Ric Reitz has been re-elected president of SAG-AFTRA’s Atlanta local, handily defeating challenger Scott Hunter by 326 votes to 181. Reitz, who is something of a colorful character, is not only a busy actor but a broker of Georgia film tax credits. As Deadline reported two weeks ago, he’s also advised producers on a “magic formula” to employ movie stars on the cheap.
“Here’s the magic formula,” he said on a 2014 podcast. “For them to qualify annually for insurance. Individually, they’re trying to make $15,000 a year. That’s all it takes for an actor to qualify for insurance, $15,000 a year. To qualify for your family, $30,000 a year. And there are people, if you want a star, and you know that you’re near the end of their year and they haven’t done a film this year, offer them 30,000 bucks. They’ll do it. Even if their rate is 100,000 or 50,000, you go, ‘I need you here for a week for 30,000 bucks.’ I will do that. Because they have to make insurance.”
Reitz’s win today is just the latest in a juggernaut of local election victories this month by supporters of SAG-AFTRA president Gabrielle Carteris and her Unite for Strength (UFS) slate of running mates – which could spell bad news for the opposition’s Membership First slate of candidates running for national office.
In the Washington-Mid-Atlantic local, Susan Jeanne Snyder – another Unite For Strength endorser – was elected today to a four-year term on the national board of directors, defeating two challengers with 45% of the vote.
UFS supporters won big in other recent local elections as well. In San Francisco, Bob Butler was re-elected to the national board and Kathryn Howell was elected president. Both were running unopposed. In the Houston-Austin local, Pamela Weaver easily won re-election as president, and in Chicago, John Carter Brown was elected to a two-year terms on the national board. Illysa Fradin, one of the few non-supporters of UFS to win a race, was elected to a four-year national board seat from Chicago.
Several other UFS supporters also won or held their seats running opposed: In Dallas-Fort Worth, Suzanne Burkhead was elected to the national board, and Brent Anderson was re-elected as president; in Portland, Robert Blanche was elected president; in Miami, Ellen Wacher was elected vice president; and in Seattle, Rik Deskin was elected president.
In New Orleans, UFS endorser Diana Boylston was elected president, and it was a clean sweep for UFS supporters in Hawaii, where Scott Rogers was elected to the national board, David C. Farmer was elected president, Charles Uyehara was elected vice president, and Jean Simon was elected secretary.