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KPFA New Outreach Effort: Whistleblowing, possible defamation of character, and corruption
by Felipe Messina ( messinamorrissey [at] gmail.com )
Friday Dec 21st, 2007 4:55 PM
I am a Chicano listener-member of KPFA for over 20 years. 10.10.07: I was solicited on-air on KPFA by Lemlem Rijio and Sasha Lilley to volunteer for a position at KPFA. 10.10.07: I attended a KPFA LSB meeting, wherein LSB Chair Bonnie Simmons solicited my phone number per Lilley. Lilley telephoned, scheduled an appointment, and met me at KPFA. 11.04.07: I met KPFA LSB Elections Supervisor, volunteered. 11.10.07: I participated in On-Air LSB Candidate Forum. By 11.12.07, I was arbitrarily barred by KPFA management and staff, not LSB Elections Supervisor, from KPFA as well as from witnessing any further Elections processes.
Friday December 21, 2007

Dear friends of KPFA,

Some of you may know my story already. I am Felipe Messina, a listener and supporter of KPFA for over 20 years. It was good to be able to attend the KPFA LSB meeting (12.15.07) and see all of the friendly faces this last Saturday, even the not so friendly, for we are all still one community, despite any differences. I was absent from the November KPFA LSB meeting at the behest of a KPFA friend, a person who has been involved with the struggle for maintaining the original mission of KPFA and Pacifica in past years. I was urged to stay away from that LSB meeting and warned that I may be arrested by Berkeley police on trumped up charges related to my volunteering with the LSB Elections Supervisor recently. I asked for clarification, "why...for what?" But that occasion precipitated a new crash-course in awareness as well as research of even deeper and more horrific levels of corruption surrounding KPFA and Pacifica. I was informed by people in attendance at that (12.15.07) LSB meeting, that there were, in fact, police outside of the venue (Cafe de la Paz in Berkeley). I have to say this completely mystifies me and I must conclude that it is a further outgrowth of the previous attempts by KPFA management (see e-mail transcript at bottom) and certain staff as well as certain LSB members to discourage my participation (as well as that of others) with KPFA/Pacifica and to intimidate me, personally, away from my
community involvement around KPFA and attendance at LSB meetings.

My recent involvement began on October 10, 2007 when I called in to the "Management Report to the Listeners" (see archive at http://kpfa.org/archives/index.php?arch=22698 ) and was actually solicited by interim General Manager Lemlem Rijio (then unknown to me) and interim Program Director Sasha Lilley (someone I respected and admired for her intellectual work with the KPFA program "Against The Grain"). Seemingly, impressed by my observations or analysis during my call-in, iGM Lemlem Rijio expressed in response: "I just want to let Felipe know that you don't have to wait until you graduate to come volunteer. Please send us your resume or whatever you've done so far and we can try to find out if there is a volunteer position here that you can fill." Wow, talk about a dream come true. Yet, perhaps because of being a person of colour and perennially lacking a sense of entitlement (i.e. never having been considered a 'genuine' American in my experience--although I'm not an immigrant, born and raised in San Mateo and the S.F. Bay Area--nor a valid, valuable part of the broader society, with all of the full and complete rights and entitlements others may feel naturally bestowed upon them, including other people of colour). Perhaps for this personal reason, I took KPFA iGM Lemlem Rijio's invitation as an empty statement. However, I made it a point to attend that upcoming October KPFA LSB meeting, to get up off of my lazy butt (sociopolitically speaking or in terms of community involvement) and get involved--at least to become more informed. Nothing, however, could have prepared me for the spectacle I found at the October KPFA LSB meeting.

The rest, as they say, is history. And for most of November it seemed to me no one cared about the KPFA LSB Elections. All of my outreach efforts so far toward solidarity with regard to the obvious corruption surrounding KPFA have been in vain. The deadline for ballots was November 15, 2007. The deadline for Elections certification was December 1, 2007. Both the Pacifica and KPFA websites posted no up-to-date information completely leaving listener-members in the dark. The 12.15.07 KPFA LSB meeting highlighted, once again, during the public comment period many similar concerns from listeners and the community about the concentration of governance power at KPFA/Pacifica by entrenched staff and management who have proven on every occasion how unresponsive they are to the concerns of the community. Oddly, it seemed the iGM was sitting quietly in the back of the room, head down, wearing a large hat, writing in a notepad. Although, I might be wrong, as I've only met her personally once when the interim Program Director, Sasha Lilley, introduced me to her briefly on Friday November 9, 2007. If it was her, not only does it make her attendance as bizarre and aloof as the single occasion I had to meet her in person, but it also completely negates any false allegations or accusations made against me.

