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July 05, 2009

Comments

Robert: "Would you like me to post a link to the AFM bylaws so you can see it for yourself? That's assuming that you don't have a very well-thumbed copy, which I regard as a very unsafe assumption indeed."

Yes, please. Despite the wild conspiracy theories concocted by some on this blog, I'm sorry to report that I"m just one person, and frankly have never seen or heard of the Roehl report before you mentioned it here. I didn't imply the commmittee was a RMA creation, I merely responded because Marc Sazer proposed here that it be created. Seems like a good idea to me, based on what's been discussed so far.

Robert - we can fantasize all day long about who might be representing who on this blog, and where agendas might be coming from, but it would be a whole lot simpler if we just stuck to the issues. This committee sounds like a reasonable idea, assuming the functions and authority of the committee were reasonable - I think Phil was saying he had information about that?

PA: "Do we need an IEB?"

Yes we do. But do we need an RMA?

Me: No, just asking questions about this oversight committee that Marc Sazer proposed.

As I recall, it was Bill Roehl that proposed the committee, and the IEB that adopted his recommendation, many years ago. Don't try to make it sound like an RMA invention of 2009.

Me: Thank you for that. I have never seen the Roehl report, so I didn't know that.

Of course you haven't.

Me: Hmm.. no actual role or responsibilities for this committee defined. Sounds dangerously like a blank check. Perhaps Robert, Marc or Phil, or someone else from your team could propose what this committee would actually do in terms of specific actions and areas of responsibility? There's no point in forming a committee without specific responsibilities.

Not even if the bylaws, or long-standing IEB policy, require its formation? As for its function, there are probably years of past practice pre-Tom that could be used as a model.

Me: Great - sounds like we have some more data. Can you provide any details of the function of the committee? From what you've said so far, it sounds like a reasonable check and balance in the big picture.

Would you like me to post a link to the AFM bylaws so you can see it for yourself? That's assuming that you don't have a very well-thumbed copy, which I regard as a very unsafe assumption indeed.

Robert writes, "The Sock tries to change the subject"

Me: No, just asking questions about this oversight committee that Marc Sazer proposed.

Robert: "An Electronic Media Services Division Steering Committee be established that should be a small number of RMA officers to be determined in consultation with that conference, plus a media representative from the symphonic conferences."

Me: Thank you for that. I have never seen the Roehl report, so I didn't know that.

Robert: "The actual role and responsibilities of the EMSD Steering Committee were not specifically addressed by Bill Roehl in his report, although the name “Steering Committee” certainly implies a central role in determining how EMSD would function and what it would try to achieve."

Me: Hmm.. no actual role or responsibilities for this committee defined. Sounds dangerously like a blank check. Perhaps Robert, Marc or Phil, or someone else from your team could propose what this committee would actually do in terms of specific actions and areas of responsibility? There's no point in forming a committee without specific responsibilities.

Phil: "The 2005 Convention adopted Article 6 Section 5, which enumerates some specific functions for the EMSD Oversight Committee. As part of the Law and Finance Committee's deliberations and report, the members and function of the EMSD Oversight Committee were referenced."

Me: Great - sounds like we have some more data. Can you provide any details of the function of the committee? From what you've said so far, it sounds like a reasonable check and balance in the big picture.


Robert,

The 2005 Convention adopted Article 6 Section 5, which enumerates some specific functions for the EMSD Oversight Committee. As part of the Law and Finance Committee's deliberations and report, the members and function of the EMSD Oversight Committee were referenced.

Efforts to get the IEB to abide by this bylaw, or any other bylaw which gaurantee rights to workers, have been unsuccessful.

Less than a year ago President Lee sent me a letter saying that things were going so wonderfully in Electronic Media Land, that the IEB saw no purpose to the EMSD Oversight Committee having any meetings. The IEB just couldn't find anything for the EMSD Oversight Committee to do.

When I questioned Tom about that at last year's LCC/PCC, it was revealed that the IEB had never seen the letter where Tom was speaking on their behalf... not that the IEB seemed even slightly shamed by that.

Perhaps "Do we need a Secretary-Treasurer?" should be replaced by the question:

Do we need an IEB?

