SF Bay Area Indymedia indymedia
About Contact Subscribe Calendar Publish Print Donate

Indymedia

Demo Party Tempest Over Support For Pro-Management Slate At KFPA
by "Democrats" At It Again
Monday Sep 25th, 2006 7:41 AM
The Wellstone Democratic Club without a vote or discussion of the membership has
taken sides in the KFPA debate and has organized financial benefits for the pro-management
slate. This has caused consternation with some members of the group.
Marc Sapir <marcsapir [at] comcast.net>
Subject: Re: Wellstone Club

According to my computer files, I sent the following message out on the
Wellstone Democratic Club list at 7:08 a.m. this morning (9/22/06). It
has been met with stone silence by the quite large list of
members--assuming it was actually delivered to the list. I will wait
and see if it generates any discussion, because it exposes them as
violating their customary procedures and taking action in an arena other
than their principal mandate. If the silence continues, I will re-send
it tomorrow. You may forward this material to any lists you wish. It
is a public letter.

Marc Sapir


Open Letter to the Wellstone Democratic Club

I am intrigued and concerned by the Wellstone club's going outside of
its usual local, state and federal electoral environment to endorse a
slate of candidates in a divided house at our independent radio station
KPFA. As a list member and a KPFA member I had not heard from Wellstone
that this action was under consideration and certainly I heard of no
public or private debate or hearing of contrasting viewpoints (as you do
with candidate forums) on the internal divisions at the station or
whether an endorsement would be a good idea. It leaves me breathless to
learn that a Democratic Party club has intervened within such a dispute
because one of the main bones of contention by many supporters and
listener-sponsors of KPFA has been that much of it's paid staff is too
closely tied to the liberal wing of the Democratic party, thus
compromising it's broader grass roots movement building efforts.

As Wellstone list members know, I am not the first to point out that the
largest sector of the Wellstone club is white, upper middle class and
liberal. The progressive or left political movement in the Bay Area
which supports KPFA is, of course, much broader than that, both in
intent and in reality, and maintaining the integrity and independence of
the station requires trying to grow and assure that breadth. For a
sizeable political organization chartered by the Democratic Party to
raise funds for one side in a situation where the goal ought to be to
end the divisions and divisiveness through openness and compromise will
have a detrimental affect. What ought to happen is a more open airing
(on KPFA in some regular slots) of different views on forward policies
for the Station, something which the staff, and I assume the candidates
Wellstone has supported, are reluctant to see happen.

Wellstone's insertion into this environment may well come back to haunt
all of us (regardless of our political vantage within the progressive
movement) for the disunity and increased hostility it will induce among
many station supporters. I have been trying, for a few years now, to
encourage people involved in such struggles within the important Bay
Area political movement to treat internal debate in a much more open,
fair and respectful way than has been the case, irrespective of their
politics. The endorsement of a specific slate of listener candidates
backed by the paid staff at the station (staff who have tried to
otherwise peripheralize the station board elections so that an airing of
issues and differences in policy pursuits do not get a full hearing
before the public on the air) is, to say the least, discouraging.

Marc Sapir MD, MPH
Executive Director
Retro Poll
http://www.retropoll.org




-----Original Message-----
From: WDRC [at] yahoogroups.com [mailto:WDRC [at] yahoogroups.com] On Behalf Of
Katz, John
Sent: Wednesday, September 20, 2006 4:03 PM
To: WDRC [at] yahoogroups.com
Subject: FW: WDRC for KPFA event Sunday September 24
Importance: High





Dear WDRC,

Enclosed is a flyer inviting all supporters of a renewed KPFA to come to
a campaign kick-off event and fundraiser for the slate of candidates
endorsed for the KPFA Local Station Board by the Wellstone Club and our
partner organization in this effort, the Concerned Listeners for KPFA.
This is an opportunity to meet the candidates and shmooze with some of
the on air staff that is supporting their candidacies, including Larry
Bensky, Bonnie Simmons, Phil Maldari, Sasha Lilley, and Mark Mericle.

The event will be this Sunday September 24th from 3-6 at Conn
Hallinan's home (one of the candidates) , 3033 Dana st. (near Prince) in
Berkeley. The same large beautiful home where Jerry Mc Nerney held his
fundraiser last Saturday.

Hope to see you there.

John Katz




http://www.kpfalisteners.org/
We Have A Vision For KPFA

If you listen regularly to FM 94.1, KPFA, you know it is the best source for alternative radio in the Bay Area. KPFA offers information, music and culture, community affairs, and investigative reporting on events in the U.S. and around the world. Its point of view—critical of racism, militarism, and domination by corporate power—has never been more important.
Who are we?

We are the Concerned Listeners for KPFA, a group working toward broadening KPFA's listener base and cultivating dedicated and talented station leadership and staff who produce compelling programs that build audience.
Read our Campaign Platform
The Candidates

We are asking you to vote for the following outstanding individuals:

Conn "Ringo" Hallinan
Andrea Turner
Erik "Witakae" Oberg
Ernesto "Tico" Chacin
Phoebe Sorgen
Tina Flores
Sarv Randhawa
Mark Hernandez

More info coming soon.

http://www.kpfalisteners.org/endorsements.php
Endorsements

To endorse our candidates, send an email to endorsements [at] kpfalisteners.org

Organizational affiliations listed for identification only.



Kevin Danaher, Co-founder Global Exchange

Angela Davis, activist/professor, UC Santa Cruz

Shelley Kessler, Executive Secretary Treasurer, San Mateo Central Labor Council (AFL-CIO)

Norman Solomon, media critic & author of War Made Easy

Peter Olney, Organizing Director, International Longshore and Warehouse Union (ILWU)

Lillian Galedo, Executive Director, Filipinos for Affirmative Action

Pratap Chatterjee, Managing Director of CorpWatch and author of Iraq Inc.: A Profitable Occupation

Nunu Kidane, Priority African Network

Sherry Gendelman - current listener member of the KPFA Local Station Board, former chair of the KPFA Local Advisory Board, plaintiff in the listener lawsuits against Pacifica in 1999

Larry Bensky, Host, Sunday Salon; Pacifica National Affairs Correspondent

Zhenya Spake, Marin Peace & Justice Coalition

Antonio Medrano, community activist

Mathew Lasar, Historian, Author of Pacifica Radio: The Rise of an Alternative Network & Uneasy Listening: Pacifica Radio's Civil War

Doug Minkler - radical artist and Green Party member

Sharon Cornu, Executive Secretary-Treasurer, Alameda County Central Labor Council AFL-CIO

Pat Jamison, Vukani Mawethu

Michael Eisenscher, Coordinator, Bay Area Labor Committee for Peace & Justice

Giuliana Milanese, Center for Political Education

Aaron Glantz, former Iraq correspondent & founding Producer, Free Speech Radio News

Howard Wallace, Vice President, San Francisco Labor Council

Betty Brown, East Bay Peace Action

Marty Bennett, Executive Director, New Economy, Working Solutions (NEWS) and Co-Chair Living wage Coalition of Sonoma County

Concilio Latino - Contra Costa County

Freedom Song Network

Rainjita Geesler, Co-Director, KPFA First Voice Apprenticeship Program

Margy Wilkinson, CUE (Coalition of University Employees) Local 3 UC Berkeley

Christina Huggins, Executive Vice-President, Communication Workers of America (CWA), Local 9415

The Wellstone Democratic Renewal Club

Mike Smith, Sonoma Valley Peace and Justice, Santa Rosa Junior College (SRJC) Board, Sonoma Valley Hospital Board, and Co-Director of Sonoma Valley Healthcare for All.

Philip Maldari, Co-Host, The Morning Show

Bonnie Simmons, KPFA Local Station Board, and host, the Bonnie Simmons Show.

Margaret Dutton, WILPF activist

Paul & Sandy Kaplan, Sonoma County Union Activists

Victoria Z, Host, Music of the World

Mary Fromer, Organizing Director SEIU 707, Sonoma Mendocino

Brian Edwards-Tiekert, KPFA Environmental Justice Reporter, and KPFA Local Station Board Treasurer

Jon Fromer, Freedom Song Network

Susan Stone, victim/criminal offender mediator, juvenile court & former Director, KPFA Drama & Literature

Max Pringle, KPFA Labor Beat Reporter

David Glick, Healthcare for All California, Marin Peace & Justice Coalition

Mickey Mayzes, Co-Director, KPFA First Voice Apprenticeship Program

David Bacon, Labor Journalist

Susan Chacin, Democratic Socialists of America

David Kramer, Executive Director Emeritus, Service Employees International Union (SEIU), Local 535

Bill Sorro, Manilatown Heritage Foundation

William B Harvey, Secretary-Treasurer CWA Local 9415

Aileen Alfandary, KPFA News, Co-Director

Bob Meyer, Program Chair, Ruth Group

Elsa Johnson, Women's Therapy Center

Sally Phillips, KPFA Music DJ

Kay Trimberger, Professor Emerita, Women & Gender Studies, Sonoma State University