This week, recent developments have necessitated a reinvigoration of efforts by listener-members and the general public to seek redress given this recent electoral corruption and the continued erosion of KPFA/Pacifica's original mission. Nicole Sawaya, the newly elected Executive Director of Pacifica has resigned. An item was astonishingly placed on the (12.15.07) KPFA LSB agenda to seat new LSB members, despite the massive evidence of corruption of the LSB Elections processes. Brian Edwards-Tiekert, KPFA LSB treasurer, in amazing defiance of questions of conflict-of-interest, went on the air this Monday to deliver what might be described as an Orwellian double-speak account of Sawaya's resignation (see archive, 45 minutes into the broadcast, at http://kpfa.org/archives/index.php?arch=23835) as well as to cite David Adelson and blame the "structural problems" on the current Pacifica bylaws and the "elaborate system of listener and staff elected boards," as if to suggest this precipitated Sawaya's resignation. We are then left to surmise, by this dubious account, that democratic process or listener involvement are not priorities at KPFA, and, are instead, harmful to KPFA/Pacifica. This, of course, is in contradiction to the historical tradition of KPFA/Pacifica. However, it does correspond with Brian Edwards-Tiekert's own words from the first KPFA LSB meeting I attended (October 2007). Outside of the venue, another listener member asked him about an e-mail Brian Edwards-Tiekert had written and which copies of were circulating around that meeting, whether he, Brian Edwards-Tiekert, indeed wanted to dismantle the Local Station Board, and he answered emphatically, "Yeah!" I looked at him and questioned further, but he never expressed differently. How ironic it is that Brian Edwards-Tiekert quotes Nicole Sawaya citing "internecine dysfunction" as the reason for her resignation.

And now, Brian Edwards-Tiekert and Sherry Gendelman threaten to sue KPFA if the current corrupted KPFA Elections process and corrupted Elections results are not certified immediately. I found out yesterday that there was some picketing in front of the station this Tuesday. If any one knows of any more demonstrations to be organised please send me an e-mail.

I have previously tried to avoid publicising any of my experiences with the hopes of communicating privately with any interested or involved parties within and around the KPFA and Pacifica community. But now with the KPFA LSB corruption reaching new lows and facing a complete absence of advice from all parties involved, I am left with little choice. I can appreciate if everyone within the KPFA community is overwhelmingly busy and have no time for engaging new and concerned listener members. However, I would very much appreciate any correspondence regarding these matters. I did have the opportunity to discuss at great length new analyses with Bob English (KPFA LSB Candidate) and (at shorter length) Virginia Browning and Dave Heller (former LSB Candidate). Some attendees, such as Bob English, requested a copy of the information (below) which I previously sent to various KPFA LSB members. I am terribly grateful for the interest. Also, I want to keep other interested parties in the loop, as it were, if you are not yet aware of my participation in the 2007 KPFA LSB Elections process. If I have sent you information in error, please let me know. I only wish to increase dialogue and understanding.

Also, I sincerely urge any of you in a position to shed some light or publicity on this regrettable corruption to please do so immediately or contact me. As it stands, there are certain entrenched programmers, staff members, and management persons who have been acting in collusion to further consolidate power, exclude listener and community involvement and steer KPFA/Pacifica toward a "professionalised" or NPR-like format. Any time the phone lines are opened up on the air to listener feedback the sentiments are consistent. We've heard many listeners criticise and complain consistently about the shift at KPFA away from progressive and radical or grass-roots perspectives and toward a middle-of-the-road mainstream (to put it mildly) sociopolitical outlook and governance/management structure. One recent caller, Nancy from Berkeley, offered some "constructive criticism" citing "part of the problem is that, Sasha...and Lemlem...bring a corporate model to [their] view of KPFA. This $5,000. an hour thing that [they] have hanging over the staff...these are the kinds of things that are...getting [them] in trouble... Please," Nancy pleaded, "this is not a corporation, this is not a corporate fundraising model, KPFA is a non-profit. I have supported KPFA for over 30 years, as well. Please, [Sasha and Lemlem,] rethink your model that you've come in with, that you've been trained in, in school. It doesn't apply here." (see 11.12.07 "Management Report to the Listeners," Nancy's call is approximately 53.5 minutes in http://kpfa.org/archives/index.php?arch=23245) Nancy's call, as is often the case when substantive criticism manages to get on the air, was the last caller taken. Nancy was not the only caller that morning with serious criticism of the new degenerating direction at KPFA. With five whole minutes to go in the hour many more callers could have been aired. And surely, many more callers were trying to get through, I know I was. Philip Muldari ("Morning Show," host and "Concerned Listeners" LSB slate endorser and supporter) claimed time had run out and the subject was swiftly changed.

