More bitter SAG infighting in the runup to the September election. After “Unite For Strength” leader Ned Vaughn issued a statement that his slate has abandoned its Affected Member Voting initiative, he sent this to me yesterday for posting about AMV and two rival “Membership First” candidates, JoBeth Williams and Clancy Brown:

“In light of today’s email from JoBeth Williams to SAG members, which contained Martin Sheen’s letter, I thought the following email – sent by JoBeth to fellow AMV [Affected Member Voting] organizer James Eckhouse – would be of interest to you. Below that is an email from Membership First candidate and AMV petition signer Clancy Brown, which he sent to me after filing his paperwork to become a candidate. By focusing their campaign on this empty claim, Membership First shows how little they have to offer the membership. Everyone understands the biggest problem facing actors right now is that our unions are competing against themselves. If Membership First had a solution for that, we wouldn’t keep hearing about this non-issue. Martin Sheen blasted our slate because some of us supported AMV and claimed we’d continue to pursuit [sic] it despite our public pledge not to. Meanwhile the emails show that two candidates on the slate he’s endorsing – including the one who sent out his letter – previously supported the idea. Is he now going to advise SAG members not to vote for those candidates either?” Here are the two emails Vaughn released to me:

—–Original Message—–
From: Jo Beth Williams
Sent: Sunday, April 06, 2008 11:11 AM
To: James Eckhouse
Subject: petition

Hi Jim, I spoke to Stephen Collins yesterday–he’s an old friend, and told him I support your ideas about voting on contracts.  How are you going to present it at the plenary? Could you send me a copy of the proposal?
JoBeth Williams

—–Original Message—–
From: Clancy Brown
Sent: Friday, July 25, 2008 5:46 AM
To: Ned Vaughn
Subject: Qualified Voting list…

Hello Ned,
Could you please remove my name from your “in favor of qualified voting” list? I would appreciate it.
At the time you initially brought the issue to the fore, there was no election or candidates and negotiations were just about to begin.
I think the landscape has changed since then and my advocacy for the idea has softened considerably.
I wish you luck with your board slate even though I am not comfortable endorsing it.
I am happy to speak with you about QV or any other issue facing actors today. We certainly are living in interesting times.

All the best – Clancy Brown