Read President Espinosa’s column this month? Holding off accountability, more fun with bylaws, latest FMA offering, trivia, comments and more.





President Espinosa has taken up the mantle of RMA
mouthpiece again. The majority of his column talks
about how there should be only one video game
agreement, and that those who do the sessions
should be the ones to do the negotiations.

The single video game contract the RMA leadership
wants limits the number of our members who can
record video games under a union contact because
its terms turn away a great deal of work. More options
for contracts means more options for OUR members
to work under a union contract, more health and
welfare and more in our members‚ pensions. If Mr.
Espinosa truly were interested in the most members
working he would embrace as many options as possible.
Does he?

Be that as it may, there‚s only one problem with his
Œone contract‚ and Œthose who do the sessions should
make the rules theory.‚,∑ they‚re both wrong.

How? ALL musicians should have a say in all contracts
within reason. How else to make sure that no group
tries to shape the rules to benefit only themselves to
the detriment of everyone else, including those who
actually do the sessions.

Why? If the negotiation of those contracts are decided
solely by those who do the sessions, in this case by
the RMA leadership, you can bet they will protect
only THEIR interests to the disadvantage of everyone
else, including those hoping to do recording work
themselves. It‚s not supposition, we‚ve seen it
again and again.


A perfect example? Those very same Video Game

Before the new buyout agreements, producers‚ only
options were the full RMA desired agreement that
virtually guaranteed an almost non-existent
fraction of those games being done here, or
recording anywhere (and we do mean ANYWHERE)
else in the world! Under the weight of the RMA
agreement very few games were being done here
and Seattle was scoring games hand over fist.
Don‚t take our words for it, check the Seattle
website yourself,
There is even a very busy copy house up there
now. You can look at their credits here: .

THE NEW CONTRACTS done without the
interference of the RMA, but using their
agreement as a partial basis, have been
infinitely more productive in getting that
work back.

FACT: Now we have much more of the video
game work being done union, only it‚s in San
Francisco, particularly at Skywalker Ranch.
Where did that work come from?,∑ SEATTLE!
Once we had a workable AFM buyout agreement
for video games, a product that doesn‚t even pay
the composer secondary market funds, the work
came back from Seattle to Union venues. Don‚t
believe us? Check the Skywalker Ranch website.
Even Seattle contractors admitted it to us. Notice
the jump in scores in 2006.

Why didn‚t it come back here? A small fraction did,
but as we‚ve told you and composers have told us,
that little stunt with the Simpson‚s Video Games
sessions soured them on LA.

Who can you thank for that? The RMA leaderships‚
actions and no one else. It was their members who
„urged‰ members not to play those sessions, leading
at least half the orchestra to bail on them, leading
the composer to go to San Francisco.

Now, most of the union video game work is in San
Francisco and other locales, NOT Los Angeles.
Considering the clients‚ happiness with the out of
LA product, they will continue to record elsewhere.

Mr. Espinosa seems to want to continue the business
models that led to the work leaving to begin with, not
to mention leading many decades-long members to be
so fed up with the lack of representation that they
went fi-core.



The charges against two of the founders of the
Professional Musicians Guild, Andy Malloy and
Marc Sazar, for creating their illegal organization
are still in full force. The IEB (International Executive
Board) has been trying to move the process forward.

The IEB has scheduled hearings into the issue at
least twice, but on both occasions Mr. Sazar and
Mr. Malloy have said the timings weren‚t Œconvenient‚
for them.

Don‚t think the Charges are legit?

Remember that according to AFM Bylaws:

Article 10: Section 3

: “No AFM member shall be
permitted to hold membership in any union of

musicians not affiliated with the AFM or in any
other organization or
 association of musicians
that has a goal or engages in a pattern of conduct

undermining or weakening the legitimate interests
of the AFM or any affiliated Local. Any member
violating the provision of this Section shall be
subject to expulsion.”

In a Variety article written by Jon Burlingame
titled ŒBusiness: 
Musicians to tune out AFM union:
Over 200 join Professional Musicians Guild‚ we
find the following quote:
L.A. musicians have placed the American
Federation of Musicians on notice: Shape up or
face possible decertification as their collective-
bargaining agent for film and TV recordings.
More than 200 of the estimated 900 professional
musicians who are most active on film-scoring
dates have already joined the new Professional
Musicians Guild, according to PMG president
Andrew Malloy.

It should be obvious to anyone even half-heartedly
unbiased that the above quote indicates that the
PMG intends to undermine and weaken the interests


Though the above bylaw can most directly be
applied to Seattle and those who created the
PMG, it seems those PMG members who were
„asked‰ or „cajoled‰ into joining the organization
have set themselves up for some trouble of their

As a member of the PMG they have been
put in the position of breaking the same Bylaw
and are subject to the same expulsion.



