimmy Nguyen, one Founders Award recipient, memorably led the crowd in singing a well-deserved ‘happy birthday’to AMEC.”


And David White won in the Labor and Personal Representation Counsel category for having led SAG’s “efforts towards securing a half-dozen new contracts in 2009, including a new two-year agreement covering television and motion picture work as well as new contracts for television and radio commercials and animation”.

No longer among those  “historically ignored”, White, on DEC.18.2009, at the House of Blues located on “the famous Sunset Strip”, walked a red carpet laid just for him.

November 22, 2010

 

David White

National Executive Director

SAG National Headquarters

5757 Wilshire Blvd., 7th Floor

Los Angeles, CA 90036-3600

 

 

Dear Mr. White:

 

The Screen Actors Guild and its opponent attorneys in Ken Osmond v. Screen Actors Guild, Inc. manipulated press coverage of its settlement that has resulted in material misrepresentations being reported as fact in news reports filed around the world.

 

The substantial inconsistencies between the Settlement Agreement filed with the Court and the press release issued on SEPT.14.2010 by SAG and Osmond's attorneys, Neville L. Johnson and Paul R. Kiesel, as well as statements made to the press by Johnson and SAG's General Counsel Duncan Crabtree-Ireland, served to create a record of the litigation and its settlement archived on the internet in which the nature of the legal dispute is misrepresented and the terms of the settlement illusory.

 

It is my hope that being provided with evidence that refutes the false and misleading statements made by SAG and its opponent attorneys, those misled will update their reports accordingly.

 

As Crabtree-Ireland is a Guild employee under your authority, and as the settlement of Ken Osmond v. Screen Actors Guild, Inc. and all communications between the Guild and its members and the Guild and the press regarding the settlement require your approval, I am writing directly to you to address the offenses that have taken place and providing this letter along with the aforementioned evidence to those news organizations which unknowingly published inaccurate reports of the settlement.

 

The deceit put into operation by SAG and Osmond's counsel includes:

 

• concealing the Agreement at issue in this case – the

OCT.1.1992 "Foreign Levy Agreement" between SAG,

on the one hand, and the Alliance of Motion Picture

and Television Producers (the AMPTP), on the other hand –

which SAG contends expressly authorizes it not to distribute

the monies collected but to use them to defray so-called

administrative operating costs,

 

• falsely claiming that there will be an audit of all foreign

royalties collected by SAG - On findlaw.com Laura

Strachan reported that “the settlement documents require

an independent audit of all Screen Actors Guild European

royalties since the 1980s” - and,

 

• providing to the press for publication a sum amount of all

foreign royalties paid out by SAG which has been inflated

into millions when, in fact, the sum amount, according to

SAG's filings with the Department of Labor, is below a

million.

 

SAG argued in U.S. District Court that, in the Foreign Levy Agreement between SAG and the AMPTP, members of SAG waived their right to receive these monies.

 

As you know, Mr. White, members of SAG are unaware that such an agreement exists.

 

The Foreign Levy Agreement between SAG and the AMPTP is an illegal agreement as SAG does not have the authority to bargain away performers rights under foreign law.

 

And SAG's authority to do so was never litigated in this case.

 

As SAG framed it to the Court, the heart of the parties' dispute concerns whether SAG is authorized to retain all of the foreign levy monies or whether it is required to pay Osmond his portion of those levies.

 

SAG has never expressly stated on the record that it did not keep all of the monies.

 

SAG and Osmond's attorneys state unequivocally in the press release that "SAG has agreed to conduct an independent audit of its foreign royalties program and has agreed to make this audit public".

 

But the word audit does not appear anywhere in the MOTION FOR PRELIMINARY APPROVAL OF CLASS ACTION SETTLEMENT, in the

CLASS SETTLEMENT AGREEMENT, or in the NOTICE OF CLASS ACTION AND PROPOSED SETTLEMENT sent to members of the class.

 

An audit, Mr. White, is concerned with past data. It is analytical in nature and its purpose is to certify the truth of financial statements.

 

And as you are aware, there is a legal definition of audit which is a formal examination of an organization's or an individual's financial records often for the purpose of uncovering fraud.

