New Day Moves to Eradicate Staff Vote on Bylaws Referendum

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Or How to Solve The Problem When People Just Won’t Vote Right

Firstly, we want to apologize for breaking our vow not to send more than one edition a week. We take that promise seriously and are only taking this step because an unexpected development arose that it seemed important for people to know. We appreciate your patience. 

Berkeley – A puzzling (and completely outrageous) demand letter was filed by New Day Pacifica coordinators Jan Goodman and Beth Kean on Monday morning – and came to us in the evening of May 26th. The demand letter seeks to prevent Pacifica staff from being able to vote in their own election on the adoption of the New Day Pacifica bylaws. The reason?

If the staff, specifically at WBAI and WPFW vote no with an overwhelming turnout as they did last year during the prior bylaws referendum, they will be able to thwart the New Day proposal. 

There are a number of administrative reasons why the request is a non-starter and we will mention them below, but before we do that, we just want to take a second to review the broader implications of the letter, which you can read here.

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Safety Net Doubles Down on Charges That Jan Goodman is a Crook

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Berkeley – In a Third Amended Complaint filed in LA Superior Court on May 17, Pacifica Safety Net plaintiffs Donald Goldmacher (KPFA LSB delegate), Christina Huggins (KPFA LSB delegate) and Andrea Turner (PNB Director) expanded on their previous charges that Jan Goodman is guilty of illegal acts, misconduct and self-dealing. The Third Amended Complaint, filed after the first two complaints were rejected, follows a first complaint that attempted to transfer all of the Pacifica Foundation’s broadcast licenses and real estate assets to a San Bernardino lawyer, Matthew Taylor. 

Goodman, a former PNB director, would be installed as the vice-chair of the Pacifica National Board until 2024 if the members endorse the “New Day” bylaws revision in a referendum election to be held in June. 

The complaint, filed under penalty of perjury, does not mince words. It accuses Goodman on pages 11 and 12 of “unlawful acts”, “prohibited self-dealing”, “dishonest acts”, “gross abuse of authority”, “an obvious conflict of interest” and “executing an illegal loan”. A copy of the complaint filed by the three can be read¬†here.¬†

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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.

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The Confusion of Ian Masters

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Many of Pacifica’s members received a letter from KPFK programmer Ian Masters, who hosts Background Briefing at Pacifica’s LA station. While the upcoming bylaws referendum redux will lead to many, many, many letters to the members filled with questionable, if not downright false assertions, and it would probably be tiresome to rebut them all, this particular one is so convoluted that it deserves a response. For anyone who doesn’t have it or doesn’t have it handy, we have placed a copy here for your reference.

Masters begins his screed with the “shocking news” that KPFK programmers have been told that a fund drive is coming up in May of 2021 and the station’s employees have been told they have to raise $650,000 in the May fund drive. This shouldn’t have been overly shocking since Masters has been a five day a week programmer at KPFK since 2009 (and a one day a week programmer since 1980) and KPFK always has a fund drive in May and that fund drive always has a goal between $500,000 and $750,000. Every single year. Along with similar fund drives that generally occur in February, August and October.

The goal of each fund drive is to raise all or most of the station’s expenses of around $240,000 a month or $720,000 a quarter. If that money isn’t raised during the fundraising marathon, then the station will not have enough money to pay its bills. That is the reality of listener-supported radio, and it has been for a very long time. It’s not very shocking at all.

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