Diamonds are the eggs laid by the Devil – in PacificaWorld, it’s windfalls: putting off hard decisions. ED Brazon announces $1.2m Paycheck Protection Program decision, Th28Jan2021 PNB

. . . a double-edged sword, putting off uncomfortable decisions . . . (image courtesy of David Jacques, Oil is the Devil’s Excrement) . . .

Sections:

• the need to end de facto federalism

• the need for a network development plan

• KPFA: five-year $643k total net loss, yet personnel costs out of control

• only guarantee of quick cash is from a signal-swap: but where?

• the second $1m+ Paycheck Protection Program loan, Jan2021

• Pacificans get their tax-$$$ back: perhaps $2.56m [UPDATE: actually $2.64m]

• digression: how can NETA be saving Pacifica money?

~

In Sierra Leone, diamonds are known as the Devil child, eggs laid by the Devil.

The Iraqi lamented, if only we had had onion fields, not oil fields.

The ‘father of OPEC’, Venezuelan oil minister Juan Pablo Pérez Alfonzo, even entitled one of his books, Hundiéndonos en el excremento del diabloSinking in the Devil’s Excrement.

And PacificaWorld? It has its own windfalls: if not The Golden Corpses, the bequests, then federal money. (Once upon a time in PacificaWorld, it was a political question whether to take fed money, from the Corporation for Public Broadcasting, the CPB. That’s long gone.)

A gift can be a curse.

Why a curse? Behaviourally, it distracts from the underlying reality, the causal reality; so cognitively, it deludes; & prospectively, it provides an incentive to put off difficult decisions. To adapt another’s words, ‘it’s the “natural resource curse”: showered with sudden windfalls, quickly spent, but creating thirsty projects, a cost structure that’s unsustainable when revenues crash’ (Jerry Useem, Fortune). This is the warning made for years by Kim Kaufman, the recently resigned KPFK LSB Finance Cttee Chair.

https://archive.fortune.com/magazines/fortune/fortune_archive/2003/02/03/336434/index.htm; KK’s 13Jan statement, justifiably biting, https://kpftx.org/archives/pnb/kpfkfin/210113/kpfkfin210113a.mp3 (4:06), & same as part of the published agenda, https://kpftx.org/archives/pnb/kpfkfin/210113/kpfkfin210113_6923_agenda.pdf (pages 1-3). (In then electing the temporary Chair, candidate Fred Blair, the longstanding former PNB Audit Cttee Chair & current KPFK Treasurer, lost out to . . . ‘Balanced Bella’, a vote of 3-4.)

The curse works insidiously. Habituated with windfalls, just go with the flow. See where it takes you. Problems? Just deal with symptoms, not causes. Firefight. Be immediate & ad hoc, focus on muddling thru. Don’t try to develop & exercise foresight. Don’t bother with a destination. Certainly don’t plan. Don’t address enduring problems, the decay (even mould). Ignore the possibility of pathology. The possibility of systemic dysfunction. Likewise, for the participants, don’t ponder the generative forces they themselves exercise in the way they live in PacificaWorld, in the way they interact with each other. But then we are, by default, creatures of the surface, attending to what’s immediately around us, rarely examining how & why things come to be, why some persist, whilst others change. Without heuristic reflection, we are, to put it onticly, condemned to be preoccupied with the generated dimension of human living, not the generative dimension. This partial understanding confers a delusional attitude, towards what’s going on & what has to be done.

This is PacificaWorld. Looking forward to the relief promised by the next fund drive. Hoping – but not hoping – another listener dies. Talking about ‘getting the audit done’ for that mil$lion from the CPB (as if no other condition has to be satisfied). All this expectation mashed up with the urgency of putting out the latest fire. Perpetual crisis mode, absorbing one’s time & energy. But this is merely the bubbling on the surface.

So what responsibility is borne for all this by Pacifica’s decision-makers? They’re not the sole determinant, but they are agents. Their responsibility lies both in what they have done & what they have not done, displayed in their acts of commission & acts of omission. The directors, legally, are the trustees of the Foundation, custodians of the assets. Given this, it needs to be recognised that, systemically, the directors have been perpetrators of an institutional failure, stemming from refusing to examine the generative dimension, the forces at work those present, those absent. In practice, the directors have functioned as custodians not of assets but of failure. The directors need to recognise their failure, learn from it, & take remedial action.