 

A story about the settlement ran on the Associated Press international wire and reached more than half the world's population, reporting that the "settlement requires an independent audit of payments that have already been made". And, further, the AP's Anthony McCartney reported that SAG has already paid out $8.5 million in royalties to performers.

 

It appears that the intent on the part of SAG and Osmond's attorneys is for members of the class and collecting societies around the world to believe that an audit will take place and then, once the settlement has been approved, and there is no statement otherwise, that the audit exonerated SAG of allegations that it converted these monies.

 

"I'm very pleased to be able to get the many tens of thousands of actors paid their share of moneys that have been held in secret since 1992", Johnson was quoted by the Associated Press.

 

"We believe that the settlement will bring transparency and accountability to this union, which are the two most important components of its fiduciary duty."

 

But without an audit, Johnson has no evidence as of this date nor will he ever have evidence to know if any actor has been paid any share of monies collected by SAG since1992.

 

And Johnson's statement that "We believe that the settlement will bring transparency and accountability…" is meant to deceive members of the class and collecting societies around the world because Section V(C) of the Class Settlement Agreement, which Johnson filed in Los Angeles Superior Court and which he and Kiesel and SAG have concealed from the class, provides that there will be no transparency and accountability for funds between 1992 and APRIL.30.2010.

 

And then there is the dirty trick, sir, of having filed the Foreign Levy Agreement with the MOTION FOR PRELIMINARY APPROVAL OF CLASS ACTION SETTLEMENT which means that any member of SAG who does not opt out of the settlement will have in essence ratified an agreement between SAG and the AMPTP in which the Companies get 50 % of our foreign royalties and SAG gets to keep the other 50%.

 

That of course remains in the Foreign Levy Agreement.

 

And there is nothing in the settlement agreement, Mr. White, which requires SAG to pay out any monies which it has not yet collected.

 

The settlement agreement only concerns monies currently in SAG's possession.

 

In the press release issued on SEPT.14.2010, SAG, Johnson, and Kiesel state that "To date, the foreign royalties program has resulted in the distribution of more than $7 million in levies attributable to SAG performers".

 

And there is this quote from Crabtree-Ireland: "We have distributed millions of dollars of royalty funds..."

 

On MAY.9.2007, Johnson wrote SAG, advising that Osmond believed he was due foreign levy monies that had been collected by SAG.

 

In a response on JUN.7.2007, Crabtree-Ireland wrote Johnson that "Thus far, a small portion of the funds (approximately $250,000) have been distributed to performers".

 

And that SAG, as of FEB.28.2007, "has received a total of $8,123,288.89 in payments under agreements with collecting societies relating to performers' share of levies".

 

Crabtree-Ireland further wrote that "Distributions of the remaining sums can be made only after the implementation of the Guild's system. We presently anticipate beginning distributions using the system in October 2007".

 

As you are aware, Mr. White, under the Labor-Management Reporting and Disclosure Act, SAG is required to file an annual financial report, a Form LM-2, with the Office of Labor-Management Standards of the

United States Department of Labor that discloses SAG's financial condition for the preceding year.

 

These annual financial reports, which are due 90 days after April 30, the end of SAG's fiscal year, contain information concerning SAG's assets, liabilities, receipts, and disbursements.

 

According to SAG's LM-2s, for which there are criminal penalties for knowingly making a false statement or representation of a material fact, or knowingly failing to disclose a material fact, or willfully making a false entry, the so-called Foreign Royalties Program did not get out of the gate until DECEMBER.17.2008 with a payout of $7,722.00

 

That was two months after VARIETY reported on Sunday SEPT.14.2008, that "settlement talks will start this week over the suit by Ken Osmond, alleging SAG mishandled those funds and lacks the authority to oversee them in the first place".

 

But any further movement on a SAG settlement was dependant upon William Richert, the plaintiff in the Writers Guild foreign levies lawsuit agreeing to settle William Richert v. Writers Guild of America, West, Inc.

 

When that was finally imminent, SAG began hand picking a settlement class with 19 payouts of foreign royalties between JUN.2.2009 and APR.30.2010 totaling $292,808.00.

 

On SEPT.11.2010, I emailed Johnson that SAG's statement that "since the program began" SAG "has paid out $7.12 million" is not truthful.