Mark Mericle, KPFA News Co-Director

Kris Welch, Host, Living Room; Saturday Morning Talkies



Comments  (Hide Comments)

by Turned Peoples Radio Down
Monday Sep 25th, 2006 1:35 PM
If "the Democrats" are so evil, why did Peoples Radio go begging for their endorsement, too? Pot, meet kettle.
I received an invitation to attend a Sept. 24 Fundraiser at the ''beautiful '' home of Conn Hallinan , best known candidate of the 'Concerned Listeners '' group .I have no problem with a political fundraiser. I have been to a few . What bothers me is that Major Radio Hosts are sponsoring and raising funds for a Listener slate . Isn't that against the Pacifica election rules ?
Would the Election supervisors respond ?
by Election Supervisor
Tuesday Sep 26th, 2006 1:48 PM
To address the issues that have been brought up:

1) Fundraising

Fundraising is permitted per the Fair Campaign Provisions as long as any event that does so is not announced on air:

#11 - "Any listeners may organize community meetings to bring together listeners and prospective candidates for the purpose of learning about prospective candidates and collecting petition signatures. Any such events may be announced on-air provided they have been approved by the Local Election Supervisor, are open to any listener, are in a handicap-accessible location, do not endorse any candidates, do not raise any money for candidates, or promote events to raise any money for candidates"

2) Endorsements by staff members

#1 - " No foundation or radio station management or staff (paid or unpaid) may use or permit the use of radio station airtime to endorse, campign or recommend in favor or against any candidates for election as a listener-sponsor delegate, nor may air time be made available to some listener-sponsor delegate candidates and not to others.

#3 - No foundation or radio station management or staff (paid or unpaid) may give any on-air endorsements to any candidates for listener-sponsor delegate.

#7-B - Endorsement e-mails (web-based and list-serv) are permitted.

Therefore staff members have the same rights as any other individual in the community to make endorsements and/or campaign and fundraise on behalf of candidates as long as airtime is not used.

3) Networking Access

#8 - No station resources, including but not limited to staff services, equipment and meeting space may be provided unequally to some candidates, but not others.

It is the determination of the National Election Supervisor that this clause refers to physical space, assets and work time belonging to the station, and that the off-work time of foundation employees and volunteers is not a station resource.

Therefore the September 24th event for Concerned Listeners is not found to be in violation of the Fair Campaign Provisions.

Tracy Rosenberg
Local Election Supervisor
KPFA
by Richard Phelps
Tuesday Sep 26th, 2006 5:32 PM
If "the Democrats" are so evil, why did Peoples Radio go begging for their endorsement, too? Pot, meet kettle.
>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>> This is just another example of the unPacifica behavior of the entrenched staff and their supporters. I was at that meeting and a follow up breakfast meeting I had with one on the Wellstone Media committee. We did not meet with them to ask for an endorsement. We met with them to exchange information and to find out what kind of fairy tales the entrenced staff were telling them. We still don't know much about their candidates except for incumbants Sarv Randhawa and Mark Hernandez. More about why they should not be re-elected if you want a real Progressive KPFA/Pacifica later.
by mirror holder
Thursday Sep 28th, 2006 4:45 PM
Mr. Phelps, one of the reasons that Wellstone and other KPFA listeners may be looking to support this slate is precisely because of the language you use in your posting. People are sick of "entrenched staff" this and "entrenched staff" that. Listeners may want a board that supports the workers at the organization they're supposed to be representing. No sane non profit board insults and attacks the staff of the non-profit. This slate I'm sure emerged to try and put civility and cooperation onto the board to further the organization's mission. People's Radio has left a sour taste in many KPFA listeners mouth with their name calling and childish behavior.
by Sunday Morning Sharon
Friday Sep 29th, 2006 1:15 AM
There's a new 'slate' called Alliance for a Democratic KPFA.

It's composed of people who were Peoples Radio candidates before the Sept. 24 Wellstone event.

Either these people were ashamed to be called "Peoples Radio" or the Peoples Radio group is trying to stealth itself from its own bad publicity.

What other group in Pacifica history has _sued_a_listener_ for expressing an opinion, except Peoples Radio?

I'm voting for Jim Weber just to see if Richard "Karl Rove" Phelps will do a 'hat trick' and threaten to sue a fellow LSB member on top of suing a listener and threatening to sue the Pacifica board.

> This is just another example of the unPacifica behavior of the entrenched staff and their
> supporters.

free association is a crime to phelps, just like free speech

> I was at that meeting and a follow up breakfast meeting I had with one on the Wellstone Media
> committee. We did not meet with them to ask for an endorsement.

ha. no one lies like a lawyer. why don't you tell people about the screaming phone calls you made, threatening candidates reputations, if they didn't join your stormtrooper party. last election, you had 10 or 11 candidates, now you have only 4

why don't you tell us about the phone call to the wellstone chair, threatening and demanding.

and why don't you tell us about the last election when you came begging for endorsements.

> We met with them to exchange information and to find out what kind of fairy tales the entrenced
> staff were telling them.

we got told about how you sue listeners who you want to suppress from speaking in public about you and your cronies.

whats next...going to have stan and gerald threaten labor groups again.

> We still don't know much about their candidates except for incumbants Sarv Randhawa and Mark
> Hernandez. More about why they should not be re-elected if you want a real Progressive
> KPFA/Pacifica later.

better provide context and be truthful about it. some of us have all of the documents from all sides, so we'll know when you selectively edit things as you do.

like your public admission that the whole transparency of records was a scam to get access to kpfa and pacifica employees files. ever explain why you made copies and what you intend to do with them

or that you treat kpfa as a giant chess game you're playing to win

or that you hijacked the lsb radio show to self-promote yourself and your slate, loading the phone lines so that no one can get on unless they are an ally of yours. we love it when you deflect questions from the real listeners who get through and ask hard questions that you don't want to answer

better go back to living in your wife's shadow again, you'll never be as important or effective as her. chasing ambulances is about right for you.


by Would Wellstone Be Ashamed?
Friday Sep 29th, 2006 3:50 PM
Spot the contradictions - clue - if KPFA is purely a 'radio station'
and not a 'political organization' why is the Wellstone Club, a
political organization getting so directly involved in radio station
'politics'?



Marc Sapir (marcsapir [at] comcast.net) +Add contact
To: 'Jack Kurzweil' (jkurz [at] igc.org); 'DRC-GM Wellstone' (WDRC [at] yahoogroups.com)

Subject: RE: WDRC KPFA


Attachments, pictures, and links in this message have been blocked for
your privacy. Show content


Jack,



As I said in my note last night responding to Michael, I can't debate
the internal disputes at KPFA on this list. That deserves a larger
open venue, and I'm not a major player in that scene. Here, I only
want to correct one thing you wrote. You say that Richard Phelps "and
presumably Marc Sapir" ("What could possibly possess Richard Phelps
and presumably Marc Sapir to think that it is the appropriate role of
a radio station board to pass a resolution on this issue"—i.e. the
Honda Strike). I have nothing to do with the KPFA Local Station Board
and do not attend their meetings. I have no opinion on whether or not
they should or shouldn't or can or can not in the name of the KPFA
listener community pass such a resolution. I'm glad Wellstone worked
on the strike lines. I'm glad Mike Donaldson did so. I'm glad that
KPFA supported it, if it did. I'm glad that the City Council did.
But your presumption is in error. And my concerns in writing to the
Wellstone list about the KPFA endorsement have come as a Wellstone
List member. They have been explicit and need no updating, but they
have not been responded to, so far. I know Phelps, just like I know
you. He responded to what I wrote and provided me the letter that I
forwarded to the list. Ultimately the facts should speak louder than
broad paintbrushes if we stick to them. If the facts of his
interaction with Wellstone people are inaccurate let it be said.
Please don't change the subject.



Marc Sapir MD, MPH

Executive Director

Retro Poll

http://www.retropoll.org

From: WDRC [at] yahoogroups.com [mailto:WDRC [at] yahoogroups.com] On Behalf Of
Jack Kurzweil
Sent: Monday, September 25, 2006 5:59 AM
To: DRC-GM Wellstone
Subject: WDRC KPFA

Dear All,



I want to thank Marc Sapir for showing us why he is wrong
about KPFA. He has forwarded to us a letter from Richard Phelps, the
current Chairman of KPFA's Local Station Board. In this letter,
Phelps states his case against those who oppose him, including the
following statement:



We also made it clear that we hoped that if they really wanted to
improve the station they wouldn't endorse two LSB members running for
re-election, Sarv Randhawa and Mark Hernandez. We pointed out that
they both vetoed a Resolution supporting the Berkeley Honda Strikers
and stopped it from getting approved for several months.

Now there you have it. I supported the Berkeley Honda
Strike and so did the Wellstone Club. Many of our members walked the
picket line.



What could possibly possess Richard Phelps and presumably
Marc Sapir to think that it is the appropriate role of a radio station
board to pass a resolution on this issue. A radio station is
different than a political organization. And Phelps seems not to get
that fundamental issue.



And then there is the issue of programming. Again, Phelps:



We also pointed out that both of these guys had voted against moving
Democracy Now! to prime time in the morning 7-8 am, to get our best
news/public affairs show out to the most people. It had been approved
by the Program Council, GM Gus Newport and the LSB. Before it could be
implemented Newport resigned/was forced out by lack of staff
cooperation and the time was never changed.


