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KPFA Alert: Corrupted 2007 KPFA LSB Elections Must Be Nullified. <01.06.08>
by Felipe Messina ( messinamorrissey [at] gmail.com )
Sunday Jan 6th, 2008 9:07 PM
According to the http://www.kpfa.org website, the "next Public KPFA LSB meeting will be held on Saturday, January 12th, 2008, starting at 11AM, at Cafe De La Paz - 1600 Shattuck in Berkeley." Everyone interested in progressive discourse in the media and, especially, on the airwaves of Northern California is strongly urged to attend and voice your content or discontent with the current state of KPFA as a voice of the silenced, for people of colour, for voices of dissent, as a voice for activists, for the working poor, for the marginalised.
Sunday, January 6, 2008


Dear Friends of KPFA/Pacifica,

According to the http://www.kpfa.org website, the "next Public KPFA LSB meeting will be held on Saturday, January 12th, 2008, starting at 11AM, at Cafe De La Paz - 1600 Shattuck in Berkeley." I strongly urge everyone interested in progressive discourse in the media and, especially, on the airwaves of Northern California to please attend and voice your content or discontent with the current state of KPFA as a voice of the silenced, for people of colour, for voices of dissent, as a voice for activists, for the working poor, for the marginalised.

Given all of the recent and significant events, from banning of the Labor Collective at KPFA (see http://www.indybay.org/newsitems/2006/09/09/18307339.php ), to union-busting at KPFA (decertification of the Unpaid Staff Organization), to the apparent behind-closed-doors deliberation with regard to hiring embattled interim General Manager Lemlem Rijio (apparent "Concerned Listeners" accomplice, see http://www.indybay.org/newsitems/2007/11/19/18462193.php) as new Permanent General Manager of KPFA, to the corrupted KPFA LSB Elections of 2007, there is much to be considered, voiced, discussed, and debated. At the last KPFA LSB meeting (12.15.07), the politically dominant section of the Board representing the new power elite at KPFA, "Concerned Listeners," attempted to seat the new LSB members (the majority of which shall represent the so-called "Concerned Listeners"), despite the fact that the 2007 KPFA LSB Elections had not yet been certified. Please urge all of your friends and family members who are interested in peace and social justice to attend this critical meeting.

Some of you may recall, as I noted previously, that I was invited to a discussion regarding the events surrounding the 2007 KPFA LSB Elections produced for tv broadcast on Comcast Channel 29. Thank you all for the enlightening discussion on Thursday evening (11.03.08). Among other things, I learned much about important labour issues with regard to KPFA/Pacifica. I hope we have more collective discussions in the future, as I know we all have much to learn from one another. If anyone has any suggestions about how we may organise public forums on the current corruption at KPFA/Pacifica, please contact me at your convenience. I, for one, maintain a commitment to engage other like-minded individuals and groups interested in listener empowerment and collective, participatory democratic governance of KPFA as a means to insuring KPFA stays true to its original and historically progressive mission of promoting voices of dissent, activism, labour/worker rights, people of colour, and other voices not heard in the mainstream.

Aside from my gratitude, I wish to express my enduring understanding of one thing: the paramount importance of legal redress for the corruption of the 2007 KPFA Local Station Board (LSB) Elections. I will never stand for, or acknowledge as legitimate, the current LSB as is, given the corrupted means by which we have arrived at this January 2007 proposed body of officers, nor any subsequent actions, motions, or amendments thereof.

However, I'm not one in favour of acting secretly, selfishly, nor recklessly. Yet, the smear campaign leveled against me has, unfortunately, given cause for many would-be allies in the struggle toward preserving and improving democratisation of KPFA/Pacifica governance to isolate me and avoid questioning me or uncovering the truth for themselves. This political isolation has created a perception among potential allies that I may have acted recklessly in my struggle for truth, transparency, and democracy at KPFA/Pacifica. Yet, I maintain, I've always sought dialogue and counsel, especially from the more experienced. Let us urge all of those varied and experienced friends of KPFA/Pacifica to come forward with consideration for the questions precipitated by the current crisis at KPFA/Pacifica.

For purposes of these specific questions, I wish to emphasise defining 'corruption' (within the context of the current entrenched management/staff power structure of corrupted individuals within KPFA/Pacifica) as being opposition to accountability, a fair and transparent participatory democratic governance structure, and ever-greater listener involvement and empowerment.

In the hopes of avoiding misunderstanding, I shall endeavor toward clarity:

1. Do we all agree that the 2007 KPFA LSB Elections were corrupted? If so, do we all agree that they must not be allowed to stand (as is)?

2. As it is my understanding that power is required for redress or accountability for the corruption of the 2007 KPFA LSB Elections, and as the ones responsible for the corruption (KPFA/Pacifica directors, officers, management, staff) have proven wholly unwilling or unable to use their power in the interest of redress or accountability for said corruption, do we all agree that utilising power through legal means must be the primary vehicle for seeking any redress or accountability for the corruption of the 2007 KPFA LSB Elections?

[Of course, I understand the need and importance of educating the listeners and general public about this corruption. Yet, I feel all mass protest and/or mobilisation in the interest of upholding participatory democratic governance at KPFA/Pacifica is futile without backing up those efforts through harnessing power through legal means to support this cause and achieve substantive accountability.]

