Local 47 Colleagues,

There is so much going on concerning our Local and it’s future that it’s hard to know where to begin. The rank and file is facing attacks from outside and inside the Local. Please take the time to read the entire mailing. It is important you understand some of what’s going on.

This is a rather long edition, but the most important message from this mailing is to be at the April 23rd meeting at the Local. The voice of the rank and file membership is at stake.



-Proxies are coming
-Resolution I – VOTE NO!
-Resolution II – VOTE NO!
-Resolution III – VOTE NO!
-Bait and Switch

-Some questions
-Conflict of Interest

-Think about it!
-Don’t vote against your own best interests



The last time the Administration engineered a rise in the quorum to 100 what followed was over two years with NO MEETINGS, a rash of firings of the most valuable people for the rank and file membership and the gutting of rank and file member services unlike anything this local has seen in decades.

Last year, we fought back and regained our voice, lowering the quorum back to 50 and putting in a resolution guaranteeing the members voices will be heard by the board whether there is a quorum at a meeting or not.

The administration has fought every step of the way, and the RMA did not like their supremacy of control of the voices in our Local challenged.

Then came the last election and though a valiant effort was made to give our Local a new start with an administration not addled by special interests, some members of the RMA marched into the local as a unit and re-installed the same crew.


Now they are trying to undo the progress the rank and file membership has made.

PROXIES for the Espinosa Administration and the RMA, in our opinion:
Gary Lasley, the only one of the Espinosa ticket to lose in the last election and now the “temp” for Secretary/Treasurer Williams.
Marc Sazer, VP of the RMA, Secretary Treasurer of the new “guild”, filer of the protest against David Schubach’s election as Delegate, and, in a major conflict of interest, the webmaster of Local 47 and member of the hearing board

have submitted resolutions for the next membership meeting that will put the rank and file members back into the dark ages with no voice in our Local, and making the quorum so high it’s unlikely to be reached unless the RMA want it so.

You can read them for yourself in the current Overture.


This Resolution will raise the quorum to an unheard of 170 (One-hundred and Seventy). Historically for this Local, whenever the quorum has been above 50 a concerted effort is needed to have a quorum, hence the membership had it lowered again to 50.

This action by Lasley and Sazer can be considered no less than a betrayal and a thumbing of the nose at the rank and file membership. This cannot stand and only a concerted effort by the non-elite membership at the next meeting can stop them!



In addition to lowering the quorum last year, the membership worked to guarantee the voice of the members by passing a resolution forcing the board to open a board meeting immediately on the spot if there is no quorum at any general membership meeting. This way, the members voices could be heard ON THE RECORD.

Gary Lasley and Marc Sazer’s 2nd resolution will remove this opportunity for the membership, enabling the board to steal away rather than deal with our comments and concerns.



At first blush, Resolution 3 sounds like it has a beneficial goal: to eliminate voter confusion. However, a closer look reveals why it should be defeated, and defeated soundly. To understand why requires a little history…

In the recent election, David Schubach ran for both President of the local and delegate to the national convention. He lost in the first arena and won in the second. Then it was noticed that Serena Kay Williams had appeared on the Delegate ballot in addition to running unopposed for Secretary-Treasure of the local. Since officers of the local become delegates to the national convention by definition, and by running unopposed, Ms. Williams was the presumed winner, it was asserted that any votes for her as a Delegate were not available for certain other candidates, and therefore “wasted. making the delegate portion of the balloting “unfair,” and Mr. Schubach’s selection on that ballot worthy of nullification. All this despite Mr. Schubach’s having received the most votes. All protests to the election board by Mark Sazer (who in addition to being a “member in good standing” also happens to be the vice-president of the RMA, a member of the trial board, and an organizer of a legally-questionable splinter group of RMA musicians engaged in an active effort to usurp the negotiating power of the AFM to control the recording of music for the burgeoning videogame market) were rejected by the election board. Thus failing in their attempt to deny Mr. Schubach his lawful seat at the convention, they have submitted Resolution #3 to prevent future unsuccessful, yet substantial officer candidates from any participation at the convention.

The only pure solution to possible voter confusion? Hold the election for the officers first. Count the ballots and declare the winners. Then do it all over again and elect the delegates. Incredibly wasteful, impractical, and potentially illegal. But not confusing!


Here’s the ham-handed remedy proposed by Messrs. Sazer and Lasley: Instead of eliminating officer candidates who are running unopposed from running for delegate, which at least has the semblance of addressing the complaints from the recent election, they instead go further and prevent ALL officer candidates from also running for delegate. It stacks the deck completely in favor of the successful officer candidates and eliminates the voice of the unsuccessful ones. In a close race (increasingly common lately) this results in the voice of almost half of the political body, possibly articulated by its most substantial advocate, from being heard at all come convention time. Tailor-made for stacking the philosophical deck of our delegation…


There is a far better way, one which most fairly represents the most members (and keep in mind that goal, which should be the one of our Local’s leadership.) It’s simple, elegant, and most of all, fair.

Have all officer candidates and delegate candidates appear together on the delegate portion of the ballot. Eliminate the separate balloting for 1st and 2nd alternate delegates. (In a truly democratic proceeding, why do these warrant a separate vote, anyway?) Have the electorate vote for no more candidates than the number of delegates attending the convention. When the votes are tallied, rank all delegate candidates from top to bottom in terms of votes received. Regardless of position, declare the winning officers as the first three delegates, as they are automatically attending the convention anyway. Now fill the remaining delegate seats from the remaining list, in descending order of votes received. When those are filled, declare the next two vote recipients, in descending order, as the alternates. If extreme circumstances warrant the participation of further alternates, it’s a simple matter to continue the process with the remaining names, again in descending order.