 

I gave Johnson the total amount as reported by SAG on its LM-2s.

 

Nonetheless, three days later, he and Kiesel filed the MOTION FOR PRELIMINARY APPROVAL OF CLASS ACTION SETTLEMENT and issued the SEPT.14.2010 press release with SAG.

 

A California lawyer has an affirmative duty to correct prior misleading statements by disclosing true facts or new information to persons who may act in reliance on the original statement.

 

Failure to disclose correct facts or new information constitutes tortious abuse in California.

 

I suggest that you consider honoring that, and, as well, issue an apology to the press.

 

_______________________

Eric Hughes

David White is an officer-trustee of the P&H along with Crabtree-Ireland.

 

Wonder what happened to the FBI investigation....

 

 

 

EXCLUSIVE: Feds Investigating SAG P&H Plan Embezzlements And Cover-Ups Allegations

By NIKKI FINKE, Editor in Chief | Thursday March 15, 2012 @ 4:32pm PDT

Tags: Big Deals TV, SAG AFTRA Merger, SAG Pension& Health Plan,

 

COMMENTS 45

EXCLUSIVE: I’ve learned that whistleblower Craig Simmons has been telling federal authorities what he knows about the Screen Actors Guild Pension & Health Plan scandal. During October 2011, November 2011, and December 2011, he testified under oath during three sessions in Los Angeles with the FBI, IRS, Securities & Exchange Commission, Department Of Justice, and Department Of Labor

CREATOR: gd-jpeg v1.0 (using IJG JPEG v62), quality = 90

inside the Federal Building in Westwood. My information is that the authorities were taking copious notes while Simmons spoke. Insiders also tell me that federal investigations are now ongoing into not just one embezzlement and cover-up inside the SAG P&H Plan but also another fraud and cover-up there which makes two scandals altogether. I understand the FBI asked Simmons not to go public about the probes and he has not spoken publicly about his whistleblowing. [See Simmons' letter here to the SAG P&HP 36 Board Of Trustees, and Simmons' letter here to the Department Of Labor, which led to the federal probes.] So Deadline is the first to break this important news.

My understanding is that when Simmons went in to testify, the feds already had documents in their possession outlining what embezzlements and cover-ups may have taken place.  However, I can also now confirm that federal investigators last week and this week arrived at SAG P&H Plan offices in Southern California and in Massachusetts and carried out several dozen boxes of paperwork to unmarked cars waiting outside. (Did Federal Officials “Raid” The SAG P&H Plan Offices?) New information reaching me is that this visit took place on Wednesday, March 7th, and not on Friday, March 9th, as I’d previously reported. And a few weeks earlier a man identifying himself as an investigator came into the offices at 4 PM with a copy machine on big dolly and spent 4 to 5 hours Xeroxing documents. And today New England SAG member James McIsaac wrote on Facebook from Massachusetts that “My local pres just confirmed the FBI picked up some papers at the P&HP office.” I’ve received more confirmations that the visits were in connection with official probes into the SAH P&HP wrongdoing.

In my opinion, it’s a day late and a dollar short for the SAG P&H Plan to come clean about exactly what is going on regarding any and all city, county, and/or federal investigations into allegations of embezzlements and cover-ups. (In fact I am in a possession of an internal SAG P&HP memo instructing staff to tell any callers about my article to say, “No, nothing happened on Friday” — because it took place that Wednesday. Talk about parsing!) Nothing worse than if that organizations is accused of trying to cover-up the cover-up of the fraud. And nothing worse than these probes intensifying during the membership vote on the pending SAG-AFTRA merger. Because no future plans for the two unions’ pension and health plans – not even whether they’ll be operated separately or combined — have been revealed or even formally studied by SAG and/or AFTRA leaderships. Present SAG Guild leadership likes to point out that the SAG P&H Plan is run separately from the union. But some of SAG Guild’s officers have been SAG P&HP trustees. For instance, at the time Simmons was fired, David White was President of the Board of Trustees of the SAG P&H Plans and the National Executive Director of the SAG Guild. Duncan Crabtree-Ireland is a Trustee of the SAG P&HP and the General Counsel of the SAG Guild. John McGuire is a Trustee of the SAG P&HP and the Senior Adviser of the SAG Guild.