Have you ever read this AFM Bylaw?:

ARTICLE 10 – Section 20
Members of a Local who demand, request, induce
or try to induce other members not to play with or
for any other leaders or members shall be subject
to a fine of not more than $100 or to suspension
or expulsion.

This is the exact description of those who told their
fellow Union members not to work on the Simpson‚s
sessions. Also, it could certainly apply to contractor
members who would threaten a member with loss
of work if they work for anyone else, should that

What is the use of having bylaws to protect the integrity
of our members and our Federation if Locals can ignore
them with impunity?



We‚ve been told by people at the Local that they
think too many members are qualifying for our
Local‚s health insurance, so to mitigate that they
expect the number of hours to qualify to be raised
in January, 2009. This same impression is articulated by
the FMAs current offering. They also bring up the
new health insurance options made available to our
members WITHOUT a qualifying amount of work.
Perhaps they even got it from us. Either way it
Bears a repeat reading and more consideration.

Should the rise in hours come to pass, our officers
should be looking for MORE options for our members,
not embrace the way to reduce the number of
members covered. The report in Honolulu gives
us three more options, but our officers have not
seen fit to inform us of them.

Below is the FMA‚s latest offering:

Freelance Musicians Assn – L.A.

Dear Friends:

The information below describes an exciting
new health plan offered to all AFM Members
without having to “qualify” for the plan. It
was recently sent to Members by one of our

We also recently received a letter from the
Local #47 Health & Welfare Dept, informing
Members that due to a drop in the net worth
of our Local’s H&W plan over the past two years,
it will undergo a “restructuring,” with new
qualifying rates effective Jan 1, 2009.

This letter declines to state HOW MUCH the
H&W plan will be restructured, or what the
new qualifying threshold will be.

– For the past two years, #47 Wage Scales
have risen slightly.
– However, the qualifying threshold for H&W,
$600 worth of individual Member contributions,
has stayed the same.
– Therefore, it’s to be expected that since
Wage Scale percentages have risen, more
Members have qualified for our Health plan
each year.

You would think it is a good thing that more
Members have health insurance! However:

– The current structure of our H&W requires
that only a small percentage of Members
qualify in order to keep the fund solvent.
In other words, many more Members must
contribute to H&W than end up using the plan.
– Some Members have healthcare through
Film Music health coverage, and some through
their spouses’ plans.
– But the sad truth is that many Members are
contributing their hard-earned dollars to
H&W when they have little or no hope of
ever qualifying. Their money simply helps
keep the plan afloat for others who are
working more.

– The rates for this new AFM healthcare plan,
while higher than current H&W rates, would
allow every Member to have health insurance.

We would like to see a meeting at our Local
regarding this plan.

Please read below, and give us your feedback.

Lisa Haley



Musicians Union HEALTH INSURANCE through the AFM

At a presentation made in February at the
California Conference meeting in Honolulu
a reputable health insurance broker
announced the availability of three different
health insurance plans (HealthNet HMO & PPO,
LOCALS without having to qualify through
the member‚s amount of work!

The meeting was attended by representatives
from most California Locals, including
President Espinosa, VP Trombetta and John

In order for a Local to qualify to participate,
each must have a minimum of 6 members
subscribe. While the rates of these plans don’t
substantially differ from those available to
members publicly from those companies,
some of the co-pays and coverages are
significantly better.


The biggest advantage is the fact that pre-
existing conditions are covered without
question (though there is a 6 month waiting
period for pre-existing condition coverage
for those opting for the PPO plan, unless they
have been covered by a similar plan for 6
months prior to the date of enrollment).

Several California Locals are already holding
informational meetings for their members,
and many of those Locals report a very
strong interest.



Reports of dances involving high-kicking
have been recorded since ancient times, but
the style reached a notorious peak in the
shape of the can-can during the late 19th

Ostensibly a hybrid of the polka and the
quadrille, the can-can (the word originally
meant Œtittle-tattle of a scandalous nature‚)
was originally a group dance performed by
both sexes, but it eventually came to be
dominated by women who wore exuberant
costumes and showed the flesh above their
stockings by kicking their legs high in the
air. The dance was deemed immoral and
indecent and was outlawed for a number
of years, though it still managed to become
popular through venues such as the Moulin
Rouge, gaining extra respectability via French
operetta composers.


V. Events


Mon, May 12, 8:00pm
JAZZ BAKERY in Culver City
3233 Helms Ave.
Los Angeles, CA 90034
(310) 271-9039

$30 ($15 students)


The comments below represent the uncensored
views of the readers and not necessarily those
of the COMMITTEE. In the faith that freedom of
expression allows for the birth and ascendancy
of the most beneficial ideas, all sentiments
expressed are welcome, subject to the bounds
of good taste and decorum. If you disagree
with an opinion expressed by any contributor,
we encourage you to rebut it here.