It is not the business of the Board to make programming
decisions. It just isn't. Phelps simply does not understand the
difference and balance between the roles of Board and professional
staff. Does he actually believe that every time a new majority
appears on the Board, the programming decisions are up for change?
This would be a design for chaos.



So Marc has shown us that the current Board Chair and his
slim majority have absolutely no business being anywhere near KPFA.
And for that I thank him.



As ever,
Jack Kurzweil


From: "Marc Sapir" <marcsapir [at] comcast.net>

Date: September 24, 2006 11:03:33 PM PDT

To: "Wellstone Dems" <WDRC [at] yahoogroups.com>

Subject: WDRC KPFA station board chair responds



Richard Phelps, Chairman of KPFA's Local Station Board, received a
copy of my letter to the Wellstone Club and has responded to me with
important background information below.



Marc Sapir MD, MPH

Executive Director

Retro Poll

http://www.retropoll.org





Marc, about three months ago I heard rumors that some KPFA staff were
going to East Bay Democratic Clubs to recruit people to run for the
Local Station Board, (LSB). I contacted John Katz and a meeting was
set up to discuss what was going on at KPFA and to present the
"Listener Activist" point of view and to fill in the Wellstone people
on our view of the problems. A meeting was set up and was attended by
Matthew Hallinan, Kathleen Lilley and John Katz for Wellstone. I was
there with La Varn Williams and Joe Wanzala. We met for 1 1/2 to 2
hours.



Our main goal was to find out what the Wellstone folks were thinking
and give them our side of things. We were told that they had been told
that some staff was afraid that some ultra left group was trying to
take over the LSB. I replied that that was just not true. I didn't
know Joe and La Varn until I got involved with the station after the
new Bylaws came into effect. I have been a KPFA listener/subscriber
for over 30 years. I worked as a radio announcer, AM & FM for 5+
years as a young man and have done some programs on KPFA and met my
wife of 29 years at KPFA in 1974. Among the listener activists I know
of no organized left party/pre-party formation. We all came together
given our love for the station and concern about the corporate media
takeover of most of our information sources.



We all made it clear that we are interested in transparency,
democratic process and accountability and top quality progressive
community radio. We told them that we would be glad to work with them
to improve the LSB and the station. We also made it clear that we
hoped that if they really wanted to improve the station they wouldn't
endorse two LSB members running for re-election, Sarv Randhawa and
Mark Hernandez.



We pointed out that they both vetoed a Resolution supporting the
Berkeley Honda Strikers and stopped it from getting approved for
several months. I pointed out that Mark H. used red baiting as a
debate tactic and that Sarv had fought against transparency on the
National Board. I showed them literature from one of Mark's endorsers
from the last election where I was viciously red baited and slandered.
We also pointed out that they were two of the most disruptive people
as far as the LSB meeting process.



We brought along an e-mail that we had found that was part of a staff
strategy group. It referred to a "strategic retreat " on the LSB and
spoke of "enemies" (us) and "dismantling the LSB". We explained that
this group on the e-mail had just lost the majority on the board due
to trying to get the manager fired on trumped up sexual harassment
charges. We told them that there were two separate investigations ,
one by an HR expert and another by an attorney. Neither found any
evidence of sexual harassment.



We also pointed out that both of these guys had voted against moving
Democracy Now! to prime time in the morning 7-8 am, to get our best
news/public affairs show out to the most people. It had been approved
by the Program Council, GM Gus Newport and the LSB. Before it could be
implemented Newport resigned/was forced out by lack of staff
cooperation and the time was never changed.



We asked if Wellstone was going to make endorsements and they said
probably. I asked that if they decided to could we address their group
before they made their endorsement and we were told "yes".



We were never called to address the group. When I heard on the street
that Wellstone was putting together a slate I called up Matthew
Hallinan and we had breakfast. Again, I reiterated that we would love
to work together to improve the station but could not do so if
Wellstone endorsed Mark Hernandez and Sarv Randhawa. I pointed out
that the number of subscribers has stayed constant during the Bush
regime. Matthew said the his group was concerned that things hadn't
improved at the station in the last 5 years. I pointed out that the
folks that came to Wellstone for help were the people running the
station for those years! Our breakfast ended on a friendly tone and
Matthew left for China.



Having talked to some Wellstone people after seeing them endorse Sarv
Randhawa and Mark Hernandez I have learned that the membership was not
told of the vetoing of the Berkeley Honda Strikers support resolution,
the red baiting or any of the real history of these guys that we
reported to the committee. There are many other things to report, some
that just came up.



I would be glad to discuss KPFA with anyone at any time or debate the
issues in any forum.



Richard Phelps

Chair, KPFA LSB
by why is Phelps lying?
Saturday Sep 30th, 2006 12:58 PM
Anyone with an ounce of knowledge about resolutions knows that there is no such thing as a "veto."

Phelps & Co. didn't want the Berkeley Honda strike openly discussed for the benefit of board members outside of Berkeley or for audience members, so they put it on a "consent calendar" instead of on the agenda for discussion and and informed vote. And they did this for months. As soon as someone has a question, or wants a roll call vote, items come off the consent calendar and go to the regular agenda. But Phelps' allies for months took it OFF the agenda and placed it back on the consent calendar -- guaranteeing it wouldn't be openly discussed.

No one vetoed it. It passed unanimously once Phelps allowed it to be voted on. It's a sign of either Phelps ineptitude as chair or willful manipulation of the issue so he could paint his opponents on the board with a tarred brush. Probably both.

Once the issue was properly put on the actual agenda, it passed unanimously -- with the support of Hernandez and Randhawa.

Richard is getting more desperate and his willingness to lie to an organization like the Wellstone group and slander his opponents is despicable. Why anyone would support this blowhard is beyond me.

Been there, seen that.
by KFPA Staff Flacks Showing Their Colors
Saturday Sep 30th, 2006 2:55 PM
It appears that the entrenched staff mouthpieces are defending their LSB Board supporters
Sarv Randhawa and Marc Hernandez from objecting to endorsing the Berkeley Honda boycott.
As this flack knows this issue should have been non-controversial since it had already passed
the Berkeley City Council. Their pals on on the KPFA LSB board
objected to the Berkeley Honda Boycott being on the
consent calendar and wanted a special debate on the issue. This prevented KFPA taking a
stand for the Berkeley Honda workers for many months.
As this mouthpiece knows as a result of sandbagging by the people who like things the way they are at KFPA there
is very little action taken by this board.
Apparently this Wellstonite believes that the board needs to have a debate about whether
or not KFPA should take a stand for the Berkeley Honda workers.
This is precisely the NPR type approach that these people take. A no brainer like
supporting IAM/Teamster striking workers in Berkeley needs more discussion
according to Randhawa and Hernandez. This also follows on the heels of some of the
station leading lights preventing members of the OEA teachers union and BART ATU1555
members from having a voice on KFPA and instead putting on management flacks like
former Tribune reporter and now Oakand School Administrator PR person on the air.

Sat, 11 Mar 2006 18:39:37 -0800
Subject: Some KPFA Board Members Stall Support For Striking Berkeley Honda
Workers-Why?

In August of last year, KPFA Local Station Board of Director Chandra
Hauptman introduced a resolution for support of the striking Berkeley Honda
IAM workers. The auto distributorship was sold and the new owner refused to
rehire the shop steward and other union workers in a blatant act of
discrimination and retaliation.
As a result of support from the Berkeley Labor Commission which made an
investigation, the City of Berkeley formally voted to support a boycott of
this dealership.
It would seem like a no brainer that the KPFA board would also get behind
these workers. Unfortunately the issue of support has been thwarted by the
staff supported directors on the board. LSB community board representative
Sherry Gendelman from San Francisco, Sarv Randhawa representing the East Bay
and Mar Hernandez representing listeners in Fresno have prevented a support
resolution from passing from the consent calendar by pulling it off the
agenda. Randhawa is also representing KPFA on the Pacifica National Board of
Directors.
For month after month, either Hernandez, Gendelman or Randhawa have
prevented this resolution from passing the board. When Randhawa was asked at
the 3/11/2006 meeting why he again had blocked the motion he said he wanted
to see more discussion on the issue and the person who made the motion
should not put it on the consent calendar. When he was asked if he would put
in on the agenda he said no. He was also asked if anyone disagreed with the
motion and he said he did not know.
These delaying tactics have harmed the support for these workers who have
been in a long bitter struggle for justice. KPFA could be providing cards
calling on support for the picket line and letting people know how they can
help these workers. Supporters of KPFA have a right to ask why when even the
City of Berkeley has backed these workers some members of the KFPA Board Of
Directors have a problem passing a resolution of support.
Are they really supporting the goals of KPFA?

by Old Lib
Sunday Oct 1st, 2006 12:26 AM
Looks like Dick Phelps is up to his old tricks again; after catching his outright lies and fabrications on the Pacifica Board meeting Friday night, I thought I would see what this moral void of an attorney was up to now.

Looking over the minutes of the KPFA board, I see that every single major resolution, from Haiti, to Katrina, to WBAI and more are all openly discussed in the public forum and voted on in the open...but not the Berkeley Honda Workers Strike. When you look at the record, it's clear that it was intended to bury this motion, with no exposure and no discussion, and to slip it in as if the KPFA board was ashamed of it.

