Myths vs Facts – 2023 Update

by Jan Goodman for New Day Pacifica

Jan Goodman and Bernie Sanders photo
Jan Goodman and Bernie Sanders

In this message, I want to address the myths and falsehoods that have been circulated about me and New Day Pacifica. I’ll provide detailed explanations, including references to the New Day Bylaws, to dispel the misinformation that has been perpetuated.

Myth: New Day and its supporters are Pro-War, Corporate Democrats.

Fact: All New Day-endorsed candidates for the KPFK LSB, were/are Bernie Sanders supporters. If supporting Bernie and his platform makes us pro-war, corporate Democrats, then so be it.

Myth: New Day and its endorsed candidates attempted to shut down WBAI in 2019 and still want to shut down WBAI and/or WPFW.

Fact: In 2018, WBAI and Pacifica were slapped with a judgment by the Empire State Building related to WBAI’s non-payment of transmitter rent. I, Jan Goodman, fought against Bankruptcy and helped create a bridge loan to save WBAI and Pacifica. At that time, I (& others) put our own retirement money up to save WBAI & Pacifica. If anyone wanted to shut down WBAI, that would have been the moment, but we fought for network solidarity. In 2019 New Day wasn’t even in existence. New Day Pacifica was formed in 2020, when/because the related $3 Million loan was coming due and there was no plan on how to pay it back.

Myth: The New Day Bylaws are undemocratic with un-elected top-down leadership.

Fact: Under the New Day Bylaws, Pacifica members, for the first time, will democratically elect their Station’s National Board Member, directly, and every member, democratically and directly, will vote for and elect the National Officers. As opposed to the present, electoral college type system in which members only get to vote for Local Board Members, and then the Local Board Members vote for the National Board Members, and then the National Board members vote for the Officers.

This change aligns with the trend in progressive organizations and unions to move towards direct elections of leaders. (1)

Myth: LSBs are eliminated under the New Day Bylaws.

Fact: Local Station Boards continue to play a vital role under the New Day Bylaws. Reinvigorated Local Station Boards will actively support their stations with fundraising, community feedback on the station’s programming, and help doubling the station’s membership. They will no longer elect the PNB because listeners will do that directly. This allows LSBs to qualify as “Community Advisory Councils.” Plus, helping Pacifica obtain grants. The New Day Pacifica Bylaws have an entire section (Article 6) dedicated to Local Station Boards – see the New Day Bylaws.

Myth: Non-Profit Community Radio means non-professional sounding radio.

Fact: Pacifica has a history of professional, high-quality radio. Program quality has declined, but New Day aims to restore Pacifica’s quality, content and professionalism.

Myth: New Day has tried to destroy Pacifica by lawsuits.

Fact: It was Pacifica which initiated litigation against New Day Pacifica to block the implementation of the New Day Bylaws, which 55% of Pacifica members voted in favor of.

Our beloved Pacifica is facing serious challenges, including financial instability and declining program quality. It’s time for a change to save our network from further decline. Please support New Day-endorsed candidates in the Delegate/LSB elections and cast your ballots before the voting deadline (see

Myth: Under New Day, four officers would be running Pacifica without a board and would probably shut down WBAI.

Fact: The four officers would never serve alone. The first board meeting, would take place within 2 weeks of the New Day Bylaws being implemented and in attendance would be both 5 elected Directors from each station and the four officers. (See New Day Bylaws Proviso 2B P. 54 and Proviso 3 p. 58)


[1] Guide to New Day Bylaws: Under the New Day Bylaws, the listener members at each station directly elect their Directors to the Pacifica National Board (PNB) – See NDP Bylaws, Art. 4 Sec. 3D, and nationally, the staff elects two Directors directly to the National board Art. 4, Sec. 3C.

In addition, all members directly elect the National Leadership (Chair, Vice-Chair, Secretary and Treasurer) – Art. 4 Sec. 3B. But under the present bylaws, the election of the National Board Members is “2 generations” removed from the members, and the election National Officers is “3 generations” removed from the members.

It should be noted that there is a trend among progressive organizations labor unions (e.g. UAW & Steel Workers) to go from the “delegate” model to the Direct Election vs. Delegate Model, with the thinking that the directly elected Directors and officers will be more responsive to the membership who elects them. In fact, the election of the current very independent and reform oriented President and leader of the current UAW strike is credited to the fact that he was the first directly elected President of UAW, as opposed to previously elected Presidents, who were elected by delegates—typically entrenched “leadership”.

