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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]>
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

-----Original Message-----
From: WDRC [at] [mailto:WDRC [at]] On Behalf Of
Katz, John
Sent: Wednesday, September 20, 2006 4:03 PM
To: WDRC [at]
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
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.

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

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

Listed below are the latest comments about this post.
These comments are submitted anonymously by website visitors.
Growth is goodMirror HolderTuesday Oct 10th, 2006 11:04 PM
Not the same point ... methinksAnonymousTuesday Oct 10th, 2006 9:29 PM
What are we competing for?Nazreen KadirMonday Oct 9th, 2006 10:31 PM
missing the pointmirror holderMonday Oct 9th, 2006 7:43 PM
A Model For Something Else EntirelyAnonymousMonday Oct 9th, 2006 6:10 PM
Unless I am mistakenNazreen KadirMonday Oct 9th, 2006 5:02 PM
Yes to a debateArmadillo Monday Oct 9th, 2006 1:11 PM
real visionmirror holderMonday Oct 9th, 2006 12:36 PM
How about a debate ?Brendan Collins Monday Oct 9th, 2006 8:33 AM
Excellent discussion!Nazreen KadirSaturday Oct 7th, 2006 12:08 AM