Please, I urge all people interested in progressive perspectives, free-speech, peace, and economic and social justice to help shed light on the worsening corruption of this historic, national treasure that is KPFA/Pacifica in the face of repressive and monopolosing FCC legislations and erosion of diversity in the media.

Sincerely,

Felipe Messina
messinamorrissey [at] gmail.com

++++++++++++++
December 5, 2007

To whom it may concern,

I am a listener-member of listener-sponsored KPFA radio (see below, http://www.kpfa.org) of over twenty years on. Please see the communication below (dated Nov. 14, 2007), which was sent to KPFA board members, many of which I had come to know personally. I have patiently awaited any response, but none have been forthcoming, despite the fact that many individuals involved, including KPFA staff, management, and board members have my contact information and have e-mailed and telephoned me previously. As the KPFA Local Station Board (LSB) elections were scheduled for certification by December 1, 2007, and as the KPFA LSB elections results have not yet been made public, it seems I am left with no other recourse than to begin seeking legal counsel and/or representation on my own to seek redress for the corruption of these elections processes on behalf of the general public and Pacifica listenership. As well as to clear my name of the false allegations leveled aginst me by Sasha Lilley, interim Program Director at KPFA. Although, I take patient care not to take anything personally, the apparently deliberate attempt to slander and exclude me (as well as others) from the elections processes and the complete unresponsiveness to valid complaints and grievances regarding the LSB Elections process leads me to conclude that certain individuals, within KPFA's governance structure, in a position to seek redress for the corruption of the KPFA LSB elections processes are complicit in the current quagmire of corruption within this oldest of listener-sponsored media institutions, KPFA/Pacifica. Thus, I reach out to any parties interested in free-speech, democracy and the public trust that is KPFA and Pacifica in the hopes of maintaining the integrity of the original mission of KPFA/Pacifica: peace, truth, transparency, honesty, and economic and social justice.

Sincerely,

Felipe Messina
messinamorrissey [at] gmail.com
______

[previously e-mailed to certain members of the community and KPFA LSB, re-edited]

Wednesday November 14, 2007

To whom it may concern,

I am currently seeking legal counsel, as I have a situation involving whistle blowing, possible defamation of character, and the corruption of the elections processes of the Pacifica Foundation (based in Berkeley, CA, http://www.pacifica.org), as they relate to the 2007 Local Station Board (LSB) elections at the Berkeley, California radio station KPFA. These elections shall conclude on Thursday November 15, 2007.

The LSB Elections Supervisor accepted my offer of volunteer assistance on Sunday November 4, 2007 at the Lutheran Church of the Cross in Berkeley during the public LSB Candidate Forum. At the outset of that November 4th Candidate Forum, I asked her about the On-Air Candidate Forum from the previous Saturday November 3, 2007 radio broadcast and the obvious problems I noted as a concerned listener-member of KPFA, particularly with regard to inconsistent time-keeping during the candidates' responses. The Elections Supervisor expressed how difficult it was for her to coordinate and handle everything all by herself, especially during the On-Air Forums. She also noted pressures of being 'pulled in so many directions' in her capacity serving as Elections Supervisor. Due to my judicious participation (and obvious paramount concern over fairness) as a listener-member of KPFA at the Candidate Forum on Sunday November 4th, 2007, especially with regard to time-keeping during the forum, the Elections Supervisor praised my diligence with respect to fairness. She also noted that many of the attendees, including candidates had also expressed similar praise. We exchanged contact information for the purposes of working together to improve the KPFA LSB elections processes. The LSB Elections Supervisor telephoned me a few days later (Thursday, 11.08.07), in time to arrange for my "assistance" (depending upon one's interpretation or legal semantics) or "participation" to begin with the next On-Air LSB Candidate Forum radio broadcast the following Saturday November 10, 2007 (on 94.1 FM KPFA radio, 10am-12pm, see radio archives at http://www.kpfa.org, http://kpfa.org/archives/index.php?arch=23220 ). During this phone call, she noted, "I thought I was fair, but you're really fair." She also noted that various others agreed. I asked her who else agreed with her and she further noted that "Sureya Sayadi, Stan Woods, Dave Heller" and others had expressed similar sentiments. I made note of these names during her phone call, especially as they were unknown to me at that point. My main question to the LSB Elections Supervisor during that phone call was, "how can we insure equal air time for the responses to questions?" I also offered several ideas and she seemed receptive. She also noted that Jim Bennett would be the host. At the station, on that Saturday, I had a brief opportunity to discuss with Jim Bennett those concerns of judicious time-keeping only minutes before the broadcast and he was very open and helpful. He noted the necessity to nevertheless conduce "good radio." In the end, Jim Bennett seemed to try as much as possible to achieve time-keeping equality during the broadcast (see archive at http://kpfa.org/archives/index.php?arch=23220). I had no intention of speaking on the air, only to facilitate fairness during the LSB Elections. During the broadcast, which was unfortunately (despite my sincerest efforts) poorly organised, Jim Bennett called on me to help him with asking a question of the candidates as the Elections Supervisor had left the main studio. As the LSB Elections Supervisor had not informed me about what those questions would be, I was put on the spot, live and on the air. So, I had to ask an impromptu question, the first thing that came to mind. Also, it should be noted that I never introduced myself to Jim Bennett, nor anyone in attendance, as "assistant." Of course, when Jim Bennett made his introductions at the outset he courteously didn't ignore my presence seated next to the Elections Supervisor. Most importantly, the LSB Elections Supervisor was acting in accordance with the Pacifica bylaws (please see below) when she accepted my volunteer assistance. In fact, she even has the authority to assemble an entire committee (please see below).

