Category Archives: Pacifica in Exile Newsletters

2018 Election Endorsements

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Berkeley – The printed ballots for the 2019 Pacifica local board elections were mailed on January 18, 2019.

If your local station has your email address, then you will receive an electronic ballot to save the trees and postage dollars.The online ballot will hit your inbox on Wednesday, January 23rd. 

If you get an online ballot but would prefer to vote by paper ballot because you hate computers, like pencils and do not trust online voting, you can send a request to nes@pacifica.org for a paper ballot to be mailed to you and your online ballot will be voided. If you get a postal ballot but would prefer to vote online because you love computers and hate stamps, you can also send a request to nes@pacifica.org and then an online ballot will be emailed to you and your paper ballot will be voided. Pacifica is using a professional election service, so your online ballots are secure and your selections will not be known by any Pacifica-related personnel. 

Please vote so Pacifica can make quorum and not have to spend extra money to extend the election period. 

Below you will find Pacifica in Exile’s endorsements for each of the 8 listener and staff elections. We will name a few candidates we hope you’ll vote for, some others you might want to consider, and a few candidates that we advise you not to choose. We hope this guide will be helpful to you. 

2019 Pacifica Election Endorsements By Station


KPFA-FM Berkeley – Listener Election

In Berkeley, there are two candidate groupings and an independent candidate or two, but voters are likely to find it all a little confusing as the Save KPFA/Concerned Listeners group of Margy Wilkinson, Dan Siegel, and Sherry Gendleman has changed their name and yet again, their new name is remarkably similiar to the name of their previous opposition. Since this is the second time this has happened, we are going to go out on a limb and suggest that it is probably intentional. Given how many words there are in the world, it seems unlikely to have happened twice by accident. However, despite the similarity of United for Independent Radio to United for Community Radio (the opposed slate in the 2016 election), the endorsement list tells the tale with the Save KPFA stalwarts all aboard. 

The story the UIR group wants to tell is that they have united with their opposition and will end all the fighting and live happily ever after letting bygones be bygones, but the actions have been anything but happy with UIR member Bill Campisi launching an expensive failed lawsuit to try to keep radio engineer Tom Voorhees off the national board and hitting KPFA with $50,000 in legal bills for factional shenanigans after appealing his Superior Court loss to the California Court of Appeals. We’ve seen better displays of peacefulness. And the UIR incumbents have presided over some of the worst and least transparent financial reporting to ever come out of KPFA after advocating relentlessly for a bankruptcy filing in 2017. One of our strong beliefs here at Pacifica in Exile is that inflated financials are an insult to the members and a grave danger to the organization. 

The opposing slate, which renamed itself Rescue Pacifica, is entirely composed of new candidates and we think they deserve a chance.

WE RECOMMEND THAT YOU VOTE FOR: the Rescue Pacifica candidates with your first four ranked selections (1-4 in any order):

Don Macleay, Daniel Borgstrom , Noni Session and James McFadden. They have a solid and well-developed platform and a ton of endorsements.

With the remaining rankings on your ballot (5-9), consider the following candidates; Richard Phelps (independent), and newer UIR candidates Shirah DedmanLuci Riley, Maria Judice, and Tim Van Landuyt. Riley and Van Landuyt are prominent local activists with no previous KPFA political involvement and although they are running with the wrong slate, we are semi-optimistic they will perform well on the local board and similarly, Dedman and Judice have impressive resumes and no KPFA track record. 

DEFINITELY DO NOT VOTE FOR: Bill Campisi, whose lame maneuver of running for the national board as a bogus candidate and then “resigning” seconds after being elected has now cost tens of thousands of completely wasted dollars. Sharon Adams, an ardent advocate for bankruptcy and breakup who has perforned poorly as the board treasurer by presenting inflated numbers and a 2019 budget that spends a quarter of a million dollars more than KPFA took in 2018, Susan Da Silva, the intended beneficiary of Campisi’s manuever who strongly supported the failed lawsuit, Ahmad Anderson, a former employee who was largely missing in action for his entire first term on the board, Donald Goldmacher, one of the veteran Save KPFA’ers from the days of coups and missing audits, and Lily Kimura, whose inability to spell Jerry in “Gerry Brown” worries us.

