It’s election season again at the Writers Guild, and continuing in their secretive ways, WGA West officials are refusing to answer any questions beyond what they put in their press releases. Seventeen candidates – including five incumbents – have been nominated by the guild’s nominating committee to vie for the eight open seats on the 16-member board. Asked if there are any incumbents who are not seeking re-election, guild spokesman Gregg Mitchell said, “We’re not commenting beyond today’s release.”
A review of those elected in 2012, cross-checked against the incumbents seeking re-election this time, shows that John Aboud, David Goodman, and Kathy Kiernan aren’t seeing re-election. So why couldn’t the WGA just say so? That’s unclear. “The open Internet is the greatest technological catalyst to participatory democracy and free speech since the printing press,” the guild said in a press release last month. “That’s why totalitarian states around the world try to control it.” The same could be said about unions.
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The incumbent board members seeking re-election are Michael Oates Palmer, Chip Johannessen, Marjorie David, Scott Alexander, and Katherine Fugate. The candidates selected by the nominating committee are Aaron Fullerton, Cynthia Riddle, Peter Lefcourt, Stan Chervin, Chris Derrick, Doug Atchison, Peter Murrieta, Aaron Mendelsohn, Jonathan Fernandez, Courtney Ellinger, Shawn Ryan, and Shernold Edwards.
Eligible members also can run by petition after they obtain 25 member signatures in support of their petitions – a process that puts them at a distinct disadvantage against the “official” field of candidates selected by the nominating committee. The deadline for submitting those signed petitions is July 23. The guild will host its annual Candidates Night forum September 3 at WGA headquarters, and ballots will be counted September 16.