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KPFA election: When Progressives Cheat
When Republicans cheat to get their candidates elected, we do our best to expose the violations and make noise. But what about when we see our fellow progressives cheating? That's the dilemma facing KPFA listener-activists after the recent election for the board of directors.
WHEN PROGRESSIVES CHEAT--AFTERMATH OF THE KPFA ELECTION
When Republicans cheat to get their candidates elected, we do our best
to expose the violations and make noise. But what about when we see
our fellow progressives cheating? That's the dilemma facing KPFA
listener-activists after the recent election for the board of directors.
KPFA's management team controlled the mic and openly intervened in the
election to tip the playing field in favor of a slate of candidates
whom they had recruited for the purpose of packing the board with
rubber stampers. As in Ohio and Florida, the cheaters won. They will
now have close to a 2/3rds majority on the board.
Complaints of the numerous violations were filed, but, without an
enforcement mechanism, the election supervisors were powerless to do
much. For example, when a prominent ex-programmer illegally used a
station email list to call on listeners to vote for the pro-management
slate, the election supervisor ordered as a remedy that each of the
opposition groups be allowed to send out a message of their own over
the same list. But, as with so many other election procedures
designed to ensure fairness, this order was not implemented by KPFA
management. The election supervisor also imposed a penalty on the
culprit, banning him from the station's airwaves for the remainder of
this year. However, only three days after the announcement of the
penalty, the offending programmer was a guest on the Morning Show.
He's also scheduled to host a segment on the upcoming KPFA crafts
fair. In this and other instances, the election supervisors were
unable to enforce regulations, remedy violations or impose penalties
on offenders. Without such powers, fair elections won't happen.
At this point, remedies won't be easy. There will be the inevitable
polarization, bitterness, pain, disgust and bad feelings, and no
matter how it may come out in the end, we progressives are going to
look bad. It's messy, and it's tempting to forget the whole thing,
pretend it didn't happen. On the other hand, if nothing is done, the
cheaters will go on cheating; they'll control KPFA, and what kind of
community radio will that be?