The New Day Bylaws in which the President, Vice Chair, Secretary and Treasurer follows this democratic/direct election trend. Representatives of the Affiliates also directly elect their own Director to the PNB, Art .4 Sec. 3E. All 12 of these Directors then elect 3 “At Large” Directors, Art. 4 Sec 15, to bring in expertise and other perspectives the Directors feel are missing (For example – labor, community organizing, social media, fundraising expertise, racial or gender balance or etc.) creating a Pacifica National Board of 15 members. NDP Bylaws, Art. 4, Sec. 3. Pacifica members voted for officers during the same election that the New Day Bylaws were voted upon.

Fact: Under the present regime, there are 120 people involved in elected governance – a number which our own auditors (and common sense) state is too large and too dysfunctional. This 120 people, each of 5 Local Station Boards (LSB) consists of 24 members. Listener members at each station elect 18 LSB Member/delegates, and Staff Elects 6 Staff LSB members. (Note: Virtually no one knows even 9 candidates running for the LSB at any one time. Voters report that they feel lucky if they know someone who knows someone who can make recommendations about who to vote for in LSB elections).

Those 24 LSB member/delegates from each station elect, from among themselves, 3 Listener Directors and 1 Staff Director from each station to the Pacifica National Board (PNB) (Note: It might be noted that since Listeners comprise 75% of each LSB, the Staff Directors are essentially elected to the Pacifica National Board (PNB) by the 75% Listener/Delegates, not by the staff, thus making the PNB even more non-democratic.

To recap: The LSBs at 5 stations each elect 4 Directors. For a total of 20 PNB members.

These 20 PNB members elect 2 Affiliate representatives.

These 22 PNB Directors then elect the Chair, Vice-Chair, Secy & Treasurer of the National Board.

To Recap: Members elect the 120 LSB members, who elect the 22 PNB members who elect the 4 Officers. Thus the leadership of Pacifica is currently “3 generations” away from the members – as opposed to the New Day proposal whereby the members directly elect the leadership. QUERY: WHICH IS MORE DEMOCRATIC?


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Support Candidates for Your LSB Who Will Strengthen Your Station and Pacifica

The 2023 Pacifica elections – for Delegates/Local Station Board (LSB) members – are underway. Ballots were sent out to all current members on August 15 with weekly email reminders each Tuesday.

DEADLINE: Your vote must be cast before 9pm Pacific Time/ 11 pm Central Time/ 12 midnight Eastern Time, Saturday, September 30.

Why Vote?

Pacifica and its stations are under grave economic stress due to:

  • decreasing listenership and donations at some stations due to poor quality programming
  • unwillingness by some to make necessary changes so we can pay off debt and pay regular ongoing expenses
  • increasing debt for Pacifica and an inability of the Pacifica National Board (who are chosen by people on our Local Station Boards or LSBs) to agree on any repayment plan other than by selling our stations’ buildings and possibly other assets

More of why it’s so important to get good people on our LSBs and the Pacifica National Board (PNB, whose members are chosen by those we elect to our LSBs):

  • Pacifica has over $2 million in unpaid bills.
  • In addition, Pacifica failed to make payments on a $2,080,000 government loan now referred to the US Treasury Dept for collections, and the original $3.2 Million loan from 5 years ago (that was supposed to have been paid off by now) that uses all of Pacifica’s buildings as collateral. . 
  • We need board members who will push for more responsible actions on the Pacifica national level, to help save our stations.

The programming we love – independent public affairs, news, and music – could all be gone without people on our boards who insist that we need to keep and add top-notch programming and retain professional management so the Pacifica mission can survive!

See an update on MYTHS vs FACTS about New Day Pacifica.

New Day Pacifica Voting Recommendations

Our voting suggestions for Delegates/LSB candidates who will help strengthen our stations, increase listeners and support, and help fulfill the Pacifica misison:

If you are a KPFA member, we suggest you follow the recommendations of KPFA Protectors

If you are a KPFK member, see our KPFK endorsements.

If you are a KPFT member, we suggest you follow the recommendations of Move KPFT Forward.


  • Ballots were sent out from Pacifica Foundation <>, on Aug. 15, by email if your station has your email address. You may get reminder emails each Tuesday if you have not voted, from that same email address or from
  • E-Voting information was also distributed on Aug. 15 by text message if your station has your current mobile number.
  • Or if your station has neither your email address nor mobile number, you may have received a hard copy ballot in the mail.
  • Look for each of those and check your spam folder if you can’t find them. Each has your unique link for voting online in your LSB election.


If you don’t get your ballot as noted above, then:

  • Fill out the official Pacifica ballot request form here
    If you don’t have a gmail address, you may skip the part where the ballot request form asks which gmail account to use.
  • Also let us know by emailing
    Please indicate if you are a listener or staff member, and which is your station.

Pacifica News Updates you may not have heard about

We are writing to give you a candid assessment of how Pacifica is doing.

