This mailing details the Jan, 07 Local 47 membership. We also discuss the Copyright Royalty Board Hearing to Determine Mechanical Rates for Songwriters; concerts; trivia and comments from readers.




Once again, quorum was achieved, allowing Monday night’s meeting.
Approx. 137 members attended.

Interim Director Gary Lasley, with 100 votes, was officially
awarded the vacant seat on the Executive Board. The Election
Board, headed by Michelle Bryne, did their typically efficient
and professional job, as we’ve come to expect.

The bright spot of the evening was that we had no less than
five candidates run for the seat! Rank-and-file activism is alive,
but will only sustain itself on the efforts of those who are
willing to show up and be counted:

The others who ran for the seat were:
Ruth Bruegger 12
Ron Hess 12
Val Ewell 10
Dr. Les Bergantino 2
1 abstention – 1
Total 137

Most spoke passionately about their desire to create a more
inclusive union, one that can work for the entire membership.

It was democracy at work, and those in attendance made their
voices heard.

We congratulate Brother Gary Lasley on his election, and hope
he will use his new-found position for the general welfare of the
entire membership, with favoritism toward none.


A curious thing happened at Monday night’s meeting. Though
the membership had come expecting to elect a new board member,
an unanticipated attempt to rescind an action taken months ago by
a majority vote of the general membership took place.

Member Jay Rosen moved that the Executive Board retake jurisdiction
over its years-long battle to move the Referral Service office to a less-
visible and less-client-friendly location within the union building. Those
who depend on a healthy and vigorous Referral Service want it left
where it has historically been (to the side of the main lobby.) A motion
was passed many months ago by majority vote at a general membership
meeting to mandate the office be left where it is.

His argument was two-fold: (1) that the general membership did
not hold jurisdiction over the issue, thus making the previous
motion and vote out of order, and (2) that the number of votes
in the affirmative, which he characterized as “25 members”
should not have more power than the duly-elected board.

As proof of his assertion, he had President Espinosa read Article
VI, Section I of the Local 47 By-laws, which reads in part, “The
Executive Board shall exercise supervision over all property and
affairs of the Local,… Actions of the Executive Board may be
altered by a General Meeting, but only by a two-thirds vote.”

The quote makes clear that the board shall exercise SUPERVISION
over the offices, it does not give the Board the right to move them
at will without member input. Further, the last line of the section
makes clear that the actions of the board may be altered by the
membership, which is exactly what happened with the earlier
majority vote of the general meeting.

This would seem to indicate that, contrary to Mr. Rosen’s assertions,
the membership was in no way “out of order” with the previous
mandate. Oddly enough, neither the counsel nor the parliamentarian
bothered to point that out. This leaves Mr. Rosen with only one
argument, that he didn’t like so few making the decision for the
entire membership.

His motion, as amended, passed. Despite the fact that the Local’s
legal counsel present made no ruling that the previous action by
the general membership was out of order, this, in effect, tried to
send the issue back to the Board for a ruling, presumably in line
with its previous drive to move the office (against the express
and voted will of the larger body) to make way for wholesale
renovation of the lobby and meeting room. Evidently, majority
votes by the general membership, when decided in his ideological
favor (as in the case of recent elections) suit him fine. When
they run counter to it, they are to be replaced by the will of as
few as seven board members, which is THEIR quorum.

If the pressing decisions of the day were not automatically given
over to the Board when quorum-starved meetings fail, we wouldn’t
be quite so concerned with the quorum’s size. At least everyone
would have an equal need to “get out the vote.” However, since
all such decisions ARE automatically relegated to the Board, and
if that Board is ideologically “stacked,” then the size of the
quorum IS important and must be low enough to allow the general
meetings to happen.


By raising this issue in this way (casting aspersions on sufficiently-
concerned members who took the time to attend as “not working
that evening,” it seems clear that Mr. Rosen still has no faith in
our present quorum, and another push to raise it may be in the

As we’ve said before, if the idea of the smallest majority of a
quorum of 50 (50% plus 1, or 26) making decisions for the Local
scares Mr. Rosen so, then he is free to work to get more people
to attend and support his points of view. If, however, he holds
the same ideological bent as the Board (and he does,) then a
higher quorum, by throwing the decision-making power to it in
the absence of general meetings (remember when we went TWO
YEARS without achieving a quorum of only ONE hundred?) will
achieve the control he would like over the Local without his
having to get one soul to a general meeting.

Let’s not pay for the same political real estate twice, shall we? If
you value the rank-and-file advances we have made over recent
years, then it’s time to pay the tab, or you might end up having to
pay it all over again at the next crisis. Giving a damn is optional;
acting as if you did is not.

When deciding to attend, and then voting, ask yourself, “Does the
result of this action ultimately increase the rights and freedoms
of the membership or not?”

