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UPDATE: Final Election Results: Wendy Greuel Concedes On Congress Bid; Tax Credit Co-Sponsors Win; Patric Verrone Loses Senate Seat

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The Politics Of Hollywood Tax Credits

Gov. Jerry Brown has been mum on whether he supports the buffed up California Film and TV Tax Credit Program bill that just passed the state Assembly, but others who strongly favor the legislation are alive and well after yesterday's votes were tabulated. Dominic Patten reports.

Voting boothUPDATED, 11:14 AM: Former DreamWorks executive Wendy Greuel has conceded after coming up short in her Congressional bid. The Democrat finished third in the race to succeed retiring long-time U.S. Rep. Henry Waxman, earning 17% of the vote compared with Republican Elan Carr (23%) and Democrat Ted Lieu (19%) in a crowded field of 17 candidates. Lieu and Carr will face off in the Nov. 4 general election for one of the wealthiest districts in the nation, and a district where Democrats from around the country have long come to raise money for their own races. The mostly coastal district includes heavily Democratic areas such as Santa Monica, Malibu, Westside Los Angeles, Beverly Hills and more conservative areas on the Palos Verdes Peninsula, and in Agoura and Calabasas.

Related: It’s Time To End Lottery For Calif. Tax Credit Program (Video)

Incumbent Assembly Democrats Mike Gatto and Raul Bocanegra, who co-sponsored legislation to expand California’s Film and TV Tax Credit Program, cruised to easy primary victories Tuesday and are likely to win re-election in November. Their film tax credit bill, which california-tax-credits3__120901092343__120929195413__131031165021was approved unanimously by the state Assembly last week, now moves on to the state Senate, and if approved there, it will go to the governor. Whether the budget-conscious Gov. Jerry Brown will sign it remains to be seen, though two years ago he signed a two-year extension of the program. In his race, Gatto got 67% of the vote against Republican challenger Todd Royal, who only got 33% in the heavily Democratic 43rd Assembly District. Bocanegra received 63% of the primary vote in the 39th District against fellow Democrat Patty Lopez (23%).

Related: Where Hollywood’s Union Jobs Are Going: The Runaway 3 States

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Patric Verrone Losing In State Senate Bid

By | Tuesday June 3, 2014 @ 10:07pm PDT

EPatricVerrone__120131184801arly election results show former WGA West President Patric Verrone heading for a resounding defeat in his bid for a seat in the California state Senate. With 1% of the votes counted, Verrone has received only 2% of the vote in the eight-candidate Democratic primary to represent California’s 26th Senate District.

Related: Friends And Old Foes Lining Up To Support Patric Verrone’s State Senate Bid

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Hollywood Teamsters Back Patric Verrone For State Senate

By | Tuesday May 27, 2014 @ 2:24pm PDT

TeamstersLocal399Hollywood Teamsters Local 399 stood behind former WGA West President Patric Verrone when he led the 2007-08 Writers Guild strike, and it’s supporting him again in his run for the California Legislature. Verrone’s latest campaign finance report shows that Local 399 has contributed $1,000 to his bid for the 26th Senate District seat and that Steve Dayan, head of the Teamsters local, has contributed another $500. But with only one week to go before the June 2 primary, Verrone still trails five of his seven Democratic rivals by large margins in both campaign contributions and spending.

Related: Patric Verrone Trailing Most Rivals In Money Race

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Patric Verrone Trailing Most Rivals In Money Race For California Senate Run

Patric VeronneIf early fundraising were to decide the race for the California Senate’s 26th district, former WGA West President Patric Verrone would finish a distant sixth. The most recent campaign finance filings show that Verrone raised $44,753 through March 17 – far less than five others in the race. Candidates will have to file one more round of funding reports this month before the June 3 primary.

For the moment, however, Verrone has a lot of opponents ahead of him in the money race, led by Manhattan Beach Mayor Amy Howorth, who has $381,725; Santa Monica school board member Ben Allen ($253,331); Dr. Vito Imbasciani, a state surgeon for the California National Guard ($183,874); former Assemblywoman Betsy Butler ($152,487); and Sandra Fluke, the women’s rights attorney and activist who Rush Limbaugh famously called a “slut” ($133,415). Trailing Verrone in the money race are Seth Stodder, a former policy director at the U.S. Customs and Border Protection Agency ($36,600), and former lawyer and technology consultant Barbi Appelquist ($18,035).