Legal Update

You may recall that Pacifica sued New Day Pacifica (NDP) in the fall of 2021, and then NDP counter-sued. Both sides filed motions with the court, asking the judge to issue summary judgements, to hopefully end the legal struggles without an expensive drawn-out trial. So far the judge has not made a final ruling. Thus, as it stands now, the case will go to trial to be resolved. Stay tuned for further updates.

Pacifica Finances

Pacifica’s debt and reduced listenership and revenue continue to be significant challenges for the organization.

Pacifica’s most pressing need is for governance reform which the New Day bylaws would provide and which a strong majority of membership voted for in June of 2021 referendum. Unfortunately the current management disputes the results of that referendum and we’re still tied up in court.

Individual Stations

KPFA in Berkeley continues to be the most financially healthy of Pacifica’s 5 stations. It continues to pay all its expenses, as well as some of the expenses of other stations.

KPFT in Houston (with its almost all-volunteer staff, including management) had its building sold to pay off some of Pacifica’s debts but has brought back some of its more popular programs, and is now rebounding well, in a less expensive building.

KPFK in Los Angeles, (which is also home to the invaluable Pacifica Radio Archives), WBAI in NYC, and WPFW in DC continue to run deficits but are working to regain audiences and listener members. Pacifica plans to sell KPFK’s building to help pay off some of the debt.

Good News – Pacifica Elections are Moving Ahead

Pacifica has just hired a National Elections Supervisor (NES), Renee Penaloza, who was also the NES in several other elections. This is a first and a very important step in the elections process. Pacifica has also been working on cleaning up the notoriously bad member databases at some of our stations – another very important task, which should be done on a continuous basis by each station’s management, and which helps not only with elections but also with fundraising.

Many members on Pacifica’s Election Committee have suggested that the details of the elections be simplified, more along the lines of what other non-profits do (those which have member elections of Board members). As many members have stated, the main objectives of the NES should be to (1) ensure fairness to all candidates, and (2) reduce complexity and costs of the election and of the NES workload.

More Good News and Our Request

Our stations still have loyal listeners, supporters and dedicated staff (including many who are volunteers), just not as many as in the past. Many people still recognize the need for the independent programming that Pacifica can provide but are concerned about Pacifica’s need for improved governance.

We urge everyone to encourage their Local Station Board members, and the National Board members chosen by those LSB’s, to work together (especially when it’s difficult!), to support management in improving programming quality to help reverse the loss of listeners and donors, so that Pacifica and all our stations can once again rise and thrive.

Onward and Upward!
Your Friends at New Day Pacifica

Fact vs Fiction

Pacifica’s general legal counsel, Arthur Schwartz, has continued making false and inaccurate statements, and these have not been limited to what he’s told Pacifica Board members, staff, and listeners. Earlier this month, as part of the lawsuit he filed against New Day Pacifica (NDP), he submitted papers to the Court which included many such false and inaccurate statements, some old and some new.

New Day Pacifica filed a response brief with the court addressing these misstatements of fact. It’s in an easy-to-read Fact vs Fiction format. You can read it (and save to your computer if you wish) from the file on our web site at NDP Reply Brief filed with court.pdf — Skip to page 3 of the brief – page number at the bottom of the page (page 8 of that file) for Part II, for the Fact vs Fiction section.

Fortunately, you don’t have to believe what either we or Mr. Schwartz say about what the New Day Bylaws will or won’t do. You can read and download the New Day Bylaws text here. The Provisos in the last few pages deal with the transition from the current governance system to the new one – something that Mr. Schwartz continues to misrepresent. And if the court rules in New Day’s favor, that transition to a brighter future for Pacifica will begin soon.

The Court may Decide Soon

We are anticipating a court ruling in December. Look for another email soon with more about why the court’s approval of the NDP Bylaws would be good for all Pacifica stations. We realize many Pacifica members have been deeply concerned by things told to them by those in control of Pacifica, in their attempts to delay or prevent governance reform, but we do believe the arc of the moral universe does bend towards justice, even if that happens much slower than we’d like.

Please Donate to your Pacifica Station

The one thing all sides agree on is the desire to see the Pacifica network survive and thrive, so we DO encourage you to donate to your favorite Pacifica station today. It’s Giving Tuesday, all our stations can definitely use your support, so we hope you will give generously.

Rescuing Lew Hill’s Pacifica

by Akio Tanaka

Originally published on Indybay:

The real threats to the Pacifica network are the stations that are not self-sustaining, and a National Board that is unable to address the problem.
Each station has to be self-sustaining, and a functional National Board has to be able to take appropriate remedial action when they’re not.
Lew Hill founded Pacifica with a promising vision, yet Pacifica is struggling mightily to survive. How did this come about?

