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Indybay Feature
Dan Siegel, KPFA, & the "Concerned Listeners"
by repost
Sunday Sep 6th, 2009 10:11 PM
DAN SIEGEL is a candidate for KPFA Board of Directors. Siegel has an interesting history at Pacifica Radio. Among other things, he helped manipulate the Pacifica elections of 2007, in which his group, the "Concerned Listeners," fraudulently won a majority of seats on the KPFA Board of Directors. Siegel's unethical acts are documented in a report by the former election supervisor, Casey Peters.



Dan Siegel, former Foundation Counsel and interim Executive Director of Pacifica Radio network, was personally involved in manipulating the elections in 2007. He placed statements on the Pacifica and KPFA websites attacking candidates whom he opposed politically. This is a violation of attorney ethics and the bylaws of Pacifica. He also fired National Election Supervisor Casey Peters who tried to keep the election honest.

Now Dan Siegel wants to be a member of the KPFA Board of Directors. He's a candidate on the "Concerned Listeners" (CL) slate that he dishonestly helped elect in 2007.

The following are excerpts from a report by the National Election Supervisor Casey Peters:
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FINAL REPORT
on the Pacifica 2007 Elections
by Casey Peters
National Elections Supervisor (NES)
http://www.pacificaelections.net/


An unexpected problem arose at KPFA where candidate carts were bundled in large groups playing for several minutes at a time. This was done rather than the traditional broadcast of carts individually, dispersed among other sorts of programming. Some candidates contended that the bundles always started with management’s favored candidates and that listeners tuned out after the first couple of carts were aired. I spoke with KPFA’s Interim General Manager Lemlem Rijio and Interim Program Director Sasha Lilley, and both agreed to de-bundle the carts and to broadcast them individually as other stations do. However, in practice they refused to conform to a direct order from the National Election Supervisor [NES]. The bundling continued, putting some candidates at a distinct disadvantage. The one candidate whose cart aired first in the bundle garnered the most first place votes by far in the KPFA Listener Sponsor vote count.


MANAGEMENT INTERFERENCE

Greg Guma, who hired me to be Pacifica Foundation's National Elections Supervisor for the 2007 election cycle, was known as a critic of our elections and someone who felt that his power as Executive Director [ED] was undermined by interference from ill-informed but strongly opinionated board members. However, Guma was unflinching in following the letter and spirit of Pacifica Bylaws in his administrative support for the election process. He published a brief commentary on other approaches to governance that might draw upon a number of traditions. Regardless of his personal and professional views on how best to govern the Pacifica Foundation, Greg Guma always lent his full support as ED to implementing the governance process established in the ByLaws and to the work of the Election Supervisors.


Many of the problems that arose in the elections this year may be traced to the disruption caused by the early severance of Greg Guma after he tendered his plan for resignation as Executive Director. The PNB [Pacifica National Board] ushered him out the door hurriedly rather than on the timetable he offered which would have left him at the helm during the election cycle. The vacuum of power, with an intermittent interim ED interlaced by the spectacle of unprofessional vacillation on the part of the presumptive new leader, created a virtual meltdown situation. With obvious instability at the top, the election campaigns descended into chaos. As soon as Nicole Sawaya stepped into the Executive Director role, I left word with her assistant that I was available to meet at her convenience to brief her on the status of the ongoing elections. Ms. Sawaya sent word back that she had no intention of meeting with the NES [National Election Supervisor] and that she opposed Pacifica Bylaws provisions for elected boards.


Shortly thereafter, Ms. Sawaya's sent an email to the PNB [Pacifica National Board] attacking me for allegedly being partisan in my administration of the election. Apparently, she preferred to get her information by rumor and to spread falsehoods through a gossip mill rather than to meet face to face on a professional basis and civilly discuss any concerns that might arise. This was a great disappointment, as the warring factions had put aside their differences to join in support of Ms. Sawaya to be hired as Executive Director. My hope was that her leadership would help to bring about an Era of Good Feeling. Instead, she fomented the worst of behavior already prevalent at Pacifica.


Soon, Nicole Sawaya had resigned -- at least temporarily -- and Dan Siegel was put back into place as interim ED [Executive Director]. At that point, the power really seemed to go to Siegel's head and he started ordering me about in how to fulfill my duties. He applied intimidation regarding the still-pending certification of KPFA results, telling me that I would be fired if I did not do so promptly. The problem was that criteria for certification had not been met due to irregularities in the campaign, as will be explained later in this report.


Regardless of my desire to maintain absolute integrity in each of the local elections throughout the cycle, I was forced to capitulate in order to continue my work in administering the elections at the remaining radio stations. I realize now that this was an unforgivable error on my part and that I should have publicized the fact that the Interim Executive Director [Siegel] was using extortion to intimidate the National Elections Supervisor and wrongly influence the outcome of the elections to the detriment of members of the Pacifica Foundation.


Essentially, Dan Siegel in his dual roles as corporate counsel and Interim Executive Director engaged in threats and manipulation to unlawfully control the outcome of Pacifica elections. This constitutes the highjacking of the vote count. On the evening of March 13, 2008, I was about to leave for Los Angeles International Airport to fly to New York for the WBAI vote count when I received a message from Pacifica Chief Financial Officer Lonnie Hicks. Earlier in the day, he had confirmed that my accommodations in New York City were reserved. The new message said that Interim ED Dan Siegel did not want me conducting the vote count at WBAI and was firing me as National Elections Supervisor. Further information about the WBAI count follows later in this report.


A few days later, Dan Siegel entered my home illegally without any prior notice, and without ringing the bell, knocking on the door or announcing himself. Siegel startled my wife Marilyn, who was home alone, in our living room and she yelled at him to get out. His intent was to confiscate election equipment and materials without compensating me for work completed. Siegel had apparently been drinking, and sat in a rented SUV flashing his headlights into our bedroom. Marilyn called the police to stop the harassment. We seriously considered pressing trespass and assault charges, but felt any publicity about the incident would not look good for the Pacifica Foundation.


Shortly thereafter, I arranged through the good graces of KPFK Interim General Manager Jim Lafferty to deliver the desired equipment and materials in exchange for partial payment for services rendered.


The full report on the Pacifica 2007 Elections by Casey Peters, National Elections Supervisor (NES), is at http://www.pacificaelections.net/


Dan Siegel's candidate statement as a member of the "Concerned Listeners" slate is at
http://concernedlisteners.org/index.php?option=com_content&view=article&id=4&catid=2&Itemid=3




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