Related: Friends And Old Foes Lining Up To Support Verrone’s Bid

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Friends And Old Foes Lining Up To Support Patric Verrone’s State Senate Bid

By | Monday May 5, 2014 @ 7:18pm PDT

PatricVerrone__120131184801Former WGA West President Patric Verrone’s campaign for a seat in the California Senate is getting support from a wide range of fellow writers – including the backing of guild candidates he once campaigned against. Verrone, who led the contentious 2007-08 writers strike, has been something of a lightning rod for those who opposed the walkout. But that hasn’t prevented some of his old foes from throwing their support to him now. John Wells, who defeated Verrone for WGA president in 2009, now is supporting Verrone for the state Senate. And Kathy Kiernan, who Verrone defeated for the guild’s presidency in 2007, is now supporting him too.

Related: Verrone’s Campaign E-Mailers To WGA Members Raise Questions

“I’m getting support from writers in all economic strata, from new entry-level writers to showrunners,” Verrone told Deadline, “and I am especially grateful for the support from WGA members with whom I have not always seen eye to eye politically in the past. These are colleagues and friends for many years who feel the same way I do about keeping Hollywood jobs in Hollywood and fighting for the middle class.” Read More »

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Patric Verrone’s Campaign E-Mailers To WGA Members Raise Questions

By | Tuesday April 15, 2014 @ 8:31am PDT

verroneEXCLUSIVE: Thousands of emails sent to Writers Guild members from former WGA President Patric Verrone soliciting donations for his run for a seat in the California state senate are raising questions about how he got those email addresses and about the ethics of using his years of service to the guild to acquire them. Verrone, who led the guild in a contentious 14-week strike six years ago, is in a tight primary race to represent California’s 26th senatorial district. Numerous guild members report that they have received emails from Verrone soliciting donations and giving updates on his campaign. The WGA says it didn’t supply Verrone with a mailing list.

Related: Patric Verrone Eyeing California State Senate Seat With ‘I Won The Strike’ Boast

wgaw“We have had some members ask about this and we have made it clear that we have not provided him with a mailing list,” said WGA spokesman Neal Sacharow. “Outside of official guild business, we allow use of our list in two instances. As required by federal law, guild members may use the list in connection with internal union election campaigns. We also make the list available during awards season to studios, networks and certain publications for the purpose of mailing screeners or other awards-related communications. In both of those situations, we do not provide the list itself but rather, arrange for the mailing through a guild-approved mail house.”

Verrone told Deadline that he sent his campaign emails to “a couple of thousand” WGA members. Asked if a “couple of thousand” is two or three thousand, he said, “between two and three thousand.” He also acknowledged that he came by those email addresses in the course of his service to the guild. pv“I was president and secretary-treasurer and a board member for all those years,” he said. “I communicated with hundreds of members and they communicated with me. I have their email addresses. I didn’t get anything from the Writers Guild.” Read More »

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Writers Rail As Talks Resume – Fourth Question In A Deadline Survey

By | Friday March 28, 2014 @ 5:55pm PDT
Mike Fleming

coronaAs talks are about to resume Monday on the final elements that many hope will lead to a new deal for the Writers Guild Of America, we wanted to lend some perspective and give voice to the TV and feature writers whose fortunes will be tied directly to the deal their union makes. This is the fourth in a quick succession of five questions we asked a panel of 10 writers. Here are their responses, and hopefully other writers will be moved to comment about the issues that worry them most as their work is monetized in this fast-changing digital age.

Related: WGA: Why Gains, Lessons From 2008′s Strike Will Keep Hollywood From Another War

DEADLINE: Patric Verrone is running for California State Senate and in establishing his cred to writers said, “We won the writers strike.” Would you vote for him?

