Monday, August 24, 2015

The culprit is Tracy?

The discussion was prompted by a secret maneuver whose movers, having now been exposed, claim it to be "incredibly prudent" and a barrier against KPFA becoming a voice for the right. As they struggle in their defensive mode, these scheming bozos even invoke the name of Rush Limbaugh, which is supposed to make everybody tremble and vote against reason. Pay good attention to Brian Edward-Tiekert's attempt to wiggle out of this one.

As someone points out, it is difficult to understand why something so important that it allegedly could save Pacifica from being Foxed must be done without Pacifica's knowledge. This meeting produced no acceptable excuse for the covert action taken by Margy Wilkinson, wanne-be Mayor Dan Siegel, and their ill-advised ilk. But listen for yourself, it's all herein its entirety.


Two Credit Cards Are Better Than One

Berkeley -The severe financial distress at KPFK-FM, which resulted on Monday in an announcement by Margy Wilkinson-appointed general manager Leslie Radford, of the immediate reduction of all KPFK employees to 50% work schedules and the layoff of three employees, has been accompanied by growing evidence of a year and a half of financial mismanagement of the station, Pacifica's highest earner as recently as 2013. KPFK abruptly fired its second consecutive temporary business manager after finding out about monthly checks issued to an outside person by the business manager, along with unauthorized cash advances never paid back. The business manager was personally hired and trained by former CFO Raul Salvador to "fix" the accounting mess at KPFK in the fall of 2014, and per a motion passed by the national board in 2014, reported directly to Salvador rather than the station's general manager. Thousands of dollars in fraudulent credit card charges at Walmart and Ralph Lauren on KPFK's company card in May were enabled by an April replacement of that card by Salvador with a new card issued to the identical card holder (not the now-departed business manager). Salvador failed to close the previous card, leaving Pacifica with two different credit cards issued to the same individual with different account numbers open at the same time. The old card that had been replaced almost a month earlier was the card victimized with almost $4,000 in bogus charges. The former CFO offered his resignation the following day, only to be brought back as a "financial consultant" and now assigned to replace the former KPFK business manager after her dismissal.

The layoffs at KPFK were for development assistant Sue Cohen Johnson, Film Club coordinator Donna Walker and webmaster Ali Lexa Al-Hilali. Walker's layoff may cause a problem as KPFK has many subscribers to their film club and with every single employee reduced to half-time, it is unlikely any will be able to take on new projects, and refunds would be expensive and strain the station's finances. The station's webmaster has double the then-seniority of KPFA's Brian Edwards-Tiekert who contested a layoff in 2010 on seniority grounds, and is likely being targeted for participation in governance, as the first-place finisher in staff board elections in both 2006 and 2009 and a candidate again in this year's suspended elections.

The station's SAG-AFTRA bargaining unit has stated that layoffs and work reductions were neither agreed to nor negotiated with the union and has already filed grievances against Pacifica. The union has refused to sign off on an EDD work sharing plan, a plan that has subsidized the salaries of KPFA's news department since 2011, although the station has made new hires since and probably should have terminated the state paycheck subsidies several years ago. (Recipients include Upfront host Edwards-Tiekert and news anchors Aileen Alfandary and Mark Mericle). KPFK GM Radford stated publicly at the station's local board meeting that the reductions of all staff to 50% time will not exceed 4 months in duration, but curiously presented a 2016 staffing plan with the 2016 budget which contains no full-time employees and several new part-time positions.This proposal, given Radford's definition of a half-time schedule as 17.5 hours a week, would eventually result in a completely non-unionized workforce with no health benefits, as the current union contract in effect only provides benefits with an 18 hour a week work schedule. 

Pacifica's long-delayed board election got even more delayed when the foundation failed to make a $25,000 postage deposit to secure the mailing of ballots. No information has been provided about the length of the latest delay. One half of the board's elected terms ran out  in December of 2013 and the other half runs out in December of 2015.  The network has until  September 12th to mail the ballots to salvage the election. The putative reason for the delay - that stations could not afford to pay the postage - no longer seems valid as KPFK has received a one-time bequest of $134,000 and WBAI has said they can fund their share of the postal deposit (about $9,000). Over 100 candidates have filed nomination papers for vacant board seats currently filled by stayovers whose terms expired twenty months ago. Meanwhile, the five local election supervisors and one national election supervisor, who remain on payroll for the duration of the delay at $10,000+a month, have been processing fair election complaints and issued their first reprimand to New York's Justice and Unity Caucus (a Siegel/Brazon-affiliated group) for failing to post a required disclaimer on their outside website.

