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SAG opposition slate set

Daniels heads anti-Masur P.A. political org

The Performers’ Alliance, the Screen Actors Guild political faction aiming to topple president Richard Masur, has assembled its slate for the guild’s upcoming election.

The P.A. slate, headed by William Daniels — former “St. Elsewhere” star who threw his hat into the ring 11 days ago (Daily Variety, Sept. 3) — includes F.J. O’Neil, running for treasurer; Karen Austin, recording secretary; Sumi Haru, first vice president; Richard Herd; third VP; Gary Epp, ninth VP; and David Jolliffe, 11th VP.

The posts of president, recording secretary and treasurer are voted on by SAG members nationwide; the VP spots will be decided by the Hollywood membership alone.

Also announced on Friday were the P.A. candidates for Hollywood representatives on SAG’s national board of directors. They are: Ninon Aprea, Robert Carlson, Mark Carlton, Michael Harriety, Haru, Herd, Jolliffe, Kerri Keegan, Tom La Grua, Kurt McCortney, Sonya Maddox, Peggy Miley, Paul Napier and Glen Veteto.

Candidates for the election, which will conclude Nov. 5, have until 5 p.m. today to submit completed petitions backing their races, which means that other faces could still join the fray.

Carlton, currently serving as a temporary replacement member of the board, said Friday that he was “very dissatisfied with the contracts that have been negotiated over the last 10 years.”

Negotiations for a new commercials contract are set to resume in February, making the composition of negotiating committees crucial, Carlton said.

Epp, who began as an actor in 1972 on the New York stage and now works predominantly in commercials, agreed.

He said stars “don’t need that much protection” from their union, because the studios take care of them. “It’s the regular journeyman who has to be represented by the guild, because they don’t have the power of celebrity.”

La Grua, a former replacement member of the board running for election for the first time since joining SAG in 1977, said his interest was piqued when he was shooting “Caroline and the City” and found himself talking with guest actors and background performers about issues like the failed attempt to merge SAG with the American Federation of Television & Radio Artists.

“I found myself making phone calls to find out information for them,” La Grua recalled. “Their questions and fears weren’t being addressed. Merger was obviously the way to go, but there were too many questions left unanswered when the ballots came out, and I believe that caused the merger referendum to fail.”