One would have to ask why Chandra Hauptmann would not want this to be discussed out in the open? What was so shameful that this could not be discussed in public and instead be hidden behind closed doors in a secret vote?

It looks like, from the recordings and the minutes, that Hernandez and Randhawa asked the same questions.

If it was so important, why did Hauptmann and Phelps wait over six months before giving it the same "priority" as these classic gems of urgency and importance:

* Whether Eric Park was a paid or unpaid staff member (turns out he was both and eligible)
* Spending three hours of a four hour meeting setting the day's agenda
* Boycotting the board meeting to prevent timely passage of the KPFA budget
* Organizing Peoples Radio to fire Roy Campanella II for not obeying directives
* Suing a listener for exercising free speech

Only when elections were around the corner did Hauptmann and Phelps decide to make the Berkeley Honda Workers Strike a priority issue, and only when elections were around the corner did they allow open and free discussion, to expose the issues and make them known both as a part of the record and a nationally webcast audio of the discussion for maximum coverage...only then was the KPFA board able to vote, and it voted unanimously to do so.

No one "vetoed" the motion; it was never ALLOWED to be brought forward, because Phelps, Enteen, and Wanzala, with the lockstep support of their Peoples Radio cadre, kept shoveling dozens and dozens of false, dilatory and inept items, overloading the agenda so that the KPFA board could not possibly deal with each one.

Most of these were brought up at the very last minute, with no notice, no warning, and no documentation, which forced the KPFA board to stop, listen and read what little material was passed out, if any.

The record has been made clear, both by reading it and listening to it.

If Richard Phelps isn't a student of Karl Rove, then he is a pretty good impersonation of one.


by snarkboy
Sunday Oct 1st, 2006 2:46 AM
long talk with some board members today...

richard, you are chair of lsb programming committee, which has power over program council.

why have you refused to call a meeting of the programming committee since the program council told the labor collective to go to counseling before submitting new programs?

richard, you are head of agenda committee, responsible for setting agenda for lsb.

why have you refused to call this committee, then say it is mark hernandez fault?
why are you trying to remove him for your inability to do the job elected to?

richard, you say that hernandez falsified minutes, claim recording proves you right.

why does your transcription say 'unintelligible' where you say you clearly heard motion?
why does the person who made the motion say that you changed wording after the fact?

richard, you say that you are for transparency and democracy

why did you ignore roberts rules even when specific language stated you were wrong?
why are you hiding fact that you organized firing of campanella, and are blaming staff for it?
why do you let your allies speak for five minutes before saying out of order, but you cut off your opponents before they finish a sentence?
why did you refuse to allow berkeley honda vote until settlement?
why do you say it was vetoed when no one in pacifica or station has veto power except you?
why did you refuse to allow kpfa board to meet outside berkeley until elections looming?
why did you, tattersall, enteen, wanzala, blanchet, williams, and other peoples radio try to boycott august meeting to prevent kpfa budget from being passed?

now that peoples radio is majority, and we have proof that you organize outside public view, all your votes are now in secret, outside public view...you control agenda, you control majority, you control who speaks at meetings, just like republicans control congress...how are you now being transparent before and after fact?

how is this now a democracy, when molina never elected, and appointed like bush?

why is wanzala on peoples radio?
wanzala worked for fbi agent, may still work for him...has government job, house and money for poor exchange student from uganda than should

why are you letting people be paid by media foundations to sit on board as listeners? tattersall is employee and earns check, but other peoples radio members getting grant and cash from media groups not friendly to pacifica. why do you support them doing this and blame staff and opponents?

richard, you say you are for labor collective ban to end

what ban is in place?
isn't order for steve zeltzer and other members to get counseling because of threats against program council members?
isn't ban really a moratorium until labor collective agrees to and attends counseling?
didn't wanzala and khosrowjah fail to attend meeting?

richard, you say you want to protect kpfa from liability

why are legally confidential matters becoming public from enteen newsletters, bernstein emails, and other peoples radio sources?
why are you not taking action to stop these liabilities from happening?

richard, you say you are for free speech

why did you sue listener for speaking freely?
why do you deny board members free speech about action on board?
why do you not address wanzala stealing email from kpfa computers?
why do you prevent callers from calling in board show, and cut off those who get through?

richard, you say you are for democratic elections

why are you interfering in elections?
why are you election committee member actively campaiging on candidates?

many questions here, richard, but we know the truth, and it is coming out more and more.

where are your ethics? where is your honor? why do you lie and lie and lie?


by Mara
Sunday Oct 1st, 2006 5:48 PM
Sunday morning Sharon -
What a lot of misinformation in your short comment!
*People's Radio is still in existence & endorsing candidates. (Some are
PR members, some not.)
*PR never sued Jim Weber, who was harrassing Richard Phelps by making
false accusations against him with leaflets & comments at Local Station Board
meetings.
Richard Phelps sued him, & has said repeatedly that Weber is entitled to his
opinions, but not to make untrue (libelous) statements against Richard.
There is evidence that certain people on the LSB & at the station supported
him in this.
*Yes, Jim Weber is running for the LSB, but how foolish to vote for him! He is
very misinformed - that would be a very irresponsible vote on your part.
And you give an irresponsible reason for doing so.

And mirror holder -
Those of us who understand the struggle in KPFA governance are not
sick of the descriptive phrase "entrenched staff". This refers to those in
power at KPFA who will not allow the court mandated democratic decision
making at KPFA go forward, because they are protecting their own control.
They are behind the formation of the "Wellstone Slate". They are endorsers
& were also featured at the Wellstone slate party:

"This is an opportunity to meet the candidates and shmooze with some of
the on air staff that is supporting their candidacies, including Larry
Bensky, Bonnie Simmons, Phil Maldari, Sasha Lilley, and Mark Mericle."

Probably it has many supporters, candidates, & endorsers who do not understand
this struggle nor the parties involved.
The LSB can support its staff without agreeing to let certain of them take over
all the decision making. The listeners also need to have a say because they
are community representatives without their airtime, salaries, etc. to protect.
They need to be there to insure community programming, & they are the ones
who pay the bill for listener supported radio.

The Wellstone slate is for listener reps, funded & promoted by some staff.
That is improper. Let the staff participate in their own LSB election of 1/4
of the LSB representatives, staff who are voed in by staff, instead of trying
to also influence the listener election with their influence, name recognition,
money, & connections.

And folks, can you sign your real names?
by groucho marx
Monday Oct 2nd, 2006 1:57 PM
From you insistence on people using their real names, Mara, would you mind telling us all if you gave that same advice to your pal Riva Enteen after she called in to Sunday Salon under the assumed name of "Sharon" ?

Groucho
by snarkboy
Tuesday Oct 3rd, 2006 9:17 AM
Sunday morning Sharon -
> What a lot of misinformation in your short comment!

no more and quite less than enteen and phelps generate opening mouths or using keyboards

> *People's Radio is still in existence & endorsing candidates. (Some are
PR members, some not.)

smart ones are not except under stealth alliance group just like secret alliance list

> *PR never sued Jim Weber, who was harrassing Richard Phelps by making
false accusations against him with leaflets & comments at Local Station Board
meetings.

phelps says silence is agreement and endorsement and peoples radio very very quiet on this

as phelps says, silence is agreement with him

> Richard Phelps sued him, & has said repeatedly that Weber is entitled to his
opinions, but not to make untrue (libelous) statements against Richard.

court told phelps that he can't sue for expression of opinion
court has to agree with phelps that libel exists before it can rule
phelps was told by court before case dismissed that he can't sue for someone expressing opinion

no matter how phelps parses it, he sued a listener for speaking out
no matter how riva/mara parses it, peoples radio endorsed phelps by staying silent

> There is evidence that certain people on the LSB & at the station supported
him in this.

people in courtroom is not proof of support

anything else would have to be shown and proven, not innuendo and false accusations that are used by mara/riva

> *Yes, Jim Weber is running for the LSB, but how foolish to vote for him! He is
very misinformed - that would be a very irresponsible vote on your part.
And you give an irresponsible reason for doing so.

and you know more than we do to be able to tell us who to vote for and who not to

welcome everyone to the peoples radio definition of democracy and transparency...you can vote but only for who they say to

> Those of us who understand the struggle in KPFA governance are not
sick of the descriptive phrase "entrenched staff".

by definition, bernstein and osman are entrenched

both guard programs and are holding on to time slots against other programmers, against management, against Pacifica

how different are they from any others except mouthing how they support your side

bonnie faulkner is making money from kpfa, selling her own stuff and charging station for expenses to make it
peoples radio passed rule saying no one can make money from kpfa to keep jim bennett from being paid but turns a blind eye to bonnie faulkner

seems that transparency was ignored for special interests in osman, bernstein and faulkner programs

less than third of staff has been at kpfa more than three years and most of those are not in programming or management

so where is this entrenched staff coming from who haven't been there for longer

> This refers to those in power at KPFA who will not allow the court mandated democratic decision
making at KPFA go forward, because they are protecting their own control.