KPFA-FM Berkeley – Staff Election

WE RECOMMEND THAT YOU VOTE FOR: Frank Sterling, Darlene Pagano, Sabrina Jacobs.

Sterling is definitely the #1 pick. He was a standout as a local board member in his previous term and has a track record of advocacy for the staff and particularly the apprenticeship program that is unmatched within the station.   

DEFINITELY DO NOT VOTE FOR: Tim Lynch, Phillip Maldari 

KPFK-FM Los Angeles – Listener Election

The hard work by the Committee to Strengthen KPFK incumbents on the KPFK local station board (and the national one) is pretty much the entire reason the Empire State Building did not eat Pacifica Radio in 2017. They richly deserve election. Everyone talks about fundraising, but they are the ones that pulled together a listener loan fund and then a nonprofit loan to pull Pacifica back from the brink of a bankruptcy filing. Their opponents, Lydia Brazon’s Grassroots Radio Coalition, had their turn at the helm from 2014-2016 and we saw how that went. No contest. There are 16 endorsed candidates from the Comittee to Strengthen KPFK (for 9 seats), so you will have to choose, but here are our recommendations:

WE RECOMMEND THAT YOU VOTE FOR: Grace Aaron, Jan Goodman, John Suarez, Paul Roberson, Marcie Mills

And your choices among:  Rob Macon, Marshall James, Fred Blair, Allan Beek, Robert Payne, Ken Aaron, Michelle Manos, Nancy Pearlman, Michael Adler, 

DEFINITELY DO NOT VOTE FOR: Michael Novick, Bella De Soto, Bill Eisen

Novick and De Soto worked closely with Leslie Radford and Adam Rice during the bad old days at KPFK. Eisen has been a divisive figure in some previous nonprofit and community group work. 

KPFK FM Los Angeles – Staff Election

WE RECOMMEND THAT YOU VOTE FOR: Mansoor Sabbagh, Kiyana Williams, Myla Reson

DEFINITELY DO NOT VOTE FOR: Fernando Velazquez

Velazquez was a strong supporter of the Radford/Rice regime which was a disservice to KPFK. 

KPFT-FM Houston – Listener Election

At KPFT, the local station board’s challenge is to stop putting each other on trial and do something to help the station grow instead of shrink. The abrasive board temperature is largely due to the leadership of Adriana Casenave, whose six-year board stint has come to an end, but whose acolytes adopted her accusatory and confrontational style. We are not advocates of shrinking violets nor particularly conflict-averse, but years of capturing Casenave’s tirades on audio and years of painfully listening to the KPFT local station board suspending and expelling and sanctioning and reprimanding virtually the entire membership has left us convinced that the group Casenave created has nothing good to offer. KPFT is a lot smaller than it was, and the station’s survival in getting-more-blue-but-not-there-yet Texas is too important to leave to the pointlessly argumentative This board has work to do and we are recommending the candidates who we think might actually do it. 

WE RECOMMEND THAT YOU VOTE FOR:   Bill Crosier, Adrienne LaViolette, Sandra Rawline, Lynden Foley, Darelle Robbins, Teresa Allen

And your choices among:  Danae Moreno, Micheline Milligan, Jordan Moreno

DEFINITELY DO NOT VOTE FOR: Dewayne Lark, Ted Weisgal, Ben Perodeau

Lark, Weisgal and Perodeau have been key participants in the board’s disruptions and toxicity. They don’t deserve another term. 

KPFT FM Houston – Staff Election

WE RECOMMEND THAT YOU VOTE FOR: Egberto Willies, Thomas Harper, Wendy Shroell or Danielle Allen

DEFINITELY DO NOT VOTE FOR: Vinisha Patel Adams

Patel Adams was a national board member during the coup years and complicit in the missing audits. 

