Friday, January 9, 2015

Show us the money... or the papers!

Tic Toc, Tic Toc, Bit Lot, Bit Lot
As the California Attorney General's audit nears, there is finally a sign of life at the Pacifica National Board. It is the sound of scrambling, with Margy Wilkinson, the iED whose "election" reeks of skulduggery, in full preemptive mode and important documents as invisible as Berthold Reimers. No, that's not a quake on Atlantic Avenue, it's the GM's knees a-knocking.

Last Monday, January 5, the Pacifica National Board convened electronically for an open meeting that included time reserved for discussion of Pacifica's empty piggybanks. It is a tale that is bound to undergo a few twists if the California AG's office does a serious job. Here's National Finance Committee Chair Brian Edwards-Tiekert's capsule summation of WBAI's case:

"We do not have any recent financial statements from WBAI. We learned on the NFC call that WBAI is three months behind on transmitter rent, has been spending money on an unbudgeted studio build-out, cancelled most of its December Fund Drive, and required assistance from the National Office to cover Payroll and Benefits in December. We also heard that WBAI's General Manager has been uncommunicative to its Local Station Board and local Finance Committee, and has not been attending management conference calls."

And here is Edwards-Tiekert raising a question in a one-minute soundbite from the open part of the January 6 meeting—it says a lot in few words. The other voice belongs to Chief Financial Officer Raul Salvador, who was fired and rehired through the back door as part of the coup that brought in the current questionable "majority." Note how the truth has to be coaxed from Mr. Salvador.


  1. It’s clear from the list of documents required by the CA AG’s Office that this is not a routine inquiry.

    It’s also clear from our knowledge of overall context that Reese is providing the AG’s Office with information as to the bodies, and where they’re buried.

    We know from R Paul Martin’s statements that it’s clear that there are a lot of bodies buried on WBAI’s side, and I think we can reasonably assume that the other four stations and the archives are no better.

    All this exposure, which is catastrophic once the AG’s Office begins a forensic audit (and this will be a forensic audit, make no mistake), is more than enough to destroy Pacifica.

    In addition, there are considerations of various people with management and other oversight responsibilities and board members, all with regulatory and fiduciary responsibilities, and their exposure.

    It isn’t surprising that the faction currently in ‘control’ has turned to their favored counsel, but the simple, cruel reality is that counsel will be in no position to do anything more meaningful than wave his arms about meaninglessly in the air.

    So, yes, in the end, it has come to this.

    Surprise, surprise, surprise….

    ~ ‘indigopirate’

  2. well stated, mr pirate

  3. When WBAI ignored the Pacifica dictate to fund raise until the gap was closed and to pay off debts in a stated order without reprisals, that was it. Pacifica showed it had no teeth or willingness to enforce anything. Pacifica should have suspended Reimers, of course. Pacifica should also have sent a flunky in to take over as iGM and do what had to be done, but it didn't.

    The parent didn't discipline the child, and, now, the child runs free.


    1. Point well taken. If you will pardon the redundancy, I am convinced that Berthold Reimers either has threatened to spill the beans or that he is a willing participant in this artificial Board majority's nefarious take-over scheme. As Indigo suggests, the California AG's probe will probably bring vital aspects of this mess into devastating focus.

      At this stage, there is not much left to lose—Pacifica has been disfigured beyond recognition.

  4. OK, let's look at the facts as simply as possible regarding this audio clip.

    A) WBAI is in debt
    B) Pacifica orders WBAI to fund raise until debt is wiped out
    C) A nine day fund drive is scheduled
    D) The nine day fund drive is cut to one day
    E) Pacifica doesn't punish anyone for going against its edict.

    Who is responsible for cutting the fund drive to one day? GM Berthold Reimers, since he is the ultimate power at the station. Why did he cut it is the question so far unanswered. Is he just a moron? Or does he have a game plan? I don't know.

    If I were Reimers, I would have had a fund drive, with no announcement as to a time limit, and hawked every bit of snake oil and crap available to The Remnants until that debt was gone. I'd worry about changing things and regaining any credibility after that fund drive.

    Pacifica really blew it by not punishing Reimers for going against the edict.


    1. Pacifica's blew it when it "democratized" and, essentially, placed the Foundation in the hands of clueless listeners and scheming opportunists. Now they are gulping down their own toxic KoolAid. Sorry to say, the imminent demise of WBAI will be seen as justified because it rids the airwaves of so much trash, so much propaganda, so many lies, so much unfounded ego, so many scams—these will no longer find a home at 99.5, a spot on the FM dial that intelligent listener-supporters began abandoning years ago.

      If the bozos at BAI had listened to their sponsors, they would not soon be crawling into deserved obscurity.

      We tend to forget that the station owes its greatest debt to the people who supported it over the years, those with whom it once enjoyed mutual respect.

    2. I think many of the real old time listeners died, frankly. People from my generation, who started listening in the late 1970s, have simply moved on. I know after I no longer heard them calling WBAI, I would hear some calling into Bob Grant and that crap.

      In more recent years, whenever I have heard callers say how long they have been listening to WBAI, it's almost always less than twenty years. Ergo, most of the current listeners don't even know WBAI as anything more than a more extreme WWRL.

      Well, we saw what happened to WWRL just over a year ago. Start learning Spanish, folks. You can say "WBAI es nuestra estacion..."


    3. I think you have that right. I believe Tracy Rosenberg was talking about KPFA, but this could well apply to WBAI, when she suggested that some have attributed the station's failure to meet financial obligations to people's failure to die. Someone called it budgeting bequests, which appears to be how Reimers and his apologists generate their financial fantasies.

      The WWRL analogy is right on. These bozos aim low.... and miss.