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Entertainment union leaders cheered tonight’s reelection of President Barack Obama in statements to The Hollywood Reporter, but continued to wait for results of a California ballot proposition that would restrict unions’ ability to speak out on ballot propositions in the future.
“I’m thrilled (with Obama’s reelection),” said Gabrielle Carteris, president of SAG-AFTRA’s Los Angeles local. “He’s been working through what he inherited (and) in the next four years, we get to see what he’s building.”
Carteris emphasized that she was speaking on her own behalf, as SAG-AFTRA does not endorse candidates. She spoke to THR from an election night party at Dodger Stadium.
American Federation of Musicians president Ray Hair said, “President Obama deserves a second term and we are proud of his victory tonight,” adding that Obama “has stood by the working people in this country and he understands the intellectual property concerns of the content producers, copyright owners and performing artists in the entertainment industry.”
SAG-AFTRA executive vice president Ned Vaughn, speaking on his own behalf, had a different reaction. “Tonight’s results show we are still deeply divided and it’s clearer than ever we need leaders who can galvanize the country toward better solutions.” He added, “It may take a few more elections but I’m confident we’ll get there because America is a truly great nation.”
SAG-AFTRA Los Angeles board member Kate Linder speaking on her own behalf called Obama’s reelection “a really good thing,” but also expressed concern about divided politics: “I’d love to see the American people pull together. Each side is going to have to give a little.”
Declaring himself personally “happy and relieved,” WGA East executive director Lowell Peterson said on behalf of the union. “we hope this result means the federal government will enforce labor law vigorously so people who work for a living have some leverage; will continue to fund public broadcasting; and will ensure that the Internet remains open and robust for content creators and the public.”
He added his personal thoughts about Mitt Romney: “I think the American electorate concluded Romney was one of the wealthy financiers who set up the economic mess, and it appears the super PACs failed to buy the election.”
Of key concern to union leaders was California Prop. 32, which would restrict the ability of unions and corporations to use deductions from employee wages in order to influence voters for or against any measure. Opponents call this apparent even-handedness deceptive, since companies don’t fund their political advocacy by payroll deductions, whereas unions do.
The DGA, SAG-AFTRA, IATSE, Professional Musicians Local 47 (of the American Federation of Musicians), Teamsters Local 399, and IBEW Local 40 have all come out against Prop. 32. The WGA has issued no statement on the matter.
No results on the proposition are yet available.
In down-ticket races, only theWGA West PAC issued a list of endorsements. Most of those candidates have won, though a number of the races are still too close to call:
United States Senate:
Arizona –Dr. Richard Carmona (lost)
California –Senator Dianne Feinstein (won)
Connecticut –Congressman Chris Murphy (won)
Florida – Senator Bill Nelson (won)
Indiana – Congressman Joe Donnelly (won)
Maine – Governor Angus King (won)
Massachusetts – Elizabeth Warren (won)
Michigan – Senator Debbie Stabenow (won)
Missouri – Senator Claire McCaskill (won)
Montana – Senator Jon Tester
Nevada – Congresswoman Shelley Berkley
North Dakota – Congresswoman Heidi Heitkamp
Ohio – Senator Sherrod Brown (won)
Virginia – Governor Tim Kaine (won)
Wisconsin – CongresswomanTammy Baldwin (won)
United States House of Representatives
California District 33 – Congressman Henry Waxman
California District 24 – Congresswoman Lois Capps
California District 28 – Congressman Adam Schiff
California District 29 – Congressman Tony Cardenas
California District 34 – Congressman Xavier Becerra
California District 37 – Congresswoman Karen Bass
In addition, IATSE endorsed U.S. Rep. Howard Berman (Cal.-30). No winner has yet been declared in that race.
All of the union-endorsed candidates are Democrats.
Bookmark The Hollywood Reporter’s Labor Page for the most in-depth coverage of entertainment unions and guilds.
Email: jhandel99 at gmail dot com
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