Craig Simmons, of course, is the veteran SAG P&H Plan high-ranking executive and attorney who first discovered what he alleges are several embezzlement schemes and cover-ups inside the organization. He maintains that the fraud involved tens of millions of dollars and that, when he discovered it, he was asked to stop his investigation  and lie to authorities about the wrongdoing. When he refused, he was fired. On August 23, 2011, Simmons wrote personalized private letters detailing the scandal to all 36 members of the SAG P&H Plan Board Of Trustees — read it here.

Simmons gave the Trustees two weeks to remedy the situation or warned he was going to federal authorities. Which he did and sent a September 14, 2011, letter directly to the U.S. Department Of Labor. (Read it here…) His Fall testimony in front of various federal authorities is a direct outgrowth of his whistleblowing.

Editor-in-Chief Nikki Finke - tip her here.

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COMMENTS (45)

            I hope they start looking into all of the fraud happening at SAG headquarters as well. This is just the tip of the iceberg. Comment by informed — Thursday March 15, 2012 @ 4:40pm PDT  REPLY TO THIS POST

                        There certainly seems to be plenty of fishy activity going on there too. Comment by VFX in Venice — Thursday March 15, 2012 @ 7:41pm PDT  REPLY TO THIS POST

                        WHY IS THIS INVESTIGATION NOT REPORTED IN THE LOCAL NEWS?? Comment by Anonymous — Thursday March 15, 2012 @ 10:31pm PDT  REPLY TO THIS POST

                                    Simple. Because all of the newsreaders, newsdesks and broadcasters are AFTRA…and AFTRA (the AFL/CIO) wants the merger to happen… Comment by Blackdog — Saturday March 17, 2012 @ 1:18am PDT  REPLY TO THIS POST

                        The SAG P&H plan is IN THE RED ZONE. THEY ARE LYING THROUGH THEIR TEETH ABOUT THIS AND A BUNCH OF OTHER TRUTHS. Comment by Matt Mulhern — Friday March 16, 2012 @ 11:13am PDT  REPLY TO THIS POST

            This is the exact reason why we should be telling every actor to VOTE NO on the merger! Comment by Ben — Thursday March 15, 2012 @ 4:42pm PDT  REPLY TO THIS POST

                        Agreed. Comment by KarenSAG — Thursday March 15, 2012 @ 5:46pm PDT  REPLY TO THIS POST

            The spin has already begun. I just got three ‘chain letter’ emails from 3 different pro merger Actors basically saying…”This is nothing — there was no raid — it’s all about the guy they fired two years ago for embezzlement,the Feds just looked at some papers- that money has been repaid by insurance already..” As in “yadda-yadda — there’s nothing to see here — just keep moving…”. Hey – if you are pro merger or against it, I’d think wanting to know the facts about this issue would be important. As a pension plan participant I want to know the unvarnished truth. Either we have crooks running the Producers/SAG P+H plan — or they should be exonerated. Where you stand on merger should be irrelevant. Comment by steve barr — Thursday March 15, 2012 @ 4:49pm PDT  REPLY TO THIS POST

            NO MERGER SHOULD HAPPEN WHILE AN INVESTIGATION IS HAPPENING. PERIOD. Comment by Jon — Thursday March 15, 2012 @ 4:50pm PDT  REPLY TO THIS POST

            Right now, MPIPHP must be shredding documents like there’s no tomorrow. Comment by Anonymous — Thursday March 15, 2012 @ 5:26pm PDT  REPLY TO THIS POST

            Again: two separate entities. SAG is not SAG P& H. The former is officed at Wilshire the latter in Burbank. The Federal Investigators are simply performing due diligence as they should. Comment by Rik Deskin — Thursday March 15, 2012 @ 5:42pm PDT  REPLY TO THIS POST

                        Rick, Put down the mouse and step away from the computer. You are embarrassing yourself. I’m cool with that on a personal level, but as a SAG Board member, your naivete is an embarrassment to us all. Of course, you could always resign and continue posting your uninformed drivel without having it reflect on SAG. Comment by Don't Destroy SAG — Thursday March 15, 2012 @ 6:23pm PDT  REPLY TO THIS POST

