Monday, January 21, 2019

FYI: The Exiles' voter choices

January 21, 1019 - Berkeley - The printed ballots for the 2019 Pacifica local board elections were mailed on January 18, 2019.

If your local station has your email address, then you will receive an electronic ballot to save the trees and postage dollars.The online ballot will hit your inbox on Wednesday, January 23rd. 

If you get an online ballot but would prefer to vote by paper ballot because you hate computers, like pencils and do not trust online voting, you can send a request to for a paper ballot to be mailed to you and your online ballot will be voided. If you get a postal ballot but would prefer to vote online because you love computers and hate stamps, you can also send a request to and then an online ballot will be emailed to you and your paper ballot will be voided. Pacifica is using a professional election service, so your online ballots are secure and your selections will not be known by any Pacifica-related personnel.

Please vote so Pacifica can make quorum and not have to spend extra money to extend the election period.
Below you will find Pacifica in Exile's 2019 endorsements for each of the 8 listener and staff elections. We will name a few candidates we hope you'll vote for, some others you might want to consider, and a few candidates that we advise you not to choose. We hope this guide will be helpful to you.

KPFA-FM Berkeley - Listener Election
In Berkeley, there are two candidate groupings and an independent candidate or two, but voters are likely to find it all a little confusing as the Save KPFA/Concerned Listeners group of Margy Wilkinson, Dan Siegel, and Sherry Gendleman has changed their name and yet again, their new name is remarkably similiar to the name of their previous opposition. Since this is the second time this has happened, we are going to go out on a limb and suggest that it is probably intentional. Given how many words there are in the world, it seems unlikely to have happened twice by accident. However, despite the similarity of United for Independent Radio to United for Community Radio (the opposed slate in the 2016 election), the endorsement list tells the tale with the Save KPFA stalwarts all aboard.

The story the UIR group wants to tell is that they have united with their opposition and will end all the fighting and live happily ever after letting bygones be bygones, but the actions have been anything but happy with UIR member Bill Campisi launching an expensive failed lawsuit to try to keep radio engineer Tom Voorhees off the national board and hitting KPFA with $50,000 in legal bills for factional shenanigans after appealing his Superior Court loss to the California Court of Appeals. We've seen better displays of peacefulness. And the UIR incumbents have presided over some of the worst and least transparent financial reporting to ever come out of KPFA after advocating relentlessly for a bankruptcy filing in 2017. One of our strong beliefs here at Pacifica in Exile is that inflated financials are an insult to the members and a grave danger to the organization.

The opposing slate, which renamed itself Rescue Pacifica, is entirely composed of new candidates and we think they deserve a chance.

WE RECOMMEND THAT YOU VOTE FOR: the Rescue Pacifica candidates with your first four ranked selections (1-4 in any order):

Don Macleay, Daniel Borgstrom , Noni Session and James McFadden. They have a solid and well-developed platform and a ton of endorsements.

With the remaining rankings on your ballot (5-9), consider the following candidates; Richard Phelps (independent), and newer UIR candidates Shirah DedmanLuci Riley, Maria Judiceand Tim Van Landuyt.Riley and Van Landuyt are prominent local activists with no previous KPFA political involvement and although they are running with the wrong slate, we are semi-optimistic they will perform well on the local board and similarly, Dedman and Judice have impressive resumes and no KPFA track record.

DEFINITELY DO NOT VOTE FOR: Bill Campisi, whose lame maneuver of running for the national board as a bogus candidate and then "resigning" seconds after being elected has now cost tens of thousands of completely wasted dollars. Sharon Adams, an ardent advocate for bankruptcy and breakup who has perforned poorly as the board treasurer by presenting inflated numbers and a 2019 budget that spends a quarter of a million dollars more than KPFA took in 2018,Susan Da Silva, the intended beneficiary of Campisi's manuever who strongly supported the failed lawsuit, Ahmad Anderson, a former employee who was largely missing in action for his entire first term on the board, Donald Goldmacher, one of the veteran Save KPFA'ers from the days of coups and missing audits, and Lily Kimura, whose inability to spell Jerry in "Gerry Brown" worries us.