~

The need to end de facto federalism

What are these acts of omission? Two stand out, & they are related. The first is refusing to find a way to systematically overcome the destructive, disintegrating dynamic dominant in PacificaWorld since at least 2005. This is refusing to challenge the principal deleterious political condition, & force: de facto federalism. The federalism in a supposed unitary radio network. Organisationally expressed as fiefdoms, keeping out ‘interference’ from the centre: from those with network responsibility, the Foundation responsibility, so from the executive director, from the chief financial officer, even from the directors. (Lynden & co have met 2mths’ resistance to arranging their directors’ inspection of KPFT.) Federalism, the force proving to be the most antagonistic to Pacifica’s organisational well-being. A political force spawning its correlate consciousness: ideationally as station separatism, the politics for break-up, & affectively as excessive station pride, station chauvinism, spreading corrosively around the network to fuel resentment amongst all parties. A parochialism, exemplified by the Berkeley Hillbillies. Shredding the mission statement, that shibboleth oft-heralded, then ignored. Toxicity, not Saint Greta.

A federalism expressed mundanely in not just a continuing lack of adequate bookkeeping, accounting, & financial activity, but, crucially, in their weak regulatory means, the internal control systems. It’s because most live the delusional attitude that since the 16July2020 acceptance of the FY2018 auditor’s report, the chatter has been ‘getting ready for the FY2019 audit’, rather than the honest, ‘the auditor can’t come in yet coz the FY2019 books are still chaotic, so we don’t even have a trial balance, plus all those gaps in the supporting evidence to any draft financial statements we might eventually come up with’. Yes, NETA’s head drone, George Walter, had to cough up to the 30Nov2020 PNB Audit Cttee, the last time it met (so two months & counting, with no next meeting date set), that even a trial balance didn’t exist (9:21) – 4½ months into ‘getting ready’.

https://kpftx.org/archives/pnb/audit/201130/audit201130a.mp3, & https://pacificaradiowatch.home.blog/auditor-s-reports/auditors-reports-summary-notes-2/auditors-reports-summary-notes/ (please see the commentary, ‘And when are the FY2019 & FY2020 auditor’s reports expected?’)

[UPDATE: CFO Anita Sims told the Th4Feb2021 PNB, in her 67secs report (sic), that a trial balance still doesn’t exist, so over 6½ months after the acceptance of the FY2018 auditor’s report – but, rest assured, “George would run a trial balance, & that would go to the auditors, for them to start their fieldwork” (below clip, 0:53; audio not yet in the Archive [UPDATE: no change as of Su21Feb] … ADD LINK + TIME). So everything’s under control; as Anita said, “I feel very good about everything […] I’m feeling very, very good” (0:35, 1:11). Insincerity or the delusional attitude, it hardly matters. But listen to what she said, listen carefully: mention of lots of particulars, including dates, but they’re largely meaningless because they’re drowning in an ocean of indeterminateness: each desired outcome lacks a definite date. Every one. Seriously, listen to it. But her obfuscation, intentional or otherwise, worked: not one director asked her to speak plainly, to speak precisely. And it was as if the 30Nov2020 admission had never happened.

As mentioned, audio not yet in the Archive (the CFO ‘report’ will be at c. 2:25:00), but the ‘report’ clip is here, at https://mega.nz/file/NY12VIiA#XwOnEifKPejZjLWTPPR25i7Q9Nhq5QPoxzZl7J0G720.]

There’s a simple rule with the punters: be straight with them. Always.

Post-16July2020 is all Mickey Mouse, the taking advantage of the naive: when the money function is managed properly, ‘getting ready for the audit’ is quite straight forward: quickly doing the final update of the needed schedules, reviewing what’s ready, getting in the auditors two weeks after year-end. So the function dysfunction persists even under NETA, contracted since mid June 2018, so struggling in PacificaWorld for over 2½ years & counting: NETA, failing to impose centralised control within their domain, languishing under six ED’s who themselves failed to impose the requisite centralised control Pacifica needed & still needs . . . Tom Livingston, Maxie Jackson, Grace Aaron, John Vernile, Lawrence Reyes, Lydia Brazon. A comprehensive, & continuing, management failure, ultimately the responsibility, & so failure, of directors sorely out of their depth – it’s elder abuse, really. Mundanely, the current audit delay is because FY2019 lacked adequate bookkeeping, accounting, & financial practices & internal control systems. And FY2020? Your guess is as good as Jorge’s.