The Sock tries to change the subject:

Who will be (or, who do you propose to be) on the Oversight Committee? Can you specify what the Bylaws and/or the Roehl Report call for in terms of deciding who makes up this committee? What do you see the role and responsibilities of this committee being?


From the Roehl report:

…An Electronic Media Services Division Steering Committee be established that should be a small number of RMA officers to be determined in consultation with that conference, plus a media representative from the symphonic conferences.

The actual role and responsibilities of the EMSD Steering Committee were not specifically addressed by Bill Roehl in his report, although the name “Steering Committee” certainly implies a central role in determining how EMSD would function and what it would try to achieve.

And since you suggested following the Bylaws - do you mean ALL the bylaws, or only the ones you want to follow...? Yes, I'm referring to Article 15 Section 3:

...

Marc, I would hate to think that you only want to follow SOME of the bylaws - the ones you like, that is... Assuming you're proposing following ALL the by-laws, how do you propose applying this one to AFM and RMA members - some quite prominent who have reportedly worked on Seattle projects in direct violation of this Bylaw?

How does the purported failure of some AFM members to abide by this bylaw justify the failure of the AFM president to abide by other bylaws?

Repetition? We've actually moved on to your specific proposal about the oversight committee. Here is the question in response to your proposal:

* Who will be (or, who do you propose to be) on the Oversight Committee? Can you specify what the Bylaws and/or the Roehl Report call for in terms of deciding who makes up this committee? What do you see the role and responsibilities of this committee being?

Regarding your proposal that "Perhaps following the Bylaws would be a good start", the question for you in response to this was whether you want to follow ALL the bylaws, specifically Article 15 Section 3?

Since repetition seems to be the order of the day, let's get back to basics:

It is gratifying that the divisive and foolish charges against me have been dropped. How often has the IEB filed charges against a member? And how many times have they had to back down?

These charges were and always were about toxic politics...nothing else.

It is not gratifying to be attacked and accused of secrecy, of hiding things, by anonymous ghosts of blogdom.

I spent hours on trial before the IEB, answering dozens of questions posed by a hostile IEB. The IEB refused to allow a proper record of my trial to be created (I offered to hire a court reporter at my own expense). They repeatedly attempted to require that I spend my own money to travel thousands of miles for my hearing. I was told that I would be denied legal representation while the IEB had an attorney representing them. Finally, the IEB tried Andy Malloy and me – by speakerphone!

After being subjected to a kangaroo court without process or integrity, the thought that someone who won’t even stand up to speak in their own name could accuse me of hiding is mind-boggling.

My trial is now concluded, and I would be delighted for all of the associated evidence to be released. I would trust my fellow musicians to form their own judgment about the fairness of the proceedings, and the reality of the evidence.

I believe that the record shows an AFM held captive by the power politics of ambitious politicians. Fairness, democracy, and basic competence are denied.

This union must institute real change. A commitment to real process, real fairness and the needs of real players would be a good first step.

Marc Sazer writes, "AFM Bylaws and the Roehl Report call for an EMSD Oversight Committee. I know this is acceptable to recording musicians; we have repeatedly asked for it to be implemented. Perhaps following the Bylaws would be a good start. Is that acceptable to both sides?"

As an observer, I represent neither side, but your proposal certainly sounds reasonable. Now to the nitty-gritty - who will be on the Oversight Committee? Can you specify what the Bylaws and/or the Roehl Report call for in terms of deciding who makes up this committee? This is critical, especially given the choice of the recording musicians to create an extreme adversarial legal situation by suing the AFM on multiple fronts and building a warchest for further legal action. It forces the AFM by necessity (not to mention basic legal strategy) to take a defensive posture on anything involving recording musicians.

And since you suggested following the Bylaws - do you mean ALL the bylaws, or only the ones you want to follow...? Yes, I'm referring to Article 15 Section 3:

"3(a) No AFM member may perform services (whether as composer, arranger,
copyist, proofreader, instrumentalist, leader, contractor, cutter, editor, or in
any other capacity): (1) where the product of the services is intended to result in, or be embodied in, recorded music made outside of the United Sates and Canada"

Marc, I would hate to think that you only want to follow SOME of the bylaws - the ones you like, that is... Assuming you're proposing following ALL the by-laws, how do you propose applying this one to AFM and RMA members - some quite prominent who have reportedly worked on Seattle projects in direct violation of this Bylaw?