WRITER #1: Honestly, I wouldn’t vote for Patric Verrone as the President of the Tupperware Club of Paramus, New Jersey. I also find it hilarious that he used the entire (supposedly confidential) WGA mailing list to seek contributions from writers he was largely responsible for harming. Why does he get to use the WGA mailing list for his political campaign? He should be investigated for that. I felt then and I feel now that Verrone was totally out for himself. I supported the WGA and the strike but I never supported Verrone. I think Billy Ray — the guy in there negotiating now — is a smart man who cares for writers. He’s also a damn good writer.

Deadline Writers Survey – Question #1
Deadline Writers Survey – Question #2
Deadline Writers Survey – Question #3
Deadline Writers Survey – Question #5

rodserlingWRITER #2: The strike was “lost” before we hit the picket lines. Verrone and [Executive Director David] Young seem to have wanted the strike whether or not it was winnable or smart, to flex guild muscles, and to establish a sense of leadership that, in the end, revealed itself to be divorced from the daily realities of our industry. Meanwhile, the studios, wanting to cut overhead, saw the strike as a way to accelerate the ways the business was already contracting. For them the strike couldn’t come fast enough. No working writer I know thought the strike was any kind of success. We limped to its conclusion, beaten, humiliated and humbled, a lot poorer. Verrone, who pulled salary while we went eight months or more without income, was only too happy to wave the banner while leading us into machine gun fire. In the end, Verrone seemed about Verrone. Can’t see a circumstance in which I’d support his candidacy for state senate.

WRITER #3: I think Patric put in a good effort to try to get something from the strike and had some smaller victories. But as I said in Question 3, he was hamstrung by the fact that the high-end writers didn’t want to strike. Also I think Patric was very ambitious to try to unionize feature animation. But when the AAA-list screenwriters say “sure we’ll strike” and immediately book millions in high-end feature animation jobs, that goal proves impossible. Sure it’s mildly disingenuous for him to make the claim that he won the strike, but in the world of politics, I believe that statement is probably more honest than what his opponents will claim. I’d consider voting for him, however I haven’t seen what the rest of his platform is besides labor. Read More »

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Ex-WGA West Leader Patric Verrone Eyeing California State Senate Seat With ‘I Won The Strike’ Boast

By | Saturday March 15, 2014 @ 5:49pm PDT

Former WGA West President Patric VerroneFormer WGA-President Patric M. Verrone, 54, disclosed today in a letter to his fellow writers that he is running for the California State Senate. He is one of six Democratic candidates who are looking to succeed Democrat State Senator Ted Lieu, who is running for the seat vacated by Representative Henry Waxman. Verrone is a 27-year Pacific Palisades resident in the northern 26th District which runs on the coastline starting in Palo Verdes and includes Beverly Hills, West Hollywood and part of Hollywood. His campaign is centered around a theme of preserving the middle class dream here in the state, maintaining and creating quality jobs, better schools and affordable colleges. Verrone won back-to-back terms as WGA West president in 2005 and 2007 and was blocked by guild rules from seeking a third term in 2009.  He lost a 2011 bid for presidency to Christopher Keyser. Verrone mentioned that today was one of the most important days of his life, including “the day we won the writer’s strike” in his note per Variety. “As president of the Writers Guild of America, West, I did what I believe every elected leader should do. I fought for what matters, led a struggle to save thousands of good jobs, and won.”  Many of those in the industry feel that the 2007-08 WGA strike set the film and TV production business back significantly, accomplishing very little for the writers at large.
Related: WGA Negotiations Impasse Read More »

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Patric Verrone To Receive WGA West’s Morgan Cox Award

By | Tuesday January 31, 2012 @ 11:05am PST

Los Angeles – Former Writers Guild of America, West President and Emmy and Writers Guild Award-winning writer Patric M. Verrone is set to receive the WGAW’s 2012 Morgan Cox Award in recognition of his exemplary service to the Guild. Verrone will be honored at the 2012 Writers Guild Awards’ West Coast ceremony to be held on Sunday, February 19, 2012, at the Hollywood Palladium.

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Writers Guild West Candidates For 2011 Officers And Board Of Directors Election

LOS ANGELES – The Writers Guild of America, West’s nominating committees have announced the initial list of candidates for the 2011 WGAW Officers and Board of Directors election.

