Berkeley-Pacifica Radio members have no shortage of advocacy emails imploring them to sign things, un-sign things, attend meetings to make angry public comments and support this or that group going by this or that confusing name. Our hope is to deconstruct some of this mass confusion, and make it easier for listeners to hold accountable partisan efforts that do little to build and sustain the network.Continue reading Factionalism Alert
Berkeley-After receiving a couple of inquiries from Pacifica members who are somewhat overwhelmed by the recent phenomenon of multiple blasts from closely intertwined groups using different names, we decided the confusion they expressed is probably fairly widespread and deserves an answer. Here is one such inquiry (among many):
Happy Holidays! I do have a question though. Who is KPFA Protectors? I get so much email from all kinds of people claiming to be in the best interests of Pacifica, that it is confusing. I will not support any group that has tried to sell off KPFA or any part of Pacifica in the past because the network is “bankrupt”, when a combination of a recession, people losing their jobs, COVID pandemic and just plain bad mismanagement has put the network in danger. I also oppose those people who insist upon maintaining salaried employees (although I feel bad over people losing their jobs) when it isn’t sustainable for the network. Thanks, and thanks for all of your hard work.
The answer, as diagnosed using email headers and links, appears to be surprisingly simple. The differing names are simply red herrings. By using multiple names, it is easier to evade accountability and claim plausible deniability for ventures that do not go well, such as the initial bylaws misadventure that was defeated by a 2-1 margin or the recent request to the court to place Pacifica assets into a receivership trust account held by a Rancho Cucamonga lawyer, which was denied by the court.
Red herring campaigns are designed to confuse the audience, but they generally leave a trail of bread crumbs behind them.Continue reading The New Day Protectors Safety Net Restructuring Project
Los Angeles – As more details emerge on last week’s attempt to shut down Pacifica Radio and transfer our assets to a private receivership, Pacifica listeners will experience a feeling of deja vu as we once again tell you about a secret nonprofit set up to receive your radio station licenses.
This time it is called Pacifica Safety Net and once again, papers were filed to set up a new not for profit organization under the sole control of the marauders. Unlike last time however, they actively went to a court of law requesting that Pacifica’s assets be formally taken from the members.Continue reading More On The Asset Grab; It’s Time for Accountability and Consequences
Three members of KPFA’s local station board, Chair Christina Huggins, Andrea Turner, Donald Goldmacher and their lawyer, traveled down to Los Angeles on Tuesday, violating California’s COVID19 shelter in place order, to try to convince a court to place Pacifica’s assets into a receivership and remove control of the Foundation from its members. Update: There is a 4th plaintiff, former KPFA LSB member Craig Alderson. The attorney is Stephen Jaffe, an SF employment lawyer and unsuccessful congressional candidate). Their effort was unsuccessful and their emergency request was denied by the court.
Their filing, apparently an error-riddled 800 page tome, was not available on the LA County Superior Court site as of the time of this newsletter, but was said to have asserted incorrectly that Pacifica’s buildings were about to be foreclosed upon and that the fiscal year 2017 audit had not been completed. (It was completed some time ago). The judge denied the request in a brief hearing of less than 30 minutes duration and castigated the plaintiffs for procedural irregularities.
Among the procedural irregularities was the failure to serve the lawsuit. The plaintiff’s attorney merely called a few officers of the board on the telephone at 8:00 am the day before the hearing.
Receivership, which is normally requested by an organization’s creditors, not its member-elected delegates, hands over all of the foundation’s assets, including all five station radio licenses, title to all owned real estate, and all of the money in any the station bank accounts, to an independent party appointed by the court. The receiver maintains possession of all assets until discharged by the court, The receiver makes all financial and operational decisions during the period of receivership and may shed assets and discharge workers to attain profitability. With the permission of the overseeing judge, a receiver can act to liquidate an organization and can also petition to terminate or not renew collective bargaining agreements.
The three KPFA local station board members did not inform the KPFA local station board of their actions, and one of them Andrea Turner, who is a PNB director, did not inform her national board colleagues. Their bizarre actions happened as other members of their faction send pleading emails to members to sign a petition for a bylaws referendum, which would no longer be possible under receivership, as members would lose their voting rights for the duration of the receivership.
While the “emergency request” was formally and finally denied, the full lawsuit will continue wending its way through the court system, with Pacifica members like you footing the bill.
Pacifica members upset at the actions by delegates to take away the Foundation from its members can email the KPFA local station board at email@example.com.
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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 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.