KPFA-FM Berkeley - Staff Election
WE RECOMMEND THAT YOU VOTE FOR: Frank SterlingDarlene PaganoSabrina Jacobs. 
Sterling is definitely the #1 pick. He was a standout as a local board member in his previous term and has a track record of advocacy for the staff and particularly the apprenticeship program that is unmatched within the station.   
DEFINITELY DO NOT VOTE FOR: Tim Lynch, Phillip Maldari 

KPFK-FM Los Angeles - Listener Election
The hard work by the Committee to Strengthen KPFK incumbents on the KPFK local station board (and the national one) is pretty much the entire reason the Empire State Building did not eat Pacifica Radio in 2017. They richly deserve election. Everyone talks about fundraising, but they are the ones that pulled together a listener loan fund and then a nonprofit loan to pull Pacifica back from the brink of a bankruptcy filing. Their opponents, Lydia Brazon's Grassroots Radio Coalition, had their turn at the helm from 2014-2016 and we saw how that went. No contest. There are 16 endorsed candidates from the Comittee to Strengthen KPFK (for 9 seats), so you will have to choose, but here are our recommendations:

WE RECOMMEND THAT YOU VOTE FOR: Grace AaronJan GoodmanJohn SuarezPaul RobersonMarcie Mills
And your choices among:  Rob Macon, Marshall James, Fred Blair, Allan Beek, Robert Payne, Ken Aaron, Michelle Manos, Nancy Pearlman, Michael Adler, 

DEFINITELY DO NOT VOTE FOR: Michael NovickBella De SotoBill Eisen
Novick and De Soto worked closely with Leslie Radford and Adam Rice during the bad old days at KPFK. Eisen has been a divisive figure in some previous nonprofit and community group work.

KPFK FM Los Angeles - Staff Election
WE RECOMMEND THAT YOU VOTE FOR: Mansoor Sabbagh, Kiyana Williams, Myla Reson
Velazquez was a strong supporter of the Radford/Rice regime which was a disservice to KPFK.

KPFT-FM Houston - Listener Election
At KPFT, the local station board's challenge is to stop putting each other on trial and do something to help the station grow instead of shrink. The abrasive board temperature is largely due to the leadership of Adriana Casenave, whose six-year board stint has come to an end, but whose acolytes adopted her accusatory and confrontational style. We are not advocates of shrinking violets nor particularly conflict-averse, but years of capturing Casenave's tirades on audio and years of painfully listening to the KPFT local station board suspending and expelling and sanctioning and reprimanding virtually the entire membership has left us convinced that the group Casenave created has nothing good to offer. KPFT is a lot smaller than it was, and the station's survival in getting-more-blue-but-not-there-yet Texas is too important to leave to the pointlessly argumentative This board has work to do and we are recommending the candidates who we think might actually do it. 
WE RECOMMEND THAT YOU VOTE FOR:   Bill Crosier, Adrienne LaViolette, Sandra Rawline, Lynden Foley, Darelle Robbins, Teresa Allen
And your choices among:  Danae Moreno, Micheline Milligan, Jordan Moreno
DEFINITELY DO NOT VOTE FOR: Dewayne Lark, Ted Weisgal, Ben Perodeau
Lark, Weisgal and Perodeau have been key participants in the board's disruptions and toxicity. They don't deserve another term. 

KPFT FM Houston - Staff Election
WE RECOMMEND THAT YOU VOTE FOR: Egberto Willies, Thomas Harper, Wendy Shroell or Danielle Allen
Patel Adams was a national board member during the coup years and complicit in the missing audits. 

WBAI-FM New York - Listener Election
At WBAI, the primary issue is whether or not control of the station should be given over to former Pacifica executive director Dan Coughlin, who now runs Manhattan Neighborhood Network, a public access station. Coughlin is currently litigating a case at the United States Supreme Court after a dispute with Deep Dish TV co-founder Dee Dee Halleck and Puerto Rican poet Jesus Papaleto Menendez spiraled into a lawsuit and now, a referendum on whether public media platforms themselves are state actors. The case has encouraged the National Cable Telecommunications Assn to file a brief arguing that access channels are fundamentally unconstituional and potentially threatens the existence of thousands of governmental and public channels across the country. Coughlin's judgment in appealing his lower court loss to the Republican Supreme Court was poor, and has potentially disastrous consequences. That's enough for us not to advocate for his control over Pacifica's assets. Pacifica in Exile will not endorse any candidate shilling for a Coughlin-WBAI merger.

Even without the Manhattan Neighborhood Network issue, there are plenty of reasons to support the Indy candidates over the Justice and Unity group, not the least of which is the Justice and Unity's shameful effort to keep three of their opponents off the national board for an entire year. But there are also some fresh new faces on the Indy Caucus side who seem like good additions, which WBAI certainly needs. 
WE RECOMMEND THAT YOU VOTE FOR: Carolyn MacIntyre, Michael White, Jim Dingeman, Alex Steinberg, Randy Credico, Maxine Harrison-Gallmon
And your choices among:  Carolyn Birden, Mitchell Cohen, Jack De Palma, Michael Jankowitz, Michael Lardner, Katherine O'Sullivan, Neale Vos, Marilyn Vogt-Downing, Linda Zises
DEFINITELY DO NOT VOTE FOR: Errol Maitland, Hazel Pinder, Ralph Poynter
These three top-ranked Justice and Unity candidates are ardent supporters of the half-baked Coughlin deal and should not be on WBAI's board.

Saturday, January 19, 2019

Yonder faction finagles

The following link will bring you a summary/insight posted by Dr. Stephen Cohen January 18, 2019. I strongly urge you to read it for much that is disturbing and related to WBAI is currently unfolding in the distant corners and crannies of Pacifica.

Here, Dr. Cohen puts his considerable wit aside and takes a good look at the mess incompetence and greed have generated.

How Dr. Cohen sees it.

Here is a pertinent attachment.

And here is the disFaction's amended/expanded letter of complaint as filed with the California AG.

Thursday, January 17, 2019

Firstly, as recently available context, consider this:
As recently reported in, KPFA's numbers as to actuals and projected revenue have no relation to realities: Actual revenues are half a million less than reported earlier, and projected revenues proved to be $1.3m optimistic. Current projected operating losses are therefore ~$300,000 pa.

KPFA's treasurer declined to comment.

There is every reason to believe it's as bad or worse throughout Pacifica.

They prefer, after all, to live in their own reality and Just Make Stuff Up.

That's who they are, that's what they do.

Last evening [January 15, 2019] the PNB Strategic Planning Committee met to discuss its perceptions and plans as to Pacifica's Realities. [The above is an excerpt. The full meeting is hiding behind this link.]

They were positive. They were optimistic. They were also even more positive. They were also even more optimistic. Sure sure sure, they acknowledged a few minor challenges but envisioned a Bright Future, with Pacifica Influencing Progressive Politics at the National Level.

(There was of course no mention nor discussion of Pacifica's long-abandoned original principles and goals. These are advocates. They have no interest in that Bourgeois Nonsense. Not for Many Many Many Years.)

There were two principal themes, both translating as All is Well, and All Will Be Even Better:

1) Grace Aaron informed the Planning Committee that there was no need to be concerned with respect to the FJC $3.2m+ loan. As it's secured by real estate, no dysfunction or underperformance can have any negative impact on Pacifica because it's 'secured by real estate' and can therefore simply be rolled over or refinanced. This is of course contrary to some of the actual leaked language from the secret loan agreement, and contrary to some reports we've had, particularly from Jara Handala, with respect to FJC's stated and actual practices.