Pacifica's latest overdue financial audit (for the year ending 9-30-2014) is looking, despite earlier reports to the contrary, like it will, after missing the June 30 deadline for submission to the State of California Registry of Charitable Trusts and the Corporation for Public Broadcasting, be almost as late as last year's effort. KPFK GM Leslie Radford confirmed that KPFK'smschedules for the audit "are not prepared" in this sound clip, contradicting earlier claims by Pacifica's national office that they were. You can hear the three statements (July 9, August 6, and August 19) in this sound montage.
KPFA's Local Station Board discussed the incorporation of the KPFA Foundation by Margy Wilkinson at attorney Dan Siegel's office at their August 22nd meeting, having the conversation the national board failed to have. The perpetrators expressed no shame about their actions with PNB treasurer Brian Edwards-Tiekert putting forward that the KPFA local station board should "ratify" the creation of the corporation under Wilkinson and Siegel's sole control to "capture" the broadcast licenses.  Siegel/Brazon-affiliated KPFA Board Chair Carole Travis admitted she knew about the clandestine incorporation a year ago, but did not share the information with the rest of KPFA's local station board, the station's members or the Pacifica National Board.

Tracy Rosenberg, executive director of Media Alliance, when informed of the local board's conversation, indicated she had no interest in acquiring KPFA's broadcast license from Pacifica and has never had sexual relations with any FCC commissioners, despite what appeared to be Brian Edwards-Tiekert's claims.

The detritis of former WBAI program director Bernard White's destructive racial discrimination lawsuit has lingered long after the suit was thrown out of court. Pacifica has yet more legal bills to pay on the case it resoundingly won, as attorneys for station board member Steve Brown, who White sued individually, have taken action to collect their fees. White should have been dismissed from the case from the beginning, but following poor legal advice, Pacifica declined to do so and Chartis insurance mandated two sets of lawyers, one for each defendant. Despite Pacifica's overwhelming victory in the case, it did not receive any attorneys fees from the plaintiff, who continues to broadcast on WBAI despite sticking the station with at least a quarter million in legal bills from his failed lawsuit.

In Berkeley, the Siegel/Brazon-affiliated group  that used to refer to itself as KPFA Forward and then Concerned Listeners and finally Save KPFA has undergone another rebranding with a new  brownish logo that refers to themselves as "local", "community" and "progressive", using buzzwords greatly at odds with their previous rhetoric and actions, which included removing locally-generated programming from KPFA's AM drive time in favor of syndicated programming from Los Angeles and stating numerous times that KPFA was "not community radio" (Sasha Lilley 2008).

KPFA unpaid staff member Richard Wolinsky lamented on Facebook that the existence of this publication interferes with his ability to dish dirty laundry about Pacifica on Facebook discussion pages out of fear that his public comments on the social media network might be reprinted in this publication (and presumably read by a wider audience than that on the biggest social media network in the world). Wolinsky showed a somewhat confused understanding of the word "censorship" in his complaint stating:

"Richard Wolinsky It's funny. I have certain feelings and ideas about this whole issue (the KPFA Foundation) that I would love to express, but I'm silenced by the fact that anything I say could be misappropriated by Pacifica in Exile for their bulletins. So I have to remain silent. It's a form of censorship, a kind of pre-emptive blackmail". 

Pacifica in Exile readers may write to the board at

1 comment:

  1. I've come to the conclusion that there are people within and without Pacifica who wish to see it dissolve so that they can grab Pacifica assets for their own faction. Hence, allowing obviously destructive lunacy to exist and perpetuate itself. Conspiracy theory? Maybe, but can even Pacificans be so brain dead they can't see what is happening around them? OK, maybe some of them, but not seemingly all of them.

    Tuned into WBAI a bit before and heard your favorite extendomercial. Are they back at beg-a-thoning?