WBAI-FM New York – Listener Election

At WBAI, the primary issue is whether or not control of the station should be given over to former Pacifica executive director Dan Coughlin, who now runs Manhattan Neighborhood Network, a public access station. Coughlin is currently litigating a case at the United States Supreme Court after a dispute with Deep Dish TV co-founder Dee Dee Halleck and Puerto Rican poet Jesus Papaleto Menendez spiraled into a lawsuit and now, a referendum on whether public media platforms themselves are state actors. The case has encouraged the National Cable Telecommunications Assn to file a brief arguing that access channels are fundamentally unconstitutional and potentially threatens the existence of thousands of governmental and public channels across the country. Coughlin’s judgment in appealing his lower court loss to the Republican Supreme Court was poor, and has potentially disastrous consequences. That’s enough for us not to advocate for his control over Pacifica’s assets. Pacifica in Exile will not endorse any candidate shilling for a Coughlin-WBAI merger. 

Even without the Manhattan Neighborhood Network issue, there are plenty of reasons to support the Indy candidates over the Justice and Unity group, not the least of which is the Justice and Unity’s shameful effort to keep three of their opponents off the national board for an entire year. But there are also some fresh new faces on the Indy Caucus side who seem like good additions, which WBAI certainly needs. 

WE RECOMMEND THAT YOU VOTE FOR: Carolyn MacIntyre, Michael White, Jim Dingeman, Alex Steinberg, Randy Credico, Maxine Harrison-Gallmon

And your choices among:  Carolyn Birden, Mitchel Cohen, Jack De Palma, Michael Jankowitz, Michael Lardner, Katherine O’Sullivan, Neale Vos, Marilyn Vogt-Downing, Linda Zises

DEFINITELY DO NOT VOTE FOR: Errol Maitland, Hazel Pinder, Ralph Poynter

These three top-ranked Justice and Unity candidates are ardent supporters of the half-baked Coughlin deal and should not be on WBAI’s board. 

WBAI- FM New York – Staff Election

WE RECOMMEND THAT YOU VOTE FOR:  Shawn Rhodes, Max Schmid, R. Paul Martin, or Paul DiRienzo

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If you value being kept up to speed on Pacifica Radio news via this newsletter, you can make a little contribution to keep Pacifica in Exile publishing . Donations are secure, but not tax-deductible. (Scroll down to the donation icon).

Pacifica in Exile readers may write to the board at pnb@pacifica.org.

To subscribe to this newsletter, please visit our website at www.pacificainexile.org

###

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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Ch… Ch … Changes …

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Berkeley – We’ve sent out more than a few Pacifica election schedules, but things change. In this case, what changed is people. The new national election supervisor is Renee Asteria Penaloza, who did the job back in 2010, and will be doing it again this year. She replaces Alma Vizcaino, who will remain the local election staffer in Houston. With the change in personnel comes one last change in the election schedule, which we’re pretty confident will be the final version. So here we go:

The record date for the election is November 19, 2018. What that means is that in order to be an eligible voter in the election, you need to have made at least a $25 donation to your station by November 19, 2018 or in the preceeding 12 month period. 

The final candidate list was posted as of January 7, 2019. So if you would like to get a head start perusing the choice of candidates at your station, you can do so at Pacifica’s elections website. As a listener-member, you can only vote for candidates in the listener-member category. Similarly, if you are on Pacifica’s payroll or are a regular volunteer programmer, then you can only vote for the candidates in the staff-member category. 

Ballots will be sent on January 18, 2019. If your local station has your email address, you should receive an on-line ballot on that date. Keep an eye out for it. If your station does not have your email address, then a ballot will be mailed to you on January 18 and will arrive at your residence later in the month. 

The election close date is March 5, 2019. That means your email ballot must be submitted by midnight local time on that date or if you are using a paper ballot, that you have to get it to the reply address or into the hands of your local election staffer by that day. It is not a postmark date, so if you are mailing the ballot in, make sure you do so by late February. 