NETA start date is evidenced by 7June2018 PNB private meeting, 5July2018 PNB, & 10July2018 PNB Finance Cttee: https://pacifica.org/documents/pnb_exec_180607.pdf; https://kpftx.org/archives/pnb/pnb180705/pnb180705b.mp3 (Anita Sims making her Pacifica debut, 29:42); and https://kpftx.org/archives/pnb/finance/180710/finance180710a.mp3 (ED/CFO Tom Livingston, 3:50; & Anita Sims, 7:54), & https://kpftx.org/archives/pnb/finance/180710/finance180710_5442_minutes.pdf (pp. 1-3)

(Launching Major Tom into both offices violated a non-trivial by-law: “neither the Secretary nor the Chief Financial Officer shall serve concurrently as the Chairperson of the Board or the Executive Director” – Article 9, Section 1; https://pacifica.org/indexed_bylaws/art9sec1.html. But, hey, rules are for the great unwashed, yeah, not the entitled?)

Summarily, the directors have copped out, refusing to combat federalism, the principal centrifugal political force in PacificaWorld, the most disruptive organisationally. The directors have refused to measure up to their responsibilities.

~

The need for a network development plan

The other act of omission, correlated but inversely, is yet again causing the directors to be perpetrators, & so custodians, of another key institutional failure, their refusal to generate a centripetal force: implementing a network development plan. (The right sort of NDP.)

And this is no surprise: even individually, the directors seem incapable of having a vision of Pacifica’s future, any vision, even an unviable one. For them, the future collapses into the present: it doesn’t exist. Just consider the PNB Strategic Planning Cttee. Almost three years of talking; nothing published. Established by the 15Feb2018 PNB. First met 12Mar2018 . . . Christmas 2018 . . . Christmas 2019 . . . 14Dec2020, 2¾ years later, the Cttee told there were some working papers – being worked on, of course. Sure enough, the next meeting, 5Jan2021, learnt that the worked working papers had been further worked on. Anticipation mounted for the only other meet, 19Jan, but it wasn’t streamed, & the audio isn’t in the Archive. Oh. But our saga doesn’t end there: no date set for the Cttee’s next meeting. Maybe there won’t be one. After all, there’s only the need, as it stands, to hand over on F2Apr2021, $3.265m + $51 015.63 quarterly interest to the Foundation for the Jewish Community, FJC.

(Tu5Jan2021, there were some votes on what was described as a plan, and Cttee & PNB Chair Alex Steinberg (4:15, leading up to 6:31; then 28:06) spoke of presenting something to the Th7Jan PNB, but there was nothing in its public meeting, & no public report of the private meeting – in fact, the last written ‘report-out’, of any Pacifica meeting, was last year, 19Dec2020 (sic) … https://kpftx.org/archives/pnb/pnbstratcomm/210105/pnbstratcomm210105a.mp3, & https://pacifica.org/notices_home.php#exec. Question is, why the secrecy about what’s said to be ‘a plan’? Why wasn’t the motion read out, put into the public record, as happens every other time? Why not go public? Indeed, why didn’t the Cttee ask for planning ideas from staff, members, listeners, even their fellow LSB delegates? Why assume that the best ideas would come from the Cttee? Especially as the Cttee’s been going three years without publishing a page?)

Unable to recognise need, the directors are also unable to help create the minimal political conditions for implementing a network development plan, a plan turning an aggregate of radio stations into a unitary radio network. A network development plan sustained by an unavoidable spatial revolution in the treatment of money, in the relationship between where funds are raised & where they are spent: making some of the allocation rules those of positive discrimination, mitigating the histories of each station, not least their initial endowment, & focusing on the future by allocating funds where it’s decided they’re most needed. (Cuba, 1963-4, Che versus the Stalinists: el Gran Debate, ¿Sistema de Financiamiento Presupuestario o Sistema de Autofinanciamiento?) A network development plan sustained by imposing the requisite centralised control, one far exceeding the minimum demanded by RealWorld – by the public authorities & the social law of money, which both treat Pacifica Foundation, Inc. as a unitary legal personality.

For a unitary radio network, the analytic unit for balancing revenue & costs isn’t the station: it’s Pacifica. Not ‘the division’: it’s the Foundation. It’s a foundation, an edifice, not an archipelago, all strung out.

