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Banning dissent at Pacifica?
by longtime listener
Sunday Dec 9th, 2012 3:53 PM
Before votes in KPFA’s local board election are even counted, Tracy Rosenberg and her allies at the national level continue to do damage to Pacifica’s structure and mission. Earlier this week, Pacifica’s governance committee, which is dominated by Rosenberg and her allies, passed a measure that would, if adopted by the Pacifica National Board, prohibit those who dissent from Rosenberg’s agenda from serving on local or national boards.
“The resolution banning those deemed ‘disloyal’ which was presented to the committee by Tracy is pure McCarthy era,” notes Sasha Futran, KPFA’s Local Station Board vice chair. “The appeal process is a sham, as any appeals would go to the very people who took after them for political reasons in the first place. This is the kind of divisiveness that is tearing Pacifica apart. Tracy has a big hand, perhaps the biggest, in that process,” added Futran, who was a member of Rosenberg’s slate at one time, before leaving it to join SaveKPFA.

The measure is aimed squarely at 4 SaveKPFA members — Margy Wilkinson, Dan Siegel, Mal Burnstein and Conn Hallinan — for their role in collecting over $60,000 in pledges to restore the KPFA Morning Show and rehire its laid off co-hosts back in 2010-2011. They raised only pledges of support, not actual money. Nevertheless, the “Morning Show 4″ were slapped with a lawsuit by Rosenberg allies Richard Phelps and Daniel Borgstrom, who allege such fundraising activity was “disloyal” to Pacifica. Phelps and Borgstrom are demanding these four listeners pay Pacifica “damages” of $800,000.

The proposal from Pacifica’s governance committee would ban anyone whose actions have been declared by a court of law to be breaches of “loyalty,” “fiduciary duty,” or “duty of care” from holding any office in Pacifica. Rosenberg has been publicly predicting victory in the Morning Show 4 case, and it’s transparent her intent is to get rid of her political opponents.

“Do you have any conscience?” wrote one KFPA listener to Rosenberg recently when the lawsuit came up for public discussion recently. “You’re supporting a horrendous attack on 4 KPFA listeners who were simply trying, like generations before them, to support KPFA in a time of crisis.”

Rosenberg’s allies have been issuing gag rules against KPFA’s unpaid and paid staff; now they are going after listeners too. “Banning people, gag rules, anti-union law firms eating up the station’s cash — where have we heard this before?” asked KPFA listener Alison Davis. “In 1999, the last time the network was taken over.”

IT’S TIME TO SPEAK UP! Please take a minute to send an email to Pacifica’s boardmembers demanding they reject this “loyalty” measure when it comes up for a vote this week at http://www.savekpfa.org/what-you-can-do/stop-the-witch-hunt

This is about KPFA’s foundational principles of free speech and political dissent. “If a measure like this actually ends up being adopted, Pacifica’s founder Lew Hill would not even recognize the radio network he created,” added Futran.

KPFA’s Tracy Rosenberg circulated the “disloyalty” measure, which was written by WBAI delegates Kathy Davis and Alex Steinberg and KPFT delegate Bill Crosier.



Here's of the many responses to Pacifica's latest scandal. From KPFA listener Lanya Ellis, a listener for two decades:

"Dear Pacifica board members: First Jackson Lewis, now this. What's is going on there at 'progressive' Pacifica?

"The loyalty measure that came out of your governance committee doesn’t do a single thing to fix the many serious problems facing our network. Instead it makes Pacifica and KFPA the laughingstock of the progressive world. I hope some of you understand what loyalty oaths are and their history in quashing dissent and conservative witch hunts. If not, look up Joe McCarthy and do your homework.

"In the nonprofit world, 'duty of loyalty' is simple and direct. It becomes much more complicated when you have partisans outside the organization suing other listeners for $800,000, using such terms in a situation in which they DO NOT apply. Those SaveKPFA listeners being sued did their best to support KPFA, and did not undercut the network in any way -- in fact, they helped it, by giving listeners hope that Pacifica would listen to them and accept their pledges, and rehire laid off workers. No funds were raised, only pledges to support the radio station - as has been the practice here at KPFA for generations. That Pacifica's management at the time rejected them was one of the most idiotic mistakes of the last 2 years.

