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Layoffs imminent at KPFA: vote YES on KPFA recall to stop the next purge
by SaveKPFA
Sunday Jul 1st, 2012 11:03 AM
This is a message from Brian Edwards-Tiekert, who hosts UpFront on KPFA: If you’re a KPFA member, you should have just received what may be the most important KPFA ballot you ever get. It asks whether or not to recall Pacifica Treasurer Tracy Rosenberg. At stake is whether KPFA survives as we know it. That’s why I’m urging you to vote “yes” on the recall.
Hi everyone,

If you’re a KPFA member, you should have just received what may be the most important KPFA ballot you ever get. It asks whether or not to recall Pacifica Treasurer Tracy Rosenberg. At stake is whether KPFA survives as we know it. That’s why I’m urging you to vote “yes” on the recall.

SEE RECALL ENDORSERS: http://www.savekpfa.org/kpfa-listeners-look-for-your-recall-ballot-then-vote-yes

Some background: Rosenberg was the chief architect of a political purge that killed KPFA’s biggest fundraiser—The Morning Show. That purge was a watershed: it was the first time the factionalism of KPFA’s board (where I served as a worker-elected representative) penetrated the station’s day-to-day operations (where I worked as a program host). Rosenberg and Pacifica used a real financial crisis as a pretext to fire their political enemies, throw us off the air, and replace us with their own supporters.

That move cost KPFA tens of thousands of listeners, and hundreds of thousands of pledge dollars. It also violated the station’s union contract – which is why Pacifica had to reverse most of the layoffs (including my own) it made in that purge.

Inside KPFA, we’ve been slowly re-building. Thanks to heroic fundraising efforts, excruciatingly long fund drives, and a windfall estate gift, we’ve managed to keep the station solvent — KPFA’s April financial statements show us almost exactly on-budget (within 0.75% of budget goals), which means we’re on track to finish the year with an operating surplus of over $150,000.

We’re moving forward: in late May, KPFA launched UpFront — a program I co-host at 7:AM. We launched on three days’ notice, with no publicity, in the final week of a fund drive. But in that first week, we still became the station’s top fundraiser, clocking $40,000 raised in the seven days we were on the air. If we can keep it up, KPFA can start shortening its fund drives and try to win back some of the listeners who’ve left.

Unfortunately, we’re poised to lose it all.

Yesterday, Pacifica Executive Director Arlene Engelhardt sent a letter to KPFA’s union (and copied to Tracy Rosenberg), giving formal notice that there will be a new round of layoffs in 30 days. As long as Engelhardt is in charge of Pacifica, and taking her cues from Rosenberg, any such cuts will come in the form of another political purge. I doubt KPFA’s ability to recover from this one.

But if Tracy Rosenberg is recalled, it will send a strong message about what KPFA’s listeners will and will not stand for – it may back Pacifica off from making these unnecessary cuts, or at least from making them into a political purge. Most importantly, recalling and replacing Tracy Rosenberg should tip the balance on the Pacifica National Board, and lead to the swift departure of Pacifica’s Executive Director, Arlene Engelhardt–the most aggressively anti-union manager I’ve seen in my nine years at KPFA.

They are killing our network. The Rosenberg/Engelhardt regime has racked up massive bills from $400- to $500-per-hour law firms that Pacifica’s used to fight its unions, its dissident board members, and the organizers of this recall election. Meanwhile, Pacifica’s been routinely shorting paychecks for union members at KPFA, and fallen so far behind on payments to Free Speech Radio News that the program may cease broadcasting within a month. (And yet, somehow, Pacifica’s board majority has found tens of thousands of dollars with which to fly 22 board members from across the country to a four-day meeting in a Hotel in Berkeley next month.)

The best defense Rosenberg’s supporters have mustered is a tepid appeal to “stop the infighting”. But Rosenberg is actually one of the worst purveyors of infighting — she just happens to be doing it from a position of power, from which infighting comes in the form of politically-targeted layoffs and program changes.

Help get out the vote. KPFA elections have low turnout, and tend to be decided by relatively small margins—which is why your actions are so important. Please:

Pass this email on to people you know who might be KPFA members.

