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.
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.
Onward and upward,
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