"The lawsuit that Mr. Borgstrom and Phelps have filed is a ridiculous and inexcusable attack against caring KPFA listeners and donors. If it is not soon withdrawn, the blowback to Pacifica is going to be very bad. If you pass this 'loyalty' resolution, you'll be -- de facto -- supporting the that lawsuit against these 4 listeners, each of whom are beloved in the bay area. (Yes, I said 'beloved.' They are union and political organizers, writers, journalism professors, in addition to being Pacifica listeners. They are people with excellent standing to represent KPFA listeners. This is opposed to Ms. Rosenberg, who is widely reviled in the bay area progressive movement.) If you do pass this resolution, you are taking sides against a very mobilized community of KPFA listeners. It will be your undoing.

"Worse, I fear it will be Pacifica's undoing. Get back to what you were elected to do: raise funds, solve technical problems and manage the network in a fair, professional and non-partisan way for the entire left and progressive community. If you can't do that, step down immediately!"

ADD YOUR VOICE: http://www.savekpfa.org/banning-dissent-at-pacifica
by Stop Hate Pacifica Gang
Sunday Dec 9th, 2012 10:52 PM
The truth about this resolution is described at
http://www.indybay.org/newsitems/2012/12/09/18727617.php

Here is the description of the lawsuit against the 4 disloyal Local Station Board members at
http://www.indybay.org/newsitems/2012/09/07/18721146.php
You will see that the Court of Appeal agreed with the superior court that Daniel Borgstrom, the plaintiff in the superior court action, was correct in his complaint and now these 4 Horsemen of the Apocalypse aka government operation to destroy Pacifica, have to either settle or go to trial. Obviously, their competing fundraising activities while members of the Local Station Board is in violation of the California Corporations Code and an Alameda County jury would have to agree and issue a judgment in favor of plaintiff Borgstrom. Otherwise the judge will have to issue a judgment not withstanding the verdict as these 4 clearly violated the law. So, now we come to the settlement offer of $800,000, a pittance to millionaire Hallinan. Considering the hundreds of thousands of dollars deliberately drained from Pacifica by this gang and in all the pain and suffering this government operation of which the 4 defendants are proud leaders has caused Pacifica, this is a paltry sum.

The one thing we have all learned from both the despicable recall attempt of our beloved Tracy Rosenberg and from this year's Local Station Board election is the profound criminality of the Hate Pacifica Gang's government operation. There is nothing progressive about any of them, and we know the history of all of them very well. The most outrageous history of all of them is their promotion of the reactionary Democratic Party, and some of them have done that while claiming to be communists, and in their current role as destroyers of Pacifica, they have also promoted the Republican Party law firm, Dhillon & Smith, to sue Pacifica, with plaintiffs being Brian Edwards Tiekert, Mitch Jeserich and Lewis Sawyer. In addition to the endless lies and draining Pacifica of funds, we also know that their leading light is Larry Bensky, found as an endorser on all their slate cards and websites. He is a former KPFA programmer and former editor of the CIA's Paris Review. Here is more on the leading light of Margy Wilkinson, Dan Siegel, Mal Burnstein and Conn Hallinan and their misnamed phony organization, "SaveKPFA:"

1. His attacks to callers on air:
http://www.indybay.org/newsitems/2010/09/25/18659813.php

2. Supporters of Pat Scott Gang and union busters American Consulting:
http://www.indybay.org/newsitems/2010/09/21/18659436.php

3. More horrors of supporting Concerned Listeners gang:
http://www.indybay.org/newsitems/2009/10/22/18626386.php
http://www.indybay.org/newsitems/2008/01/15/18472757.php
http://www.indybay.org/newsitems/2006/10/29/18324348.php

4. His opposition to Peace & Freedom and Green Parties:
http://www.indybay.org/newsitems/2008/04/27/18495315.php

5. His use of name lists in violation of Pacifica election rules:
http://www.indybay.org/newsitems/2007/11/21/18462672.php

6. His opposition to the 9/11 Truth Movement
http://www.indybay.org/newsitems/2007/11/10/18459899.php
http://www.indybay.org/newsitems/2006/09/15/18311830.php