Go to the website http://www.savekpfa.org to learn more about the recall campaign.

Most importantly, return your ballot now so you don’t forget.

In solidarity,

Brian Edwards-Tiekert
Co-Host, “UpFront”, KPFA 94.1 FM
Former staff representative (2004-2010), KPFA Local Station Board

by A Friend
Sunday Jul 1st, 2012 2:14 PM
A long-timers response on receipt of this tortured missive:

"What a bunch of total BS! Some on the verge of libel"


by Roger
Sunday Jul 1st, 2012 2:43 PM
If KPFA again needs to lay off staff, gee, could part of the reason be a boycott by "board members" supposedly working to safeguard the network but in fact working to bring it down? http://www.stopthekpfarecall.org . many good articles also at http://danielborgstrom.com

Here's the text of an excellent flyer I was recently handed:
Bringing Peace to KPFA-Pacifica

[Don’t Shoot the Messenger – Vote NO on the Recall!]
Current situation
As long-time observers know, there never seems to be peace at KPFA-Pacifica.

In 2001 Pacifica Radio had new organizational bylaws which called for democratic governance by the listeners and staff, both paid and unpaid. Immediately, a divide formed between those embracing the new bylaws and those that were wary of them. The current conflict is a continuation of this divide.

It is important to note that KPFA relies on a large number of unpaid staff; 75% of the programming is done by the unpaid staff. At KPFA there simply is not enough money to pay all of those who contribute to the station.

Between 2000 and 2005, KPFA saw large increases in listener support, from $2.2M to $4.0M, and management allowed salaries and benefits to increase from $1.0M to $2.4M, plowing the new revenue into on-going salary expenses and little into equipment or technology upgrades.

Between 2005 and 2010, listener support declined, from $4.0M to $2.9M, but corresponding cuts in salaries and benefits were not made. KPFA was the only station within the Pacifica network not to make any cuts during the economic downturn that began in the fall of 2008.

By the end of fiscal year 2010, KPFA was $587K in the red for the 2nd consecutive year, so the Pacifica National Office stepped in to make the cuts to prevent insolvency. As soon as the cuts were made, the KPFA’s CWA bargaining unit and much of the long-term staff jumped in and made the following allegations:

1. Pacifica was usurping local control and engaged in union busting.
2. The layoffs did not follow union seniority rules.

Even though the NLRB and the union's own arbiters rejected the claims made by the union, many people still believed and supported the allegations. There seem to be two reasons for the confusion:

1. Many labor supporters will always be in solidarity with a union in a dispute with management, right or wrong.
2. Many listeners trust familiar personalities, even though broadcasting is a very different skill than nonprofit management and governance.

The union has portrayed the conflict as a traditional management–labor conflict; but Pacifica finances are very different from traditional corporations.

In fact, the finances of the network and the stations are very simple and straightforward. Revenues come mainly from listener support with the rest from grants like the CPB. Expenses are mainly salaries-benefits with the rest being fixed expenses. Pacifica intervened only to bring salary and benefit expenses in line with the current level of listener support.

The Underlying Problem

In the case of profit making corporations the role of the union is clear - it is to represent the interests of the workers in seeking a fair share of the profits. It is less clear when there are no profits being sought or made. Pacifica, a non-profit organization, says in its mission: “Foundation organized and operated exclusively for educational purpose no part of net earnings of which inures to the benefit of any member of the Foundation”.

One major area of friction is programming. A union looking after the financial security of its bargaining unit members may like to have programming that will appeal to a more affluent, if progressive audience. But many would define the mission of Pacifica to be also a voice of the voiceless.

Another area of friction is the working relationship between the paid and the unpaid staff. Until 1996 both were represented by one union; however, since 1996 unpaid staff has not been represented by a union, so there is always an uneasy working relationship between the paid and the unpaid staff.

These tensions were exacerbated by the 2001 bylaws which gave listeners a voice in the governance of the station.

Democratically run Program Council that includes listeners is also a contentious issue. It is understandable why some paid and unpaid programmers with established shows as well as people who want the station to be the voice of middle and upper-class progressives would be wary of a democratic Program Council.

Possible Solutions

So what to do with these conflicting needs and interests? How does the union look after the financial security of its members in an organization whose mission basically shun money-making endeavors?