                                    It’s clear that you’re cool with it on a personal level, which is why you launched some ad hominem attacks. If you can’t defeat the argument, defeat the person. Comment by David — Thursday March 15, 2012 @ 8:30pm PDT  REPLY TO THIS POST

                                                Sigh . . . You don’t get it, do you, David? Rick’s a SAG Board member. This debacle happened on his watch. Had he and his fellow board members performed their own DUE DILIGENCE, the feds wouldn’t be raiding our pension plan HQ for evidence of criminal activities. Instead (or, perhaps, BECAUSE of this ongoing malfeasance, hmm?), the SAG Board invested years in a smoke-and-mirrors merger campaign to distract us from what’s really going on with our pensions. Is Rick aware of this? I’ll be generous and grant that maybe, just maybe, Rick is not in the inner circle of political cronyism, posting, as he does, from his vantage point of managing a little theater in Seattle. Maybe Rick just believes what he’s told by the people who DO know what’s going on over at P&H. The P&H plan is supervised by OUR EMPLOYEES (David White, Duncan Crabtree-Ireland, John McGuire), whom Rick is supposed to be supervising. Had he and the SAG Board been doing their job, we wouldn’t be in this spot. Instead, Rick comes onto the blogs and tries to use his status as a Board member to spin these events. Suggesting that he post his uninformed spin anonymously wasn’t an ad hominem attack. I was being charitable. It’s a free country, and he’s entitled to his private opinion, no matter how clueless. But when he posts his spin under color of authority, he embarrasses you, me, and every other SAG member. He should just clam up, stop the merger spin, and let the feds do their job. NEWS FLASH TO RICK: A criminal investigation isn’t “Due Diligence.” Ensuring that one isn’t necessary is. Please learn the difference if you’re going to remain on the SAG Board. Comment by Don't Destroy SAG — Friday March 16, 2012 @ 12:31am PDT  REPLY TO THIS POST

                                                            Bravo. Well said. Clear and calm. Seconded. Comment by M. — Friday March 16, 2012 @ 7:26am PDT 

                                                Too bad that Rik Deskin is the king of ad hominem attacks. You should read his posts on Facebok. Beyond that- his commentary is naive. As a board member he should be more concerned about the criminal activities. This is just more evidence of a cover up. I am tired of this garbage from our leadership. Comment by WBerry — Sunday March 18, 2012 @ 10:41am PDT  REPLY TO THIS POST

                                    I agree. Its shameful. Comment by william — Friday March 16, 2012 @ 6:47pm PDT  REPLY TO THIS POST

                                    Why do you call yourself “Don’t destroy SAG”? And why are you creating a post that has no content at all and is just a personal attack? Are you involved in the scandals? Are you one of the bad guys? What makes you sure that insulting someone (even in such a childish way) could help your case? If you don’t want SAG destroyed, take your own advice, and keep away from the keyboard. Comment by Dr. Flo — Friday March 16, 2012 @ 11:03pm PDT  REPLY TO THIS POST

                                                Too funny Flo- perhaps you should take your own advice. Comment by WBerry — Sunday March 18, 2012 @ 10:43am PDT  REPLY TO THIS POST

                        Do not fool yourself or others. When David White the CEO of SAG, Duncan Crabtree-Ireland, SAG Council and New York John McGuire are Trustees and when THREE former Presidents William Schallert, Barry Gordon and Richard Mauser (<–and his wife) Eileen Henry as well as all the different VPs are Trustees. It is hard to say the two a separate. Comment by SAG & SAG P&H are one — Thursday March 15, 2012 @ 6:50pm PDT  REPLY TO THIS POST

                        Rik, I’m sure the Feds are resting easy knowing they have your approval. And by that I mean your use of the words “due diligence as they should” to describe a criminal investigation shows a lack of understanding so deeply profound one would guess it couldn’t be outdone. But, in spite of those odds, you’ve outdone yourself in suggesting that SAG and SAG P&H are completely unrelated entities because they have different parking lots. God help us. On the plus side, you’ve illuminated the reason pro-merger board members like yourself keep glossing over the importance of the fate of P&H in a merger. You’re convinced P&H is a separate country. I, or anyone with even an ounce of understanding, would argue it’s all about P&H. Now at least it looks like the Feds will tell us what has happened at P&H. What need to go forward with a merger is to know what will happen at P&H and we need a competent board to understand that and do a competent analysis. As it stands now, we’re forced to vote NO on your incompetent and incomplete merger proposal. Comment by zackery — Thursday March 15, 2012 @ 8:48pm PDT  REPLY TO THIS POST