Three members of KPFA’s local station board, Chair Christina Huggins, Andrea Turner, Donald Goldmacher and their lawyer, traveled down to Los Angeles on Tuesday, violating California’s COVID19 shelter in place order, to try to convince a court to place Pacifica’s assets into a receivership and remove control of the Foundation from its members. Update: The 4th plaintiff is Craig Alderson, a former KPFA LSB member and the attorney is Stephen Jaffe, an SF employment lawyer and unsucessful Congressional candidate. Their effort was unsuccessful and their emergency request was denied by the court.Continue reading Three Members of KPFA’s LSB Try To Give Pacifica’s Assets to California Court
Berkeley-What happens when members of KPFA’s local board attempt to obstruct the same local progressive political victories that the station lauds on air? Ahmad Anderson, a Save KPFA-UIR affiliated member of the board from 2015-2020 ran for a city council seat in the nearby city of Richmond, running against the city’s former mayor and co-founder of the Richmond Progressive Alliance, Gayle McLaughlin. Anderson’s primary funders, according to campaign finance records included the Richmond Police Officers Association, the California Apartment Association (the landlord lobbyists), a real estate dark money PAC, several local developers including Mariner Square, Eastshore Properties, Richmond Development LLC, the city’s waste management vendor and a shipping company Levin Richmond Terminal Corp that is currently suing the City to overturn an ordinance preventing the shipping of coal and petroleum via the Port of Richmond. As if that isn’t enough, Richmond’s mayor Tom Butt released a newsletter highlighting his hand-picked slate of three “pro-business” and “pro-police” candidates, including Anderson, who will stop “radical social policies”. Butt is not subtle; he implores his readers to:
Continue reading Is KPFA’s Local Board Progressive?
Please help keep the Richmond Progressive Alliance from taking over Richmond.
What The 2nd Version of New Bad Bylaws Would Do
Berkeley – We promised you an analysis of what the latest set of bad replacement bylaws would change – and here it is. Rather than doing away with democratic representation altogether, this revised proposal from the same group of people merely suspends democracy for 3 years and then reinstates it with majority rule requirements that completely shut out minority groups and interests from any representation in Pacifica governance.Continue reading Bad Bylaws Take 2
Aren’t You Dying To Vote on Another Set of Bad Replacement Bylaws?
Berkeley – With so much of importance going on in the world right now, about the last thing in the world we want to do is trouble you with Pacifica’s internal shenanigans. And we understand that you reallydon’t want to focus on this right now. And you shouldn’t have to. Pacifica and its board members should be lasar-focused on providing you the alternative information you want to help make sense of the world. Sadly, some of them aren’t. They are focused on themselves and their power dynamics.
But here’s the good news. You don’t have to focus on it. This is literally an email requesting you to do absolutely nothing. All you have to do is not sign a new bylaws petition asking you to force yet another bylaws election. Corrections made after the last disaster that was rejected overwhelmingly have raised the threshold for a bylaws petition from 1% to 5% of the members. You can literally save Pacifica $100,000 dollars and save yourself from poring over 58 pages of new bylaws. Yes, hard as it may be to believe, these new proposed bylaws are even longer than the existing ones.Continue reading There They Go Again
Berkeley – Law firm Foster Garvey has revealed that $80,000 was secretly wired from Berkeley radio station KPFA’s operating account in October of 2019 to the law firm that was defending the failed WBAI shutdown. The amount represents approximately one out of every five dollars donated in KPFA’s September/October fall fund drive.Continue reading KPFA GM and Business Manager Funded WBAI Shutdown
Berkeley – As the world faces a global pandemic on a scale that hasn’t been seen since 1918, Pacifica also faces recovering from a divisive bylaws battle that ended with an overwhelming 2-1 victory for the democratic reforms implemented in 2002.
With a severe economic depression looming, it is important that all sides come together after the listeners and workers had their say at the ballot box. A start on that was made with the seating of the 2020 Pacifica National Board, which occurred on Thursday night. And pandemic stimulus relief may be available to aid Pacifica through the significant financial challenges to come.
The costs of the special election demanded by the Pacifica Restructuring Project could not have come at a worse time. $100,000 will have to be yanked out of the operating costs of the 5 stations to pay for the election contractors, secure voting vendors, and the legal costs of responding to 4 different court actions in Alameda Superior Court. We hope the 1,000 people who signed the replacement bylaws petition will take seriously the $100.00 bill that each of them created, and to the extent possible, make an attempt to pay for it. Donations can be submitted here.Continue reading After The Bylaws
Berkeley – Voting closed in Pacifica Radio’s bylaws referendum on March 19, 2020, after a month-long balloting period. When the results were released on the afternoon of Monday March 23, 22% of listener-members and 50% of staff had voted, which is approximately twice the number of voters in delegate elections. They voted overwhelmingly by a 2-1 margin to reject the bylaws proposal.
9,713 voters. 6,340 voted no. 3,273 voted yes. 101 abstained (sent in a blank ballot). 66% – 34%
512 voters. 331 voted no. 177 voted yes. 4 abstained (sent in a blank ballot) 65% – 35%Continue reading Pacifica Members Vociferously Reject Anti-Democratic Bylaws Proposal