In June, Vote No on the New Day Bylaws: KPFA Local Board Hitting New Heights of Crazy

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Berkeley – An agenda has been released for the May 15 KPFA local station board meeting. This is the first meeting since March 20 and the next one will not occur until mid-July. Disappointingly, the agenda contains basically nothing but a multi-hour discussion of the “New Day” bylaws proposal. The local station board’s vote on the proposal is meaningless as its fate will be decided by a membership referendum to be held in June. The outcome should be predictable as all 4 of KPFA’s Pacifica National Board representatives, from all factional groups, already voted no in the earlier meaningless vote held by the Pacifica National Board on April 15. In that vote, the “New Day” bylaws proposal was defeated by a 16-4-1 vote, and received zero votes from the Berkeley, New York and Washington stations. 75% of the 4 support votes the new Day proposal received were from KPFT in Houston. So the outcome should not be in doubt, unless some KPFA local station board members choose to vote differently on the local level than on the national level. 

While that may sound bizarre on paper, it is not impossible due to some confusion that seems to be going on in the Save KPFA/UIR/Pacifica-Safety-Net/New Day/Protectors circle. (We’re sorry – they keep coming up with new names for themselves). Andrea Turner, a Save KPFA-affiliated representative, and one of the Pacifica Safety Net plaintiffs who tried to get the Foundation’s assets transferred to a San Bernardino attorney in December, voted no on the national level. However, the website that supports her lawsuit and raises money for it (pacificasafetynet.org) is advocating for a yes vote on the New Day bylaws proposal.

This is not the first time that mixed messages have been put out by the Safety Net. As we previously reported, the Safety Net plaintiffs, in legal papers filed under penalty of perjury, leveled charges of financial impropriety and illegal self-dealing against Jan Goodman, a former PNB member from LA. The “New Day” bylaws would install Goodman as the vice-chair of the national board for the next three years. So in short, the Safety Net website is advocating for you to vote to place someone in a national officer position for three years that they are accusing of illegal acts. (As we said at the time, the Safety Net charges against Goodman, are factually inaccurate, but if we had alleged them in court, then we would not consider her an appropriate choice as a board officer for the next three years). 

The craziness does not stop there. At the March KPFA local station board meeting, New Day’s Carol Wolfley and Safety Net’s Donald Goldmacher launched a virulent attack against the Green Party, which, as many noted, had overtones of McCarthyism. While we always try to snip the audio, the 4 hour length of the meeting has made that difficult, so we are providing a transcript of the referenced discussion. Here is what Safety Net plaintiff Goldmacher said:

I believe those two Green Party officials should immediately resign from the Local Station Board. And I would ask for an investigation by the legal counsel of Pacifica to determine whether the Green Party in the Bay Area is illegally interfering in the operations of this nonprofit media corporation. And finally, I would ask those people who are Green Party members recruited by the Green Party and currently serving on this local board, whether their loyalty is to this radio station or is it to the agenda of the Green Party and what it desires to do with regard to this radio station?

Having made this speech, Safety Net plaintiff Goldmacher apparently forgot that Akio Tanaka, one of the four people the New Day bylaws intend to install as board officers (Tanaka would be the PNB secretary until 2024) was for many years a member of the Green Party of Alameda County Council while serving on the KPFA local station board. So in short, Goldmacher is demanding that people resign from the KPFA local station board for doing what the person he is advocating should be installed as a national board officer, already did. Tanaka certainly was elected to the Alameda Green Party County Council in 2008 and again in 2010KPFA local station board minutes published on kpfa.org document that Tanaka was a sitting member of the KPFA local station board in 2008, 2009, 2010, 2011 and 2012 in the same years he was a member of the Alameda Green Party County Council. In case there is any doubt, Tanaka remains heavily involved in the Alameda County Green Party to this day. In fact, he is the treasurer of the Alameda Green Party PAC, an independent campaign committee (#92197) that accepts donations and spends them in support of Green Party candidates for California elected offices and which is active under Tanaka to the present day.

Goldmacher’s ranting is even stranger given the context of his own involvement in KPFA, which sprung from his long-time membership with the Wellstone Democratic Club, which has long sent many of their members to serve on the KPFA local station board, including Goldmacher himself, Matthew Hallinan, Jack Kurzweil, Mal Burnstein and Pamela Drake, all of whom served as officers of the political club and promoted its “agenda”. 

Those in glass houses ….

If you want to watch the lengthy debate on the New Day bylaws at the KPFA local station board, the meeting information can be found here.  Pacifica in Exile’s article on why the New Day bylaws are as bad as the previous bylaws referendum that was voted down overwhelmingly by the members, can be found here . We also encourage you to take a look at the websites at pacifica-democracy-project.org where you can sign a petition to keep the Pacifica Foundation intact and democratically run and pacificafightback.org. Among the prominent endorsers of a no vote on the New Day bylaws are actor Danny Glover, imprisoned activists Mumia Abu-Jamal and Leonard Peltier, Deep Dish TV co-founder and Paper Tiger TV founder Dee Dee Halleck and former Pacifica Network News anchor Verna Avery Brown.

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Started in 1946 by conscientious objector Lew Hill, Pacifica’s storied history includes impounded program tapes for a 1954 on-air discussion of marijuana, broadcasting the Seymour Hersh revelations of the My Lai massacre, bombings by the Ku Klux Klan, going to jail rather than turning over the Patty Hearst tapes to the FBI, and Supreme Court cases including the 1984 decision that noncommercial broadcasters have the constitutional right to editorialize, and the Seven Dirty Words ruling following George Carlin’s incendiary performances on WBAI. Pacifica Foundation Radio operates noncommercial radio stations in New York, Washington, Houston, Los Angeles, and the San Francisco Bay Area, and syndicates content to over 180 affiliates. It invented listener-sponsored radio.

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