Knowing that should make the right choice obvious.




January 28th, 2008

Copyright Royalty Board Hearing to Determine Mechanical
Rates for Songwriters.

The NMPA, which represent the interests of songwriters and
music publishers, are calling it “the most important rate
hearing in the history of the music industry.”


Music Publishers go head to head with the RIAA and the Digital
Music Association (DiMA) as the Copyright Royalty Board begins
hearings today to determine mechanical rates for songwriters
The National Music Publishers’ Association (NMPA), which
represent the interests of songwriters and music publishers,
are calling it “the most important rate hearing in the history
of the music industry.”
In addition to setting rates for physical products, rates
will be set for the first time ever for digital products such
as digital downloads, subscription services and ringtones.
The NMPA has vowed to “fight vigorously” to protect those
interests to ensure that musical compositions are compensated
Both the RIAA and DiMA have proposed significant
reductions in mechanical royalty rates.
The current mechanical rate for physical phonorecords
is 9.1 cents. The NMPA is proposing an increase to 12.5 cents
per song. The RIAA, on the other hand, has proposed slashing
the rate to approximately 6 cents a song.
For permanent digital downloads, NMPA is proposing a rate
of 15 cents per track, with the RIAA countering with 5-5.5 cents
per track and the DiMA less than that.
The real difference comes in the area of interactive streaming
services, where the NMPA proposed a rate of the greater amount
between 12.5% of revenue, 27.5% of content costs, or a micro-
penny calculation based on usage. The RIAA have countered that
songwriters and music publishers should get the equivalent of
.58% of revenue, while the DiMA is insisting that songwriters and
music publishers shouldn’t receive any mechanical royalties.
The initial hearing will last four weeks, with the three permanent
CRB judges hearing arguments Mondays through Thursdays. At the
conclusion of the initial hearing, there will be more discovery, followed
by a rebuttal hearing in May, and a final decision expected on October 2.
The NMPA, RIAA and DiMA are expected to spend millions
of dollars attempting to sway the court of public opinion in the




On February 13th, 12 noon, at Catalina’s in Hollywood
ASMAC will honor Dynamic Music Partners: Kristopher
Carter, Michael McCuistion and Lolita Ritmanis.

KRISTOPHER CARTER began his career as one of the youngest
composers to work for Warner Bros. He Received an Emmy
Award for “Batman Beyond, as well as five other Emmy

MiICHAEL MCCUISTION is an Emmy Award-winning composer
who has been working in film and television for over 15 years.
He has been nominated for eight Emmy Awards and two Annie

LOLITA RITMANIS is an eight time Emmy Award nominated
composer, having won this award in 2002 for her work on
the animated series “Batman Beyond.

Together they have worked on series such as: Legion of Super
Heroes, Teen Titans, Justice League, Batman Beyond, the New
Batman/Superman Adventures and The Zeta Project.

Wednesday, February 13th
11:30am Cocktails; 12 noon Buffet Lunch, 12:45 Tribute
& Guest Speakers

Catalina Bar & Grill (1 BLOCK E OF HIGHLAND –corner
of McCadden 6725 West Sunset Blvd. Hollywood, CA 90028

Cost: ASMAC Members & Students $30 • Guests and all
walk-ins $35
Parking: Valet $3.00 • Enter on McCadden – behind Catalina’s

RSVP by Tues., February 12th to 818-994-4661 or
[email protected]


Los Angeles Pierce College Department of Music Presents the

James Domine, Music Director

SATURDAY EVENING Feb. 23, 2008 at 8 pm
Pierce College Performing Arts Theater

Ludwig van Beethoven
Symphony #9 in D minor (Choral)
Pierce College Philharmonic Choir
Terry Danne, director

James Domine
Bass Clarinet Concerto
Steven Piazza, bass clarinetist

General Admission: $25
Students & Seniors: $20
Children under 12: $15
For ticket information and group rates call
(818) 347-4807
visit our web site:



With all the ‘Sturm und Drang’ in our Local lately, we thought
we’d like to introduce a new section of our mailings for trivia,
1 item of obscure musical trivia per mailing. If you have your
own, and you can give us a source, please send it to us.


Pink Floyd’s “The Dark Side of the Moon” stayed on the Billboard
top 200 album charts for 591 consecutive weeks – 11.4 years.
The LP has moved in and out of the Top 200 for an incredible
741 weeks (14 years) and has spent 26 years on various other
Billboard Charts.

*When the album hit number one for just one week in 1973,
David Gilmour won his bet with manager Steve O’Rourke that
the album wouldn’t crack the US Top Ten.

** At Pink Floyd’s outdoor concert at London’s Crystal Palace
Bowl in 1970, they played so loudly that most of the fish in the
Lake in front of the natural amphitheater’s stage were killed.