Pacifica elections require a quorum of 10% of the membership, so if everyone ignores their ballots then the election period will never end. So we encourage you to vote your preferences and to do so in the allotted time to keep costs down. It costs money to extend the elections and it is money that doesn’t need to be spent.

If you are affiliated with Washington station WPFW-FM, you won’t need to vote as that station does not have aspiring candidates in greater number than the number of vacant seats, so volunteers will be automatically seated. 

Assuming quorum is made, election results will be announced on or before March 20. 

Pacifica in Exile will send an endorsement issue out on January 16 with our recommendations for all four signal areas that are having elections. We hope that will be be a helpful aide in voting. 

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In other news from the national front, the 2019 affiliate station representatives on the Pacifica National Board will be Robin Collier of KCEI-FM in Taos, New Mexico and Garry Boast of webcast station Cerebral Radio. They will join directors chosen by the delegates you vote for in the upcoming elections to form the new Pacifica Board of Directors. 

Pacifica has also contracted for financial management services from NETA (National Educational Telecommunications Association) in order to standardize recordkeeping and reporting and staunch the chronic lateness and lack of compliance that has marked the last four years of operations. NETA’s business center support (you can read more about them here) should help to stabilize the reporting and audit problems we have written so much about.

The Pacifica National Board has also developed a policy for editorial disclaimers regarding opinionated content on the airwaves that strikes a balance between the free speech rights of Pacifica guests and hosts and the responsibility of a radio licensee for the content they allow to be broadcasted on their signal. You should start hearing the disclaimer carts in the second quarter of 2019. 

For local station news, we apologize again that this issue will be largely Northern California-focused. After our publishing break, we are still getting up to speed on the local brushfires all over the network. Since accuracy is important to us, we are going to continue gathering information before diving into current events at KPFK-FM, WBAI-FM, KPFT-FM and WPFW-FM. If there are local issues that you’d like us to prioritize, please feel free to drop an email to pacificainexile@gmail.com with your suggestions. 

Here in Berkeley, here’s a few things that are up:

The never-ending Campisi vs Pacifica lawsuit that stems from KPFA LSB member Bill Campisi’s January 2018 attempt to torque the national directors election by running as a bogus candidate and then quitting 18 seconds after being elected in the hopes of forcing a new election, is still dripping through the California Court of Appeals. It is using up time and money even though Campisi has lost at every turn. The final ruling should come in March of 2019 and is not expected to be any different than the lower court ruling. The case has already cost some $50K of membership donations after the Pacifica National Board put an end to the hijinks and seated the runner-up who trailed Campisi by 4/10 of a vote and was willing to actually do the job. Angry at having his trick foiled, Campisi took to the courts, where he has had no success. Even though the one year national board term at issue has already basically passed, Campisi continues to file over-sized briefs and run up legal bills. Bill Campisi is a candidate for re-election this year as a member of the UIR slate and we encourage KPFA listeners not to reward his wasteful and petulant actions with your votes. He’s already spent your money.

The Berkeley station also finally released some financial records, and to say the least, they were a surprise. After “preliminary” numbers for the first nine months of the recently completed fiscal year were released in August pointing to record-setting totals for revenue and sky-high projections for the station’s most successful year in the last two decades, the real numbers as released in December 2018 were crushing, showing the station’s lowest revenue total in a decade and a half and revenue of half a million less than the reported actuals in August and over $1.3 million dollars less then the projected numbers. At the time of the release of the overly optimistic numbers in August, this publication questioned those numbers, saying that they did not comport with real-life observation of the fund drive reports.and seemed wildly out of whack. They were. And more importantly, the station’s budget for the upcoming year relies on those inflated numbers and currently projects spending hundreds of thousands dollars more than 2018 revenues. The current projected operating loss for KPFA’s operations in 2018 is $-232,000and if revenue totals remain about the same, the projected operating loss for 2019 would be $-298,700. KPFA’s board treasurer declined to comment. Some course correction will be required in 2019. 