            Did any of this affect the calculations of an actor’s eventual pension in a negative way? Comment by pensioner — Thursday March 15, 2012 @ 6:10pm PDT  REPLY TO THIS POST

            Interesting that the Feds seem to be involved in this but basically ignored all the calls to investigate the MPTF Hospital debacle. Comment by sagcarder — Thursday March 15, 2012 @ 6:14pm PDT  REPLY TO THIS POST

            This has absolutely nothing to do with merger. If SAG and AFTRA don’t merge, then SAG will fins itself singularly negotiating a deal with producers one YEAR after AFTRA, in 2015. In their desperation to bring work back to SAG, they will likely have to lower rates in order to appease producers. Good luck making a career as an actor and I hope your pension will still be liquid after a coming decadeor more of union fighting. Comment by Tom — Thursday March 15, 2012 @ 6:36pm PDT  REPLY TO THIS POST

                        or, sag could challenge aftra’s jurisdictional poaching in the proper venues. just sayin’…. Comment by skippy — Thursday March 15, 2012 @ 7:09pm PDT  REPLY TO THIS POST

                                    Yes! Well said. Comment by no! not my pension! — Thursday March 15, 2012 @ 8:48pm PDT  REPLY TO THIS POST

                                    I have been saying that for weeks. Ask the feds to step in and let the affected people decide who they want as their representative in collective bargaining going forward. Hotel workers do it all the time. Comment by Call the NLRB — Saturday March 17, 2012 @ 12:11pm PDT  REPLY TO THIS POST

            Several months ago I received a take-it-or-leave-it, pension demand from AFTRA to take a one-time payment for $200 — I realize that most of my work over a 30+ year career was with SAG, but there were quite a few AFTRA TV appearances as well. Seems very fishy! I’m voting “NO!” Comment by ifitsmellslike — Thursday March 15, 2012 @ 6:59pm PDT  REPLY TO THIS POST

            I posted here a couple weeks ago, and asked if the reason why a comprehensive study of the health plans wasn’t done, was because of Mr.Simmons lawsuit/allegations…Now a federal investigation?? Saturday’s informational meeting re: merger at SAG headquarters will be damned interesting.. Comment by Sean Cory — Thursday March 15, 2012 @ 7:57pm PDT  REPLY TO THIS POST

            To Rik Deskin : “Due Diligence ” huh ? You mean like what SAG SHOULD have done about the pension plan in the attempted merger ? Comment by Peggy Lane O'Rourke — Thursday March 15, 2012 @ 8:18pm PDT  REPLY TO THIS POST

            sorry, it definitely has to do with merger if the trustees are culpable of all the fiduciary irresponsibility that is alleged to have gone on (or for allowing it). these are the people to whome we give carte blanche to construct a NEW MERGED pension and health plan? that will protect those who have years in the old plan? does this really have to be explained? Comment by michael kurtz — Thursday March 15, 2012 @ 8:51pm PDT  REPLY TO THIS POST

            I hope they throw this fundie Dow guy and his entire family – and friends!! – of crooks into the pokey n’ throw away the key!! Are you kidding?!! These letters point some pretty strong fingers at these creeps!! Thank you Craig Simmons for blowing the whistle loudly! Tens of Millions?!! this should be Very Interesting!! n’ thanks SAG Trustees for most likely dropping the ball big time and letting these creeps Steal from hard working actors! we really appreciate it!! Comment by Shelly Walker — Thursday March 15, 2012 @ 11:11pm PDT  REPLY TO THIS POST