like when enteen and phelps go to staff and tell them that they are now the boss of them when by-laws say no

like when wanzala breaks into kpfa computers and steals e-mail

like when phelps and enteen refuse to let real listeners on phone calls to lsb show by stacking shills on the lines

like when peoples radio supported campanella until he started working with staff to resolve issues, then turned on him to vote him out

like when phelps and williams got access to employee files and violated worker privacy

only democratic process is in governance of station, not management

this is the big enteen lie of lies, claiming things exist in by-laws and court decisions that are imaginary

> They are behind the formation of the "Wellstone Slate". They are endorsers
& were also featured at the Wellstone slate party:

i did not know staff controlled wellstone

do you have proof

> Probably it has many supporters, candidates, & endorsers who do not understand
this struggle nor the parties involved.

or maybe people aren't as stupid as you hope they are

> The LSB can support its staff without agreeing to let certain of them take over
all the decision making. The listeners also need to have a say because they
are community representatives without their airtime, salaries, etc. to protect.
They need to be there to insure community programming, & they are the ones
who pay the bill for listener supported radio.

riva/mara is smoking crack here

peoples radio tried to boycott meeting to prevent budget from passing

peoples radio trying to throw people out in the street, just like mary berry and hijackers

peoples radio doesn't care about anything unless they agree with it

> The Wellstone slate is for listener reps, funded & promoted by some staff.
That is improper.

do you have proof of this, or is this smear and accusation without evidence

> Let the staff participate in their own LSB election of 1/4
of the LSB representatives, staff who are voed in by staff, instead of trying
to also influence the listener election with their influence, name recognition,
money, & connections.

is that why bernstein, osman and faulkner are assisting peoples radio? to let the listeners have an election without their influence?

can't have it both ways, mara/riva

And folks, can you sign your real names?

when people like you stop supporting peoples radio and their approval of suing listeners for exercising free speech, we'll consider it

by Liam Dolan
Tuesday Oct 3rd, 2006 10:41 AM
If i do vote for all the Alliance for Democractic KPFA people it will be partly because of the wild ass charges being made by some of the posters i assume are supporting the Concerned listeners . Accusing Peoplesradio members who are on the station board of violence, lying, working for a FBI agent etc. without any evidence is touching dangerous ground . I urge the Concerned listener slate to disavow this slander and the people spreading it .Unles you condon it.
by Conn Hallinan
( cmhallinan [at] comcast.net ) Tuesday Oct 3rd, 2006 2:22 PM
Charges that People's Radio candiates and supporters are lying, are violence prone, or work for the FBI have nothing to do with the program of Concerned Listeners for KPFA or any of its candidates. There are political differences with People's Radio and Concerned Listeners, and among both slates, which is not only healthy, but sort of required. Someone accused Stan Woods of threatening violence. Please. Stan is a working class guy out of West Virginia who I have known for a long time. We argue all the time, always have. Neither one of us ever came close to throwing a punch at the other. We differ on lots of things, but when the going gets tough I am confident that he will be on the same side of the barrcade with me. We need to bury some of the history here. That is what brought peace to Ireland. Yeah, the Brits still suck, and the Prodies have all the good stuff, but people were sick and tired of killing one another, so they agreed to put aside most of the grudges and history and try to make the country work. So far it is holding. We need to do the same with KPFA. Start talking civil to one another, start treating arguements like they are differences of opinion, not character flaws. The left and progressives need to unite, and that means everyone has to give up some of their cherished notions. If you haven't noticed, we're getting out butts kicked. We need to agree to disagree and get to work, so we can start kicking some butts back.
by Akio Tanaka
Wednesday Oct 4th, 2006 8:39 AM
I wonder if the anonymous authors of the hit pieces ever consider whether they are actually helping or hurting their cause, or whether the pieces might reveal their character? Juvenile comes to mind.
by Stan Woods
Wednesday Oct 4th, 2006 7:27 PM
I appreciate Conn Hallinan's post re the slanders directed at myself and others. There are real differences among those of us currently on the Board and among the candidates for the nine open seats. A real discussion and hopefully debate about the current reality at KPFA and Pacifica is needed. Baseless slanders do nothing to illuminate those differing perspectives . I thank Conn for repudiating those attacks .
by snarkboy
Thursday Oct 5th, 2006 1:58 AM
snarkboy speaks for snarkboy

all one need do is ask wanzala if he worked for desvernine associates

all one need do is look up desevernine associates

all one need do is follow the connection and see what snarkboy sees and ask the questions snarkboy asks

snarkboy does not lie or mislead as some do, trying to divert away from the finding of the truth

how does a name change the facts when the facts are true



by mirror holder
Thursday Oct 5th, 2006 5:34 PM
To Mara,

You make my point for me. It seems to me that a hand full of you are just too involved. Part of supporting a progressive non-profit is trusting it to run the organization properly. We the listeners elect board's to oversee the direction of the organization, but not to control every aspect of what goes on. Trained professionals need to do that, or you end up with poorly produced, bad radio. The board does it's role by approving budgets, meeting and greeting long time listeners, reaching out to new ones and being the face of the organization in the listening area.

Think about it a minute. If your local county library board spent all its time fussing over what books are on the shelves and attacking the library staff, instead of raising funds for the library, and promoting the library in the community. The library would not be around very long.

You can't run an organization successfully like that.
by Community Radio Not NPR
Thursday Oct 5th, 2006 7:06 PM
A Mirror On The Wall
One of the issues that has stymied particularly KFPA is the failure to keep managers and the
failure to get a program director for over five years. These problems are the direct result of some staff members
who want to run roughshod over the station and do not want a program director. The latest example was the effort of KFPA
management through Programming to attempt to stop broadcasting a live show from Alcatraz
honoring American Indians and their struggles.
As usual at KFPA there needed to be a struggle with Vini, Interim General Manager Lemlem and
others to get the station to do a live broadcast.
The "professionals" have screwed up live broadcasts from major anti-war demonstrations in
Northern California and their leading lights like Larry Bensky admited that he "completely missed"
the massive immigrant workers protests in March and May of this year. The "professionals" at
KFPA particularly in the news department seem to have a problem getting out of the range of
Berkeley and San Francisco to cover events in the South Bay, Fresno, the North Bay and
Sacramento. This for a station that has a budget of $4.5 million. In fact news reporter Max
Pringle another supporter of KFPA Concerned listeners at an LSB meeting said he
did not want to hear what listeners wanted to hear. This statement shows where their idea of
professionalism" is going.
The real problem is that instead of acting like professionals at a community radio station. many of the
staff members supporting the KFPA Concerned Listeners want to keep things as they are and in
fact become more like an NPR type operaton.
It is interesting "mirror" can't seem to notice that the listenership of KFPA is dropping to .5%
and is now behind local station KALW.
Since they are "professionals" I guess this does not matter but for those who want KFPA to
be a vital voice for the community and the struggles that are taking place this is an important
issue. It the station starts to really be a voice to the people we will have no problems with
getting new listeners.

by Nazreen Kadir
Friday Oct 6th, 2006 7:30 AM
Certain LSB members view the role of Program Director as the "corporate model." Such misinformation adds to the chaos. Unless this is the desired state, a qualified General Manager is urgently needed. It's the LSB's role to present to Pacifca's Executive Director a pool of [approved] candidates. Soon as this individual is in place, he/she needs to fill the Program Director's position. This is not the role of the LSB. The LSB has passed various ill-thought out "quick-fix" resolutions, since the negotiated settlement, that seem to have an "end-run" effect around the by-laws. This erodes good governance by the LSB. Board training is needed; a by-laws retreat is needed to see what comprehensive amendments are needed; LSB Committees need to do their jobs and post their reports on the KPFA website. There are certain problems with staff, yes. But the LSB has to start exercising its authority in the proper manner.

by Mirror Holder
Friday Oct 6th, 2006 10:46 AM
Listen,

Am I mistaken, or is it the board's responsibility to hire a trained professional General Manager and Program Director? Why haven't you done so? And don't blame staff, hiring management is your responsibility. There's nothing they can do to preclude you.

As for the issues of broadcasting from Alcatraz, or wherever that is the judgement of the Program Director. We all have opinions and we can express them, but it is the Program Director's call. That person has to consider all sorts of factors when deciding to air a special program. If he, or she knows what they're doing then the decision will more than likely be sound. The board's concern isn't with such minutae. The overall direction of the organization is board's concern, day-to-day decisions aren't. That's called being a non-profit board.

As for all of this about reporting from other parts of the Bay, well that takes money. You have to pay reporters, or stringers to file reports from those areas. Having news bureaus in certain areas means resources. Maybe if this dysfunctional board actually raised money, there would be an opportunity to grow and expand operations. Why doesn't the board raise money anyway?

Simply saying you're a voice for the people is empty rhetoric. In order to attract new listeners, you have to sound good and offer compelling listening. You have to attract talented people to come and work at your station. Setting up a microphone at some demonstration is just flat boring. Real radio takes work, something this current board doesn't understand. KPFA has good programming and not so good programming it can be better if the board does it's job, supports the station, reaches out and shows some vision.

by Anonymous
Friday Oct 6th, 2006 11:56 AM
This thread is pretty unfortunate. The primary influence it's probably going to have is voter apathy. It's worse than the mainstream election garbage - nothing but false arguments, straw men, and personal attacks when logic doesn't work anymore. Why do a bunch of "left radicals" and "progressives" run elections as stupidly or more stupidly than the system they criticize as morally bankrupt? Yikes, take a look at yourselves ...