~

KPFA: five-year $643k total net loss, yet personnel costs out of control

Besides the need both to challenge de facto federalism & to implement a network development plan, Pacifica needs to address two other proximate matters: costs, & revenue.

When the latest $1m+ Paycheck Protection Program money runs out, perhaps end of April, it may cross the minds of the directors to address Pacifica’s cost structure – and how the change in the last five years is a silent scandal: KPFA has become an unbearable burden, dragging down the network.

Comparing FY2016 with FY2020, a span of five years, whilst Pacifica’s expenses fell 7% with KPFA’s dropping a staggering 14% ($520 771), KPFA personnel expenses were out of control, shooting in the opposite direction, growing 15% (from $1 996 377 to $2 294 297), their share of the station’s expenses rising a remarkable 34%, from 54% to a bloated 72%! This is a revolutionary change of KPFA’s cost structure. It has made the number of paid staff at KPFA wildly disproportionate within Pacifica. This rendered even more stark by what’s to come at KPFK. With worsening Pacifica cashflow, this dynamic at KPFA is unsustainable. It’s also wrong. The required policy to be carried out is obvious. Yet not one delegate on a local station board, nor one director on the national board, speaks its name. An elephant unseen.

https://pacifica.org/finance/audit_2016.pdf; & the Nov2020 Foundation management accounts, on an accruals basis (hence the unpaid NETA billing National Office a monthly $27 500, so a yearly $330k), but excluding the perhaps ~$160k annual depreciation charge (calculation is below), https://mega.nz/file/VRECmR4C#BmFMNBkd1jva8Uh6IMvJhjbcIJp3lrn7NxMxOVVjud8 (the file gives as author, “Tamra Swiderski”, NETA Senior Controller)

Comparing these two fiscal years, Pacifica total expenses fell the mentioned 7%, but personnel expenses were unchanged: so their share grew from 52.6% to 56.4%, a rise of 7%. And KPFA’s share of Pacifica personnel expenses grew from 30.4% to 34.9%, a rise of 15%. When KPFA non-personnel expenses are also considered, one sees something extraordinary, making it glaringly obvious what’s happened at the station: whilst its personnel expenses grew $297 920, non-personnel expenses were chopped by a startling 47%, $818 691, from $1 729 812 to $911 121; this shifted the excess of personnel expenses over non-personnel ones from 15.4% to 251.8%, a 16-fold rise (sic). With Pacifica last making an audited net income in FY2006 (sic), why was this allowed to happen?

Why has the CFO said nothing?!?

Pause a moment. And consider another fact, the five-year station performance, its ‘bottom line’. Although the alleged shining light of Pacifica chopped non-personnel expenses 47% when comparing FY2016 with FY2020, it increased personnel expenses by 15%, $297 920, all the while making a station five-year cumulative net loss of $642 972 (FY2016, audited $315 661 loss; FY2017, unaudited $129 012 net income; FY2018, unaudited $524 572 loss; FY2019, unaudited $205 459 net income (including the contra of a ~$100k depreciation charge); FY2020, unaudited $137 210 loss (ditto the ~$100k depreciation). (Note, the FY2016 auditor’s report seems to say the “Division” analyses are materially accurate: one must be prudent with the declarative “[i]n our opinion, the [division] information is fairly stated, in all material respects, in relation to the financial statements as a whole” (p. 1b) because it’s almost certain that the auditors, as usual, didn’t do fieldwork at all seven accounting units, & their report gives no unit-level info on their particular activities, including the scale & the accounts sampled – https://pacifica.org/finance/audit_2016.pdf.)

To repeat, not least for the PacificaWatch scribe writing the memes: KPFA cost Pacifica $642 972, so ~$m, across the five years, 1Oct2015 to 30Sep2020.

Putting it another way, KPFA has lived beyond its means for the last five years, throughout the period benefiting from three employees effectively paid for by the Foundation, by all the stations, out of income continually sucked from each successive accounting period.

The breakers don’t tell you this at the KPFA Local Station Board meetings, that’s for sure. It’s the protection of this reality, however they understand it, that strongly motivates the KPFA breakers: the urgency of the breakers at KPFA flows from the increasing pressure upon Pacifica to find cash.