That’s it. No votes are “wasted” and the membership has maximum liberty to express its will through its delegation to the convention. No more appeals on the complexity or the “voter confusion” issues. Maximum transparency breeding maximum confidence from the membership. If you want to stack the convention or, more importantly, if you don’t want it stacked with a particular viewpoint, then go out and get the votes.

Resolution #3, simply put, limits our political speech as expressed in the strangled diversity of candidates for our national convention. Defeat it, and spend the next two years finding a better way.


The RMA is sure to pack the room, but we can and must outnumber them if we are to show them that our Local, the entire 7,300 members, will not be a plaything for ANY vast minority of +/- 150 elites and their surrogates on the Local 47 Board..


We’ve now been informed from multiple sources that the RMA’s “guild” had representatives at the Video Game Convention in San Francisco, were handing out business cards and we’ve even been told by reliable sources that the “guild” reps were introducing themselves to members of the game industry as AFM members who are authorized to handle video games contracts. This is an outright FRAUD, but it does show you the distain these folks hold for the truth. They also told the game industry reps that they should call the “guild” when they’re ready to record.

It’s also been confirmed that if you call the number on the “GUILD” business card you will reach the RMA OFFICE IN THE LOCAL 47 BUILDING! You can expect the “guild” will more than likely change the number in short order, if they haven’t already.

All of this is happening not 40 feet from the Office door of HAL ESPINOSA, and the board has been silent on it!

These are the actions of a faction hostile to the AFM and our Local. Make no mistake, if you vote for the above resolutions you are voting against the rank and file and for the power of the RMA to control our Local. Of course , not all of the board is controlled by the RMA, but enough are that it is not the benefit of the rank and file that is at the top of their agenda.

– A Local 47 Member wrote a letter to the President and the board about this “guild”, asking what they know and what they’re doing about it. No one on the board could be bothered to answer, pro OR con.


-Does the board support this guild? Why are they silent?

-We simply cannot and do not believe that the entire board condones this guild, though we’re sure at least two of the board members are or will soon be members of this “guild”.

-Can the entire board possibly be so compliant? We don’t think so, and hope those board members will speak up and demand action against this threat to our Local in the form of the “GUILD”

Come to the meeting on April 23rd and ask them for yourselves! Demand answers…


If Marc Sazer is VP of the RMA and Secretary Treasurer of the “guild”, a group openly hostile to our Local and the AFM, he has no business being the Web Master for Local 47, OR on the hearing board of our Local!

His holding either of those positions at our Local is a major and irreconcilable conflict of interest and he should be removed immediately. If he is not removed, that should tell you a great deal about the true loyalties of the Officers and Board.


We know, and you know, that this “GUILD” is to try to get some work back for the “Elite 150” (A small group of musicians and contractors that hold a monopoly on Film Scoring work in Los Angeles.)

Work is down for everyone and if you join this Guild you are being played for a fool, because there’s no way enough work will come back in the form of video games to trickle down to anyone but this monopoly.

This “guild” and these resolutions are solely to re-concentrate power in the Magic 150 again. You, your money and your “compliance”, IF you are one of those RMA members who votes as instructed without thought, are being used to enable the “Elite 150” to continue their monopoly and keep you shut out.

The world has changed, companies can go anywhere to record, and virtually everywhere else is more attractive from a monetary point of view. Many places are far easier to deal with hassle wise as well.


Whose interests will you be furthering if you vote for these resolutions on April 23rd?

Certainly not yours:

– The Secondary Market Tax (Which we can ALL agree was a bad idea.) –
What started out as a flat 2 ½ % assessment of your yearly check was pushed hard by the RMA administration to become a severely regressive tax affecting the rich the least and the poorest the most. If you made $2,500 you paid 5% tax, and if you made $250,000 you paid .5% tax. Can you say unequal taxation?

-The RMA elite care SO MUCH about you having a real voice that they changed the rules so that only those making above a certain number of hours recording could vote on national contracts, increasing power of the elite and lessening the chance of anyone else to have a say. The RMA does not trust it’s own members to think clearly as a whole body, only the elite.


-If you vote for these resolutions you will be voting to shut out any opinions that dare question the elites and the Espinosa Administration,.. and likely YOUR OWN VOICE AS WELL, because you know that when the RMA summons you down to a meeting to vote a certain way, it won’t be for your benefit, but solely to keep the monopoly in place.

How ironic it is that those who carried out the businesses practices that drove work out the city to begin with are now working to shut out all voices but their own.


It’s certainly seems as though the RMA elites don’t care if the city burns, as long as they are the last ones fiddling.

Will you help them do it?,.. or will you help preserve the voice of our members. The only way to make or KEEP this administration accountable at all is to keep Democracy alive in our Local.

When you come to the meeting your priorities should be to keep the quorum at 50 and maintain the requirement that the board listen to the member, quorum achieved or not.

Vote down all three resolutions!

Sunshine is the best disinfectant. Don’t let that sunshine be shut out!

Come to the April 23rd General Membership meeting and show that you will not be a shill for any group.

Until Next Time,


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