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.
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:
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.
5. FIRE THE PACIFICA LEGAL TEAM
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.
Visit the New Day home page for more information and updates.