2019 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

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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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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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