Wednesday, April 28, 2021
Wednesday, April 21, 2021
Thursday, April 15, 2021
Drops Lawsuit vs. County Over Coliseum Sale – NBC Bay Area
(I suggest that you watch the video)
Saturday, April 3, 2021
KPFA and the vast conspiracy
It has been one of my firm beliefs that people accuse others of the crimes that they themselves are willing to commit.
A prime example is the national Republican party’s complaints about voting rights.
Republicans accuse the Democrats of wanting to create a permanent majority for themselves. This coming from the folk who have voter suppression laws in a majority of states, most of which are so gerrymandered that the Republicans hold overwhelming majorities in their state and federal delegations despite only having a slim majority of the votes, if that.
Yet Republicans accuse the Democrats of gaming the system.
They should, they have gaming the system on their minds.
I have found it hard to focus on any one subject trying to describe the far-fetched arguments and proposals made by the local KPFA board majority. So, for this bit of writing, let’s talk about conspiracy.
At this last KPFA meeting we went through the looking glass to a world where being a local leader of the Green Party was equated to being an elected official.
[my friend Stan at Peace and Freedom assures me that they do hold democratic, internal elections]
KPFA has a very good rule that those on the payroll or who hold any leadership or elected position inside KPFA or Pacifica Radio cannot be an elected official or a candidate for elected office at the same time. My own election to the KPFA board left me as the runner up. One of the members of the station board ran for office in Richmond and I was asked to step up.
Many of us in Oakland know of Cat Brooks. She is on the air during the morning show on KPFA weekdays. When she ran for Oakland Mayor, she suspended her employment at KPFA until the election was won by Libby Schaff.
When I was on a nonprofit board, I voluntarily did not attend those board meetings when I ran for City Counsel and picked back up after that election was won by Dan Kalb.
This is all very normal.
At the last station board meeting a member of the faction formally known as “Save KPFA” accused James McFadden of breaking this rule, demanding that he resign based on a highly contrived argument that conflates an internal Green Party election with being a government official.
Then the accusations became bizarre. It included the idea that the Greens have some kind of KPFA board candidate training program and together with the Worker’s World Party they (we) are plotting to take over the station and only promote radical programming because we want to wreck the station.
It sounded a lot like Republicans calling Joe Biden a “socialist”.
At that point, I had to say something about this vast-Green-conspiracy theory. I pointed out that my recruitment to the KPFA board was because of my friend Tom Voorhees asking me to do it. I have known Tom since we met in Nicaragua in the 1980’s and he helped us with our radios there. This is long before the US Green Party or Save KPFA even existed.
And who the hell is the Worker’s World Party?
If “Save KPFA” hates them, they must be doing something good.
And why does the faction formally known as “Save KPFA” have
conspiracy on the brain?
Surprise! They have a very real conspiracy of their own they are working on.
It is a bylaws scam. It is the second try at a bylaws scam.
So, before I explain, hear this.
VOTE NO ON THE BYLAWS AMENDMENT, IT IS A SCAM
“Save KPFA” got some of their former opponents to join them and now call themselves something like United for Independent Radio. They now have a front group or sub group called New Day Pacifica. That groups seems to have some serious cash for on-line promotion. They have gotten enough signatures to put their bylaws change on the ballot.
This is the second time that a bylaws change is being attempted by the same faction.
The idea is simple. Make sure that they, and only they, are in charge. The bylaws change is to eliminate the Pacifica Nation Board that we now have, elected by all 5 station boards in the Pacifica Network. Voting yes will appoint a 4-person junta to run things during the transition. The local station boards will be stripped of all authority. New elections under their new rules will take place sometime.
So KPFA will become a province of Myanmar?
One of the people behind this new takeover attempt also explained why they have good reasons not to hold on-air debates about these bylaws for the listener members. Instead, we will hold obscure discussions out of the limelight and broadcast on-air announcements worthy of George Orwell.
Your will find that statement on the front page of the kpfa.org website.
The New Day Pacifica slick email has a long list of notable endorsers. (So do the opponents.) Where does the money come from for such a media campaign? How did they get the membership list? Will equal time be given to the other views? Can they send an email to that same list?
“Save KPFA” sounds like the Republicans, and many Democrats, when they talk about how the sky will fall if they are not put in total charge. They throw around language where they are the only competent ones, and everyone else involved in KPFA and Pacifica does not know what they are doing; thus, disaster is always just around the corner.
