I spent a few hours today reading through the campaign statements, the non-candidate statements and all the email spam I’ve been getting from both slates…and I voted.
This was a difficult election for me. I wasn’t moved by either slate. I am moved by a profound disappointment in the way the Guild has been run in the last few years (while, at the same time, I personally know and respect many of the officers/board members). As it turned out, my votes were more or less split between the two slates. Here is how I voted:
President: Patric Verrone. This was the hardest decision to make. I have serious reservations about both candidates. Neither one strikes me as someone strong enough, and charismatic enough, to reinvigorate our Guild. I wish there was a third choice. But I finally chose Patric Verrone. Even though I am not sold on his "organize, organize, organize" platform, and am stunned that he voted in favor of honoring Victoria Riskin, he has impressed me in the past with his intelligence, energy, and dedication to writers. I admire Ted Elliott as writer but he has failed to inspire me with any kind of vision for his presidency.
Vice-President: David Weiss. I’m a big admirer of Carl Gottlieb. He’s smart, experienced, and cares deeply about our Guild. I have voted for him time and time again… too many times, perhaps. Even so, I was ready to vote for him again until I read his rebuttal of Weiss’ statement — which basically trashed Weiss for not being active in Guild affairs. Frankly, at this point, I think not having a long record of Guild service means more than being deeply entrenched in Guild affairs (and I’m speaking as someone who has served on numerous WGA committees and even ran for the Board once). I don’t agree with a lot of Weiss’ views — on the other hand, I’m impressed by his energy, his intelligence, his humor and his zeal. And I’m swayed by what worries Carl the most — that Weiss hasn’t been very involved in Guild politics. We need a fresh pov and new energy because our Guild is an ineffective mess that only seems to really succeed lately at one thing — embarrassing itself and it’s members. I don’t have to agree with everything Weiss stands for (and I don’t)…but I admire his zeal and his obvious dedication to the betterment of all writers.
Secretary-Treasurer: Irma Kalish
For the Board:
Howard A. Rodman
and, as a wild card,
David S. Weiss. What he has going for him, at least in my view, is that he isn’t on either slate, he’s an experienced writer who represents an under-represented group (late night comedy writers), he’s angry, he’s fought for his fellow writers, and he hasn’t served on any WGA committees. He’s also focused on the core issue with most writers: Getting the money we are owed for the work we have done.
So there you have it.
2 thoughts on “WGA Election”
The difference between WGA and SAG is obvious: SAG candidates are actors you’ve heard of. As is the case in Hollywood no one knows the screenwriter. Doesn’t mean they don’t make money that is enviable, just a reality of the biz. I’ve never heard of any of these people. Still the guilds stand for their membership and will fight for them against producers should the need arise. It did for me, and they made all the difference.
Irma Kalish is nothing but a management hack. She was on an arbitration, put there by her lawyer cousin, who was representing the studio claiming I had not done a second and third draft regarding a screenplay. Writers on my side said she derided writers stating all of them do nothing except say they did a rewrite when they didn’t. She needs to be sent back to run a Westside PTA meeting. She and her group represent everything that’s wrong with the guild.