One problem is that some stations misconstrued Lew Hill’s view on programming. Because Lew Hill was a conscientious objector during WWII, many people have assumed that he founded Pacifica to broadcast only “wildly unpopular perspectives that could never get on the air anywhere else.“ Lew Hill’s view on programming was more expansive and enlightened. He said Pacifica was “to give the genuine artist and thinker a possible, even a desirable, place to work in radio.” He added “KPFA’s present [1951] air schedule is a modest example. It embraces four main categories— 1) music, 2) drama and literature, 3) public affairs, and 4) children’s programs.”

Another problem is that some stations are ignoring the critical need for listener sponsorship. Stations can choose to focus on programming for peace, social justice and diversity as long as they remember that the programs still have to garner enough listener members to support the station. Having poorly produced shows that don’t do that, don’t help fulfill the Pacifica mission. Lew Hill said, “We make a considerable step forward, it seems to me, when we use a system of broadcasting [listener sponsorship] which promises that the mediocre will not survive.”

By narrowing the scope of programming, and ignoring the necessity for listener support, some stations run large deficits year after year and drain the network of resources. The Pacifica National Board (PNB) has been dealing with this problem by taking money from self-sustaining stations. This fails to deal with the root problems noted above and is simply not sustainable.

The current governing structure, set in place over 20 years ago, has proven to be incapable of dealing with Pacifica’s root problems. It is also undemocratic, allowing all stations the same number of representatives, regardless of their listening audience size and/or their ability to be self-sustaining.

In order to have a more democratic and functional National Board, members petitioned and voted for new bylaws in June 2021. Members approved these new bylaws by a margin of 55% to 45%. Under the New Day Bylaws, the National Board would be smaller, more nimble, and have a majority of Directors (12 of 15) directly elected by the members, resulting in much more democratic representation.

To date, these new bylaws have not been implemented because Pacifica ruled that the new bylaws were NOT approved, based on a highly questionable interpretation of our current bylaws and California law. That ruling is currently being challenged in the courts.

Lew Hill said “Anyone can understand the rationale of listener sponsorship—that unless the station is supported by those who value it, no one can listen to it, including those who value it. This is common sense.”

To rescue Lew Hill’s listener sponsored Pacifica Radio, each station has to be self-supporting, and a functional National Board has to be able to take appropriate remedial action when they’re not.

The status-quo situation is neither tenable nor sustainable.

Setting the record straight: Straight talk on Pacifica’s misinformation campaign & elections violations

Much has been written about Pacifica’s handling of the KPFK Local Station Board election in the fall of 2021, as well as of the New Day Pacifica (NDP) Bylaws referendum last summer. Unfortunately, much of what has been written by Pacifica’s General Counsel on behalf of Pacifica’s current National Board (and even to the Board) is incorrect.

Here are the basic facts:

1. Candidates endorsed by NDP did nothing to warrant disqualification; Pacifica violates prior agreement with NDP.

Last fall New Day Pacifica (NDP) — the sponsors of the new, yet-to-be-implemented bylaw amendments approved in June 2021 by a majority of Pacifica’s membership — got permission from Pacifica to send out a postcard to Pacifica members, endorsing 8 candidates running for the KPFK Local Station Board. This postcard also asked members for contributions to help defray legal expenses incurred by New Day in defending against a lawsuit filed by Pacifica, a lawsuit which violated a previous agreement to settle all disputes through binding arbitration. The endorsed candidates played no part in the content or sending of this postcard, other than agreeing to be endorsed and supplying a picture and this was immediately communicated to the National Election Supervisor (NES), when she later complained about the postcard.

2. Pacifica’s NES and General Counsel voice objections and prescribe remedies.

The National Election Supervisor (NES) Renee Penaloza and Pacifica Counsel Arthur Schwartz objected to New Day using this postcard mailing to solicit funds for anything other than the LSB election, asserting that this violated California Corp. Code 6338. The NES then prescribed remedial actions to New Day which she said must be taken by the candidates, the alternative being that she as NES would disqualify all 8 New Day endorsed candidates.

3. New Day Pacifica responds.

New Day’s legal counsel Jerry Manpearl was not formally given notice of this NES ruling, but when he found out about it, he voiced two primary objections. He first strongly disagreed with the NES interpretation of California Law. Secondly, he pointed out that under existing Pacifca bylaws, the NES has no authority to disqualify legitimate candidates unless they violate Pacifica’s Provisions for Fair Campaigning. In this case, there were no such violations.