            Vote NO! Anti-Merger Suit to be heard at the end of the month. 51+ SAG & AFTRA Execs make $600,000+ benefits. The majority of SAG Members earn less than $10,000 as their benefits decline. Bravo Mr. Whistleblower! Comment by SuzanneLA — Thursday March 15, 2012 @ 11:14pm PDT  REPLY TO THIS POST

            this is in response to Tom (Foolery): SAG’s rates in the past years have been LOWER, because SAG signed the contract with the AMPTP a year after Aftra made their low-ball, no residuals deal with the AMPTP…which should have brought them back to SAG, right, since the SAG contract is cheaper, right? They didn’t, why? The Studios WANT this merger. Now, do I have to explain to you why voting yes on merger is suicide for actors? Or maybe you aren’t an actor….. Comment by in the know — Friday March 16, 2012 @ 12:11am PDT  REPLY TO THIS POST

                        Do you mean they like it because they won’t be paying residuals? Comment by moviemusic — Friday March 16, 2012 @ 1:05pm PDT  REPLY TO THIS POST

                        Look! Jurisdiction can be solved by defeating the Merger and then, floating a referenda asking all Actors which union and under which contract do they want to be represented; and, which union do they want to be their bargaining agent. So, stop with the ‘Poaching’ message. It’s tired out, old, old news. Worse still, under the new, proposed union; the constitution will allow the Board to make decisions without the voice or the vote of the membership; and that is already happening, against all Constitutional rights. Furthermore, the Staff will be allowed, as they have already begun, to; make decisions with out the approval of the Board. Meanwhile, the Staff, which horned into our Pension and Health Plan, will continue to earn Benefits at the Accrual Rate of 3.5%; while ours has been reduced to 2%. What is that about ? In addition, under the new union, we will become, as it is with AFTRA; a full member of the AF of L; instead o an Affiliate, as we are now; and the AF of L will be able to grab a bigger piece of the Head Tax and have a bigger piece of our P&H Benefits. You think taking our vote away is not all about the money in Pension and Health, and that the two have no bearing in this Merger? Comment by tombower — Saturday March 17, 2012 @ 9:27am PDT  REPLY TO THIS POST

            Criminal charges should definitely be filed. Comment by Justin Poppiti — Friday March 16, 2012 @ 11:42am PDT  REPLY TO THIS POST

            And can we arrest Roberta Reardon for abandoning her post and cutting her own deal which screwed a LOT of actors out of their benefits ? The AMPTP ALWAYS negotiates together, and they compete with each other every damn week-end and every damn day BUT they are UNITED when it comes to negotiations. And we should be too. So, I dont care who hurt your feelings , Roberta, when you walked away and cut your own deal for AFTRA, you screwed EVERY single dual card holder. For your own gain. Comment by Peggy Lane ORourke — Friday March 16, 2012 @ 7:19pm PDT  REPLY TO THIS POST

            I’m sending my ballot out on Monday 3/19/12… I’ve VOTED NO……………………………….!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! Comment by Tommy — Saturday March 17, 2012 @ 11:58am PDT  REPLY TO THIS POST