During the few days in which I assisted in that capacity (including assisting with the live On-Air LSB Candidate Forum (various complaints arose from listener-members including, but not limited to, not receiving ballots in the mail, lack of secure lock boxes at the station, and general lack of information and awareness of all of the procedures and bylaws related to the elections. As a listener-member myself volunteering at KPFA and interested in fair KPFA LSB elections processes, mountains of problems began to quickly become apparent. It seems the KPFA management/staff and/or the Elections Supervisors did not make available over the airwaves adequate or fairly organized information to the public and listener-members, resulting in a listenership not thoroughly informed about all matters relating to the elections, thus depriving listener-members as well as the general public the ability to make informed decisions with regard to their voting and participation rights of listener-members and the general public.

Other complaints which arose came from candidates about malfeasance with regard to various elections processes, included the lack of lock boxes in place at the station. In fact, while I was there at the station on Friday November 9, 2007 fielding complaints raised by listener-members and candidates, and acting in, what I believed in good faith to be my capacity as assistant to the Elections Supervisor, one listener-member actually arrived at the station with a ballot in hand. The confusion and dysfunctionality of the election process was highly questionable, especially given that many listener-members invariably included funds and donations within those ballot envelopes. One of the computer technicians received the ballot and, uncertain of what to do, asked me for my opinion as I was present in the computer room researching elections information. As the Elections Supervisor was the one to decide what to do and was incommunicado, I noted that the ballots would be unsecured in the open-faced mailbox slots at the station. Moreover, as the Elections Supervisor was not a permanent staff member, she did not have a mailbox at the station, as far as I was aware. I noted that I'd been trying to get in touch with the Elections Supervisor all day with regard to the mounting issues, but I was rebuffed by staff who insisted it was her birthday and that she should be left alone.

Other complaints involved questions and inconsistencies regarding inequality with regard to radio airtime being used to promote the various candidates and the candidate questionnaire responses on the http://www.kpfa.org and http://www.pacifica.org websites. Another, issue, which as far as I know, is not prohibited by the Pacifica bylaws, but nevertheless raises ethical issues with regard to the original mission of Pacifica/KPFA, is the matter of campaign financing disparity. In the interest of transparency and fairness, it remains critical to clarify, bring to light, and make public those issues. However, I was never given an opportunity to raise this question to the Elections Supervisor on Saturday November 10, 2007 (10am-12pm), neither before or after, that On-Air broadcast. In total, I personally met with the Elections Supervisor exactly twice, both times in public, and both occasions allowed only brief communication; I restricted all communication strictly to elections processes. On Saturday November 10, the Elections Supervisor almost arrived late for the On-Air broadcast, despite assuring me via her previous telephone call that she would be calling me early in the morning with a "wake up" call, for punctuality and so that we could organize procedures before the broadcast. And, especially, so that there would be no question as to my official position with her as assistant to the Elections Supervisor. Unfortunately, she never made mention of what the exact legal mechanism exists by which her assistants or committees are formalised. As far as I know, it is entirely at her discretion and verbal agreements suffice. It seems the Pacifica bylaws do not make this formalisation process clear either.