KPFA hit the national news in 2017 when it “deplatformed” atheist writer Richard Dawkins from a sponsored book signing event after he made statements that Islam was the “most evil” religion. The action happened about the same time the station underwent criticism for on-air censorship of the anti-vaccine positions of some on-air guests. Later, the station removed a program, Guns and Butter, after the show aired guests with alternative views of the Holocaust or as characterized “Holocaust denial”.  In defense of their actions, KPFA station management pointed to the necessity not to seem to endorse hatred towards any religious or cultural groups or to profit from denigrating others, as well as the necessity of maintaining credibility and lack of bias. Those statements came into question again when frequent guest and prominent author Alice Walker published a book of poems which referred to the Talmud, the holy book of the Orthodox Jewish community as “poison“, and described extreme author David Ickes as “brave” and “very important to humanity’s conversation” in a NY Times profile and in follow-up blogs on her website. Among the ideas in the Ickes book that Walker lauded were that alternative information about the Holocaust (often referred to as “Holocaust denial”) was being suppressed and should be taught in schools, that the Nuremberg trials should be condemned, that Judaism is a racist religion, and that many European Jewish families contain “reptilian” genes and are not fully human. When asked if Walker should continue to be “platformed” in KPFA events, and if her works should continue to be given away as pledge drive gifts so KPFA can profit from them, KPFA’s local station board and management declined to answer. The varying responses underline the need for consistent programming policies and standards to avoid situational reactiveness and standards that are not evenly enforced across the full spectrum of the network’s constituencies. 

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If you value being kept up to speed on Pacifica Radio news via this newsletter, you can make a little contribution to keep Pacifica in Exile publishing . Donations are secure, but not tax-deductible. (Scroll down to the donation icon).

Pacifica in Exile readers may write to the board at pnb@pacifica.org.

To subscribe to this newsletter, please visit our website at www.pacificainexile.org

###

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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Election Schedule Redux

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Berkeley-Despite our best intentions in sending you the election schedule, things shifted, and so we have to once again send out a schedule.

See below for the current schedule.

***

December 26 – Membership data for ballot printing to the printer/mail house by midnight Dec 26, 2018

January 7 – Election period start  – Ballots sent to eligible members. A paper (physical) ballot will be sent to eligible listeners for whom no email address is available on their membership record. An electronic ballot will be sent via email to eligible listeners for whom an email is available.

February 11 – Election period end. (If quorum is not reached by this date, the NES will extend the election per Pacifica Foundation Bylaws. All other dates below will be adjusted accordingly.)

February 12 – Ballot count starts.

February 25 – Election results announced***

In other election-related news, Pacifica In Exile will send out a formal list of endorsements in the last week of January for your consideration, along with our reasons for endorsing or not endorsing the candidates we select. But since election-related outreach will get to you long before the first week of January, we thought we’d take a minute to make some general statements about each of the signal areas and their LSB elections.We will try to capture some general Pacifica news in the upcoming months as well, so we can be a bit of a more regular correspondent. The long struggle to free the Foundation from the Wilkinson/Brazon years after the coup and then the Empire State Building crisis took their toll, and a little break was in order. But we know it is difficult to follow events without these bulletins, and we take the responsibility seriously, so we will try to get back to at monthly dispatches. 

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Election Summary (Going East Coast to West Coast)

WBAI-FM New York – At WBAI-FM, the elections usually pit the Justice and Unity Caucus against a slate of independent candidates and 2018 is no different. Names and faces change, but the record of the Justice and Unity Caucus in backing up the corruption and power-grabbing of the post-coup period is well-established, and we are not inclined to support any candidate running under that banner. In recent times, the rallying cry for the Justice and Unity Group has been to hand over the radio station to Manhattan Neighborhood Network, the public access video station run by former Pacifica ED Dan Coughlin. Coughlin has recently appealed a case based on banning programmers from his facility to the Supreme Court where Halleck vs MNN in the hands of the conservative Supreme Court is sending a cold chill up the spines of the entire independent media community. Amicis have been filed by the like of the Cato Institute, The Electronic Frontier Foundation, the Internet Association and NCTA because of the far-reaching implications. (NCTA for example, wants to use the case to outlaw governmental, educational and public access channels altogether, including MNN).