KPFA has significant problems, mostly relating to a fundamentally frozen programming schedule and an internal atmosphere that is overly contentious, even with no help from a misguided and dysfunctional board, which thinks they will solve the problems by screaming and harassing people and playing revolving door with management staff. They won't.

It isn't "minutae" whether KPFA broadcasts "Indigenous People's Day" from Alcatraz or not (and the decision was ultimately reversed and it will broadcast) - it's important. Having management staff in place who uphold the history and vision of the station, and who the majority of the board and staff trust to make sound decisions, is not optional. There can be no existence without it. The model of making strange, arbitrary decisions, without making any effort to ascertain if there is support, followed by a rapid turnaround when it becomes clear a decision isn't going to fly, is a really bad way to do things. It *isn't* professional and no one should be defending it. It is also incorrect to say that "professional staff" made the decision and "listener/LSB" objected. The strongest and most vociferous objections were from contingents of the paid and unpaid staff who strongly supported the broadcast. And the station won't be healthy until the INTRA-STAFF conflicts, which are as deep and bitter and unhealed as ANY board/staff conflict, are addressed.

Finally, "professionalization" is not a panacea for everything. Professional conduct yes ... being paid to manage/produce radio ... not necessarily. As we know from the blogosphere, some of the most compelling audio content in the country is being created by unpaid, non-professional folks.
There is very little relationship at KPFA between the quality of the content and the existence of a paycheck - some of the better programs are produced by long-time volunteers. What requires professional staff is daily programs, and now there are now 7 hours a day reserved for
these programs - from 6am to 8pm - 50% of the available daytime programming. This results in a lack of flexibility in programming on the PA side, an inability to integrate new community voices, address areas of need and respond to new issues, and in general, serve as a local media
creation center as a Pacifica station should. This is an issue any Program Director will have to address and it won't be easy. It will take not a "professional", but a community-oriented, humanist and creative person with a meaningful vision about radical media, (and a lot of time and a VERY thick skin).

The Board's role is to figure out how to support people working for change, while keeping up a steady, polite, and CIVIL pressure when things seem to go on that shouldn't. And to stop selecting GM's with gaudy credentials and getting people who are young and energetic and UNDERSTAND community media to come in as a GM/PD team who will support each other and
help bring the station around over the next 5-10 years. It's a long-term project, for sure.
by mirror holder
Friday Oct 6th, 2006 12:52 PM
I share a lot of the same beliefs about the issue from the previous posting. I too think that a paycheck doesn't automatically translate into quality or professionalism. Professional doesn't mean employment status, it means talent, hard work, dedication and conducting yourself in a civil and manner.

However, the vision expressed in the last posting is too small. Why does KPFA have to settle for being so-called "community radio." I'd like to see the kind of programming that's done well at KPFA become the industry standard. Informed lively debate on issues will attract listeners from all sides of the political spectrum. The people we need to reach out to are those who don't necessarily agree with us, or who are "progressive," whatever that means. We want people to listen to us, get informed and maybe become progressives as a result.

A good professional GM and PD will be someone with radio, or broadcast experience. The person needs to know how a media outlet is supposed to function. I don't support political litmus tests for jobs at any organization. The person's political outlook could even get in the way of making the right decisions for the station. A management candidate who applies here will familiarize themselves with KPFA's mission statement and agree to support it. That should be enough.

Also on the issue of broadcasting from Alcatraz, I don't think we need to broadcast it just because we've done it in the past. Traditions are fine, but traditions that aren't necessarily good radio are not. I frankly don't want to hear on my radio 30 seconds of silent prayer, or the sound of the wind. A visionary PD will say maybe a program on the conditions facing Native Americans would make better radio. Or maybe there'd be no special program at all. Because something is politically correct, doesn't mean it's good or useful radio. Those tough decisions sometimes need to get made.
by Anonymous
Friday Oct 6th, 2006 5:00 PM
Actually, I'm not so sure that we agree on much of anything at all ....

>I share a lot of the same beliefs about the issue from the previous posting. I too think that a >paycheck doesn't automatically translate into quality or professionalism. Professional doesn't >mean employment status, it means talent, hard work, dedication and conducting yourself in a >civil and manner.

Okay. One thing. But it all goes downhill from here.

>However, the vision expressed in the last posting is too small. Why does KPFA have to settle for >being so-called "community radio." I'd like to see the kind of programming that's done well at >KPFA become the industry standard. Informed lively debate on issues will attract listeners from >all sides of the political spectrum. The people we need to reach out to are those who don't >necessarily agree with us, or who are "progressive," whatever that means. We want people to >listen to us, get informed and maybe become progressives as a result.

I don't consider good community radio anything vaguely like "settling". I consider it a rather grandiose, idealistic vision about what media can be - and never is. If KPFA would even aspire to being genuine community radio, then I think we'd be further ahead than we are. To go back to Lew Hill, he didn't consider the idea of community radio "small" or "restricted", he considered it an idea so radical, so crazy, so without foundation to anything found anywhere else in radio that it was the stuff of ridicule. It's weird that we've turned things so supside down that we now consider consider the community radio ethos as smaller or safer or less monumental than some other alternative. It isn't.

While I'm not confused as to what a progressive is, what disturbs me greatly is that in an area where a good 15% of the population subscribes to 3rd parties, 20% self-defines as very liberal or progressive and over 50% identifies as liberal, KPFA hovers around .5% of the audience. Before arguing that KPFA needs to make inroads in an audience that doesn't share its basic political beliefs, wouldn't it be important to look at why the programming isn't engaging so much of its core audience? Cross-over audiences is sort've putting the cart before the horse. There isn't enough fundamental audience. Before we start talking about "industry standards", we need to demonstrate the ability to retain and develop the audience that "should" be listening to us.

The "small" vision of Lew Hill for community radio used 5% of the audience as a litmus test for "success" at being a locally engaged community radio station. We're way "smaller" than that.

>A good professional GM and PD will be someone with radio, or broadcast experience. The >person needs to know how a media outlet is supposed to function. I don't support political >litmus tests for jobs at any organization. The person's political outlook could even get in the >way of making the right decisions for the station. A management candidate who applies here >will familiarize themselves with KPFA's mission statement and agree to support it. That should >be enough.

The person certainly needs to know the way a functional, radical non-profit organization operates,
and have a good grasp of consensus process, leading by moral suasion, and treating everyone with respect, even while making some hard decisions along the way. Most media outlets are run as corporate entities, so that sort of experience may not be all that darned helpful to running this puppy. Probably the most useful background is with independent media collectives - which consist of many of the same kinds of workers who hang around KPFA. It's hard to run a hierarchial corporation with 2/3 of the workers unpaid. People put up with corporate hierarchy for money. They rarely are willing to do so for free.

KPFA has had two utterly disastrous GM's who "familiarized themselves with the mission statement and agreed to support it". It wasn't enough.

> Also on the issue of broadcasting from Alcatraz, I don't think we need to broadcast it just
> because we've done it in the past. Traditions are fine, but traditions that aren't necessarily
>good radio are not. I frankly don't want to hear on my radio 30 seconds of silent prayer, or the >sound of the wind. A visionary PD will say maybe a program on the conditions facing Native >Americans would make better radio. Or maybe there'd be no special program at all. Because >something is politically correct, doesn't mean it's good or useful radio. Those tough decisions >sometimes need to get made.

I can only hope that isn't the sort of PD KPFA will get this time around. Indigenous People's Day at Alcatraz is an important broadcast, whether you personally enjoy listening to it or not. It is excellent radio to broadcast an event of trememdous cultural importance in rebutting common platitudes like Columbus Day and making it possible for thousands to be at an event that can be inconvenient and difficult to attend (especially for those with health limitations). A "visionary" PD could work with the crew to provide meaningful commentary, to shape the broadcast according to some principals of good radio, and do everything possible to work with the crew to create the bext broadcast possible. To dismiss something so important as "politically correct bad radio" is the kind of dismissive, uninspired actions that are essentially "small" in my view and the total opposite of visionary.
by Nazreen Kadir
Saturday Oct 7th, 2006 12:08 AM
Hope the GM and PD hiring committees are reading these comments. Would be a good idea to forward to them
by Brendan Collins
Monday Oct 9th, 2006 8:33 AM
There are real differences between the two slates . I was pleased to see Conn Hallinan distancing himself from the over the top smear campaign on this thread by ''Snark Boy ''and ''Old Lib'' I think a great next step would be a public debate with say three speakers on each side with a mutually agreed upon chair. (Maybe Matt Gonzales ? ) I know there are a few independent candidates also. Perhaps they could be given a couple of minutes each at the end of the main fireworks .I would suggest scheduling a Saturday or Sunday afternoon to leave sufficent time to deal with the real issues that divide the KPFA Community . Any takers ?
by mirror holder
Monday Oct 9th, 2006 12:36 PM



It’s not visionary to think small. The word “community” is bandied about too much by progressives. Every body talks about the “community”, when what they really mean is the “community” of people who agree with them. I consider the opinion of a person who may have voted Republican in the last election as valid as someone who voted Green. Admittedly, I may have more beliefs in common with the Green, but I’m not so arrogant as to think maybe the other person has a point that’s worth thinking about. That’s the open-minded, community-based, radio I’d like to see at KPFA and elsewhere.

I don’t care about the number of people calling themselves this, or that. I want KPFA to be radio for all and I want to hear ideas debated that maybe don’t fit most people’s definition of “progressive”.

The point was made that the last two GMs were people who agreed to support our mission and turned out to be disasters. That’s true, but that is because they had zero broadcast management experience. They simply didn’t know what they were doing and based their decisions on what they thought was “progressive” and not on what was actually the best radio decision. A true visionary manager will be open-minded and listen to suggestions, but will also be willing to make tough decision based on the years of experience in radio they hopefully would bring to the job.

I also disagree on another point made in the previous posting by anonymous. I don’t think sticking to a model from the mid-20th century and calling it visionary is a good idea. We can honor what Lew Hill did back then and borrow from it, but we also have to adapt and modify the model, or we’ll calcify and become less and less relevant. It’s the 21st century, KPFA must adapt or die.

This may not be PC, but KPFA is a business. KPFA needs to follow a business model. Visionary leadership will realize that you have to spend money to grow and expand. Visionary leadership will market and promote the station and come up with great ideas to get the station in the public’s view. Visionary leadership will realize that following the poverty model and being cheap is always going to make an organization second rate. Visionary leadership will promote the things we do well, i.e.: the apprenticeship program and change the things we don’t, i.e.: too many on air mistakes, dead-air, broadcasting boring demonstrations with bad sound quality.

Whether the Alcatraz broadcast is “very important” is a matter of opinion. I think the decision to broadcast it is based on political correctness. I think American Indians, and everyone else for that matter, would appreciate a documentary, or a discussion program on issues facing Indigenous people, like: sovereignty, poverty, unemployment, drug and alcohol abuse, and the things people are doing to make things better on the reservation and off. I’d much rather hear that than poorly miked drums, silent prayers and self-serving speeches from people who’ve designated themselves as indigenous leaders.


by Armadillo
Monday Oct 9th, 2006 1:11 PM
I think a debate would be a great idea . Last election i was really mixed . I voted for Mark Hernandez, Annie Hallet and Joseph Wanzala and Stan Woods . This time i am leaning to the Alliance for Democracy slate . but i do have problems with Steve Zelzter and Sasha Futong .People that i respect have found both very difficult to work with .
On the other side i like Conn Hallinan but i wonder if i'm being swayed by his family's good name ,
If a debate does occur i will be there and so will hundreds of others, I truly will have a open mind .
by Nazreen Kadir
Monday Oct 9th, 2006 5:02 PM
KPFA is a 501(c)3 not-for-profit entity. We have to be careful throwing out for-profit business model ideas when the mandate is public good services.
by Anonymous
Monday Oct 9th, 2006 6:10 PM
> It’s not visionary to think small. The word “community” is bandied about too much by
> progressives. Every body talks about the “community”, when what they really mean is the >“community” of people who agree with them. I consider the opinion of a person who may have >voted Republican in the last election as valid as someone who voted Green. Admittedly, I may >have more beliefs in common with the Green, but I’m not so arrogant as to think maybe the >other person has a point that’s worth thinking about. That’s the open-minded, community-based, >radio I’d like to see at KPFA and elsewhere.

We've already had this conversation. I don't think community radio is "small". I think it's a radical force for change and connection when it's done well, and quite the opposite of the "big" bland,
smooth institutional public media provided to us by the government.

The question of open-mindedness begs the obvious point: which is that whatever the seeming validity (and there isn't really all that much, let's face it) of Republican viewpoints - there are already sufficient media outlets granting them the presumption that their views are worth thinking about. Why would you take one of the few places that *doesn't* do that (at least most of the time) and spend it's time doing the same? Is all media time to be devoted to demonstrating the validity of some conservative thoughts?

What the listeners are paying for is an "alternative" - something that will bring them voices that they *don't* hear all the time everywhere else, and expose them to ideas that aren't bandied about on every other newspaper, radio station and television show. What's the alternative if you're just providing more of the same old same old?

>I don’t care about the number of people calling themselves this, or that. I want KPFA to be radio >for all and I want to hear ideas debated that maybe don’t fit most people’s definition of >“progressive”.

KPFA was not founded to be "radio for all". It was founded to be radio for the few, for the discerning listener who wants something different. That's the founding charter, the vision, and the mission of the organization and Pacifica. Lew Hill was pretty clear about that. It's not really up for debate. It's what Pacifica is and was founded to be.

>The point was made that the last two GMs were people who agreed to support our mission and >turned out to be disasters. That’s true, but that is because they had zero broadcast >management experience. They simply didn’t know what they were doing and based their >decisions on what they thought was “progressive” and not on what was actually the best radio >decision. A true visionary manager will be open-minded and listen to suggestions, but will also >be willing to make tough decision based on the years of experience in radio they hopefully >would bring to the job.

There's not really much evidence for that. Gus Newport didn't want the job in the first place.
And Roy Campanella was a bully with some misogyny problems, and not much of a progressive at that. Neither demonstrated much of a track record in doing anything because it was seemingly progressive. What makes no sense here is the idea that years of working in radio, a media industry savaged by a corporate takeover larger in size and scope than that of any other media channels, would have any sense at all of how to run a community institution. There's nothing about a career at Clear Channel and/or Infinity Broadcasting that's going to help KPFA.

>I also disagree on another point made in the previous posting by anonymous. I don’t think >sticking to a model from the mid-20th century and calling it visionary is a good idea. We can >honor what Lew Hill did back then and borrow from it, but we also have to adapt and modify the >model, or we’ll calcify and become less and less relevant. It’s the 21st century, KPFA must >adapt or die.

You adapt to modern technology, that's true and KPFA is not too far ahead of the bell curve there. But you do not make your mission and founding charter "moldable". That's exactly how every non-profit institution loses its way. Fifty years ago isn't the Stone Age. They had the same damn problems we do with materialism and consumerism, the war machine, gaps between rich and poor. And the same answers apply: listener-sponsored media has the freedom to say what isn't financially subsidized and that enriches the community that participates in it. Don't throw out the baby with the bathwater. Are Einstein and Freud "calcified"? A good idea is a good idea and visionary people are smart enough not to think they're going to reinvent the wheel better. The vision is making the model WORK.

>This may not be PC, but KPFA is a business. KPFA needs to follow a business model. Visionary >leadership will realize that you have to spend money to grow and expand. Visionary leadership >will market and promote the station and come up with great ideas to get the station in the >public’s view. Visionary leadership will realize that following the poverty model and being cheap >is always going to make an organization second rate. Visionary leadership will promote the >things we do well, i.e.: the apprenticeship program and change the things we don’t, i.e.: too >many on air mistakes, dead-air, broadcasting boring demonstrations with bad sound quality.

No, it's not a business. It's a community institution with a charter from the IRS to perform a public service. It's only model is to be self-sustaining, not to grow and expand. I assume that you work there and would like to get a bigger paycheck someday, but that's not the purpose of the organization. There are plenty of for-profit radio chains that *are* businesses and are rapidly growing and expanding.

"Second-rate"? As compared to what? What do you consider "first-rate"? Any organization that depends entirely on listener contributions better be cheap. That's not going to be an advertising gravy train. You get the money because you do things (deliver customers) to the people with the money. If you're not going to work for them then yeah, you're going to have to embrace the poverty model. Most people in the non-profit community are somewhat proud of that. They don't consider keeping their integrity being "second-rate".


>Whether the Alcatraz broadcast is “very important” is a matter of opinion. I think the decision to >broadcast it is based on political correctness. I think American Indians, and everyone else for >that matter, would appreciate a documentary, or a discussion program on issues facing >Indigenous people, like: sovereignty, poverty, unemployment, drug and alcohol abuse, and the >things people are doing to make things better on the reservation and off. I’d much rather hear >that than poorly miked drums, silent prayers and self-serving speeches from people who’ve >designated themselves as indigenous leaders.

The American Indian Treaty Council is designated by more than themselves as indigenous leaders and the re-occupation of Alcatraz on Columbus Day is a symbol of an on-going resistance to the perversions of history. Sometimes we have to talk about more than the "social problems" of poor people and what they are doing to "make things better". Sometimes we have to talk about what went wrong in the first place. I have some criticisms of the program, too, criticisms that probably the producers would agree with and which go back to the challenges of never having enough time and money to produce the way you would produce given unlimited resources.
But to suggest that a documentary about "poverty on the reservation and alcoholism" is a satisfactory substitute for it is just ... totally inadequate. If airing it is "politiclaly correct", then one can only say that the alternative presented is "politically clueless". And that's not a good trait in
a radio station designed to bring radical talk, music and culture into the community.
by mirror holder
Monday Oct 9th, 2006 7:43 PM
The question of open-mindedness begs the obvious point: which is that whatever the seeming validity (and there isn't really all that much, let's face it) of Republican viewpoints - there are already sufficient media outlets granting them the presumption that their views are worth thinking about. Why would you take one of the few places that *doesn't* do that (at least most of the time) and spend it's time doing the same? Is all media time to be devoted to demonstrating the validity of some conservative thoughts?