            TV LAND RESIDUALS WAIVED The Voting Rights Act of 1965, signed into law by President Lyndon Baines Johnson, ensured that every citizen would be able to exercise his/her constitutional right to a vote. The Act has been extended 3 times, most recently in 2006 by President George W. Bush. Now that right is under attack yet again in states such as Wisconsin, Ohio, Arizona, Texas, Georgia and others, and it seems that the Screen Actors Guild has joined the assault by denying to members their right to vote on a matter of major importance to the life and livelihood of our membership. Our right to residuals has been summarily waived by a Standing Committee of the Screen Actors Guild on the recommendation of staff. This waiver applies to residuals paid by the cable station, TV Land, a subsidiary of Viacom. We are told by staff that it only applies to productions with a budget so small that there are currently no productions that would qualify. What is wrong with this picture? Why would TV Land, a subsidiary of Viacom, with access to a raft of highly paid attorneys, be asking for a waiver of currently non-existent residuals? Any member with an ounce of common sense can see where this is leading. There will be more waivers. It is no minor matter. This waiver has breached an important principle. It is no minor matter. Residual income is of primary importance in the lives of performers. It must never be waived. If staff and a majority of this Standing Committee’s members can, against the vigorous objections of the minority, secure a waiver of these non-existent residuals, then more will follow and they will be real residuals, lost to real people. Our Screen Actors Guild constitution protects the right of our members to vote in a referendum on collective bargaining agreements (Article XI, section 1) and on rules and regulations governing our relations with “persons, firms or corporations connected with the motion picture industry” (Article XVI). Amendments “of a minor nature” can be approved without referendum but only “by a vote of the majority of the Board of Directors voting thereon”. This amendment is not minor and it was not voted on by the Board of Directors. This waiver contravenes the provisions of our constitution. Any waiver of residuals is a waiver of an important principle and requires a referendum of the membership. Staff recommended this waiver to the Standing Committee. Staff will not suffer any loss of income or of contributions to their Pension and Health Plan from this waiver or any future waivers. I would like to ask Mr Duncan Crabtree-Ireland, who sits on the Board of Trustees, to explain why Staff continues to receive a 3.5% accrual rate in their pensions even after members have been reduced to 2.0%. Are we to expect this to continue after merger? What more advantages will be given to staff after merger while members benefits continue to diminish? If merger is approved, the right to vote in a referendum now present under the SAG constitution will be significantly diminished. In a circuitous and subtle fashion, the constitution of SAG-AFTRA has altered the provisions requiring a referendum and/or a vote of the Board so that these requirements become very much weakened or lost altogether. Protect your residuals and your Pension and Health benefits. Vote NO to merger Scott Wilson 3/17/12 Comment by tombower — Saturday March 17, 2012 @ 3:58pm PDT  REPLY TO THIS POST

            This story was debunked last week. It is NOT TRUE. Nikki and her agenda at work again. Comment by tim matheson — Monday March 19, 2012 @ 6:23am PDT  REPLY TO THIS POST

            So we should definitely Merge with all this going on. All we need now is to let AFTRA; and the AF of L bamboozle us out of the rest. Any fool can see we should Merge without an Impact Study. Official pro-merger propaganda has frequently reassured us: If — worst-case — the S.A.G. Pension fund goes belly up, Don’t Worry. The federal government will pay your pension benefits! Well, the federal government agency responsible for paying your pension would be the Pension Benefit Guaranty Corporation — PBGC. But the PBGC is in trouble itself, according to a recent article in the Chicago Tribune. “[T]he PBGC [is] an insurance-like agency of the federal government that is funded not with tax money but premiums from companies that have defined pension plans. “However, the agency itself may be in need of a bailout. It is running a deficit of $26 billion, which would become about $35 billion if it takes over [American Airlines'] pensions. Its funding, via premiums set by Congress, is not enough to cover the cost of the failed pension plans it is responsible for, [PBGC Director] Gotbaum said.” February 28, 2012|By Gregory Karp, Chicago Tribune reporter Comment by tombower — Friday March 23, 2012 @ 10:07am PDT  REPLY TO THIS POST

            “Craig Simmons, of course, is the veteran SAG P&H Plan high-ranking executive…” As a 17-year veteran of the Plans myself, it grates on me to hear a 3-4 year HR exec who comes across as more of an opportunist being so described – especially knowing as I do that some of his claims are pure BS such as his description of the Plans as an anti-gay ‘frathouse’. Comment by BillG — Tuesday March 27, 2012 @ 11:20am PDT  REPLY TO THIS POST

            Based on Tim’s comment about this story being a hoax, I looked it up on Snopes (my favorite place to find info on the latest hoax). It’s not listed as a hoax and I think it’s a big enough issue that it should be listed, if it’s a hoax. Comment by LisaAnn — Thursday March 29, 2012 @ 5:17pm PDT  REPLY TO THIS POST

                        How’s the new SAG-AFTRA working out. SAG IS DEAD If you’re reading this now and have not read the posts by Tom Bower and Scott Wilson, please, READ THEM! Both of these fine Actors are well-informed and respected. They have ‘walked the walk’ and KNOW what they’re talking about, based upon many years of (hard) working experiences within the Motion Picture and Television Industry, as well as having serving their fellow Actors on the board of directors of the Screen Actors Guild; Hollywood and National. Comment by Renee Aubry — Thursday December 20, 2012 @ 8:47am PST  REPLY TO THIS POST

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