The primary task of the station should be to fulfill the mission of Pacifica. Then management and the union should carefully work out a program staffing level, above the core technical and administrative staff, that can be sustained over the economic up and downs, and avoid the temptation to add people during economic boom times. With a stable staffing level, the paid and unpaid staff can work together to fulfill the mission of Pacifica.

Pacifica holds the unique position of giving a platform to the powerless and voiceless, as did the union movement at one time, and while the notion of workers rights resonates to all within the progressive community it must be remembered that it is to respect and honor ALL labor, not only paid, union labor.

Bringing Peace to KPFA-Pacifica

Current campaign to recall Tracy Rosenberg from the KPFA’s Local Station Board, the main accusation being that she destroyed the ‘Morning Show’, is a continuation of the ongoing divide.

The problem was not caused by the Pacifica National Office, or by Tracy Rosenberg, but was caused by KPFA adding way too many people to the payroll during the boom time of 2000-2005.

As the KPFA Rep to the Pacifica Finance Committee, Tracy saw that KPFA was headed for insolvency in late 2010 and helped alert Pacifica’s national board and management to the danger. What she did do was to help save KPFA and the Pacifica network.

It is time for all the staff, paid and unpaid, and all listeners to embrace the democratic victory that was won for all of us by Carol Spooner and the original SaveKPFA in 1999. KPFA was not sold out from under us, and thanks to Ms. Spooner, it never will be. But it is more than time for Pacifica to really mean “peace”.

For more information visit: http://www.stopthekpfarecall.org , http://www.supportkpfa.org

by listener
Sunday Jul 1st, 2012 5:55 PM
here's the real story on the supposed "Republican" lawyer:

by Stop the Government anti-KPFA Recall
Sunday Jul 1st, 2012 7:48 PM
The lawsuit is Alameda Superior Court Action No. RG1054912, filed December 1, 2010, Tiekert, Jeserich & Sawyer v Pacifica at
The Docket is at
Alameda County allows for all documents to be downloaded, unlike most of the 58 California counties. Go to the TIFF column on the right to print whatever document you want.
You will see at
that the dismissal was without prejudice, which means the action could be done again against Pacifica, costing us more money.
Here is the information on Harmeet Dhillon:
SF Chronicle, 4/24/11 at
Her husband is Sarv Randhawa, former KPFA LSB board member and Republican Party contributor who thwarted the resolution temporarily in support of the labor strike at Berkeley Honda in 2006. See

by Richard Phelps, former Chair KPFA LSB
Sunday Jul 1st, 2012 8:12 PM
Brian Edwards-Tiekert is the Karl Rove of the psuedo-progressive "Save KPFA" sectarian group.

As you can see from the e-mail below layoffs were needed as early as 2005 and Tiekert's faction was running the station and putting their groups jobs before the financial stability of KPFA/Pacifica. When they used up all the surplus and layoffs were necessary they reverted back to Brian's tactic:

"how do we make our enemies own the problems that are to come?"

Then came the manufactured union busting charges and all the nasty rhetoric trying to blame the problems on their "enemies" that came from their selfish using up of the KPFA surplus. The result multiple complaints filed with the NLRB and all denied, most on a first review. The cost to KPFA/Pacifica to defend against the false charges, $80,000.00+. How does this "Save KPFA"?

Evidence to support Save KPFA not being true union supporters but just opportunists:

On an LSB Motion to require the budget would be implemneted in line with the UNION CONTRACT each and every SaveKPFA LSB member voted NO!! Why would they do this? They had been use to controling the hiring and firing at the station and knew that if layoffs were going to be governed by the CONTRACT they would not be able to manipulate the process and protect their loyal followers.

So if you believe anything Brian E-T Rove has to say there are several bridges in the Bay Area I will gladly sell you on easy monthly payment terms.

The e-mail below was found at the station in September 2005. It has been acknowledged as real by the author. I have contacted in person or by e-mail everyone but one on that strategy group to ask them if they were just recipients of an e-mail that discussed “dismantling the LSB” and other interesting topics or were they active participants and none of them have denied active involvement.