Thus, either due to personal time constraints on the part of the LSB Elections Supervisor or a concerted effort by either KPFA management, staff, or certain candidates to bar sincere efforts at insuring fair elections processes, the LSB Elections Supervisor did not make herself available prior to, or after, the On-Air Forum to answer the various the questions I had developed, nor to field the various ideas I had with regard to improving and insuring fair and ethical elections processes. Further, phone calls were not returned after the Saturday November 10 On-Air Forum. From a particular point after the broadcast when the LSB Elections Supervisor asked me to allow her to speak to apparent candidates and supporters of the "Concerned Listeners" slate in private outside in front of the station, her candidness, openness or transparency as a neutral arbiter of elections seemed to shift. Up until that point on Saturday November 10, during the brief postmortem, I was allowed to be fully present and supportive, to stand by, as her assistant, when fielding questions from other candidates because I was under the clear impression that she was overwhelmed by the burden of running the elections solo. Until that precise moment at the end of that On-Air Candidate Forum, she had been very candid, open, and forthcoming (during the few brief communications) toward any interest or questions that I had with regard to insuring the fairest of elections processes.

I returned to the station on Monday afternoon (11.12.07), the next scheduled shift for LSB Elections duties and apparently open to the public as well. The LSB Elections Supervision activities were advertised on the air that morning during the "Managers Report to the Listerners" broadcast, which was embedded within the "Morning Show" broadcast ( 11.12.07), see http://kpfa.org/archives/index.php?arch=23245. Upon my arrival, shortly before 5 pm, I was barred from entering the station or from communicating with the LSB Elections Supervisor by KPFA staff, primarily by Lewis Sawyer. Sawyer refused to answer my questions as to his hostility directed toward me or to explain the reasons for refusing to allow me to speak to the LSB Elections Supervisor. Sawyer slammed shut the visitor window within the entrance buffer lobby and slid an e-mail through the window gap (see below). Now, I understand that the iPD qualifies the potentially slanderous phrase "seems to be disturbed" and that this may be viewed as their opinion and a free speech issue rather than defamation of character. Nevertheless, these fallacious claims had already inured real harm to my person and character. Astounded, I began to telephone, from within the buffer lobby, my wife to explain the outrageous events as she knew that I had been working very hard to participate, volunteer, and contribute to the betterment and sustenance of KPFA. My wife remained on the phone line and listened in as one of the workers from the Computer Services department (Chris, I believe) aggressively approached me. None of the questions I asked him were substantively addressed. I also noted to him that I needed to get in touch with a staff person who is also associated with "Democracy Now!" (DN) or at least pick up DN promotional materials, but he simply pushed me out of the buffer lobby and insisted I'd have to talk to him on the street. On Friday November 9, 2007, I had met this particular Computer Services department worker and had even spoken extensively with him and Les Radke (LSB elections worker; I had also spoken with him extensively on 11.04.07 at that Forum) regarding the parameters which define "personal attacks" versus "free speech." I was mystified by how this particular Computer Services worker, who had been so friendly and forthcoming previously, was now intimidating me and fomenting fallacious confusion without talking to me as a reasonable or coherent adult, frankly. I had met this individual following my meeting with the interim Program Director (iPD) Sasha Lilley as per her instructions. I should also add, the iPD initiated this meeting when she telephoned me the Monday following my first LSB meeting attendance in San Jose. At that meeting, the LSB Chair Bonnie Simmons asked me for my phone number as she noted, "Sasha's been looking for you." I had initially been encouraged to participate and volunteer at KPFA, ironically, by interim General Manager (iGM) Lemlem Rijio and interim Program Director (iPD) Sasha Lilley. And now, after that initial encouragement and volunteering, I was being barred from further participation without being given clear or valid reasons accounting for this arbitrary violation of individual and listener-member rights. These actions were completely in violation of the Pacifica bylaws, which state that the LSB Elections Supervisor is solely responsible for conducting the elections, free of any interference by staff or management of the station. As staff members and management will invariably have their various partisan interests in the LSB elections, it is obvious why these bylaws are in place.

To this date, the Elections Supervisor has never formally denounced, refused, or terminated my assistance since I began volunteering with the LSB Elections Supervisor. I have simply been obstructed and intimidated by KPFA staff and management. For example, Lewis Sawyer aggressively claimed, and in a hostile fashion, on 11.12.07 that the LSB Elections Supervisor didn't want to talk to me because I "got her in some hot water" and because I had now become "a persona non grata" at KPFA. None of my questions were addressed in any respectful, cooperative, or substantive manner. Also, Lewis Sawyer made a vague claim that I had misrepresented myself as assistant to the LSB Elections Supervisor, which is disingenuous at best. There has never been a single challenge to the actual validity or basis of my legal right to volunteer and facilitate fairness and transparency in the LSB elections processes, nor has anyone ever contacted me to inform me about any misunderstanding or confusion with regard to my volunteer participation within the LSB Elections processes--not Pacifica representatives, nor the LSB Elections Supervisor, nor the National Elections Supervisor, despite the fact that the LSB Elections Supervisor has my contact information and could easily facilitate clarification of any confusion. What has transpired seems to stem solely from the fallacious e-mail drafted and circulated by the iPD at KPFA on Monday, 11.12.07. Interestingly, the e-mail itself is a violation of LSB Elections rules and procedures, for the LSB Elections Supervisor is still solely responsible for matters regarding Elections processes. Also, and more tellingly of structural problems within KPFA management, if there were a staff or internal matter in question or "alert," why is the iPD issuing it, as opposed to the iGM? And, moreover, why is there no mention of the LSB Elections Supervisor within that e-mail. Any serious analysis reveals these actions constitute a clear and blatant obstruction of fair and transparent LSB Elections processes by KPFA management and certain interested staff members. It should be noted as well the common thread is perpetually the "Concerned Listeners" LSB slate.