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
ascendancey 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,




Good response to the “political action” attack! They’re feeling
the heat.


In response to the response to my opinion on the Desert
Symphony negotiations:

Hal Espinosa is upset because he got caught with his pants
down. That’s lamentable, lamentable, lamentable. 17 people
from the orchestra voted to strike. It was not unanimous. But
I wonder who gets to pick the orchestra committee next time?
Hey, lemme see that contract! And if the Espinosa administration
can accuse the Comm Resp 47 of being in bed with NRTW, then I
can compare the Espinosa administration of being in bed with
••••• •••••••••• and •••••• himself. Maybe they would rather I
tell a great story of an errant hippopotamus and his sordid
relationship with a giraffe. Then we can all be friends. By the
way, what’s up with American Idol?
I do not support the election of our current Secratary. Good
person, wrong camp.


“I’m talking and I can’t stop”

Oh, I forgot. The “winning strategy” would have been to deal with
a full deck. The way I understand it, the Desert Symphony was
ready to give the union what it wanted. Then Mr. Espinosa sat on
the contract for 4 months and waited till the last minute to
threaten a strike. This way, he looks like he is doing something
for the orchestra (getting votes) and gets to bully an old couple
that run the orchestra for the fun of it. Don’t tell me they’re just
“smart business people”. Ben doesn’t conduct for the money.
Trust me, they don’t need the money. This is the kind of
negotiating that alienated the McCallum theatre (note: McCallum
theatre knows Local 47 will stab them in the back if they do
business with them. But they are not “union busting”, because
they allow artists to bring union players in. And you’re right, I am
butting my nose into other peoples union business. So what?


Sounds like Espinosa is a George Bush clone!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!


I noticed that Hal wanted to “set the record straight” on the Desert
Symphony but not the “allegation” that Pete Anthony went to
London to conduct on a non-union film. What’s up with that?
Does he condone this? Hal if you are reading, please feel free to
respond. By the way I am in no way connected to the


go get em – what right is right – god I love it – Pete ratted out
on a London gig but – maybe his name should have stayed
out…..???? should have read – a top orchestrator……

anyway – it’s already out there – how can we affect change right
now – FOLIO and LEE ??


YOU ARE CORRECT – that is the right slant – the rank and file
that are afraid to talk openly for fear of you know what

now lets start affecting change


Kinda reminds me of how the Bush administration will make a
complete mess of – you name it – the economy, hurricane
Katrina, veterans hospitals, the illegal profiteering from the
war in Iraq – and then after making that mess they will come
on television and make a statement like, “somebody ought to
clean this up”; or “we’ll get to the bottom of this and catch
those responsible”. I know what my Christmas present to
Hal is going to be: a mirror. Oh dang, he’s probably got too
many of them already!


What started out as being informative has turned into vindictive
nonsense written by people who don’t even have the courage to
identify themselves{I am sure the people who do the hiring
know who you are anyway so I don’t buy that defense} take me
off your list!!!!!!!!


The question in the union paper went something like this: “If the
Committee is for a more responsible Local, then whose side is it
on, Local 47’s or the National Right To Work Committee (NRTWC)?”

One answer to this question is that the two are not mutually
exclusive. It is not an either/or situation. The union claims
to want the best for workers. So does the NRTWC.

California and approximately 27 other states are not, contrary
to what some believe, “Right to Work” states. “Right to Work” in
this context has a specific legal meaning. Do your own Google

Unions can function, and function responsibly, without compulsory
union membership. Right to Work laws provide that a worker can
freely choose to be a member of a union or not.

A “closed shop” or “union security clause” seeks to force a worker
to join a union and pay dues or lose his/her employment. The
federal judiciary, in a number of rulings one of which was Beck
v. CWA, has basically declared the “union security clause” to be
unenforceable under the National Labor Relations Act. In other
words it is becoming increasingly difficult for unions to enforce
“closed shop” or “security clauses.”

On the other hand in California an employee who is a non-
member is still obligated to pay dues related to the costs
associated with collective bargaining, contract administration
and grievance procedures if he or she works under a CBA. But
a non-member is not subject to union disciplinary procedures.
So the union can’t dictate to the non-member what he or she
may do. The NRTWC is dedicated to the idea that no one should
be forced to join a union to get or keep a job. I agree with that
idea but I do not claim to speak for The Committee; I speak only
for myself. I do not want to be threatened by my union, nor do
I want to surreptitiously and hypocritically work “dark” when I
can honestly and openly just accept work I want to do. But that
is just me.

Rick Blanc (please attach name)


No more political information.
I will not choose to vote for anyone if this persists.


Until Next Time,


Leave a Reply