4. The candidates were not given proper notice.

Neither Pacifica’s General Counsel nor the NES contacted the candidates themselves with regard to the postcard or their being disqualified. Pacifica Counsel Schwartz has asserted that he informed Jan Goodman and that this was sufficient, even though he acknowledged at that time that she (Goodman) was not acting as anyone’s lawyer or official representative. In addition, Pacifica’s General Counsel, an outspoken opponent of the New Day bylaws, is not a neutral/unbiased 3rd party and should therefore not have played any substantive role in interpreting or enforcing election rules.

5. Nevertheless, the NES proceeded to disqualify candidates and nullify votes, yielding flawed results.

Despite this lack of notice to the candidates or New Day’s Counsel, and the highly questionable interpretation of California law, as well as the lack of requisite authority, the NES proceeded to disqualify most of the New Day endorsed candidates after all votes had been cast and the counting of the ballots had begun. In addition, she afforded none of the candidates or KPFK voting members any due process or notice of this disqualification until after the votes had been cast and counting had begun. As a result, all votes for four of the endorsed New Day candidates were simply set aside/ignored and not counted, thus disenfranchising all members who had voted for them. An objective analysis of the ballots cast showed that all the New Day endorsed candidates would have been elected if votes for them had been counted, which also means that some of those recently seated on the KPFK Local Station Board were not legitimately elected.

Support New Day Pacifica’s Efforts

New Day is fighting to set all this right, and in closing we want to thank all of you for your generosity, patience and support. We literally couldn’t continue the critical efforts to save Pacifica without you. If you think our cause is worthy, please donate whatever you can below.

Donate to New Day Pacifica

Onward and upward,
New Day

For more information and for updates, check back regularly to this web site.

Pacifica Radio Is In A War Over Democracy… Its Members Are Fighting For Her Survival

-by Pacifica Members, Supporters, Board Delegates, et. al.

originally published by Down With Tyranny:

By a certified vote of 6,820 to 5,471 (55% to 45%) the Pacifica Network’s Membership has voted to adopt new by-laws.

The membership and staff of KPFA, KPFK and KPFT have overwhelmingly approved the new by-laws.

But an entrenched minority has refused to accept the by-laws results as mandated by the membership, undermining the Network’s future.

The rejection of the overwhelming listener mandate to implement the new by-laws has deeply alienated that membership majority, which is an historically activist, pro-democracy constituency.

The anti-democratic rejection of Pacifica membership’s demand by a minority clique has further ruined the reputation of Pacifica and consequently worsened its finances.

Amidst a serious financial crisis, the donor base has been alienated by the Pacifica legal team’s refusal to disclose how much of the listenership’s money it has spent suing against the implementation of by-laws mandated by that same listenership.

Pacifica’s legal team has also used membership donations to fund intimidating legal threats against supporters of democracy at Pacifica.

To add insults to injury, in a recent KPFK local board election, Pacifica’s legal team arbitrarily eliminated– “disappeared– four candidates AFTER votes were cast, with no recourse for the candidates or the members who voted for them.

The raw vote count in this KPFK election showed that all four candidates eliminated by the Pacifica legal team were in fact duly elected to the KPFK board by the membership.

One pro-democracy candidate duly elected to the KPFK board was intimidated by the Pacifica legal team’s actions and dropped out, despite having legitimately won a seat. Sadly, another– the great Will Ryan– has deceased.

But some of the current “members” of the KPFK board, possibly including the chair, were not duly elected. Those who WERE democratically chosen by the membership stand ready to take their rightful seats.

Amidst rampant mismanagement (which prompted the vote for the by-laws change in the first place) the Network’s listenership, influence and credibility as a pro-democracy institution have been severely damaged.

Yet the Pacifica legal team consistently bullies those who question the Network’s current state with intimidation and public contempt, in direct violation of Pacifica’s peaceful, non-partisan mandate.

Such activities– paid for with donor funds– mock the non-violent pro-democracy mandates of the Network’s founders and the core beliefs of what’s left of its progressive constituency.

Without approval from the Pacifica membership, the legal team refused arbitration to which it had previously agreed, deeply polarizing the Pacifica community, costing the Network as yet-undisclosed sums of donor money while further undermining its reputation as a progressive organization.

Amidst public challenge, Pacifica has failed to investigate a dubious 99% outcome– hardly viewed as credible among objective observers– at an election involving 131 alleged WBAI staff. That odd outcome was wrongly used to overturn the clear democratic mandate for new by-laws registered by 6820 Network members (vs. 5471), further undercutting Pacifica’s credibility and functionality as a democratically-run organization.

To regain its listenership, its ability to function, its financial standing and its credibility as a pro-democracy progressive media institution, Pacifica must honor the mandate of its membership for new by-laws. It must also honor the democratic vote of KPFK’s membership by seating all of its duly elected but “disappeared” board members.

To regain the Network’s public credibility, and its financial balance, the Pacifica legal team must make public its detailed billings for the past three years. It must submit all proposed future billings to the local station boards and the national board for pre-approval. It must immediately be replaced with a legal team that is genuinely non-partisan, that is pledged to transparency in its billing, and to neutrality in its service to the Network’s internal governance.

Upcoming board elections must be held as mandated, despite predictable resistance from the entrenched Pacifica minority.

There must be NO self-extending terms or cancellation of elections!

But opponents of a new election (which is mandated by Pacifica’s rules) clearly fear being democratically voted out of power. They claim there is no money to conduct the election while refusing to disclose how much money has been spent by their attorney in opposition to the democratically endorsed New Pacifica by-laws.

This is not acceptable!! We are fighting for the Network’s democracy and for its future. We will keep you posted!

For over 70 years, Pacifica has been a beacon of hope and inspiration, a guiding light to challenge the status quo, and its corrupt authoritarianism. The Pacifica foundation must not succumb and yield to the tyranny of a clique of power-grabbers on the local and national boards.

Now is not the time to give up on Pacifica. Nor is it time to give up on the promise of democracy in Pacifica governance.

Please…we must support our irreplaceable media treasure which is Pacifica, and insist upon impartial and fair 2022 delegate elections. DOWN WITH TYRANNY!!!!!

(signed) Bill Crosier, Sandy Childs, Kurt Guerdrum, Pam Jenks, Evelia Jones, Ismael Parra, Robert Payne, Nancy Pearlman, Myla Reson, Mansoor Sabbagh, Harvey Wasserman, Adam Wolman

J’Accuse…! We accuse Pacifica governance… | and NDP Updates


hand-finger pointing to right We accuse Pacifica governance of:

  1. Financial mismanagement for the last 10 – 20 years
  2. Deliberate or incompetent destruction of the excellence in broadcasting that is Pacifica’s heritage
  3. Driving the Foundation to the brink of bankruptcy
  4. And, recently, of stealing the Pacifica national election as well as the local election at KPFK

The first three are obvious. The last we’ll explain here, and then request your contribution for legal fees to continue fighting for your rights. We can’t do it without you.


New Day Pacifica

Inquiring minds want to know: Why are legal bills at the Pacifica Foundation so high? Why are member dollars, desperately needed to support the Pacifica Network’s five stations, being siphoned off to pay law firms?

Is it because, as some conspiratorial-minded people would have it, there are scary people trying to drive Pacifica into bankruptcy? Or is there something that Pacifica itself is doing to drive up legal fees? (You guessed right: It’s the latter.)

Let’s take a look at the latest round of the Pacifica “legal wars” for the full story.


In 2021 a group of Pacifica members concerned about the Pacifica Foundation realized the best way to help was to revise the bylaws to make the organization’s governance more functional — and then to convince a majority of listener-members to vote for reform.

Seventeen executive directors in 20 years was too much; a $2 million judgment against WBAI was too much; a $3 million loan secured by Pacifica’s real estate with no repayment plan was too much; being continually on the brink of bankruptcy was too much; continued failure to raise sufficient operating funds by WBAI and sometimes the other stations (now including KPFK) was too much; continued loss of $1 million per year in grants from the Corporation for Public Broadcasting was too much; continued decline in membership and listeners was too much; continued degradation of the quality of programing and the programmers was too much.

Something had to be done.



Analyzing that it was the governance structure that was dysfunctional, not just individuals, these members formed an organization for the purpose of passing amended bylaws, New Day Pacifica. Bylaws revisions were drafted. If the referendum passed, the bylaws would be revised and transition officers elected. After continued fights and battles with Pacifica governance and management, Pacifica and New Day Pacifica agreed to arbitrate disputes “to address issues which might arise” and “to avoid litigation and expense.”

After a long campaign a vote on the referendum was finally held. The new bylaws and the election of four national officers and directors won a solid majority of the votes of all members. Overall the vote was 55% (6817) YES and 45% (5459) NO. However, of the fewer than 500 staff members who voted, 59% (255) voted NO, to 41% (178) YES votes — but only because WBAI staff voted 99% to 1% NO. Voting experts say a 99% vote is likely only to happen when there is fraud or intimidation. In fact staff and listeners at WBAI were told over and over that if the referendum passed, the station would be closed and the staff fired — a lie. Staff at three stations solidly approved of the referendum.

In spite of the overwhelming vote in favor of the referendum, the then–Pacifica National Board (PNB) majority and national management, apparently seeking to maintain power under the status quo, insisted that both listener members and staff members had to each vote yes as a group — and declared that the referendum lost. New Day believes this is clearly not the law and is incorrect, a decision based on management’s overwhelming desire to keep control and not the law. Seventy-seven staffers at WBAI, according to management, controlled the election.


When it became clear that there was a dispute about whether the majority vote of the members would determine the outcome, arbitration would have been the quick, inexpensive way to resolve things.

Why wouldn’t the majority vote absolutely determine the outcome? Because there’s a state law and bylaw which states that if staff would be “adversely and materially affected differently from the listeners as to voting,” the staff as a group would have to vote yes. Are staff materially and differently effected? New Day contends — and the numbers support — that staff is actually treated better as to voting under the revised bylaws, and therefore the bylaws reforms won. Management disagrees.

hand-finger pointing to right Instead of arbitrating this simple and clear issue, as New Day requested, Pacifica Management filed a law suit (think: big bucks!) against New Day and the proposed PNB officers who would be seated if the revised bylaws were implemented.

The cost to members of fighting and refusing to arbitrate? Pacifica won’t say, but our educated guess is more than $60,000 so far.

Pacifica has spent members’ donations as if Pacifica were a fat-cat corporation with oodles of money in its coffers. It’s as if the board majority members have been thinking, “It’s not my money, so why not spend as much as necessary stalling a decision so we can stay in power?” Bolstering this inference is the latest news from the board majority: They are now planning to wrongfully eliminate this year’s Delegate elections — perhaps because New Day–endorsed candidates swept last year’s elections at three of the five Pacifica stations, and if elections were held this year, the New Day movement for reform, which continues to include a majority of Pacificans, would likewise become the majority on the board.



Pacifica’s bylaws and California law provide that members/New Day have/has the right to send postcards and emails to all other members on Pacifica’s mailing list to raise money to support candidates and/or bylaws amendments. The logical extension is that they also have the right to raise money from these members to see that bylaws amendments passed by a majority of members are implemented. Otherwise corporate management could squash any movement for change by just ignoring the will of the membership, by filing a lawsuit to stop the change, and stripping the reformers of their right to raise money from the membership to fight to implement the changes the reformers had the right to raise money for to pass the amendments in the first place.

hand-finger pointing to right New Day is fighting for the reforms the majority voted for, changes for which there is no question campaign money could be raised. Neither the courts nor the legislature has addressed this particular question, which is why the court will decide it, in the present litigation.

Reasonably believing New Day had the right to do so, New Day sent a postcard on about September 2, 2021 endorsing eight candidates in the KPFK LSB election and on the flip side of the card asking for donations to defend against the above lawsuit.

After the mailing, the National Election Supervisor and Pacifica’s General Counsel told New Day Pacifica that sending out such a fundraising solicitation to the membership was illegal (something that NDP attorneys disagree with). They then resorted to a sort of blackmail, telling New Day that unless the eight NDP-endorsed candidates endorsed “admitted” they broke the law, the candidates would be disqualified.

Of course the candidates, who did not know or approve of the contents of the postcard, just that they were being endorsed by New Day, refused to submit to such intimidation.

Two weeks later, without any process whatsoever, including never communicating directly with the candidates to ask their side of the story, and ignoring New Day’s explanation that the candidates knew nothing about the contents of the postcard, Pacifica added all eight candidates as defendants in the above existing lawsuit. (Think: more money flowing from Pacifica’s coffers) With a stroke of the pen, in an attempt to intimidate, Pacifica disrupted the lives of well-meaning Pacifica supporters who did nothing but volunteer to be involved in Pacifica’s governance by running for the LSB. One candidate was in fact intimidated and soon dropped out. The others stayed in.


Former national board member Grace Aaron, part of the clique that opposed New Day, and a candidate herself, running against the NDP-endorsed candidates, emailed Pacifica General Counsel Arthur Schwartz that four of the above candidates whom she supported (two of whom were on her slate) knew nothing about the postcard. Having never spoken with any of the candidates, Schwartz then told these four that he/Pacifica was not going to take action against them because Aaron said that they were OK. So although all eight were equally uninvolved in the conduct of New Day in sending a solicitation, only four of them ended up being “disappeared” from the results of the election — based solely on Aaron’s preferences.

And then management sat on its hands, leading New Day and the candidates to believe that management had changed its mind. KPFK members were sent ballots with all eight of the New Day–endorsed candidates, and members were allowed to vote. Management did not advise voting members that some candidates were threatened. No further mention was made of disqualification to the candidates or to the members. Voting members believed their votes would be counted. Management admits that it did not institute any hearings, bring any charges, or tell the members or candidates that their votes would not be counted. Only when votes were in and tabulated did management take action: not a hearing, not charges, not arbitration, not an investigation — they merely disappeared four candidates and published the results of the election without the names or vote counts of the disappeared candidates, as if they had never run.

Under the Bylaws, the National Election Supervisor (NES) has the right to disqualify candidates for breaking Fair Campaign rules, but that power is limited to those who break the Fair Campaign rules. The bylaws do not give the NES the right to disqualify candidates for any other reason. None of these candidates broke any of the Fair Campaign rules, but the NES disqualified them anyway. Thus their disqualification is far beyond the purview of the election supervisor.

Management realized after Simply Voting (an independent company Pacifica uses to count the ballots) counted the votes that the New Day–endorsed candidates won the vast majority of the KPFK Local Station Board listener seats. Only then, ex post facto, did management decide to disqualify the winning candidates.

Management went back to Simply Voting and told them to recount without including these four candidates, then published those altered results.


The three New Day–endorsed candidates whose votes were counted came in number 1, 2, and 3. It has since been learned that if the votes for the three remaining New Day endorsed candidates were included in the count, all six of the remaining New Day candidates would have been elected. (One of the eight dropped out as soon as she was improperly accused of wrongdoing and one candidate, sadly, died after the election was completed.)


After Pacifica decided to end arbitration and sued New Day, New Day made a motion under a special code section (Corp Code §5617) asking the court to immediately decide who won and who lost the election. Instead of taking advantage of this legal shortcut, which would have allowed Pacifica the opportunity to avoid the costs of a drawn-out court battle, Pacifica spent thousands more dollars and fought against the motion for an early decision — stalling and adding attorneys’ fees. The judge, instead of immediately deciding whether the bylaws passed, ruled it did not have the authority to make a decision, leaving the issue to be decided at a trial. Pacifica won this Pyrrhic victory, putting off a quick decision which would have ended the lawsuit and saved tens of thousands of dollars.

After being sued by Pacifica, New Day and the other defendants filed a cross-complaint, presenting their position hoping to bring the matter to a head as quickly as possible.

In addition to using up member resources as described, Pacifica’s attorneys have continuously wasted time and money trying to prevent New Day from raising funds to fight the lawsuit that Pacifica management filed.


Pacifica lawyers then made a motion to try to stop New Day from fundraising, claiming that the money they were raising was really Pacifica’s (!!!). The court rejected their motion, meaning that filing this failed motion put Pacifica’s money into the pockets of Pacifica lawyers at the expense of Pacifica donors.

In addition, Pacifica attorneys spent substantial resources asking the court to silence New Day from criticizing Pacifica’s management and presenting New Day’s position with regard to who won the referendum. It took the court about 60 seconds to essentially lecture Pacifica’s attorneys that the US Supreme Court refused prior restraint against the NY Times from printing the Pentagon Papers, so the judge wasn’t about to issue an order of prior restraint against New Day.

These are only some of the ways Pacifica and its attorneys have caused this litigation to drain Pacifica’s coffers. Meanwhile, all this litigation is using up the funds members have generously donated to both Pacifica (to support the network) and New Day (to fight to implement their votes to reform Pacifica’s dysfunctional governance system). Every motion Pacifica files probably costs both Pacifica and New Day tens of thousands of dollars.


New Day accomplished another success when Pacifica recently finally agreed to try to expedite the litigation. We’re excited to see our efforts paying off, and that we won the motions with regard to fundraising, our mailing lists, and freedom of the press!

But the downside is that New Day needs to raise at least $20,000 to $50,000 more in attorney’s fees. We need your assistance to enable us to convince the court that the majority reform vote to create a more-functional Pacifica governance structure should be implemented before Pacifica disappears by continuing its death spiral.

Although this number is high, compared to the value of letting our precious community asset — the only independent, left radio network in the country — dissolve by continuing on its present trajectory, this is a fight well worth supporting.

The funds can be raised — by the team effort that got us to this point.

If the following donations were made, New Day supporters would create a fund of $40,500 with the donations of 395 people.

  • 1 donation of $10,000
  • 2 donations of $5,000
  • 3 donations of $1,000
  • 4 donations of $500
  • 10 donations of $250
  • 25 donations of $100
  • 150 donations of $50
  • 200 donations of $25

You, our supporters, won the election! We’ve come this far. We can’t give up now. Unlike Pacifica, which simply diverts the money that people donate to support their stations to pay for the lawyers to oppose the votes of the majority, New Day is depending on you to consciously make the decision to fight to implement the changes you voted for. Please donate at whatever level you can — $10,000? $5000? $500? Or even $5 if that’s all you can afford — by clicking here:


Together we’ll fight to see these essential changes get implemented so we can save precious Pacifica.

You may also Donate to New Day Pacifica by mailing a check to New Day Pacifica at 5627 Telegraph Ave, Suite 116, Oakland CA 94609

Thanks from the New Day team!

Attribution for image above: Vectorstock

So Pacifica can survive for future generations