7. His anti-labor outlook on labor programming:
http://www.indybay.org/newsitems/2006/04/14/18154241.php

8. His contempt for free speech:
http://www.indybay.org/newsitems/2004/11/13/17051361.php

9. His attack on William Blum's book exposing the CIA and a reminder that Bensky was editor of the CIA front, the Paris Review, at
http://www.indybay.org/newsitems/2005/06/27/17498851.php

10. His ridicule of the fact of history that Nazis influenced the anti-Communist witchhunts of the 1940s-1950s as of course they were first and foremost anti-communist:
http://www.indybay.org/newsitems/2004/04/05/16762211.php
by Wanting to know
Monday Dec 10th, 2012 10:26 PM
I would like to hear SaveKPFA's side of this:

http://www.indybay.org/newsitems/2012/11/16/18725840.php

by Okay?
Sunday Dec 16th, 2012 6:07 PM
Here it is, SaveKPFA was asked, and SaveKPFA replied

http://www.indybay.org/newsitems/2012/12/16/18728245.php
by Save KPFA
Monday Dec 17th, 2012 1:58 AM
"I move that Daniel Borgström be prohibited from addressing this KPFA Local Station Board for the next year."

Huh? I sensed a huge collective gasp from the entire room. This was truly a groundbreaking first. During all the seven years I've been attending KPFA's board meetings, I'd never before heard a motion to ban anyone from Public Comments"

And they say it's the other side that wants to ban dissent.

Yeah right.
by Richard Phelps, former Chair KPFA LSB
Monday Dec 17th, 2012 4:33 PM
It is long standing law across the nation that elected members of corporate governance CAN NOT compete with the corporation, in this case Pacifica. It is also part of the Pacifica Bylaws:

Article Seven, Local Station Boards, Section 3: Specific Powers and Duties

Each LSB, acting as a standing committee of the Foundation's Board of Directors, shall have the following powers, duties and responsibilities related to its specific radio station, under the direction and supervision of the Foundation's Board of Directors:

M. To exercise all of its powers and duties with care, "loyalty", diligence and sound business judgment consistent with the manner in which those terms are generally defined under applicable California law. (Emphasis added.)

During a regular KPFA fund drive and after, SaveKPFA asked listeners to pledge to support SaveKPFA's desire to bring back the Morning Show. In their pitch posted on their web site they ended it by saying that "If Pacifica does the right thing" the pledges would be handed over. This was NOT unconditional fund raising for KPFA. This was competing with KPFA, putting SaveKPFA's goals first. That is fine for anybody except people that ran for election and were elected to seats in KPFA/Pacifica governance. And in typical sectarian manner SaveKPFA tries to cover their wrongful conduct by screaming we are "banning dissent".

By the way, during oral argument at the Court of Appeals, one of the Justices asked SaveKPFA's lawyer something to the affect of " Shouldn't your clients have resigned from governance if they wanted to do this campaign?"

For the record, Tracy Rosenberg had nothing to do with the lawsuit, and I think she supports it. The recall was just another tactic to win control as the quote below shows.

This is Brian Edwards-Tiekert's/SaveKPFA's philosophy, laid out by him in an email to his colleagues in collusion, working to control the station. BET said in 2005:

"...how do we make our enemies own the problems that are to come?" Alternatively, should we be "recalling LSB members/dismantling the LSB?" (Emphasis added.)

Long before Tracy Rosenberg was on the LSB, BET was discussing with his allies , RECALLING LSB members as a tactic, with no mention of good cause.

And of course when they cause a problem, like red ink at KPFA, by refusing to bring staff payroll in line with income they try to blame it on others by screaming "banning dissent" and "union busting", etc.

When SaveKPFA talks about "local control" it is more local than you think. SaveKPFA wants to run the station with no listener involvement except for their chosen few. SaveKPFA wants listeners to send in your money and let the "professionals" decide what you want/need to hear.

When Bensky and Mericle et al. fought against the "hijackers" in 1999, they didn't do it to bring in a democratic governance with listener involvement, they did it since they believed that the station was theirs to run and not for Mary Frances Berry and her crew. Sort of like two feudal lords fighting over a piece of land with no regard for the people that live there.