On that Monday November 12, 2007, I respectfully asked the door attendant, Lewis Sawyer, to allow me to speak with the Elections Supervisor, personally, because it was imperative that she convey any information relating to the elections herself, as it is solely her responsibility, and that of the assistants she assigns, to insure fair elections processes. I must reiterate, the actions of the KPFA staff and management seem to constitute an obvious obstruction of fair, ethical, and transparent elections processes, despite the fact that it is solely the LSB Elections Supervisor who is responsible for conducting and supervising the election processes, not the staff or management of KPFA. And, again, I must express that I understand that the defamation of character of said e-mail is carefully worded and qualified. However, it nevertheless inured real harm to my character in the eyes of the KPFA staff and management, resulting in the obstruction of transparency and fairness of the elections processes as well as inhibiting my ability to conduct other community volunteer work responsibilities at, or related to, KPFA, as KPFA is, nevertheless, a hub for community volunteer work. For example, I had just met with (11.10.07), and personally spoken to, Amy Goodman, Medea Benjamin, Andrea Lewis, Denis Moynihan (Outreach Coordinator for "Democracy Now!" {DN}), Chuck Ulrich (DN Outreach Volunteer), and Andres Conteris (Amy Goodman's personal driver) at the ODC Commons (S.F.) in sincere efforts to communicate and dialogue with figures within and around the KPFA/Pacifica community, so as to gain greater understanding of the most constructive and cooperative pathways toward seeking electoral justice, given the mounting problems and corruption of the 2007 LSB Elections. Although, none at the ODC Commons event (all long-time personal heroes of mine) were able to help, I was offered an opportunity by Denis Moynahan (of DN) to volunteer for DN as an Outreach Volunteer (although I had already contacted Silky Shah {Outreach Coordinator in N.Y.}). This is all germane because advocating for improving the scheduling time-frames for DN within KPFA's programming, time-frames when the working-poor can actually tune-in, was one of the initial motivations for my attendance at my first KPFA LSB meeting in October of 2007 in San Jose. As I was instructed by DN staff to pick up promotional DN materials at KPFA and then, subsequently, barred from entering KPFA on vague and fallacious charges, my individual rights were violated on various levels, including fair elections processes.

This is as brief a meaningful outline of the immediate events relevant to my involvement during the 2007 KPFA elections processes as I could recall. However, I have since compiled a far more comprehensive amount of information, sources, and contacts with regard to corruption of the KPFA LSB Elections and the original stated mission of KPFA/Pacifica as a non-profit foundation. KPFA/Pacifica is clearly the last truly grass-roots, free-speech, voice-of-the-silenced, national radio network on the FM band. As a listener and member of over twenty years, I am compelled to stand up for what I see as right, just, and ethical. Any assistance or counsel that can be offered would be greatly appreciated.

Sincerely,

Felipe Messina

p.s.
Below are the bylaws as they relate to Local Election Supervisors as well as the text of the slanderous and fallacious e-mail sent by the interim Program Director of KPFA:

"B. LOCAL ELECTION SUPERVISORS
In preparation for an election of Delegates, the National Elections Supervisor shall appoint, subject to approval of the Executive Director, a local election supervisor for each Foundation radio station area. A local elections supervisor may not be an employee of the Foundation or any Foundation radio station or a Delegate, Officer,
or Director of the Foundation or any LSB, or a radio station staff member, paid or unpaid. The local elections supervisors preferably should be experienced with election procedures and supervision. Under the direction and supervision of the National Elections Supervisor, each local election supervisor shall coordinate the elections of the Delegates for the radio station area to which s/he is assigned to ensure a fair election in compliance with the terms of these Bylaws. His/her duties shall include preparing a nomination petition form for use by all potential nominees, reviewing each potential candidate's nomination papers for eligibility and completeness, overseeing the preparation and distribution of the election ballot, closing the election, and counting and assisting with ballot counting, as requested. To assist him/her in the conduct and oversight of the election, each local elections supervisor may appoint a committee of volunteer Members, all of which volunteer Members the local elections
supervisor must, in good faith and in his/her sole discretion, believe to be neutral individuals. Said committee shall consist of that number of volunteer Members the local elections supervisor deems necessary. The local elections supervisors do not have to be Members of the Foundation. Upon the completion of, and certification of the results for, the elections s/he supervised, each local elections supervisor's term shall end."

