Home > Election 2010, Local 600 Training > A Letter to Mark Weingartner

A Letter to Mark Weingartner

May 2, 2010

Dear Brother Weingartner –

I saw your email sent from Steven Poster’s email service.

I thought I should send you a copy of my recent Independent Audit Report, because apparently you haven’t actually read it.

Click here for Doug Hart’s Post on his Independent Audit Report

As you can see from reading my Report, NOWHERE in my report is there ANY criticism of the Training Program at ICG 600, that you are largely responsible for, or of you personally.

The ICG Training isn’t even mentioned in the report, except to point out that unnecessary travel by unnecessary Officers and Staff was adding tens of thousands of dollars to the cost of ICG Training.  This is NOT criticism of the Training itself, only of those individuals abusing that Training.

What there is a lot of in my Independent Audit Report, is criticism of Brothers Poster and Giltin and a few others, for making the very successful ICG Training Program a political and personal self-aggrandizing campaign tool for themselves, getting every possible political advantage from something that should be totally above and without politics, and it was, until Steven Poster took power.   

There can be no doubt in anyone’s mind that you have been doing a great job of chairing the National Training Committee, whose varied members in ALL Regions (including me) have worked very hard planning and supporting the training programs, and putting together for the Membership the very best Training possible, for ALL crafts, and until your unfortunate email today, have kept the politics and the Training separate.

Just for the historical record, I was the Local 644 President who first created and appointed an “Education Committee,” the first in any IATSE Camera Local, 20 years ago, about 5 years before the Merger creating Local 600, and began holding education and training events for Local 644’s members.  No one in Local 600 should be unaware of my training and teaching experience, at the Maine Media Workshops for over 30 years, at the School of Visual Arts in NYC, and at a dozen other Film Schools throughout the country, and for Local 600 itself. No one is more supportive or experienced with Member and Film/TV Industry Training than I am, and no one is more dedicated to the concept of Member Training than I am.

I would never use, and have never used, training as a political tool for myself, but I sure as hell will complain when undeserving others exploit an existing training program they have had very little to do with, for their endless political campaigning and pandering, and especially when they spend tens of thousands of members’ dollars in that scurrilous activity.

You know better than I do about Poster’s repeated attempts at canceling the 2009 NY Lighting Workshop, which he suddenly stopped trying to do, when he was offered a panel discussion to chair, allowing him yet another free campaigning event, just before this election, and something else to steal credit for.

To Poster and Gitlin, the Training Events are just photo-ops, something to brag about during election campaigns, something to pump up their egos by showing up at almost every training event, no matter how much it costs to do so, to take the credit, mostly for YOUR work as Training Chairman, but also for the work of ALL of the Instructors and Committee Members who work hard to keep the Program up and running to such great success.

Worse still is the unbelievable amounts of MEMBERS’ money these two publicity hounds spend for their cross-country “guest appearances,” for their first class airfare, opulent hotel rooms and rented luxury cars, whenever they travel to promote themselves at the Members’ expense.

We could have added several more Training Workshops, just for what Poster and Gitlin and Doering have spent inflating their egos and conning the membership out of their votes.

Please don’t tarnish or diminish your efforts at providing the industry’s very best training program for our members, by becoming a political pawn for those few individuals who couldn’t care less about the members, in their quest for power and glory and unlimited expense accounts.

Please keep the Training and the Politics separate, for the good of the Membership and the Local.  I am hoping we can get back to the real business of the Local, and what the Members really need and care about, once the election is over.

Doug Hart

1st Camera Assistant, Eastern Region, ICG

600 Candidate for Eastern Region NEB & IATSE Convention DelegateDougHart600@Comcast.net