(Depreciation estimate: the last audited depreciation figures Pacifica has are FY2016, being $216 780 Pacifica, $103 229 KPFA. The financial statements in the FY2017 & 2018 auditor’s reports are unaudited, giving, respectively, $200 279 & $161 781 Pacifica, and $93 511 & $99 442 KPFA. Being imprudent, to give KPFA the benefit of the doubt, assume for FY2019 & 2020, $160k Pacifica & $100k KPFA. https://pacifica.org/finance_reports.php (please see the relevant pages).)

The concluding truth is staring us all in the face: this is where Pacifica has to make savings, at KPFA, *the personnel*, & do so immediately – and stop pursuing the self-financing unargued dogma of trying to rip out bone at KPFT, WBAI, & perhaps WPFW. (KPFK is currently undergoing its own slow-burn modification, that may become a transformation.) The directors really need to act here, for the sake of Pacifica.

(But an inkling of the truth may be starting to dawn – albeit hesitantly, partially, somewhat vaguely. Director James Sagurton (PNB Finance Cttee Chair, & WBAI listener-delegate) seemed to be saying something interesting to the 5Jan2021 PNB Strategic Planning Cttee (39:05). Something seemed to be there, as he reluctantly, timidly, almost apologetically made his point raised the topic spoke, as if he wasn’t sure whether he should even be saying it, not sure how to express it, not sure how to frame it. Well, praps it’ll turn out to be a start – https://kpftx.org/archives/pnb/pnbstratcomm/210105/pnbstratcomm210105a.mp3.)

~

Only guarantee of quick cash is from a signal-swap: but where?

Lastly, on the revenue side, considering a three- or even five-year horizon, the only likely source of big bucks to let Pacifica breathe, other than that seeping from a row of Golden Corpses, is a signal-swap, & not necessarily WBAI’s. It may take a year or so to do, but this is the only sure way to have cash to fund a network development plan.

One station should provide more than enough cash, but which one? So, what should be the decision rules? How to rationally decide which criteria are relevant? What are the best evidenced arguments pro & con for each station? No-one suggests this’ll be easy – it’s simply that for Pacifica it’s necessary to decide.

The directors need to bite the bullet.

Make a decision, not passively watch the agony that is Pacifica.

~

Anti politics can only take you so far. The anti-breakers need to recognise this. Pacifica needs a politics of hope. The breakers are devising theirs, & promoting it, taking initiative after initiative. Working to change the present, a springboard to a chosen future. The anti-breakers need to learn from this. They need to stop being the prisoner of events. They need to go offense. Pacifica needs a positive vision, informing a positive politics. This is what’s needed – but who’s going to recognise the truth, who’s going to do the work, & organise it?

All told, there’s only a narrow path to success: creating & maintaining political conditions, primarily solidarity engendering cohesion, allowing a centralised control, emanating from the National Office, from the ED & CFO, to supervise the carrying out of the network development plan, a control & a plan using monitored budgets as a disciplining means. Soberly, we can see how far away this is. But to make Pacifica healthy, to bring joy, even flowers in their hair, it needs to implement a network development plan.

Diamonds. Oil. Golden Corpses, fed money.

Palliatives, distracting from the generative forces causing worsening problems.

From the necro-economics of The Golden Corpses to the bio-economics of a Network Development Plan!

Learn, and act!

Get a grip. Man up. Just do it.

~

The second $1m+ Paycheck Protection Program loan, Jan2021

Which brings us to last night’s Pacifica National Board, to ED Lydia, & Pacifica’s next lifeline, the Second Draw PPP loan, as the feds call it. A state lottery. Hope your ticket comes up. Round 1 was June last year, Pacifica getting what seems to be $1.2m. Round 2 started W13Jan, so Lydia was on the ball.

How much has been approved this time is unclear because of a blip in the livestream: “one-point-[blip] million”, said the ED.

[UPDATE: it’s $1.2m, according to PNB Finance Cttee Chair, James Sagurton, at their Tu9Feb meeting: “[o]ur PPP money has arrived, in a lump sum disbursement. We now have $1.2m that was deposited into our account today” (2:43) – https://kpftx.org/archives/pnb/finance/210209/finance210209a.mp3.]

[FURTHER UPDATE: “[t]he second PPP loan was granted to the Foundation on February 9, 2021 in the amount of $1,222,237”, per the FY2020 auditor’s report (p. 19; p. 21 of the PDF) – https://pacifica.org/finance/audit_2020.pdf.]

