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June 21, 2007

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Recording musicians have have a contract. The AFM president has told them that they are selfish. The AFM president has said he believes in an all-inclusive union and in the process has pushed the recording musicians away. The intellectual disconnect couldn't be more apparent, and yet . . .

No votes were stolen. The majority of delegates chose to believe Tom Lee's version over Hal Espinosa's version and voted accordingly. The die is cast. People have clear choices to make for the future, and they will. The convention is done; time to let it go.

Moore has challenged the election; the DOL will look at all the factors and see that the Montreal votes could have affected the elections for Vice President from Canada and for the IEB; the DOL will also see that the black local delegates' votes may have had an outcome on the the IEB elections. The DOL may conclude that there is no merit to a rerun election for Secretary-Treasurer or President, but they may well seek an order that the AFM rerun its election in conformity with public law anyway.

So be it.

Did you hear? Michael Troy Moore is contesting the election at the convention. He should do his math. Even if all the Montreal votes were to have gone for Hal, Tom would still win. I don't think the DOL will take kindly to a guy who got 21 votes wasting resources and time contesting an election beyond reproach.

On the other hand, many delegates seem to find Moore's contestations of election results a tradition at the convention.

Interesting comments from "coward". I'm sure we'll all sleep better tonight knowing that the AFM convention has addressed all the important external issues.

A cowards view of the Convention

-Filter out all the political posturing and rhetoric.

-Filter out an ignorant comment about belonging to a Central or State Labor Counsel.

-Filter out a really mean spirited comment by a delegate who needs to check her broom at the door (partner healthcare)

-Filter out some clueless comments about the role of national politics and labor by the right wing women of Orlando

-Filter out a guy who lost the last election and retaliates by dominating the floor with nauseating intellectual banter. (I voted for him, why should I suffer?)

For me this was a very progressive convention. The delegates where not retro or disconnected. They worked very hard for many hours on the resolutions and recommendations. I attend other big labor conventions and this AFM convention was very organized and civil.

This was the convention of:
-inclusion,
-courage and solidarity for our african-american brothers and sisters
-solidarity for union spirited issues like national healthcare, same sex marriage, end the war now, and more

When left to choose external progressive issues the delegates consistently did the right thing. The recording musician thing is an internal issue that has been used for political gain (or loss) or almost 50 years. Sure it is important, but the delegates kept their eye on the ball in spite of it.

I am very proud of the delegates on these external issues.


Diogenes said this: "The amazing failure of the legal counsel to properly explain the reason the African American specific delegate could not vote for officers resulting in a vote to break the law..."

I'm sorry, but Diogenes must have been asleep. The lawyer explained the issue in a clear and understandable manner. The delegates knew the possible consequences of the decision they were making, and yet, they decided to do the right thing. Bravo delegates!!

Diogenes said this: "The amazing failure of the legal counsel to properly explain the reason the African American specific delegate could not vote for officers resulting in a vote to break the law..."

I'm sorry, but Diogenes must have been asleep. The lawyer explained the issue in a clear and understandable manner. The delegates knew the possible consequences of the decision they were making, and yet, they decided to do the right thing. Bravo delegates!!

I agree that allowing Montreal a voice at this convention was the right thing to do. My local received support at the 1999 convention (assisted by then Secretary-Treasurer Tom Lee) allowing us to be seated. To vote any other way would have been hypocritical. I’m simply pointing out that while that was appropriate, so was the support of the African American delegates. Also the Montreal issue would have been more justified if all the locals who had similar problems were given the same opportunity to be represented at this convention, which is yet to be clarified.

Complaining about Montreal is pointless. The new administration was blameless in the situation they found when they were elected; the delegates did the right thing by seating them, and even if every single Montreal vote were moved into the Espinosa column, Tom would still have won.

The big worry is whether the RMA will decide on a scorched earth policy. Hopefully they took their stinging defeat at the convention as a sign that they have to change their conduct. unfortunately, their MO is to blame others and redouble their efforts. That will be bad for everyone including the RMA.

The Montreal vote, encouraged by the Federation, forced delegates to make a decision without full information and with the explanation that the issue came up at the last minute. This vote opened the door for a possible election challenge and so the issue of the Black delegates that the Federation had knowledge of and did nothing about since 1989 led delegates to do the right thing and support their ability to have a voice at this convention. Of the two, the black delegate issue had more justification and couldn't do anymore damage to the Federation than had already been done on the first day of the convention.

The majority of delegates voting for the financial package do not have recording musicians in their locals. This package put an unfair financial burden on a minority of musicians and was a clear case of taxation without representation.

I would like to thank everyone who supported my candidacy for the IEB. I was deeply honored by the amount of support I received and the kind comments following the election. I hope you will get in touch with me so we can share information and combine our skills to work on the real issues facing our profession.

Best wishes,
Tina



My last post - I am packing it in as soon as I arrive home and unpack. I will be resigning from the Federation after decades of being a member.

The reasons:

I believe in proper representation of our members however, the Montreal situation was a debacle - in the end it did not affect the election but the actual truth of the situation surely did not get an airing on the floor


The amazing failure of the legal counsel to properly explain the reason the African American specific delegate could not vote for officers resulting in a vote to break the law and an inevitable DOL investigation and more fees for the firm Kaiser started, he must be twisting in his grave.

Finally, the financial package, what a joke, time to stop fighting? this practically ensures fighting, will the Federation actually receive more than they pay ot in legal costs? doubt it


packing it in

Diogenes

To what sector of the business is the AFM relevant and/or essential? The recording musicians of LA consider it a tax-grabbing irritant which excludes them from meaningful input; casual musicians have left in droves since the early 70s; symphonic players handle their own affairs very well and most, if not all, larger locals give to the AFM far more than they receive. I wonder how long nostalgia can keep this thing together. Is the AFM relevant in today's context? The solidarity rationale in the event of a national or international recording strike lost any credibility long ago. A well-organized group of defiant musicians could easily blow up this house of cards once called the most powerful union in America. There is probably good reason to be dispirited.

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