This e-mail was sent shortly after the LSB voted down a staff motion to fire the GM for sexual harassment. It was voted down 15-5. Four of the five votes for it were in this e-mail group. There was NO evidence of sexual harassment found after two separate investigations. It was an attempt to fire an African-American GM who wouldn’t toe their line and had stated that he was going to move Democracy Now! to prime time at 7 a.m. Their pushing for this unjust firing caused them to lose the majority on the LSB, thus their need for a strategic retreat. This e-mail gives one a view of what these folks really believe in! Sort of like a Pentagon Paper. Richard Phelps, former Chair KPFA LSB.

From:"Brian Edwards-Tiekert"
Yahoo! DomainKeys has confirmed that this message was sent by gmail.com. Learn more
To:"Lemlem Tekle" , "Bonnie Simmons" ,
LisaRothman [at] kpfa.org
CC:"Sasha Lilley" , "Lemlem Tekle" ,
mawu_mama37 [at] yahoo.com, "Amelia Gonzalez-Garcia" , Rain
Geesler" , "Sherry Gendelman" , "Gary
Subject:Re: budget
Date:Thu, 1 Sep 2005 20:58:28 -0700

I'm up for coffee Saturday—Lisa and I can still meet Tuesday afternoon. Also, we need a general strategy session. How about Tuesday night?

Issues include:

How should we be handling the expiration of the union contract—is a strike in order, or is it a really terrible idea?

>>>>What's the best way to deal with these layoffs? <<<<

Coming up with, and presenting, an alternative budget.

Getting the Roy issue to the national board.

>>>>Propping up staff morale. <<<<

>>>>Strategic retreat on the LSB—how do we make our enemies own the problems that are to come? Alternatively, should we be recalling LSB members/dismantling the LSB? <<<< (arrows added.)

Dealing with the grievances underway.

Building community support—formation of a labor-community coalition.

Brian Edwards-Tiekert
Staff Representative, Local Station Board
1929 Martin Luther King Jr. Way
Berkeley CA 94704

Notice Brian's great concern for the staff: "Propping up staff morale."

What people say when they think the people they are trying to fool aren't listneing shows you the true politics and moral character or lack thereof of the author and his allies.

by real kpfa worker
Monday Jul 2nd, 2012 1:50 PM
by Sad Listener
Monday Jul 2nd, 2012 2:04 PM
His post above gets right to the SaveKPFA BS and exposes their lies based on the crap they have done and reminds us who the real Brian Edwards-Tiekert is.
by oh well
Monday Jul 2nd, 2012 2:05 PM
Under the spell of the fabulous fabulist?
by Research Assistant
Monday Jul 2nd, 2012 3:00 PM
The epidemiology of advanced parliamentarianism at KPFA--a year-long empirical study in causes and possible treatments


by Mara
Saturday Jul 14th, 2012 5:30 PM
No way will avoiding these layoffs save KPFA and Pacifica.
They are on the verge of bankruptcy, which will result in the loss of this only progressive network of 5 stations and 160+ affiliates in the US.
No one wants these jobs to be lost but they will be along with all the others if the cuts are not made, along with the network including Free Speech Radio News, the Archives, etc.
Do we want to see our network taken over by Clear Channel & Christian radio?
Apparently this faction hopes to gain something from this.

"Save"KPFA"/KPFA"worker" faction have drained our resources by spending down 1 1/2 million dollars from KPFA, formerly the most solvent of the stations.
Brian was Treasurer during most of this period of overspent budgets.

They helped prevent the PNB from controlling the losses at WBAI, and are complaining now that Pacifica is doing its fiduciary duty trying to safeguard its network. They are the ones bringing lawsuit after lawsuit causing Pacifica to hire lawyers to fight these lawsuits, spending money we can't afford, and creating an expensive recall.
And instead of smearing those who stepped up to produce a Morning Mix, when paid staff were told not to take over the show and community people not to be interviewed on it, they could have cooperated with this necessary cost cutting measure, and assisted with it and promoted it.

We need to work together, not battle reality!

Now they are threatening more useless destructive lawsuits.

Vote down this vicious recall.
If you can't figure this out, don't vote for by abstaining.
Vote No!

For more information: