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Letter from past KPFK Treasurer on “Dire” Financial Situation

The following is a letter from Fred Blair, KPFK LSB member and 2021 Treasurer, stating how serious the financial situation has become. Readers should know that most of the station’s biggest fundraisers have left or been driven away in the last few months, although he does not state that. He sent this letter in January 2022.

View this letter as an image.

Dear KPFK LSB Members and KPFK Finance Committee Members,-

Attached: are the December 2021 Fund Drive files for KPFK’s just ended Christmas Fund Drive.

Summary of Basic Statistics for Drive via KPFK Allegiance website

The KPFK Fund Drive started officially on December 7th , ran 25 days, and ended on December 31st .

Current Statistics:
Total $ Pledges: $118,519.15 Dollars
Number of Pledges: 829
Drive $ Daily Average: $4,741. Dollars/day
Average $’s per Pledge: $143. Dollars/Pledge

Pledge $’s Paid so far: $95,151.22 (Fulfillment of 80% first month)

Station Operating Deficit for December 2021: ~$150,000 Dollars

My Analysis:

I could jump up-and-down and scream at you that the sky is falling, but that would just be embarrassing for Me and everybody involved, and wouldn’t change anything either.
The financial situation at KPFK is bad and not getting better. It’s actually Dire, We can’t bring in enough Income to Pay our Bills – And haven’t done so for 6 months now.

What Can I Say
Words fail me here.

It is our job as a Governance Board to have a duty of care for our organization, and to make sure that it survives and thrives.
That’s Not Happening.
So what is to be done. We have a continuing financial crisis that is not getting better, it’s getting worse.

I have done my job and provided you with the basic information needed to understand our situation.
Dealing with this situation is what Board meetings are for.
See you all at the January 19th KPFK LSB meeting and Delegates Assembly.

In Peace and Best Wishes to All,
-Fred Blair
KPFK LSB Listener Delegate/Member

We the Pacifica Majority Seek Democracy and the Survival of Our Network

We are EXTREMELY CONCERNED about the attacks and actions promulgated by Pacifica’s current leadership and attorneys, and we think you will be, too, once you know more about them.

Click here to join the over 500 concerned Pacifica supporters of New Day Pacifica in reading and signing this letter.

We write as part of the majority of the Pacifica Foundation members who voted 6640 to 5216 (55% to 45%) to install new leadership and a workable set of new by-laws, but are being prevented from implementing those much needed changes by legal actions taken by current Pacifica leadership, based on their very dubious interpretations of applicable California law.

Since the close of voting on the New Day Pacifica bylaws, the current entrenched management has continued to show that it cannot competently manage the network, and that it is willing to cynically mis-use Pacifica’s resources to pursue its legal actions against Pacifica members who want reform. They clearly have no plans to reverse our dwindling listenership, membership, and finances, and are unable or unwilling to save our stations’ buildings from being foreclosed on and sold off to pay the $3+ million mortgage whose due date rapidly approaches.

Click to read more details about restoring democracy and fairness to Pacifica.

UPDATE:

Hear the legendary Ian Masters, host of Background Briefing, and also hear an attorney for New Day Pacifica and others reveal the current status of the law suit to declare the winner of the Bylaws/Officers referendum wherein there was a solid 55% Yes vote (Hint: it’s far from over). and how the sweep in the LSB elections shows continuing New Day strength.

Watch the Pacifica Majority Zoom presentation about seeking democracy and Pacifica’s survival, to hear the need for transparent democracy and popular support at America’s most critical progressive radio network. Amidst a devastating fiscal crisis, we seek answers for a truly responsive governance. Moderated by Pacifica’s Harvey Wasserman and Evelia Jones. Tentative plans are for there to be additional Zoom presentations going into related topics every two weeks, so check back at newdaypacifica.org for more information.

The Pacifica Majority presentations will discuss the need for transparent democracy and popular support at America’s most critical progressive radio network.  Amidst a devastating fiscal crisis, we seek answers for a truly responsive governance.

About the moderators:

Harvey Wasserman is a journalist, author, election protection and democracy anti-nuclear activist, and co-host of Solartopia. He is an advocate for renewable energy, and has been a strategist and organizer in the anti-nuclear movement in the United States for over 30 years, as well as being an investigative reporter and senior editor.

Evelia Jones is a retired public school itinerant visual arts instructor who gave that service to LAUSD for 25 years in Los Angeles. She has also been an accounts rep for two companies, and was the Drive Time Announcer and Traffic Coordinator for WJDX-WZZQ radio for four years in Jackson, MS. She is a descendant of Sally Hemings and was active in the Mississippi Civil Rights Movement-1970s and a production coordinator for The Mississippi State Film Commission during that time.

This network was established 75 years ago by pacifists who forged it into a progressive force built on competent management and fierce beliefs in democracy and fairness. The dysfunctional governing structure and current leadership have not only failed to live up to these standards and ideals, but have put the very survival of our stations at risk.

To remedy this dire situation, we the Pacifica Majority urge the following in the strongest way possible – Click on any of these for more details:

1. RESPECT THE MAJORITY VOTE of the PACIFICA MEMBERSHIP
2. IMMEDIATELY DISCLOSE THE TRUE VOTE COUNT IN THE KPFK BOARD ELECTION and INSTALL THE TRUE WINNERS
3. INVESTIGATE POSSIBLE VOTING IRREGULARITIES, FRAUD and/or MANIPULATION AT WBAI
4. STOP PACIFICA MANAGEMENT’S MISTREATMENT OF ITS WORK FORCE
5. FIRE THE PACIFICA LEGAL TEAM
6. INSTALL COMPETENT MANAGEMENT & LET THEM MANAGE

Please click here to add your name as a co-signer of this letter.

Please click here to donate to support the legal effort to have the New Day Referendum enacted.

1. RESPECT THE MAJORITY VOTE of the PACIFICA MEMBERSHIP

In the New Day referendum election the majority voted (6640 to 5216 – 55% to 45%) to change the leadership and bylaws to a more workable, democratic form of governance. Pacifica management and its legal team have refused to abide by the majority vote –recognized by both California Law and Pacifica’s own bylaws as defining who won the election, except in very special cases, which New Day strongly asserts are not applicable here. Pacifica’s refusal to respect the majority must end now.

Pacifica’s attorneys claim that the NDP Bylaws would somehow infringe on the rights of staff members as compared to listener members and so the staff must separately approve the new Bylaws. The NDP Bylaws would reduce the numbers of both staff and listener members on the Pacifica National Board (PNB). However, listener representatives’ numbers would actually be reduced slightly more than staff representatives, so it’s false to claim that staff members’ rights are negatively affected compared to those of listeners. More significant, for the first time, the NDP Bylaws would give both paid and volunteer/unpaid staff something new and very important – the democratic right to elect Directors of their own choosing to the PNB. This is a right they do not have now and would clearly be a very significant enhancement with the NDP Bylaws.

We the majority further believe and urge that all legal actions currently being pursued by current Pacifica management against New Day be halted and that the new bylaws be implemented and the new officers be recognized.

For more details on how the legal team has undermined the results of the NDP Bylaws election, see this analysis of how they are claiming a dubious victory.

2. IMMEDIATELY DISCLOSE THE TRUE VOTE COUNT IN THE KPFK BOARD ELECTION and INSTALL THE TRUE WINNERS

In recent elections for the KPFK Delegates/Local Station Board, four New Day-endorsed candidates were illegitimately disappeared by the National Election Supervisor (NES). When the vote tally was published, those candidates’ names (and their votes) were disappeared off of the tally sheet, as if they never ran. Only upon questioning did the NES say that they had been disqualified, after all the votes were in and the votes were being tabulated. But Pacifica’s Bylaws make clear that the NES only has power to disqualify candidates who have violated the fair campaign provisions and these folks weren’t even accused of that! In addition, the candidates weren’t “disqualified” until ”after the tabulating of the votes had begun” but in those minutes “before the tabulation was finished”, according to the National Election Supervisor and Pacifica’s General Counsel Schwartz. At any rate the disqualification occurred after voting had finished, with no prior notice to the electorate. It is clear from the round by round Single Transferable Vote tabulations that if votes for those “disqualified” candidates were counted, at least three of them would in fact be elected as KPFK Delegates and LSB members. This would have major implications for the balance of power, both on the KPFK LSB and on the Pacifica National Board (PNB).

Those of us who voted for or support those candidates urge that our votes be counted, with full disclosure of the entire vote count (with certification by the vote tabulation vendor), and that the true winners be installed in the offices to which they were elected.

Please donate to support NDP’s legal efforts for your rights

3. INVESTIGATE POSSIBLE VOTING IRREGULARITIES, FRAUD and/or MANIPULATION AT WBAI

There were myriad violations of Pacifica’s Fair Campaign Provisions (FCP) by bylaws reform opponents during the bylaws campaign period, with repeated false and overwhelmingly one-sided dis-information and mis-information about the New Day Bylaws and Officers to sway the vote of WBAI staff and listener members, to thwart the Pacifica majority and to stop reform of the Bylaws.

Among other things, the rapid growth in the number of WBAI’s “qualified staff” prior to the election is very unusual to say the least. Even more questionable and suspicious is the alleged 99% NO vote among these staff. These increased but dubious numbers of staff during a pandemic and their highly disproportionate NO votes caused the overall staff vote among all stations to be against the new bylaws, even though the majority of total staff voting at other stations voted YES. Any open election involving a 99+% outcome is subject to dismissal and derision amidst the Election Protection community.

Widespread allegations of intimidation, fraud, coercion, and violations of FCP provisions must be investigated.

4. STOP PACIFICA MANAGEMENT’S MISTREATMENT OF ITS WORK FORCE

Pacifica Management is using membership money to pay a notorious anti-union law firm to resist what New Day Pacifica believes are reasonable demands from Pacifica staff. NDP also has serious concerns about what current management wants to do with the pension funds of loyal, long-standing Pacifica workers. This contradicts everything Pacifica was founded to pursue in terms of democracy and social justice.

Management has been paying its legal team undisclosed sums of money (but at least tens of thousands of dollars) from listeners whose majority interests they have gone to court to destroy. The team’s anti-democratic strategies, along with false rhetoric are antithetical to everything Pacifica was founded to stand for.

We demand a full financial accounting of the legal team’s fees, and its immediate dismissal in favor of a legal team without conflicts of interest, that will support and defend the democratic and competent interests of the Pacifica majority, and which will honestly inform the Pacifica board and members about legal issues.

Shockingly, Pacifica’s attorneys have become proficient at weaponizing anti-free-speech legal actions (like SLAPP lawsuits) against its own membership, beyond any boundaries of decency for a network of Pacifica’s origins. This should alone be grounds for dismissal of the Pacifica legal team and its band of bullies.

Pacifica filed legal actions against the proposed Four New Day Pacifica Transition Officers and all eight KPFK LSB Candidates endorsed by NDP in its Anti-New Day fervor. New Day Pacifica had to pay thousands of dollars in legal fees to get the suit dropped against the four proposed Officers, while the 3 remaining “disappeared” candidates are not only not installed as LSB members but also continue to be defendants in the law suit filed by Pacifica against them and New Day — “civilian casualties”, so to speak.

We demand that the legal team and the rest of Pacifica management cease filing anti-democracy and anti-free speech and association lawsuits aimed at intimidating individuals and organizations from speaking out against network management’s own anti-democratic activities.

6. INSTALL COMPETENT MANAGEMENT & LET THEM MANAGE

By assaulting democracy and common decency, and by denying the majority of Pacifica membership the bylaws change and LSB elections that are the basis of its democracy, Pacifica’s deeply unpopular management, which was put in place by the Pacifica National Board (PNB) majority trying to hold onto power, is driving the network toward insolvency and oblivion.

Along with driving out most of the popular KPFK program hosts who raised so much of the station’s revenue, and replacing them with programs that attract few listeners or donors, an illegal firing resulted in KPFK going dark, threatening its invaluable, irreplaceable license due to an instance of personal vindictiveness from Pacifica management.

We have been told that the PNB has just hired a new Executive Director and we certainly hope that this person will be fair and competent. But we also demand that the PNB majority not just allow, but require, that the new ED drop all legal action against New Day Pacifica and that its victorious by-laws be accepted. The Pacifica legal team must be fired and replaced with a legal team that respects the clearly stated wishes of the majority of the Pacifica membership as well as the basic principles of law, democracy, and common decency on which the Network was founded. Further, the new ED must work to help, rather than destroy, Pacifica stations like KPFK, and the PNB must stop interfering in management issues where they have no expertise.

Urgent Action Needed to Save Pacifica

It is urgent that these actions be taken if we are to preserve any chance of the Pacifica Network surviving as the competent, democratic, solvent progressive force it was meant to be when founded 75 years ago, and that is now so crucial to the survival of a nation’s democratic processes currently under serious, ongoing, and fascist assault.

Please click here to add your name as a co-signer of the above letter.

Please donate to support the legal effort to have the New Day Referendum enacted.

Visit the New Day home page for more information and updates.

How Pacifica Claimed a Dubious Victory

In 2021, the members of Pacifica Radio voted on a member initiated Bylaws referendum, for the New Day Pacifica Bylaws and election of four officer Directors.

The members voted 6820 to 5471 to approve the new Bylaws and to elect the four officers.

Listeners members voted 6640 Yes and 5216 No. 

Staff members voted 180 Yes and 255 No. 

Pacifica Counsel ruled the referendum lost claiming that it required separate approval of staff and listeners.

Pacifica Counsel gave two arguments.

(1) A prior agreement stipulated separate approval of staff and listeners.

(2) The Bylaws requires separate approval of staff and listeners.

Neither argument is valid.

(1) A Prior Agreement Stipulated Separate Approval of Staff and Listeners.

Pacifica Counsel, Arthur Schwartz said:

Under [the December 4, 2020] agreement, the New Day Referendum would proceed by two parallel votes, one by listener members and one by staff, with approval being contingent on majority approval from each group. (Schwartz Decl. ¶ 12 (emphasis added).

The December 4 agreement said:

“10. The voting process, and the Fair Election Rules, will be identical to the process and the rules used in February 2020, as described in the NES Final Election Report of March 2020, …”

The 2020 Final Report said:

“The Pacifica Bylaws Referendum consisted of two parallel –  votes, one amongst eligible listener members and one amongst eligible staff (paid and unpaid) members at all five stations.

—-

The clause “approval being contingent on majority approval from each group” was not  in the signed agreement.

Pacifica Counsel’s argument that a prior agreement stipulated separate approval of staff and listeners is not valid.

The Bylaws and California law govern how the staff and listener votes are counted.

(2) The Bylaws Requires Separate Approval of Staff and Listeners.

The Bylaws say: “such adoption, amendment or repeal also requires approval by the members of a class if such action would materially and adversely affect the rights of that class as to voting or transfer in a manner different than such action affects another class.” (First Am. Compl. ¶ 14, Ex. A, Article XVII Section 1(B)(3).)

Bylaws recognize separate voting groups; however, having separate voting groups does not mean approval is contingent on the approval of each voting group.

In the 2020 referendum, the Bylaws did required separate approvals of staff and listeners members because the proposal eliminated staff representation. The staff was materially and adversely affected as to voting in a manner different from the listeners. 

In the 2021 referendum, the Bylaws did not require separate approvals of staff and listener members because the new Bylaws proposal did not materially and adversely affected one class as to voting in a manner different from another class. 

Pacifica Counsel argues that the 2021 referendum would materially and adversely affect the staff in a manner different from the listeners because:

(1) it would have split the “Staff Class” into “Paid Staff “ and “Unpaid Staff” and

(2) reduced the number of guaranteed seats that staff members would have the exclusive right to hold and to elect from 5 to two. Staff would have their guaranteed Board role reduced from 22.72 % to 13.3%.  (First Am. Compl. ¶ 18.)

Following are the effect of the proposed Bylaws on the staff.

(1) If the staff voted as one class, the Board can end up with all paid staff Directors or all unpaid staff Directors. To ensure that the staff have fair and democratic representation, there are one paid staff Director directly elected by the paid staff, and one unpaid staff Director directly elected by the unpaid staff. Splitting the staff into paid staff and unpaid staff is “material” and “different” from how listeners would be affected, but allowing paid and unpaid staff to elect their own representative actually enhances their voting rights and representation and thus does not affect them “adversely”.

(2) One of the goals of the New Bylaws was to reduce the size of the National Board. The number of guaranteed staff and listeners seats were both reduced by two-thirds, so listener seats was reduced from 15 to 5, and staff seats were reduced from 5 to 2. Reducing the number of guaranteed seats that staff members would have is both “adverse” and “material”, but it is not “different” from how listeners would be affected.

Pacifica Counsel’s argument, that the Bylaws require separate approval of both staff and listeners, is not valid.

Summary:

In the 2021 referendum, Pacifica members voted for the New Bylaws by a solid and democratic majority of 6820 to 5471 (55% to 45%). 

Pacifica Counsel overruled the democratic vote of the members based on two arguments that are not valid.

It is also concerning that the Pacifica Counsel was strongly opposed to the proposal. (See Note.)

Pacifica needs to recognize the combined vote of the listeners and staff, who clearly want Pacifica’s broken governance fixed. 

Note:

Arthur Schwartz falsely stated at the PNB Meeting Part 2 April 15, 2021 [46:55-47:40]

“What bothers me most about these bylaws is that, for—whether it’s 1-1/2 months or 3 month I’m not sure—there would be four people running Pacifica, no Board. They could do whatever they want, whatever they want.

And it somehow hits me in the gut that WBAI would be back off the air, if these four people just got to run it, without a Board, without representation from anybody else in the United States from any of the stations.

And that’s the biggest part of this. That there is a period of total dictatorship by a 4-person committee that could totally change Pacifica.”

NDP Update, Thanks, Critical Legal Hearing Dec 29

It’s been a wild ride this past two years trying to bring Pacifica back to democracy. To be the creative network of stations envisioned by Lou Hill. A network for progressive voices throughout the United States and the world. With the 2022 elections coming, we need Pacifica more than ever. For that reason, we need your continued support more than ever and we’ll return to that later, but first, here’s an update on what’s been happening.

For a year and a half, we struggled against the entrenched management and National Board. They exploited every technicality and trick to stop us.

They changed the number of signatures for the Bylaws referendum. From 400 to 2,000. We got 3,000 of you to sign, and more kept signing afterwards.

Then they mounted a campaign of disinformation, distortion, and half-truths against the New Day Bylaws. They hampered our email send-outs to members. They ran on-air programs featuring all the mentioned forms of disinformation without affording our representatives the required equal time on air to respond. All this continues to this day!

Despite all this, current management failed, and enough members were able to discern the facts, namely that Pacifica would disappear if we did not change. Thousands of members voted in the largest turnout ever for a Pacifica election. New Day won the overall vote with a 55% to 45% margin.

We thank you for your support – for the thousands of you who voted YES for bylaws and governance reform to save Pacifica, for the many who emailed and called your fellow members, and for the hundreds of you who donated to help pay expenses for New Day Pacifica (NDP). If you haven’t donated lately, this is a great time to do so.

Donate to New Day Pacifica

But the struggle goes on. The entrenched interests continue to have Pacifica in their grip, even though they’ve shown they have no solutions to Pacifica’s problems, that threaten our stations’ very survival.

Why NDP Needs Your Continued Support

Current management has interpreted the applicable California law to mean that a tiny number of staff, mostly at one station (WBAI) where the disinformation about New Day had been most prevalent, could override the vote of the majority of Listener-Members, because — according to them — staff members’ rights would be more negatively affected by the new bylaws than would Listener-Members’ rights. Since the much smaller staff group — if considered separately — voted no, current mamnagement declared that New Day lost the referendum. Suffice it say, we strongly disagree with their interpretation of the law.

Finally, Pacifica filed the present lawsuit against New Day. And against the NDP Transition Officers that you voted to put in place along with the NDP Bylaws. We had to hire lawyers to represent three of those officers to get Pacifica to drop the lawsuit against them.

Then, Pacifica filed a lawsuit against all of the candidates for the KPFK-LSB that New Nay endorsed.

An ongoing pattern of behavior indicates that this is what Pacifica’s current management does. They threaten, they file lawsuits, they use intimidation tactics to try to get their critics to quit, in apparent hopes that no one has the funds to go to court to challenge Pacifica in court.

However with your help, we’re doing just that.

There’s a chance that the end may be in sight.

Next Wednesday, Dec. 29, a judge will hear arguments on whose interpretation of the California law will prevail. We are hoping that the court makes a decisive ruling in New Day’s favor, but we’ll just have to wait and see.

Pacifica recently filed yet more legal accusations against New Day. We must respond. The lawyers must be paid. And more costs will come.

We have come really far, but we’re not quite across the finish line yet. It would be a shame to come up short. Our legal team can’t wait and needs to be paid as they work. If you think our cause is worthy, please donate whatever you can, from $10 to $10,000. It all goes to the attorneys arguing our case, and working to protect YOUR rights as Pacifica members.

May 2022 be the year that peace settles in every corner of the earth that needs it the most — including Pacifica!

Donate to New Day Pacifica

For updates, see NewDayPacifica.org

Thank you again and we hope that you, Pacifica, and all of our stations have a great 2022!

PACIFICA OVERRULES THE DEMOCRATIC VOTE OF ITS MEMBERS

Both with the New Bylaws referendum and the KPFK Delegates election, Pacifica overruled the democratic vote of its members.

In 2021, Pacifica held two elections: A referendum on a New Bylaws, and a Delegates Election for the Local Station Boards.

In both elections, Pacifica overruled the vote of its members. 

Pacifica needs to recognize the democratic vote of its members.

PACIFICA RULES NEW BYLAWS LOST DESPITE THE 6820 TO 5471 VOTE

In 2021, the members of Pacifica Radio voted on a member initiated Bylaws referendum and election of officers.

Par agreement, the 2021 referendum used the voting process used in the prior 2020 referendum, which consisted of two parallel votes, one amongst listener members and one amongst staff members.

Listeners members voted 6640 Yes and 5216 No.

Staff members voted 180 Yes and 255 No.

The Bylaws govern how the listeners and staff votes are counted.

In the 2020 referendum, the Bylaws required separate approvals of staff and listeners members because the proposal eliminated staff representation. The staff was materially and adversely affected as to voting in a manner different from the listeners.

In the 2021 referendum, the Bylaws did not require separate approvals of staff and listener members because the new Bylaws proposal did not materially and adversely affected one class as to voting in a manner different from another class.

In the 2021 referendum, Pacifica members voted for the New Bylaws by a solid and democratic majority of 6820 to 5471 (55% to 45%).

Pacifica needs to recognize the vote of the members, who clearly want Pacifica’s broken governance fixed.

PACIFICA DISQUALIFIES 4 CANDIDATES ENDORSED BY NEW DAY PACIFICA

Soon after the Bylaws referendum election, Pacifica held the Delegates election for the Local Station Boards.

After the end of voting, Pacifica disqualified 4 listener Delegates candidates at KPFK. The 4 candidates were endorsed on a postcard that was sent out by New Day Pacifica. 

The ostensible reason for the disqualification was that the card also solicited funds to hire lawyers to represent the voters who voted Yes on the New Bylaws.

New Day Pacifica was soliciting funds to ensure that the vote for the New Bylaws proposal was counted in accordance with the Bylaws, after Pacifica filed a lawsuit to invalidate the members vote for the New Bylaws, using member donated funds.

In any case, the 4 disqualified candidates were not soliciting funds. They were merely endorsed by New Day Pacifica. They did not violate any law or Fair Campaign Provisions. (See quote from Nancy Pearlman)

“I was endorsed by probably dozens of organizations over the 20 years that I ran for the College Board. If I asked an organization to endorse me, or an organization asked me if I wanted to be endorsed, and I said “yes”, it would never occur to me that I had some kind of an obligation to review whatever else the endorsing organization sent out in the same mailer. Pacifica’s trashing of the votes of people who voted for me, because New Day asked for donations on the same postcard is truly bizarre. Especially since No one from Pacifica ever contacted me directly to discuss the matter, before simply blackballing me.”

–Nancy Pearlman, Director Emeritus of the Los Angeles Community College Board, and one of the KPFK candidates

Pacifica , however, did violate California Corporations Code 5513(d), because disqualifying the candidates after the end of voting effectively revoked members written ballots after they were cast. 

Pacifica needs to reinstate the 4 disqualified candidates and re-tabulate the  KPFK Delegates election results. 

Summary:

Both with the New Bylaws referendum and the KPFK Delegates election, Pacifica overruled the democratic vote of its members.

Updates -Legal, Misinformation from Pacifica Legal Counsel, strange LSB elections development, KPFT Building, Loans

See below for (and click on any of these to jump directly there):

The following are just a few examples of misleading and/or false statements made by General Counsel Arthur Schwartz:


Arthur Schwartz claims:  In the Oct. 26 email, General Counsel Arthur Schwartz says “The bylaw proposal was defeated because the staff voted no.”
New Day’s response:
Whether the proposal won or lost depends on how one interprets the California law governing non-profits like the Pacifica Foundation. New Day is simply asking the appropriate court to make that determination. Thus, any claims by Schwartz et al that “they won” or “New Day lost” are at best misleading and premature.   (Note:  The Listener-Members voted YES by a margin of 56% to 44%. The much smaller group of station staff collectively voted no, with the opposition heavily concentrated in the 2 eastern stations, which overcame the YES vote from western station staff at KPFA, KPFK and KPFT. Overall, if the votes of the two classes are taken together, the YES vote won by a margin of 55% to 45%. So the question before the court is whether California law will hold that the overall majority YES vote will prevail or not.)

Arthur Schwartz claims:
New Day solicited funds to “sue Pacifica.”
New Day’s response: New Day is soliciting funds to seek a legal ruling by the court on how the applicable California law should be interpreted and therefore who won the June Bylaws Referendum. Note that New Day has not suing anyone; the current Pacifica Management is suing New Day…and using Listener-Member donations to do it. These lawsuits seem to us to be designed to bully, intimidate and discourage New Day’s legal efforts. With your help, they will not succeed.

Arthur Schwartz claims: “New Day Pacifica has only one or two members … and no bylaws.”
New Day’s response: 6800 People voted for the New Day Bylaws, and New Day Pacifica (NDP) has at least a dozen people active on its leadership team and thousands of supporters!  NDP is essentially a group of devoted Pacifica Foundation supporters working to reform the Foundation’s dysfunctional governing structure in order to preserve and sustain the Foundation in its crucial role as a progressive independent media voice speaking truth to power. The fact that current Pacifica management is using Listener-Member donations to sue New Day (as well as the 4 individuals named in the new Bylaws as “transition officers” and eight individuals who ran for LSB positions in the recent elections) has made many others associated with New Day reluctant to list their names publicly. That doesn’t mean they don’t exist. It just means that to the extent bullying and intimidation are current management’s goals, they have at least in part achieved that end.
As to bylaws, NDP has been focused on drafting, passing and implementing the Pacifica Bylaws Reforms, not on establishing itself as an independent organization. 

Arthur Schwartz claims: NDP is “using the … names it got from Pacifica to raise money….” And has not yet filed to declare the election results improper.
New Day’s response: Yes. Raising money from and communicating with the Pacifica Listener-Member list is within our rights under both the old Pacifica Bylaws and California corporate code. Otherwise we could not continue our fight on behalf of the majority who voted YES for reform. That money is now being used to get the bylaws that the majority of Pacifica voting members support.  In order to do that we have had to defend against Pacifica’s allegations, and to try to make sure that we were in the appropriate court.  In the meanwhile,  our cross-complaint dealing with the key remaining election question of “who won” has not yet been filed, but will be soon.

Arthur Schwartz claims: “Money [NDP] has attempted to collect … is being paid to Jan Goodman’s lawyer husband.
New Day’s response: New Day is extremely fortunate that one of its leaders, Jan Goodman, is an attorney who’s been working pro bono on behalf of New Day. Gaining court validation of our hard won victory last June is arduous and time-consuming. Jan is doing it because she loves Pacifica and wants to preserve and revive the network. She cannot do it alone. NDP has been trying to find more lawyers willing to work for free or at a reduced rate, but that’s not easy to pull off. It’s no surprise that most attorneys want and need to be paid for their efforts. So it’s doubly fortunate that Jan is herself married to a man who’s also an attorney, Jerry Manpearl, and one who’s willing to work unpaid unless or until current Pacifica management is ordered by the court to pay damages to NDP. Most lawyers in cases like ours insist on being paid up front; it’s rare to find one who’ll work on a contingency basis. If that money comes in, the New Day leadership team is in agreement that it would be only fair for him to be compensated. If not, he will have worked pro bono. Jerry has taken the case because he too cares deeply about and wants to reform and rescue Pacifica from the dire straits it’s in. That said, even the two of them together cannot handle this case by themselves due to commitments they have to many other clients. That’s the reason we turn to our supporters for financial assistance to fill-out our legal team.

Another Strange Development – Disappearing Candidates

Four candidates in the Delegates/LSB election that just ended, who were endorsed by NDP, mysteriously disappeared from the election results posted online on elections.pacifica.org. It’s as if they were never candidates at all, which of course is not correct. They are Robert Payne, Nancy Pearlman, Will Ryan, and Adam Wolman, all from KPFK. We hope this removal of four NDP-endorsed candidates is a simple mistake that will be corrected promptly. Despite demands, so far Pacifica has failed to correct this disappearance, which is forcing New Day to ask the court to do so. Except for this peculiar but significant exclusion, candidates endorsed by NDP did very well in the elections. Thanks for voting for them!

KPFT update:

Although the PNB majority voted many weeks ago to approve sale of KPFT’s building, the sale has still not been finalized. No details have been made public.

Loan Update:

We have also learned that Pacifica’s request for a $2 million EIDL loan from the Small Business Adminstration was turned down, but Pacifica will be getting (or perhaps already received) a $500K EIDL loan from SBA. We remain concerned that Pacifica still has not provided any repayment plan for either that or the $3+ million FJC loan that uses Pacifica’s buildings as collateral

Many thanks!

Vote Yes landslide at KPFA, KPFK and KPFT — among both listeners and staff

Recently released referendum numbers show that both listeners and staff at KPFA, KPFK and KPFT overwhelmingly support the Vote Yes – New Day changes needed to reform Pacifica’s governance/leadership structure and save Pacifica. Vote Yes-NDP overall won 55% of the vote. (See below for vote numbers, analysis).

Pacifica files lawsuit against New Day

Pacifica management and board majority is using a staff veto strategy to declare that the bylaws referendum lost, in spite of the fact that Pacifica’s listener-members and membership as a whole on July 9 voted decisively in favor of the New Day Pacifica changes to save Pacifica.

On July 22, Pacifica filed a lawsuit against New Day Pacifica, and against the four people who ran to become Transition Officers of the Pacifica National Board in the Bylaws Referendum & Election of Officers (although Pacifica claimed that they were Officers of New Day Pacifica). Originally the complaint was mostly to have the court decide which side won the election. However, later Pacifica piled on a lot more claims to try to intimidate New Day and its supporters from standing up, speaking out in court, in public and in the courtroom. For instance, Pacifica is now claiming that the money that New Day collected to get the bylaws passed and to hire counsel to represent the YES position in court belongs to Pacifica, and New Day and the defendants should be ordered to reimburse Pacifica for these funds. See more about this below.

Pacifica is going to court to try to both bankrupt New Day Pacifica but also to squash all criticisms of Pacifica’s current financial and organizational crisis. It is expected this lawsuit will cost Pacifica at least $100,000–all on the membership’s dime.

New Day will fight to get the Vote Yes bylaws implemented so we can save Pacifica

With your support we will fight to get the court to certify an NDP victory so we can get the necessary governance changes implemented to address and turn around Pacifica’s financial and organization crises. We are currently assembling our forces and planning strategy, and will use all available political and legal means to get the Vote Yes-NDP bylaws ratification recognized.

Please donate today – more essential than ever!

Please donate $5 to $500 (or more!) for NDP expenses and legal costs to ensure the membership’s Vote Yes decision to save Pacifica is respected. We have $10,000 remaining in donations, but estimate we need to raise another $40,000 to win in court. Thanks to the more than 800 members who have donated already to support New Day Pacifica’s efforts to save Pacifica.

DONATE to New Day Pacifica

What’s happened at Pacifica since the vote?

Pacifica gave interim Executive Director huge raise despite further cost-cutting plans. Pacifica started paying Pacifica’s current executive director a salary with a six-month contract, despite the fact that she has no significant media management experience. To incur this expense at a time when Pacifica plans to lay off valuable staff at KPFK and other stations makes little sense. Pacifica needs a media-experienced ED to oversee the day-today running of the five stations, archives and affiliate network and provide strategic guidance to the Foundation and board.

Pacifica wastes $60,000 on Houston real estate agent. Pacifica hired a real estate agent to sell the KPFT building who Pacifica must pay out of the sale price, rather than hiring an experienced real estate agent who was willing to donate their services to Pacifica. This wrong-headed decision will cost Pacifica at least $60,000.

Please sign petition opposing cuts in KPFK employee severance pay. Pacifica management recently stated they plan to impose a new union contract on the KPFK staff which includes massive cuts to KPFK employee severance pay, making it easier and cheaper for Pacifica to lay off long-term staff at KPFK. Please sign this petition to support Roy Tuckman and other KPFK staff.

Vote Yes Landslide at KPFA, KPFK and KPFT—among both listeners and staff

NDP Election - Listener Vote Analysis Table

*Pacifica’s National Election Supervisor released station percentage data only, so vote totals calculated are approximate.

*Pacifica’s National Election Supervisor released station percentage data only, so vote totals calculated are approximate.

NDP Election - Overall Vote Analysis, showing 55% Yes, 45% No

Please check our website for updates: NewDayPacifica.org

To help us ensure that Pacifica honors the results of the membership vote:

Please DONATE to help with our expenses.

Thanks!
— the New Day Pacifica team

56% Vote Yes to Save Pacifica in Democratic Vote for Change, but Pacifica wrongly declares bylaws lost

Thanks to the 6820 members (both listeners and staff) who voted Yes to save Pacifica.

We won this referendum by a solid and democratic majority of listeners and staff—despite Pacifica management’s announcement to the contrary.

Vote Yes-New Day Pacifica will work through the various legal and political channels available to us with your support to appeal and reverse this wrong-headed decision which allows those individuals responsible for Pacifica’s financial and organizational crisis to stay in charge at Pacifica. Pacifica needs to immediately recognize the membership’s decision to approve and implement the New Day Pacifica bylaws proposals so we can save Pacifica and all five radio stations, archives and affiliates.

NDP Bylaws Referendum Results

Pacifica is using a “staff veto” theory to justify declaring that Vote Yes lost. Pacifica posits that since the New Day proposals affect the staff, if the staff reject the proposals the vote of the overall membership is irrelevant and the proposals fail. The irony of Pacifica’s management professing concern for the opinion of Pacifica’s staff while overseeing the gutting of Pacifica staff’s benefits should not be lost on anyone. (Pacifica recently eliminated employer-paid family health insurance at KPFK and is planning to gut existing severance language protections to facilitate laying off long-term staff at KPFK.)

Question: is a “staff veto” of bylaws proposals ever permitted under the Pacifica bylaws and California non-profit law?

Yes, but only in the most extreme circumstances where the bylaws proposals would “materially and adversely affect the rights” of the staff “as to voting or transfer in a manner different than” such action affects the listener-members. (See the Pacifica Bylaws, Article 17, sections 1B-3 and 1B-4). The New Day Pacifica proposals do not “materially and adversely” affect Pacifica staff’s rights, so the membership’s majority decision (which includes both listeners and staff) should determine that Vote Yes won the referendum.

Question: doesn’t Pacifica staff support Vote Yes-New Day Pacifica?

Yes! Staff at KPFA, KPFK and KPFT overwhelmingly support Vote Yes-New Day Pacifica to save Pacifica, all five stations, the archives and affiliates. Vote Yes-New Day Pacifica also has some staff support at WBAI and WPFW. However, Pacifica management at WBAI (GM and PD) and WPFW (PD) used their positions at Pacifica management to coerce staff into voting No after they publicly endorsed Vote No this year. Last year WBAI management was even caught ordering staff to produce vote No receipts to prove they were loyal staff members!

Question: so how will New Day appeal/overturn the bylaws decision?

New Day yesterday requested arbitration as per our December 4 agreement with Pacifica to use arbitration to resolve election issues to “avoid litigation and expense to the Pacifica Foundation.” Even given this agreement, Pacifica has already hired another expensive law firm to prepare for a court fight, clearly hoping to bankrupt New Day Pacifica due to court costs.

Donations still essential:

Please donate $5 to $500 for legal costs to ensure the membership’s Vote Yes decision to save Pacifica is respected. We have $10,000 remaining in donations from you, but estimate we need to raise another $40,000 to win in court. Thanks to the more than 800 members who have donated so far to support New Day Pacifica’s efforts to save Pacifica.

Pacifica Has Started Selling Its Buildings: KPFT First

KPFT building for sale.
Pacifica confirmed yesterday that they are selling the KPFT building in Houston to pay down a small portion of Pacifica’s $3.2 million loan that is due October 2022. KPFT is being forced to trade a fully paid off property that they own for monthly rent at a new property.

KPFA and KPFK Buildings Also in Jeopardy of Sale or Lease
Pacifica just announced plans for “the lease or sale of certain properties” (more than just KPFT building) “to provide sufficient cash flows to properly service the debt and provide sufficient working capital to satisfy ongoing operation expenditures and related commitments (such as payroll and related benefits)” (Pacifica audit for FYE 9-2020 filed June 30 2021, page 28).

In other words, Pacifica will be selling or leasing the KPFA and/or KPFK buildings to pay its ongoing expenses including payroll and help pay off the $3.2 million loan.

Time Is Running Out for Us on the Left

By Sharon Kyle, New Day candidate for Transition National Chair of Pacifica and Co-Founder of the Left Coast Forum and LA Progressive
Sharon Kyle
For over 50 years, the right has stomped all over the left in its unfettered domination of the media. A few decades ago, it would have been unthinkable to turn on televised news and hear some of the outlandish assertions made on Fox News today. What we now refer to as mainstream media showed itself to be in the pockets of the war profiteers after 9/11. One need only look at which outlets posed serious questions to George W. Bush as he marched us into Iraq and Afghanistan.
Authoritarian regimes are on the rise globally with half the population of the United States demonstrating a willingness to support authoritarianism by backing Trump in the last election. The right’s control of the narrative through its network of media outlets in both television and radio have helped to make this possible.
Time is running out for the left. We don’t have the luxury of stumbling on with barely funded media, internal squabbles, financial kerfuffles and radio programs no one listens to.
For 20 years, Pacifica has operated under a governance structure that has proven itself to be ineffective. The time for change has never been more urgent. Vote YES for New Day Pacifica.