Since you made a specific proposal (thank you!), I'll make one: Members guilty of working on Seattle projects in violation of Article 15 Section 3 will admit to their violations and pay a nominal fine (maybe $50/film), with the promise to never again work on non-AFM projects in violation of this Bylaw and the agreement to pay a hefty fine should they ever break that promise. As with all AFM fines, the names and amounts of the fines should be published - hopefully that will motivate those who are considering violating this Bylaw to think twice.

Acceptable to you, Marc? If not, why?

AFM Bylaws and the Roehl Report call for an EMSD Oversight Committee. I know this is acceptable to recording musicians; we have repeatedly asked for it to be implemented. Hmmm....

Perhaps following the Bylaws would be a good start. Is that acceptable to both sides?

Robert writes, "And, like a true apparatchik, the Sock can't conceive of criticizing an elected officer without being in the tank for someone."

Fair criticism is one thing, especially for elected leaders, but you seem to be making an online career out of targeting Tom Lee with one criticism after another. The vast majority of the articles you post about here directly or by inference criticize Tom Lee, from his Michael Jackson email on down.

Perhaps it would be more constructive if you made some specific proposals to resolve the problems you so frequently point out. Since you have so many issues with how the AFM treats your buddies the recording musicians, what specific contract points do YOU propose that would resolve the issue and be acceptable to both sides?

And please, let's not start with "it's up to the recording musicians to work with the AFM..." Of course it is, but you clearly have no problems taking shots at the AFM's solution to part of this (the promulgated agreements), so instead of the constant complaining about this or that relating to Tom Lee, how about we discuss some specific issues - and more importantly - specific proposals to resolve those issues that both sides can live with?

Apparently "sockpuppet" is the English word for "apparatchik." And, like a true apparatchik, the Sock can't conceive of criticizing an elected officer without being in the tank for someone.

Robert: "Do you really think I'm getting paid by someone to do this, or expect some kind of political pay-off down the road?"

I think your work here functions to benefit a group that you have no apparent ties with (the radical recording musicians). Why you would engage in constant, public attacks on Tom Lee that benefit these people is a real mystery, and leads me to believe that there must be more going on than meets the eye here. What, exactly, that may be is unknown and I and others can only guess and theorize. But for an admitted non-recording musician, your rabid defense of every stunt they pull and their federal lawsuits they use to attack the AFM, combined with your nonstop criticism of their #1 target Tom Lee, demonstrates a loyalty and allegiance that's hard to ignore.

Your obsession with pointing out his smallest flaws is amazing - if you're going to run against him (which I still think is a possibility), you're going have to do better than this, Robert. What's next, interviews with his jilted high school ex-girlfriends? Commentaries on his height and/or weight?

Is his weight, or height, or long-ago private life, relevant to his performance as AFM president? His relationship with the leadership of the Player Conferences is quite relevant, given that they represent most of the AFM members actually making a living by performing.

I haven’t seen this public, or this explicit, a criticism of any AFM president from any of the symphonic conferences since the early 90s. I know how hard the leadership of ICSOM has worked to maintain a good working relationship with Tom over the years. You may choose to regard his inability to manage this relationship as one of his “smallest flaws.” If it is, I’d hate to see one of his larger ones.

If you're not running, congratulations on being an excellent propagandist for whoever is. But a note to your patrons, benefactors, or whoever you're doing this on behalf of: focus on the big picture.

As far as symphonic musicians go, how the President manages the SSD is very much part of the “big picture.” And why does criticism of the AFM's elected leaders have to be "on behalf of patrons [or] benefactors?" Do you really think I'm getting paid by someone to do this, or expect some kind of political pay-off down the road? It seems like a pretty risky strategy to me.

Drip, drip, drip... sad that you apparently have nothing better to talk about than yet another complaint about Tom Lee. Your obsession with pointing out his smallest flaws is amazing - if you're going to run against him (which I still think is a possibility), you're going have to do better than this, Robert. What's next, interviews with his jilted high school ex-girlfriends? Commentaries on his height and/or weight?

If you're not running, congratulations on being an excellent propagandist for whoever is. But a note to your patrons, benefactors, or whoever you're doing this on behalf of: focus on the big picture.

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