The last time they tried a bylaws change it got overwhelmingly voted down.
And now the accusation out of their mouth is “conspiracy”.
I do not doubt their expertise on the subject.
Monday, January 4, 2021
There are times that one knows what one thinks, but has no idea what to say.
Between our November KPFA Station Board meeting and the one we had on a Saturday in late December a group of board members from the majority setup some shell non-profit and then filed a lawsuit to put KPFA into receivership.
The reason I do not know what to say is because I am at a loss for words to describe how outrageous a thing that was to do.
First and foremost, this was outrageous because it boiled down to attempted theft of a member owned radio station by a number of board members acting on their own to get their hands on the considerable value of the station, the building, and above all it’s license. They had a non profit all set up to sweep the wealth into; a non profit controlled only by them.
It was also outrageous because this lawsuit was a surprise to the rest of the board, the rest of the KPFA community and the Pacifica Foundation to which KPFA and the other stations belong. If they had gotten away with it, a narrow majority at one station, KPFA, would have had control of all five Pacifica stations.
It was outrageous because they acted in the dark and struck by surprise.
Last meeting ended with us wondering if there was even going to be a December meeting. The only reason to hold one would be if the bylaws said that we had to re-elect board officers before the end of the calendar year. There was no mention of an impending lawsuit wanting to take control.
So, this meeting had an extra item added to the agenda. The motion was to censure and remove the three board members who had sued the organization that they claim to represent.
The meeting degraded into a shouting match. When people were not shouting, they were making harsh accusations. A few people dominated the Zoom chat with nasty comments and attacks on each other’s personal histories on all sorts of subjects not related to the problem at hand.
I have not seen such dogmatic, sectarian infighting since I was a young leftist in Montreal in the 1970’s.
If you have not seen Monty Python, The Life of
Brian, watch it.
Friends warned me about the so-called Save KPFA faction and I should have listened. That clique added some new members and now has a new name or two, but does not seem to change much. Before I just disagreed with their proposals. Now I question their sense of ethics.
At the December Local Station Board meeting we heard a lot of why they think that they are the only ones to hold the right views, but as they went on, we got nothing about why they feel that their lack of respect for the process was helping anything, or what justified them acting unilaterally like that.
So, what do I think? For me, filing that lawsuit is sort of like suing for custody of the kid and then thinking that you can still sleep in my bed. How could such a thing not wreck the relationship?
In the course of the discussion, we were given all kinds of interesting arguments that if addressed differently would have been valuable. Worthwhile discussion should have been held BEFORE throwing such a bomb. There were also some strong accusations made by the majority that needed more support than Trump style belligerence.
Among other things, we were told:
· Only their faction is doing anything for the station
· That everyone else has “never done jack shit” for KPFA
· That people who oppose them are part of the Workers World Party (that I don’t even know)
· That “somebody” had to stand up for the station because nothing is being done
· The financial crisis risks losing the whole network (if so, show us the numbers)
What did not get an answer to, was the question “what gave them the right to unilaterally do this”?
Had the situation that they consider so dire been brought to the board with supporting documentation and then the board have been asked to back such a legal action, we would be talking a different story.
Somewhere in there would have been the step where the local KPFA board would file a well-documented complaint to the national Pacifica board, who actually manage the network.
By the way, the judge seemed to think the same thing about these guys lack of standing and lack of support for their accusations, and then summarily threw the whole receivership request out.
The December meeting then took a long time electing board officers because discussion of the lawsuit was all over the public comments period and the election comments period. In the end, the majority faction fell into line like Republicans and voted in officers who included a lawsuit plaintiff.
A plaintiff in the receivership suit now leads the local board of the foundation that she just sued.
We had this in Oakland for many years on the school board, where the public schools were being run with a pro privatization majority backed by a billionaire’s movement. It is only so analogous, but it feels like we are down a similar rabbit hole.
And now we will have to finish discussing the motion to remove the 3 board members involved next month. I asked for a written abstract from both sides with links to supporting documentation WELL BEFORE the next meeting. I have no idea if we will get that. I will write the board secretary.
So what do I say?
I have no idea because I don’t know how to talk to people who have done a thing like that.
What will they do next? Who will they do it to?
We have another week to find a way to talk to each other.
Next meeting, Jan 9th, 11 AM
Meeting ID: 986 5391 8465