Tuesday, September 8, 2009



HOLLYWOOD (September 8, 2009)

Fellow Hollywood SAG Members,

The most important question in this election is this: What steps must we take to strengthen the Screen Actors Guild and make sure we can negotiate the best possible contracts? I’ve described very clearly what I think the answer is. We need to build close relationships with all our fellow entertainment unions and approach future contract negotiations as a united front. Most critically, the two unions representing performers in our industry must work together as one. The surest way to achieve that is by merging SAG and AFTRA into one powerful national union.

Please go to http://uniteforstrength.com/?p=734 and you’ll see important video messages from Tom Hanks, William H. Macy, and Felicity Huffman explaining why they – along with Sally Field, Tony Shalhoub, Hector Elizondo and so many other SAG members – agree with me.

My opponent, Anne-Marie Johnson, sees it differently. She and her group, Membership First, chose to fight with AFTRA heading into last year’s TV/Theatrical negotiations, and it cost us terribly:

- SAG members lost tens of millions of dollars in increases and countless job opportunities during a ten month contract stalemate.

- SAG covered only 10% of the 2009 TV pilots.

- Lower revenues led to a 2-year budget deficit of $10 million, requiring 8% of SAG’s staff to be fired.

- Reduced earnings meant fewer members qualified for SAG health insurance and pension credits.

- Lower earnings contributed to the need for major changes to SAG’s pension and health plans, which will take effect in January, including higher health insurance premiums and deductibles, and a lower pension accrual rate.

With results like these, it’s no surprise that Anne-Marie Johnson and Membership First are now trying to sound like they embrace the idea of working together with AFTRA. But what you hear them saying may be very different from what they mean.

- They say they want “all performers in one union”… but they steadfastly oppose merger, the obvious way to accomplish that.

- They say SAG should “share services” with AFTRA… but they want to immediately end the legal agreement that prohibits SAG and AFTRA from publicly attacking each other.

- They say SAG and AFTRA must negotiate together in 2010… but Ms. Johnson pledges her first act if elected would be to ask performers who are members of both unions to choose between them. Is she suggesting that SAG should raid AFTRA’s membership? That would be ruinous.

We CANNOT afford to go back to the go-it-alone approach of Anne-Marie Johnson, Connie Stevens, and Membership First. Unite for Strength is dedicated to protecting the future for actors. If you agree that SAG is made stronger by working in partnership with our fellow entertainment unions, please vote for me, Amy Aquino, and all the Unite for Strength board candidates.


Ken Howard

For more information about our candidates and to see all the UFS videos, please visit http://www.uniteforstrength.com/


President – KEN HOWARD

Secretary-Treasurer – AMY AQUINO

Board of Directors – Please vote for ALL 33 board candidates below. DO NOT vote for more than 33 board candidates or your ballot will not be counted.

1 – Michelle Allsopp 6 – Patrick Fabian 9 – Jason George 10 – Dawnn Lewis 11 – Woody Schultz 12 – Michael O’Keefe 14 – Clark Gregg 19 – David Lawrence 20 – Amir Talai 21 – Doug Savant 22 – Dule Hill 23 – Clyde Kusatsu 25 – Tim DeKay 28 – Assaf Cohen 34 – Scotty Caldwell 35 – D.W. Moffett 39 – Mandy Steckelberg 40 – Richard Speight, Jr. 43 – Jenny O’Hara 52 – Gabrielle Carteris 55 – Hill Harper 57 – Bill Smitrovich 58 – Bob Bergen 59 – Ned Vaughn 60 – Nancy Travis 62 – Gregory Itzin 64 – Ellen Crawford 67 – Stacey Travis 73 – Christian Clemenson 74 – Conrad Palmisano 75 – Richard Fancy 81 – Marcia Wallace 82 – John Carroll Lynch

This message was sent by: Ken Howard, Senders valid physical postal address provided in accordance with federal CAN-SPAM Act is: 5757 Wilshire Blvd., 7th FL., Los Angeles, CA 90036

Please note that this address may not be used to send campaign related communications or contributions to the above mentioned candidate.


This e-mail message is not an official communication of the Screen Actors Guild and has not been transmitted at Guild expense. The Guild is required by federal law to provide candidates with the opportunity to send you email messages. The following has been prepared by the candidate(s) and is not endorsed or reviewed by the Guild in any manner. The candidate(s) have not been provided with your e-mail address. The messages are being transmitted by an independent electronic communications firm.