Mark Carlton, an independent SAG National Board candidate, sent this under the title “SAG Election Smoke Screen”:

Raising the Bar Code on the SAG opinion poll as an issue, is a feeble attempt by Ned Vaughn and his fellow  “Unite for Strength”slate members to create an election smoke screen. A cheap fear tactic to insinuate that “big brother” is watching you and somehow cares how you vote in an opinion poll.

 Last spring I seem to recall Ned Vaughn and his elitist cohorts openly signing a petition for “Qualified Voting.” there was no fear of a “blacklist” or reprisal then. To date, over 6,000 SAG members have openly signed a statement of solidarity with their negotiating team. Again no fear of reprisal. So why the attempt at diversion?

The diversion is meant to keep you from asking U4S  the real question at hand…. Now that U4S has seen the producer’s  offer to SAG, how are they going to vote? Would they take the deal in front of them? or not? DEAL or NO DEAL?

Why am I so concerned? For six years I chaired the National New Technologies Committee for SAG. I convinced them of the importance of attending the annual International Consumer Electronics show (CES). For four years SAG staff and a few board members got a glimpse of the future of the entertainment business. We attended New Media trade shows and SAG did the research. We know the importance of the TV/ Theatrical contract before us.

With the help of a WGA member, I was even able to put together an inter-guild New Media Think Tank attended by senior staff and presidents of SAG, WGA, AFTRA and DGA. It became instantly clear that some understood the impact of New Media better than others, but that the various memberships had different needs in their contracts.

Every few years a group of  actors seem to step up with simplistic solutions to complex  problems. They usually have one underlying theme. Fear of a strike! They mostly have no prior board service or committee experience, have had little to do with their union except paying their dues. They have not done the research or have the knowledge or experience to lead our Union.

“Unite for strength” sounds vaguely familiar to “Partnership for Power” the last failed merger attempt. Both slogans are premised on the fallacy that there is strength in numbers. We have negotiated our contracts jointly for twenty years and there has been no increase in strength, only new slogans! Strength comes from the willingness of members to stand together and stand firm in the face of adversity and believe me there has never been a more important time or contract than NOW!

I would tell my fellow members who have not yet voted, “go get your ballot and VOTE for the leadership of your choice. Vote wisely, it is your future and your career. Then send in the postcard on the front of your opinion poll and let your union know what you think!”