Dear Committee,

The Secretary’s salary is $70,000 from year
January 1, 2004. With cost of living wage
(COLA) it’s now closer to $75,000.


In response to the comment:

Who is in this committee? It is always signed:
The Committee Why don’t you all make yourselves
be known if there are so many of you feel this way.


From the newsletter:

Levy said, “we are waiting to elect a new President
in Nov who isn’t “Pro-Right To Work.”

If Attorney Lewis Levy actually said this it is a very
bad sign indeed. It demonstrates either a lack of
understanding of both federalism and stare decisis
or a cavalier, adolescent approach to the subject
matter. And it is a further indication of the perverse
culture of the current administration.

“Right to Work” laws are determined by states.
There are currently 22 states with right to work laws.
No president will have the authority to change that.
A president can only — through executive order ˆ
make discretionary choices concerning enforcement
of certain legal principles. For example, GHW Bush
signed an executive order to enforce Beck; an order
Bill Clinton cancelled.

Financial core, as determined in Supreme Court
decisions, is not the same as a state’s right to
proscribe union security clauses. A democrat
in the White House will not change a musician’s
rights under federal law or a union’s legal
responsibilities. For Mr. Levy to suggest otherwise
is malpractice. Presumably Mr. Levy thinks that
since CA does not have right to work laws executive
non-enforcement at the federal level (of established
law concerning fi-core) will give the union more
power to decide which legal protections US citizens/
musicians under its jurisdiction should enjoy and
which they should be denied. That, and Mr. Levy’s
enthusiastic anticipation clearly portends the abuse
of said power.

In fact, the union has a legal obligation to inform
its members in a comprehensive way about these
legal matters, an obligation it is not fulfilling.

And, as was pointed out in the Comm47 newsletter,
Mr. Levy’s statement is a ridiculous but revealing
indication of how these morons approach their
responsibilities. The local’s lawyer responds to
a member’s comment with a partisan remark
about a pending presidential election? How insulting ˆ
and how inappropriate. It shows the contempt the
lawyer has for the member and the comment. That’s
right — contempt. What is appropriate about the
administration exhibiting disdain toward members?
Even if I agreed with this administration on anything
policy-wise, as an educated person I would be troubled
by their consistent and demonstrated contempt of people,
process, propriety, democracy, seriousness and dissent:
even for the by-laws they are pledged to protect and
defend and the laws of our country. These people are
temperamentally and intellectually unfit to responsibly
execute their offices.

Rick Blanc (please attach name)


I am not part of The Committee. First, I would like
to thank who ever had the balls to send this. I am
assuming their comment was not just rhetoric, so
I hope to hear more from them. The reference to
‘how you feel’ was a nice touch. Now I’ll get down
to business…
You really think The Committee are a bunch of
idiots, don’t you? Why should you even care? What
purpose would it serve? Most of the general membership
does not show up to meetings and do not get involved
because the union has become little more than an
address book that musicians can be listed in. The
union administration tries to keep the general
membership uninformed and uninvolved. The
administration wants people to pay yearly dues
and shut up. So how about coming up with
something a little more intelligent, instead
of whining ‘who are you’. You sound like a clip
from a Clint Eastwood movie. But thanks for
your comment. Now, respond and tell me why
I am wrong. You can speak freely, even if I don’t
like it. By the way, are you a union official or a
member of the RMA?

-The Green Hornet


Nice AP wire-service story on the back page of
Tuesday’s 5/6/08 “Calendar” section about
Bulgarian film scoring. Outsourcing Gone Wild!!,0,5291372.story


What is it with the VP and Secretary‚s columns?
They sound like bad Stuart Smalley skits from
Saturday Night Live.

Also, we have Leslie Lashinsky printing self love
letters in the „letters to the editor‰ section and Leslie,
the editor, writing letters to the editor, when she‚s
the editor herself! This month she takes up more space on
the letter page than anyone else! It‚s the „letters to the
editor‰ page, Leslie, not „letters from the editor‰.
Last month there were no less than three articles written
by Leslie PLUS a kiss kiss letter in the letters section.
The month before was almost the same.

What kind of ego must this woman have! It‚s totally
amateurish and transparent. Perhaps she believes
her own press but it‚s embarrassing to this member.



Once again, if you want to become more active
in making sure our Local considers ALL the
membership with their choices (Such as informing
us of those 3 health insurance options) join the FMA.
The recording musicians have their voice (RMA)
and the theater musicians have theirs as well (TMA).
It‚s time the freelance musicians built their own voice.

As we‚ve already seen, if you don‚t look out for
the rank and file‚s representation at our Local,
you lose it.

Until next time,


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