Pacifica in Exile readers will remember 2015 when the three independent WBAI national board members were excluded from the national board for an entire year at the behest of Justice and Unity member Cerene Roberts. The good news for WBAI voters is that there are at least a dozen Independent candidates running for WBAI’s LSB in the upcoming election  so listener members will have a broad assortment to choose from. 

WPFW-FM Washington – At WPFW, democratic governance still has a thin foundation, and 2018 does not seem terribly different than the norm. There are about as many available seats as there are candidates, making the choice merely one of ranking. Pacifica In Exile will recommend the candidates we think will do the best job, but it is likely they will acquire a seat no matter what we or anyone else advise. We encourage WPFW listener members to give some thought to how to invigorate their election process so that voters can consider a range of points of view and be more able to manifest the direction they’d like to see in the names they put on their ballots. 

KPFT-FM Texas – At KPFT, we have a small station with some big fights. If you happened to listen to random meetings of the KPFT local station board in the last few years (and we know you probably didn’t), you’d almost always find an agenda marked with some sort of banning, suspension, removal, or discipline of one or another member of the board. Like every single time.

This is, obviously, not the most productive use of board time. Much of this has been driven by Adriana Casenave, a regular cast member in the Pacifica in Exile bulletins of 2014 to 2016 period and a PNB representative for KPFT from 2014 to 2018. While Casenave is terming out, we don’t have much faith that her fellow friends will act much differently than she did, and therefore we advise you to look to the “Candidate Slate” group for your choices in 2018. 

KPFK-FM Los Angeles – KPFK’s local station board has been dominated the past two years by their Candidate Slate group which formed in 2015 from the members of the former Committee to Save KPFK to save the station from the horrors of the Leslie Radford years. The group was overwhelmingly supported by KPFK’s listeners in both the 2015 and 2016 elections, in some of the most lopsided election results ever seen in a Pacifica local board election.

In 2017, the victories in LA helped the whole network when the KPFK local station board galvanized their community to raise a million dollar “listener loan” fund to help Pacifica in the scary days after the Empire State building judgment and played a leading role in cobbling together the larger loan that allowed Pacifica to pay off the predatory real estate magnate and avoid a descent into bankruptcy. For that, they deserve your renewed support. The opposing slate which usually calls itself something like the Grassroots Community Radio Coalition is closely affiliated with Brazon and Radford who were firmly rejected by the vast majority of the station;s listeners. 

This brings us to the complicated one, our home station KPFA-FM Bay Area. Bear with us. It is a bit of a long story. KPFA is the land of the changing names for candidate groups. And not always changed with the best of intentions. KPFA Forward became Concerned Listeners became Save KPFA. People’s Radio became Independents for Community Radio became United for Community Radio.And you’d think that sentence would continue like this ….. and United for Community Radio became United for Independent Radio because it makes sense, right?

But nope. United for Independent Radio is actually what used to call itself Save KPFA, which picked up a few side-switchers and then swiped their opponent’s names to create maximal confusion for you, the voter. So the way the sentence actually finishes is United for Community Radio became Rescue Pacifica. 

Oy. In a nutshell, here is what it is. The folks who did all the rip KPFA away from Pacifica stuff with the secret KPFA Foundation and then the secret Big Tent Radio are UIR. The folks who were pushing for Pacifica to jump into voluntary bankrutpcy and throw itself on the mercy of the federal judiciary are UIR. Bill Campisi, who filed a lawsuit that has now cost upward of $50K to prevent someone from being seated on the board is UIR.

These are not the values, the platform, the ideas that United for Community Radio stood for, in all of its previous iterations. You can take the name, but if you don’t take the platform of Pacifica unity, independent news and not regurgitated wire copy, bargaining rights for paid *and* unpaid staff, airtime for community groups including some AM time, community input via a program council, and financial transparency, then it doesn’t much matter what you call yourselves.That platform resides with Rescue Pacifica, and we encourage you to choose among those candidates for your top choices.