The officer candidates are as follows: President – Patric M. Verrone, Christopher Keyser; Vice President – Howard A. Rodman, John Aboud; Secretary-Treasurer – David N. Weiss (inc.), Carl Gottlieb.

There are 17 candidates nominated to run for eight open seats on the WGAW’s Board of Directors as follows: Anthony Sparks, Dan Wilcox (inc.), Michael Oates Palmer, Thania St. John, Ari B. Rubin, Nelson Soler, Billy Ray (inc.), Linda Burstyn (inc.), Mark Alton Brown, David S. Goyer, Barbara E. Nance, Alfredo Barrios, Jr., John Brancato, Ian Deitchman (inc.), Nell Scovell, Jay Kogen, Carleton Eastlake (inc.).

Note to editors: WGAW internal rules require candidates to be announced in an order determined by lot; (inc.) denotes an incumbent candidate.

In addition to the candidates selected by the nominating committees, eligible members may also be nominated by petition. Members seeking nomination for the office of President, Vice President, or Secretary-Treasurer must obtain 50 member signatures in support of their petitions. Members seeking nomination for the Board of Directors must obtain 25 member signatures in support of their petitions. The deadline for submitting signed petitions to the WGAW is 12:00 p.m. (PDT) on Friday, July 22. Members may submit online nomination petitions by visiting the members-only section of the WGAW’s website at:

The WGAW will host its annual Candidates Night town-hall forum, at which Guild members may meet and pose questions to their Officer and BOD candidates, on Wednesday, August 31, at WGAW headquarters in Los Angeles.

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WGAW: Comcast Aims “To Destroy Unions”

WGAW Board Members Chip Johannessen and Patric Verrone have issued a strongly worded message of support the Comcast writers wanting WGA representation:

To Our Fellow Members,

“If the Writers Guild didn’t exist, we’d have to invent it.” — Legendary Hollywood executive Sid Sheinberg said that back in 1988 when he was president of Universal Studios. Mr. Sheinberg didn’t say it out of some great love of the Guild. The fact is we were on strike at the time and, if there had been some way to do without us, any self-respecting studio head would have jumped at the chance. But Mr. Sheinberg understood the role that our Guild, and all the other guilds and unions, play in this industry. A role that Universal’s latest owner, Comcast, seems not to understand.

Hollywood runs on a talented pool of what is essentially freelance labor. The guilds, every bit as much as the companies, make this talent pool possible by ensuring two things: First, that when you work, you’ll be fairly compensated. And second, that your pension and health benefits follow you from job to job. Projects and shows come and go, but fair compensation and portable benefits ensure that talented people remain. This guild-based ecosystem works to everyone’s advantage, including the companies. It makes our industry possible. Because talented people won’t follow their dreams here if, after 20 years of working, they’ve got nothing to show for it. And without the talent pool,

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Verrone & Bateman Testify In Support Of Net Neutrality At U.S. Senate Hearing

WGA West prez Patric Verrone and SAG board member Justine Bateman traveled to Washington DC and testified at a hearing by the U.S. Senate Commerce, Science and Transportation Committee on Tuesday, describing the Internet as the only remaining open market for truly independent creators and stressing the need for “Net Neutrality”. Both spoke on behalf of independent content creators concerned that Internet and broadband service providers will discriminate against their sites. The duo support free speech efforts to ensure consumers are guaranteed equal and unfettered access to all legal websites and online content.

verrone-strike.JPGVerrone, there representing guild writers whose bosses are the same companies that control the media, talked about the need to dethrone the Internet gatekeppers: “The axiom in Hollywood is that ‘content is king’. But those who control access to the king control the kingdom. Because of federal regulation — or lack thereof — that control is in the hands of neither the consumer nor the content creators, but the distributors… The policy decisions that triggered the consolidation of old media has not yet been made for the new media. There is still time to protect the rights of content producers and consumers. We need to establish clear Net Neutrality rules to ensure that the Internet remains a level playing field for all.”

Bateman was not representing the actors guild but instead speaking as a partner in a company that plans to launch an online video channel. Read More »

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