3. The primary argument which I have heard in opposition to litigation as a solution toward redress for the corruption of the 2007 KPFA LSB Elections is that it might bankrupt KPFA or Pacifica. Would bankruptcy of KPFA or Pacifica due to litigation (beyond other current pending litigation) be an inevitability if the parties sued were the individuals apparently responsible for this corruption ("Concerned Listeners," Dan Siegel, Larry Bensky, Sherry Gendelman, Sasha Lilley, Lemlem Rijio, Warren Marr, Matthew Hallinan, Susan McDonough, John Van Eyck, et al.) rather than KPFA or Pacifica?

[Also, it is my understanding that through a much needed Temporary Restraining Order, the Court is asked to stop the Elections process to 'straighten things out based on violations of law, Bylaws or principles of equity etc.' Certainly, there have been more than sufficient 'violations of law, Bylaws or principles of equity, etc.' to warrant legal action.]

4. Another argument which I have heard in opposition to litigation as a solution toward redress for the corruption of the 2007 KPFA LSB Elections encapsulates a questionable defeatist or corrupt attitude. Two examples come from interestingly similar perspectives (see http://radiopoetics.org/blog/1), one from Tracy Rosenberg ("I-Team" slate), the other from Matthew Hallinan ("Concerned Listeners" slate). I understand Elections processes can be expensive and also understand redoing Elections can be frustrating as well, but shouldn't the individuals responsible for corrupting the Elections processes be held accountable and made to pay (legally, financially, and otherwise) rather than the public (i.e. the public trust that is KPFA/Pacifica)?

[Moreover, what is more frustrating than being forced to recognise leaders (s)elected through corrupt means? Consider the last illegitimate eight years of the Bush dynasty.]

5. Although, full legal redress for the corruption of the 2007 KPFA LSB Elections is ideal (as has been voiced by others at the previous KPFA LSB meeting {12.15.07}), including immediate emergency amendment to the Pacifica Bylaws in the interest of facilitating greater accountability and preventing future circumscription of participatory democracy at KPFA/Pacifica, shouldn't we at least seek to avoid further damages by the same individuals who have corrupted these Elections through some sort of court injunction or temporary restraining order? [This is basic, according to an article by Richard Phelps published on IndyBay at
http://www.indybay.org/newsitems/2007/12/23/18468602.php?show_comments=1#18469470.]

6. In other words: given the gravity of the newly proposed KPFA LSB being quite possibly the most corrupt KPFA LSB to date*, shouldn't we, at the very least, be seeking a Temporary Restraining Order against any further imminent actions by said corrupt individuals?

[*Previously there was < apparently only> Wellstone Democratic Renewal Club (WDRC) influence within the KPFA LSB and KPFA radio station. Next, there were WDRC/"Concerned Listeners" seated on the KPFA LSB. Now, virtually the entire KPFA LSB will be comprised of WDRC/"Concerned Listeners," including, apparently, the founder of the WDRC, Matthew Hallinan. This seems to be a long and carefully planned consolidation of power. Please correct me if I'm wrong (with facts, sources, and citations, please--rather than hyperbole or hearsay). Why should any one political group, Democrats no less (long-known non-radical, anti-grass-roots, war-profiteering politicians of the elites), be allowed to consolidate such total control over KPFA/Pacifica? We must not stand for any one political party dominating KPFA/Pacifica, especially not one of the ruling class political parties.]

Given all of this increasing evidence of corruption, we must never stand for, or acknowledge as legitimate, the current KPFA LSB as is, given the corrupted means by which we have arrived at this proposed body of officers, nor any subsequent actions, motions, or amendments thereof.

Let us consider a perspective recently published by Bob English (2007 KPFA LSB Candidate) offering historical perspective on power consolidation at KPFA and an analysis on the lacking checks and balances on such consolidation of power: "So from our KPFA viewpoint, the 'main forces who brought in democracy,' didn't all uniformly sell out democracy for power but instead have moved in different directions and positions: yes, some sold out, while others gave up and moved on in heartbreak and disgust, and some of us are still hanging in there fighting for democracy and listener empowerment. That story is still being written and told (but rarely and only partly...) (quoted from Fulcrumsofchange Digest, Vol 8, Issue 4, 01.04.08)."

That story is still being written and told. Let us speak the truth as we write this story through our commitment to justice and true participatory democracy. And let us help engage one another so that we the people, the listeners, may soon be able to tell a true story of victory rather than one of regret.

In solidarity for truth, democracy, peace and social & economic justice,

Felipe Messina

postscript:
For those interested in transparency and/or contacting former KPFA General Manager and erstwhile 2007 Pacifica Executive Director Nicole Sawaya, contact information may be found here (although it may be obsolete by now; if anyone can provide a means of communication with Sawaya, a crucial missing link to understanding much of the current crisis at KPFA/Pacifica, please come forward):

New KPFA General Manager? Audio Linked by Virginia Browning (Monday Nov 19th, 2007 2:17 PM )
http://www.indybay.org/newsitems/2007/11/19/18462193.php