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Nixon Incarnate

May 2, 2010

(with a sprinkling of George Orwell and apologies to Lewis Carroll)

I used to work with Steven Poster.

I always thought Steven was a vastly underrated cinematographer. “Someone To Watch Over Me” is a great looking film I was proud to be part of.

But over the years Steven Poster has become unrecognizable to me, especially since he became President of Local 600. It wasn’t until the current Local 600 election campaign began that it hit me in a moment of shock and awe

STEVEN POSTER IS CHANNELING RICHARD NIXON.

And in some cases surpassing even Tricky Dick.

Richard Nixon had his “Committee to Reelect the President” (CREEP), the members of which were known, including such luminaries (and some future felons)  as John Mitchell, Gordon Liddy, Maurice Stans, Chuck Colson – well, you saw the movie.

Steven Poster has his “Elect Steven Poster” committee, yet nowhere are the members of this mysterious body identified. Are they afraid of sunlight? Are they a sect of Masons? Are they even members of Local 600?

“Elect Steven Poster” claims they stand for “OPENNESS”, yet they hide behind a façade of nameless, faceless operatives.   

CREEP had a huge secret slush fund from an aggressive fundraising campaign that among other things, paid for the Watergate break-in.

“Elect Steven Poster” has aggressively sought donations from members and GOD knows who else. Employers, for example, cannot legally contribute to a union election

We don’t know how much cash has been collected, from whom, and how it is all spent. Nothing has been disclosed. This is “OPENNESS” from “Elect Steven Poster”?

Political paranoia and extreme fear and hatred of the opposition was a trademark Nixon characteristic which led to many aberrations, including the wiretapping of news reporters and members of the President’s own administration, the Ellsberg psychiatrist’s office burglary, and Watergate, even though Nixon was running against George McGovern, the nominee of the then far-left leaning and anti-war Democratic Party whom he was to defeat in the expected landslide victory of 1972.

Steven Poster, running UNOPPOSED, and not satisfied with an approximately 50-10 majority in the NEB, which will very likely be sustained in the current election, has nevertheless aggressively collected unknown amounts of cash, and is running a relentless campaign against the few opposition candidates, using guilt-by-previous-association, innuendo, ad hominem attacks, and outright LIES.

The paranoid and vindictive Nixon had his infamous “enemies list”, composed of people like Daniel Schorr of CBS News, John Conyers, congressman, and Paul Newman, actor,

“Elect Steven Poster” claims “We don’t have a ‘Do Not Vote’ list,” which is Posterspeak for the following “script” written for ”Elect Steven Poster” phonebank operators:

“Remember, low voter turnout is what put Gary Dunham into office just 6 years ago, and that turned out disastrously. There are even some of Dunham’s supporters making a run in this election.

(If they ask who, list them.)

Bill Roberts
Matthew Siegel
Michael Frediani
Kristin Glover
Mark Hardin
Scott Kaye
Tim McHugh
Paul Ferrazzi
David Garden
Gabor Kover
Doug Hart
Tom Weston

Now Elect Steven Poster claims to be against negative campaigning, yet announce “there are a few people who, although they may be likeable on set, can be really nasty and unprincipled in a meeting, or, more likely, from their computer keyboards…There is a space on our website where you can go voluntarily, where we will present some reasons why we believe that these few people do not deserve your vote.”

NEWS BULLETIN FOR ELECT STEVEN POSTER

Calling your opponents “nasty” and “unprincipled” is negative campaigning, and coyly directing members to your website “voluntarily” for even more negativity and personal attacks does not absolve you from negative campaigning.

Going down the Rabbit Hole to their website we see what Elect Steven Poster REALLY feels about negative campaigning.

For example, Bill Roberts:

“core member of the CDU.” – Not a crime and the Coalition for a Democratic Union was not the Communist Party USA. GUILT BY ASSOCIATION.

“elected on the Gary Dunham slate” – Not a crime. GUILT BY ASSOCIATION.

“has sued Local 600 on several occasions” –OUTRIGHT LIE.

‘Filed over 100 challenges to the Local 600 election” – not a crime and exaggerated anyway. GUILTY OF EXERCISING RIGHTS UNDER FEDERAL LABOR LAW.

“Positively meek when you meet him, but has a nasty habit of writing really vicious things in emails” – AD HOMINEM ATTACK

“never seems to understand what everybody in the room understands” – AD HOMINUM ATTACK. GUILTY OF ORWELLIAN THOUGHTCRIME.

So when is a “Do not vote list”, NOT a “Do not vote list”?

When is negative campaigning NOT negative campaigning?

Ask George Orwell:

When:

WAR IS PEACE

FREEDOM IS SLAVERY

IGNORANCE IS STRENGTH.

-“1984”

Elect Steven Poster has also brought Newspeak into modern times. To wit:

“Continue the Progress” – Posterspeak for “More hours to qualify for health insurance, stagnant wages, worsening conditions, eroding contracts, and “endangered” pension funding.

“We want to make Local 600 Better, Stronger, more Flexible, more attuned to the Members’ needs.” – Posterspeak for “We want to change our corporate structure to make it easier for us to be free of real accountability.”

“We are Working, Rank and File Members of Local 600, Just Like You!” – Posterspeak for “If you are not working like us, SCREW YOU.”

“In the past year we have won over $300,000 in grievance settlements for our members!” – Posterspeak for “We take credit for the staff doing its job, even though we have nothing to do with it and the settlements are frequently pennies on the dollar.”

“Roberts votes against any expenditure” – Posterspeak for “As National Secretary –Treasurer, Bill would cut unnecessary spending.”

“I run on my record. I believe in free and open discussion, rational decision making, and Unity!” – Posterspeak for “I run on my record of wage stagnation and worsening contracts. I oppose free and open discussion, support autocratic decision-making and unanimous agreement with Me.”

“I believe and support every member’s right to express a dissenting point of view” – Posterspeak for “I consider dissenting points of view as damaging to our Unity and harmful to Me, which is why I won’t allow it in any Local publication.”

“…dysfunction occurs when a Board member performs a half-baked, incompetent “audit”, doesn’t make any attempt to get his questions answered then tries to play “gotcha” politics in the middle of an election” – Posterspeak for “When a member exercises the right to inspect the books and finds evidence of possible fiscal misfeasance and releases it in the middle of a campaign it could harm my chances of a landslide victory.”

“We created the Health care Task Force to make it easier for you to make your benefit hours” – Posterspeak for “We urged you to vote for the contract which makes it more difficult for you to make your hours.”

“…a very few members of the Board who have seemed to try to block progressive action at every turn” – Posterspeak for “We have managed to block at every turn the few members who have tried to pass progressive action.”

“In order to continue the progress of Local 600 in these difficult times, I am asking you to support my list of endorsed candidates for the National Executive Board” – Posterspeak for “In order to consolidate and complete my iron grip on the NEB and totally suppress dissent support my list of endorsed candidates.”

“I ask you to support them because they will not indulge themselves in the petty infighting that nearly ruined this Local, and still threatens to block progressive, democratic action by our Board.” – Posterspeak for “Support them because they will not engage in democratic dissent or try to enact progressive, democratic action.”

As Elect Steven Poster continues to spend unknown amounts of cash in an election guaranteed to go in their favor, desperately trying to assure NO dissenters are elected, and promising even less oversight of Local finances than before, with the ghost of Richard Nixon roaming the halls, I wonder how things could possibly get any worse at 7755 West Sunset…

— Alan Disler —

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