(taken from http://www.pacificafoundation.org/pnb/about/pacifica-bylaws/pacifica-bylaws-revised-2003.html ,
accessed 11.13.07)
===

"Hi folks,

I wanted to let you know that a person called Felipe Messina is passing himself off as the assistant Local Elections Supervisor and he is not. He seems to be disturbed. If you have any problems with him, let me or Lemlem know.

Thanks,

[name intentionally omitted]
--
[name intentionally omitted]
Interim Program Director
KPFA Radio
1929 Martin Luther King Jr Way
Berkeley, CA 94705
[phone number intentionally omitted]
[e-mail address intentionally omitted]"

Comments  (Hide Comments)

by creeped out
Friday Dec 21st, 2007 10:52 PM
Are you the one that was stalking JaNay?
by Who's Stalking?
Sunday Dec 23rd, 2007 12:35 PM
"Creeped Out" should know about stalkers at KPFA. They are on the staff and have harassed and physically threatened other staff paid and unpaid. But since they are management flunkies and enforcers these "stalkers" are allowed to run roughshod. When someone who is uanware of the sick machinations at KPFA and discover the morass they are obviously "creeped out" and when Filepe found out about the crap that management and their hacks were putting up to prevent a fair election he went public. This is what got him in trouble and brought the slander of supposedly "stalking" the election supervisor. The same election supervisor has reported that most of her efforts to have a fair election were consistently thwarted by the management and supporters at KFPA and this "creeped out" suppoter was part of this cabal.
The "creeped out" "concerned listener" supporter obviously has different rules for different people.
by SF Green
Sunday Dec 23rd, 2007 9:53 PM
He is an exceptionally gifted writer. I think I met him once. If he is who I think he is, he had an overwhelming exhuberence and belief in the noble mission of KPFA. I was suspicious of him-- because that is not the sort of person associated with KPFA that you often (or ever) meet.

The climate that surrounds KPFA today makes it hard to trust or believe anyone. That is a shame. A station that supposedly stands for Peace and Social Justice should be absolutely transparent in the way it conducts its business.

Obviously, it does not.
by Brendan
Monday Dec 24th, 2007 9:00 AM
i don't know what or whom to believe . The allegations against him didn't just come from KPFA mgmt. but from JaNay Jenkins who has no reason to fabricate anything . That being said at least some of the rumors don't ring true . One was that he told a staff member that he was a ''fugitive ''. I doubt that he said such a thing . Real fugitives don't usually broadcast their status or they don't stay ''at large '' for very long ! He was also labeled ''Homeless'' even though he dresses far cleaner and better than many of the down- dressing hipsters at the station .
I understand that he arrived with a group of young working class Chicanos from Hayward at the last board meeting . They appeared to be friends and political allies of his and they ceded their time to him so he could make a eight minute presentation during public comment. No raving, no threats , the strongest criticism i heard that it was ''too idealistic ' and ''naive ''
i would like to see some sort of independent investigation into all of this . Why ? Not just for Felipe Messina's sake . But i think that if the allegations's aren't true ,that he didn't present any sort of physical danger to anyone , then a young working class Chicano listener from the South Bay was at first encouraged then driven away because he didn't just contribue his labor but also his (unwanted) opinions . That's very contrary to our mission and a big barrier to everyone 's stated desire to diversify, racially, ethnically, and geographically .
Dear Friends of KPFA/Pacifica,

The corruption of the 2007 KPFA LSB Elections and the subsequent lawsuit filed by Brian Edwards-Tiekert and Sherry Gendelman ("Concerned Listeners" supporters) to force certification of those corrupted elections results left many within Pacifica and without sorely at a loss when Nicole Sawaya's return as Pacifica Executive Director apparently came to a grinding halt. Like many others, I was disappointed to find that Nicole Sawaya appears to have resigned from her post as Executive Director. It seemed she might open up some doors and pull back some curtains, allowing some much-needed light to shine on in, back into KPFA and the Pacifica stations.