It’s a serious time. While KPFA’s LSB likes to talk about how much better they are doing than the other stations, they have missed 8 of the last 9 fund drive goals and payroll has once again soared over two million dollars a year, the same conditions that lead to disastrous deficits in the 2009-2010 period.KPFA is heading in that direction with a downward trend in the audited financial results from a unit operating loss of $-33,750 in 2012 all the way down to a $-315,661 loss in 2016, the last audited year to date. In 2016, that was the second biggest unit operating loss of the network’s five radio stations.We think the Rescue Pacifica candidates, who have not been in the majority in the past few years, should get a chance to turn that downward spiral around. 

***If you value being kept up to speed on Pacifica Radio news via this newsletter, you can make a little contribution to keep Pacifica in Exile publishing. Donations are secure, but not tax-deductible. (Scroll down to the donation icon).

Pacifica in Exile readers may write to the board at pnb@pacifica.org.

To subscribe to this newsletter, please visit our website at www.pacificainexile.org

###

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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June Comes After May and Guns and Butter Goes Away

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*Note* – As you’ve noticed, Pacifica in Exile had ceased regular publication earlier this year. The reasons for that have been multiple and have included increasing demands on the time of the editor, the change in Pacifica leadership and resolution of the Empire State Building obligation, and the financial stress of maintaining the publication schedule on a largely uncompensated basis for multiple years.This edition is being published due to problematic occurrences at KPFA. We will try to resume publication periodically when circumstances warrant, as we can. It is noted that the quality of conversation and availability of information suffers in Pacifica in Exile’s absence and we regret that. This issue will be largely KPFA-centric, but we believe the matters involved bear on and have significance for all the stations in the network. – Editor

Berkeley-At a contentious and surprisingly crowded KPFA local station board meeting, scores of people turned out to object to the station’s sudden kiboshing of 17-year public affairs and analysis show Guns and Butter. The meeting had been previously billed as a “town hall”, but as the meeting actually unfolded, it became clear the reason for 90% of the attendance was the abrupt cancellation of Guns and Butter. (Quaintly referred to by KPFA board member Andrea Turner as the “reduction” of the program.”). Guns and Butter, came on the air in 2001, one of the first programs greenlighted by KPFA’s community-based program council that existed in those years. Guns and Butter, then hosted by Bonnie Faulkner and Kellia Ramares, and for the last decade, solely by Faulkner as an unpaid staffer, had a charter statement to bring to the air deeply alternative voices it was hard to hear elsewhere, with an emphasis on the intersection between economics and politics, and what are often called conspiracy theories, including non-mainstream versions of the events of September 11. The show has *always* pissed people off, and faced significant opposition from KPFA’s News Department and some program hosts at the get-go, and has regularly spurred controversies. It also has one of the largest and most dedicated audiences of any program in the Pacifica Network.  Continue reading June Comes After May and Guns and Butter Goes Away

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Information Shortage

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Berkeley – Information from Pacifica’s National Board out to the members it represents has been a little scarce as of late, with 4 consecutive closed session meetings on January 25 and Feb 1, Feb 8 and Feb 15 not providing the routine report out. The audit committee has also not filed report outs from its last three closed session meetings. Part of the problem has been the transition between executive directors as Tom Livingston takes over for Bill Crosier and part the annual turning over of the national board. This year’s rotation of national board members has been far from smooth with repetitive director elections from KPFA’s local station board, which has been hemorrhaging members at the rate of one a month, and filing lawsuits against Pacifica. More on the KPFA directors mess below.  Continue reading Information Shortage

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The Return of Self-Selected Boards or Control At Any Price

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Berkeley – Every January, according to Pacifica’s badly written bylaws, the Pacifica National Board resets itself. This leads to regular chaos and 2018 was no disappointment in that regard. So the business of financial recovery has gone on almost exclusively in closed sessions of the board. We will fill you in on all the craziness below, but in deference to the seriousness of the situation, we are going to cover a few things of more significance first.

