A confidential telephone poll of several hundred Writers Guild of America/West members has many of them irate about questions they say are loaded to make the current administration look good.The poll, which the Guild has been conducting since last week through the polling firm, Fairbanks, Maslin & Mullin, asks a variety of questions about WGA services and departments. But some members, including a few board members, claim the questions are slanted during this election year to reflect in a good light the administration under prexy Del Reisman. According to WGA member Jim Houtin, “This is not a concerned leadership attempting to get the pulse of its consituency. There were several questions I simply didn’t answer because there was no answer that could reflect any point of view. A preconceived notion was built into them.” WGA member Robert King said some of the questions were worded to allow for only positive results. WGA board member Marty Goldstein was not solicited, but lashed out against the poll as an election tactic. “If in fact this is what was said, it smacks of electioneering,” said Goldstein. “If you’re having a poll just before an election, what you’re doing is talking to a lot of people and influencing how they think.” WGA spokeswoman Cheryl Rhoden said the questions, which were written by the Guild with the help of the polling company, were not slanted in any direction. “You don’t want to load a poll. It’s of no use to you whatsoever if you slant the poll,” Rhoden said. She said the outcome of the poll could not have any effect on the election since the results would only be revealed confidentially to the board of directors afterwards. The questions most often identified by WGA members as being slanted were about the computer bulletin board, shut down by a federal judge in May, and the controversial Contract Adjustment Committee.
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