On Tuesday, November 27, 2007, during her brief return to the spotlight at KPFA and Pacifica, she sat in with C.S. Soong ("Concerned Listener" endorser) to pitch for the Pacifica Radio Archives fund drive. It was very refreshing to hear Sawaya on the KPFA airwaves again. She has always had an ability to convey an engaging populist accessibility through her voice and personality. Sawaya even seemed to have a slightly disarming effect on the perennially uber-cool and staid C.S. Soong---an interesting on-air personality (former "Flashpoints" co-producer, who I've always respected for the intellectual dedication Soong brings to KPFA, despite the confounding "Concerned Listeners" endorsement). So, the suspense was quite palpable for me, listening to Nicole Sawaya on the air again: was she the same Sawaya canonised within the previous 1999-2002 KPFA/Pacifica crisis? Would she still stand with the people, the community, the listeners to have a substantive voice within KPFA/Pacifica governance and decision-making? Or would she be a different Sawaya, a person now disinterested in listener-involvement or direct participatory democratic governance processes at Pacifica stations? During that hour-long noon broadcast (11.27.07), in reference to Pacifica archive material they were discussing during their pitching, Sawaya mischeviously posited: 'hmm? I wonder if I'll be able to claim executive privilege?' [lack of http://www.kpfa.org archive forces me to paraphrase]. This was, at once, a wonderfully exciting and frustrating side comment to hear from the returning Nicole Sawaya. Similarly, her brief return was wonderfully exciting and inspiring (for the sake of listener-involvement and the preservation of the original mission of KPFA/Pacifica) and, yet, equally frustrating due to the brief duration of her 2007 involvement.

Nevertheless, I urge the KPFA community to investigate Nicole Sawaya's apparent resignation thoroughly. This is such a major event which merits more analysis and publicity, as it relates to the expanding corruption at KPFA and Pacifica, one of the last lingering voices of dissent within broadcast media. Unfortunately, the news of Nicole Sawaya's "resignation" has only been reported on Matthew Lasar's ("Concerned Listeners" endorser) website and magnified on the KPFA "Evening News" by Brian Edwards-Tiekert ("Concerned Listeners" supporter) on Monday 12.17.07 as well as further magnified on Friday 12.21.07. Questions of conflict of interest with regard to the only 'reporting' on Nicole Sawaya's apparent 'resignation,' among others, must be addressed. Also, Matthew Lasar's analysis on Nicole Sawaya's "resignation" appears to be terminally biased against listener-involvement in favor of the "Concerned Listeners" ideology Lasar endorses. I have given Lasar's Nicole Sawaya "resignation" report and analysis some consideration and humbly urge friends of KPFA to take a look and please respond with feedback or critique. These thoughts can be found at:

http://www.indybay.org/newsitems/2007/12/14/18466910.php?show_comments=1#comments

In solidarity with protecting the original mission of Pacifica as a grass-roots, free-speech, listener-sponsored radio network for peace and social and economic justice,

Felipe Messina
by Andrea Lewis
Thursday Dec 27th, 2007 1:27 AM

I must reiterate, the actions of the KPFA staff and management seem to constitute an obvious obstruction of fair, ethical, and transparent elections processes, despite the fact that it is solely the LSB Elections Supervisor who is responsible for conducting and supervising the election processes, not the staff or management of KPFA. And, again, I must express that I understand that the defamation of character of said e-mail is carefully worded and qualified. However, it nevertheless inured real harm to my character in the eyes of the KPFA staff and management, resulting in the obstruction of transparency and fairness of the elections processes as well as inhibiting my ability to conduct other community volunteer work responsibilities at, or related to, KPFA, as KPFA is, nevertheless, a hub for community volunteer work. For example, I had just met with (11.10.07), and personally spoken to, Amy Goodman, Medea Benjamin, , Denis Moynihan (Outreach Coordinator for "Democracy Now!" {DN}), Chuck Ulrich (DN Outreach Volunteer), and Andres Conteris (Amy Goodman's personal driver) at the ODC Commons (S.F.) in sincere efforts to communicate and dialogue with figures within and around the KPFA/Pacifica community, so as to gain greater understanding of the most constructive and cooperative pathways toward seeking electoral justice, given the mounting problems and corruption of the 2007 LSB Elections. Although, none at the ODC Commons event (all long-time personal heroes of mine) were able to help




http://www.vidmax.com/index.php/videos/view/4662
by reader
Tuesday Jan 1st, 2008 5:55 PM
>>The climate that surrounds KPFA today makes it hard to trust or believe anyone. That is a shame.

It's not just a shame, it's either people who are making a power grab, have mental issues, or it's infiltration. Either way it needs to be treated like an illness and dealt with, not just saying 'too bad.'