Pacifica’s financial audits, the subject of so much suffering for so long, seemed to be within shooting distance of finally getting current in mid-2017, when the FY 2015 audit was completed in August in record time. But 7 months later, the FY 2016 audit, which needed to be done by June 2017 or as soon thereafter as possible, hasn’t gone anywhere. Pacifica in Exile readers will remember that an audit fundraiser was held in March of 2017 to raise funds to pay for the two back audits with great success. Pacifica remains under some pressure to get the FY 2016 audit done with an original deadline from the CA Attorney General of mid-February 2018. Pacifica’s first attempt to get an extension was rejected, and a second attempt is underway. The ability of all the stations to accept charitable donations would be at risk if Pacifica’s tax-exempt status were pulled, a possible consequence of failing to submit timely financial audits.  Continue reading The Return of Self-Selected Boards or Control At Any Price

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The End Less Near – Pacifica Board Approves Loan

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Berkeley – On the evening of January 18, the Pacifica Foundation board formally approved and accepted a loan put together by the organization’s members in Southern California to pay off a pending judgment to the Empire State Building and keep the organization out of a Chapter 11 bankruptcy filing.

The member loan is a short-term bridge loan intended to pay off the judgment immediately and transition the organization into a 3-year line of credit that will follow.

The three to three and a half year timeline will allow Pacifica to explore several options to pay off long-term debts and finally get clear of the extortionate Empire State deal that swallows so much revenue without having to engage in fire sales, and retains the organization’s independence. Continue reading The End Less Near – Pacifica Board Approves Loan

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Paying Off The Judgment

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Berkeley – This is a very happy update to send.

Friends of Pacifica in Southern California have now secured bridge loan funds of $2 million dollars to pay off the summary judgment amount to the Empire State Building. An escrow account has been set up and full payment will follow shortly afterwards. Full payment of the  judgment due will remove the threat of asset seizure.

Huge thanks to the Southern California community which worked together to locate the much-needed funds in record time. Continue reading Paying Off The Judgment

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Dollars And Cents

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Berkeley – When making decisions about how to go forward, we believe it is always helpful to look at the actual numbers. The adage “follow the money” applies to well, just about everything. Pacifica has released a draft profit and loss statement for the last fiscal year that ended on September 30, 2017. (Finally).

We need to disclose that it is a “draft” financial statement, so the numbers are not finalized, but at 95 days after the end of the fiscal year, most financial transactions should have been recorded in the books by now.

It is important that members have access to the financial statements, so we are making them available to you here. Continue reading Dollars And Cents

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What The Dickens Is Going On?

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Berkeley – (Editors note: After more than three and a half years of regular weekly bulletins, Pacifica in Exile did not come out for the last eight weeks. The primary reason for that has been to avoid providing surplus information to Pacifica’s main creditor, the Empire State Realty Trust, that could hamper negotiations. At this point, however, we believe the member’s right to know has to be the priority, and since various members of the Pacifica community have been putting out information of varying levels of accuracy for some time now, we decided the time was right).

When we last left off publication, Pacifica had been hit with a $1.8 million summary judgment from the Empire State Realty Trust for back rent from 2013 to 2017, The rent is for WBAI-FM’s transmitter which broadcasts from the iconic NY skyscraper. A 15-year lease had been signed in 2005 by very temporary IED Ambrose Lane, a WPFW broadcaster who presided briefly between Dan Coughlin and Dan Siegel. The lease was signed under somewhat mysterious circumstances in that members of the 2005 board of directors have not confirmed that they saw it or reviewed it prior to signing. The lease took full advantage of the skyscraper deficit in New York City after the collapse of the World Trade Center in 2001, hiking the rent abundantly every year for a decade and a half until 2020, where it topped out at more than 3/4 of a million dollars a year, a prohibitive amount for any community radio station.  Continue reading What The Dickens Is Going On?

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