Thus her recommendations that if Pacifica simply follows Standard Business Practices programming will improve as if in a Left/Progressive version of the Magic of the Marketplace and All Will Be Well & Swell & Just Fine 😺

Ms Aaron's claim to authority re finance and loan considerations and questions is straightforward: She's expert in this area, since her husband was involved in the sub-prime mortgage game.

Yup, you heard me rightly on that one. The sub-prime mortgage game. Predatory lending ending in catastrophe.

Trust Grace Aaron. She knows her stuff. Trust her.

Want a good deal on a bridge or a bridge loan?

2) Maxie III, aka Maxie Maxie Maxie, noted real progress had been made by outsourcing a great deal, perhaps most, of Pacifica's financial accounting and HR needs to NETA. From what we know, this is both true, and a very real positive. Credit where due.

On the other hand, accurate accounting will in no way change Pacifica's actual numbers and actual performance which have continued their long decline (cf above re KPFA), with no credible hint of change with respect to the reality of the overwhelmingly clear trend-lines.

Ah, but there is Very Real Reason for Optimism!

Hope! Positive Thinking! Progressive Positive Thinking!

It's all about Maxie's Push for Best Practices!

If only, you see, Pacifica can be persuaded to structure its programming to mimic that of others, things will be better.

Note that there is no emphasis on Talent. On the contrary, Maxie explicitly despises or at best tolerates the 'ego' of Talent, whether on-air or as producers, their task being to subsume their egos to the overall Greater Whole, the Pacifica Mission!

Try not to get too excited reading those words. It's a true Vision, you see!

Maxie knows that talent needs to know its place. Yes, in his catchy little saying, talent needs to learn that 'We're not trying to feed an ego system, we're trying to contribute to an eco-system.'

Clever isn't it? Reflects the man's insight, understanding, and the foundations of his success over the years.

Then again...

That Vision got him dead-ass-fuck-fired from the National Federation of Community Broadcasters for its clear catastrophic failures and the internal staff chaos associated with his time in charge. Fortunately, after a period of turmoil, new management set things on a successful path forward, abandoning Maxie's as worse than a dead end.

Similarly, it would seem, his two years at WETA, in which he abandoned classical music, replacing it with news and public affairs, was, uh uhm, less than a success. After Maxie 'moved on', Classical replaced his transformational brilliance.

His other achievements are it would seem comparable. That is, nothing to speak of, or clear failure.

Recall, if you will that Pacifica was able to find only a handful of marginally 'qualified' applicants for the ED position, and that the first choice in this stellar field chose to bail after actually listening to a PNB Meeting. Maxie was the second choice.

So Maxie won 🙀

The man does love his management buzzwords, though, you have to give him that. He has quite a stock of them, all effectively meaningless or near-meaningless, as most buzzwords are. His very very favorite, though, is Best Practices.

If he repeats Best Practices often enough, and hopes and plans to copy the successful efforts of people who, unlike himself, actually succeed at the media game, he should Succeed too, right?

It hasn't happened yet, and there's precious little sign this will be the first time, but Hope Springs Eternal.

Hold your breath. Exhale. Then inhale. Then repeat, endlessly... Best Practices. Best Practices. Best Practices. Niche Markets. Data-Driven Insights. Metrics. Niche Markets. Surveys. Analytics. Best Practices... Best Practices... Best Practices... 

You've Got It !!!

Producers don't matter. Talent doesn't matter. Only 'data-driven market focus' matters.

It can, of course, sometimes.

It hasn't, though, not for Maxie, not yet in his career.

Just keep hoping. Just keep believing. Have Faith.

Pacifica will rise from the dead. Soon now. Real soon now. Real real soon now. Very Soon Now.

Believe! Believe!

(Wanna buy a Bridge?)

~ 'indigopirate'