What the listeners are paying for is an "alternative" - something that will bring them voices that they *don't* hear all the time everywhere else, and expose them to ideas that aren't bandied about on every other newspaper, radio station and television show. What's the alternative if you're just providing more of the same old same old?

--This is precisely the kind of complacent thinking that KPFA needs to get over. I've heard the argument before: Well the mainstream puts out those ideas, so why should we? The answer is simple: the ideas need to be heard and debated. I'm not saying KPFA copies mainstream media. KPFA can air mainstream ideas and put them on against different ideas not normally heard in the mainstream. The station's air, and people's minds, are big enough for both. A frequent problem I've seen from people who only read, or listen to alternative media is that when they're confronted with even a half-way decent argument from the right, they have little more than rhetoric to fall back on. That's because they don't hear alternative ideas up against mainstream ideas in CONTEXT.

My point about ideas from 50 years ago getting stale is still well made. Your use of Einstein and Freud prove my point. The basic contributions they made are still valid, but if people still believed what Einstein and Freud believed completely, than physics and psychology would be dead. The point I'm making is you take the ideas and improve on them and adapt them for modern times.

I also detected a note of elitism in Anonymous's sentence about broadcasting to a small niche audience and not trying to expand. He, or she is basically saying "only us intellectual elites get KPFA, the majority of the listening audience is too unsophisticated to understand, so let's not bother with them." That's just flat wrong and a major reason why the left in the U.S. has been losing for decades. That kind of thinking says let's not even bother with Joe or Jane six pack, let's not reach out and have a conversation. That kind of thinking will keep you idealogically pure and COMPLETELEY IRRELEVANT.

Also the sentence about Conservative ideas having little validity is wrong. Some issue like fiscal conservatism and personal responsibility have merit. Granted, when they come from the lips of today's Republicans they sound totally hypocritical, but the ideas have some merit and should be thought about, and they may be a way to reach some common ground with well-meaning conservatives, who are outraged with the war, with the trampling of constitutional rights and the growing budget deficit.

I'm a listener who is thinking about joining many other listeners and not even bothering with KPFA anymore, because it is this kind of narrow, echo-chamber type thinking that is holding the station back.

Anonymous's other point about the Alcatraz broadcast is also telling. It would be all well and good if, as Anonymous said people were hearing about Native American issues regularly like he claims, but I don't remember hearing these issues addressed on KPFA in recent memory. The Alcatraz broadcast is not interesting strictly on the basis of compelling radio. Radios across the area I'm sure tuned out in droves. Who wants to hear repetitive chants and drumming on the air and extended periods of silence? It's probably culturally interesting if you're there, but it's horrible radio. One gets nothing from it. It does nothing but make a handful of mainly white liberals feel good about themselves, while doing nothing to actually educate and inform anyone. It is Political Correctness gone amok.

The idea of KPFA to listeners like me is education. It's about making progressive ideas competitive with the mainstream, not keeping the ideas as the private privelege of intellectual elites. It's about good quality radio, vigorous, wide-open debate and engaging programs. The way for KPFA to really make a difference is for the station to grow and reach new listeners and change minds, and in that way, begin to change the world.

On the treaty council
by Nazreen Kadir
Monday Oct 9th, 2006 10:31 PM
I am with open-mindedness until the part where a listener-sponsored progressive community radio station has to compete with corporate mainstream media. And what is it that we would be competing for? Ideas or dollars?
by Anonymous
Tuesday Oct 10th, 2006 9:29 PM
So what you're for is re-stating conventional wisdom on an alternative network with some presentation of alternative ideas in a debate-style format: in other words putting the preposterous on an equal plane and allowing "equal time" for endlessly repeated mainstream nonsense vs. a vs. rarely heard alternatives. So had we done that prior to the Iraq War - we would have provided equal time to the Condi Rice mushroom cloud tissue of lies and to the Hans Blix-Mohammed El Baradei statements of fact about the Iraqi weapons arsenal. This is servicing truth and accuracy (leaving aside progressive politics) in what way?

Both psychology and physics would be extroardinarily badly-served if they abandoned the insights of Einstein and Freud because they were "dated" and decided to rip out the foundations and start all over again (as in bugger the idea of community radical radio - we want to be "radio for all"). They haven't. That's because if you don't build on your foundations, you get nowhere - fast. Which is exactly where Pacifica got in 10 years of messing around with the Healthy Station Project: to the point where KPFA was piping in Texas music and on the chopping block for 10 southern stations.

Ideological purity is called having a point of view and bringing that point of view into the work that you do. If you aren't chasing the almighty dollar - which is certainly one point of view - and one that you expressed with the "KPFA is a business" statement - then you must have a guiding principle to focus the decisions that you make and the actions that you take.
Dialogue with Joe Six-Pack can be that point of view - but why is that the one to choose in the liberal/left region in the entire country? Does that even make sense? Why the emphasis on reaching common ground with conservatives in the least conservative radio listening area in the entire country?

If you haven't heard Native American issues discussed on KPFA recently, you haven't been listening. Bay Area Native Circle airs every Wednesday at 2pm. La Onda Bajita also heavily covers indigenous issues.

Why are you so desperate to compete with the mainstream? Do you think they do something well? They're appalling. What's to compete with? Do you think by abandoning the annual pilgramage to Alcatraz, where native people speak for themselves about their history, for some sort of produced documentary on the poor people of the reservation, that you're doing something better?



by Mirror Holder
Tuesday Oct 10th, 2006 11:04 PM
So what you're for is re-stating conventional wisdom on an alternative network with some presentation of alternative ideas in a debate-style format: in other words putting the preposterous on an equal plane and allowing "equal time" for endlessly repeated mainstream nonsense vs. a vs. rarely heard alternatives. So had we done that prior to the Iraq War - we would have provided equal time to the Condi Rice mushroom cloud tissue of lies and to the Hans Blix-Mohammed El Baradei statements of fact about the Iraqi weapons arsenal. This is servicing truth and accuracy (leaving aside progressive politics) in what way?

--You've done a fairly good job of twisting the meaning of what I said, so I'll say it again a bit clearer. I'm for airing all sorts of ideas "mainstream" and "alternative". KPFA actually did a pretty good job in the lead up to the Iraq War. It aired the UN hearings where Powell made the case for war, then brought in skeptical experts that asked tough questions and dissected his presentation. However, other programs on KPFA ignored Powell's speech and launched into wordy diatribes and chest thumping. The first example is the kind of good analysis missing in the mainstream media, the second example is a kind of lefty Fox News cheerleader kind of programming, which is at best uninformative.

On the Einstein Freud analogy, you've essentially reworded what I've already said. Of course you learn from past knowledge, but you expand on it, or you go nowhere. You appear to have come around to my way of thinking on this and I salute you.

Ideological purity may be fine and dandy for you, but how does it help anyone else to learn and grow. If you have this elitist view that you've got all the answers, how can you ever reach out to people that don't agree with you and have an open mind and listen to what they have to say? Simple answer: you can't. You come off as an arrogant, closed-minded know it all.

As for the Bay Area being some kind of liberal haven, I'd like to see where you got the numbers. I would agree maybe San Francisco and Berkeley lean more left, but what about Fairfield, or Castro Valley, or Milpitas and San Bruno? My point is KPFA needs to get out and meet those folks and dialogue with them and listen to them, whether they agree with a lot of what's on KPFA or not. They at least need to know KPFA's there. That's how you grow.

As for my point about the station being a business, I stick by that. Any business, whether for profit, or not, has to make a surplus in order to reinvest in the organization and expand operations and make the organization better, or it will cease to exist. If KPFA doesn't have a healthy respect for the "allmighty dollar" as you put it, then the place won't be around very long.

The program Native Circle does not have the kind of well-produced documentaries and discussion of serious issues that can really inform an audience. It is mostly a vehicle for identity politics. From what I've heard of La Onda Bajita, there doesn't seem to be much to recommend it. Again long on speechifying and identity politics, short on well done informative programming.

I'm eager to compete with the mainstream, because they need a little healthy competition, perhaps if they felt a little heat from KPFA and Pacifica, they may change the way they do things to a certain extent. As to whether they're appalling, again that's an opinionated broad brush statement that only makes for good rhetoric. Remember it was the mainstream Washington Post that broke the secret overseas torture prison story. It was the mainstream New Yorker and Sy Hersh who broke Abu Ghraib. And it was the New York Times that broke the secret warrentless wiretap story. I'm the first to admit there are real problems with the mainstream media, but they also do good work. KPFA's strength can be forcing the debate open and keeping the mainstream honest.

On the Alcatraz issue, no one is saying people should abandon the Alcatraz event. They have every right to do that if they'd like. I'm saying it's lousy radio, mainly for logistical reasons, but also for reasons of content. It is a bonafide audience killer for reasons I've already stated.