[FURTHER FURTHER UPDATE: “[o]n August 16, 2021, the National Finance Committee was informed that the second Paycheck Protection Plan (PPP) loan had been forgiven”, according to R Paul Martin’s monthly written report to the WBAI LSB (p. 1) – https://glib.com/treasurers_report_2021-09-08.pdf. There was no meeting on 16Aug, & when the PNB Finance Cttee next met, 24Aug, it was odd that forgiveness wasn’t mentioned – not even during a suitable early item in the meeting, the Chair’s announcements (5:07). https://kpftx.org/archives/pnb/finance/210824/finance210824a.mp3]

Round 1 was reported to the 23June2020 PNB Finance Cttee, CFO Sims saying, “I’m pretty sure it was one-point-two” (49:28). So maybe the same again.

https://kpftx.org/archives/pnb/finance/200623/finance200623a.mp3 (that evening, it took almost an hour (sic) before anyone asked what the amount was – but it was the PNB Finance Cttee) [UPDATE: no surprise that it was left to other than a Pacifica meeting for the basic facts to be accurately disclosed, the FY2020 auditor’s report: “[t]he PPP loan was granted to the Foundation on June 19, 2020 in the amount of $1,256,630”, & “on January 12, 2021, the full amount of this loan was forgiven by the SBA” (p. 19; p. 21 of the PDF) – https://pacifica.org/finance/audit_2020.pdf.]

In the absence of the PNB audiofile in the Archive [UPDATE: it’s now posted, https://kpftx.org/archives/pnb/pnb210128/pnb210128b.mp3 (59:28)], here’s the clip of ED Lydia at the very end of the meeting, making the announcement because, surprise, surprise, after more than two hours, there was no time for any reports of what anyone’s been up to:

ED Lydia Brazon, Th28Jan2021 PNB, 59:28, announcing PPP approval, of one-point-blip-million (‘clouded’ at https://mega.nz/file/QYcWFTxT#2KsjcbKmkkgjz0g2Gt1RCVFlYrlk7f1ujC-oS06Bws4)

~

So what money is this? The COVID-19 epidemic in the US has spawned two conduits for disbursing federal loans to organisations, the new Paycheck Protection Program, PPP, & the pre-existing Economic Injury Disaster Loan programme, EIDL. PPP comes from the Small Business Administration, SBA, paying banks to do the work, but retaining power of audit. The First Draw started Apr2020, & the Second Draw 13Jan2021.

What Second Draw loans can be spent on, & their size:

Second Draw PPP Loans can be used to help fund payroll costs, including benefits. Funds can also be used to pay for mortgage interest, rent, utilities, worker protection costs related to COVID-19, uninsured property damage costs caused by looting or vandalism during 2020, and certain supplier costs and expenses for operations […] For most borrowers, the maximum loan amount of a Second Draw PPP Loan is 2.5x average monthly 2019 or 2020 payroll costs up to $2 million.

https://www.sba.gov/funding-programs/loans/coronavirus-relief-options/paycheck-protection-program/second-draw-ppp-loans

Those able to apply, such as Pacifica:

[a] borrower is generally eligible for a Second Draw PPP Loan if the borrower: • Previously received a First Draw PPP Loan and will or has used the full amount only for authorized uses • Has no more than 300 employees; and • Can demonstrate at least a 25% reduction in gross receipts between comparable quarters in 2019 and 2020

https://www.sba.gov/funding-programs/loans/coronavirus-relief-options/paycheck-protection-program/second-draw-ppp-loans

And forgiveness? It’s the same for the Second Draw as the First: do everything by the rules, send in the evidence with the forgiveness application, & the Agents of the Managers of Empire will smile upon you as they sprinkle the magic dust, turning the loan into a grant. Also, “[r]ecent legislation has eliminated the original requirement to deduct the amount of EIDL Advance you may have received from your PPP loan forgiveness” – https://www.sba.gov/funding-programs/loans/coronavirus-relief-options/paycheck-protection-program/ppp-loan-forgiveness.

(Pacifica received an EIDL advance of $10k, in Apr2020, with the balance of $149 900 on 13Nov2020, a total of $159 900 – ED Brazon 14Nov2020 email to presumably PNB Secretary Grace Aaron & PNB Chair Alex Steinberg, KPFK LSB minutes, 15Nov2020, pp. 16-17; https://kpftx.org/archives/pnb/kpfk/201115/kpfk201115_6760_minutes.pdf.)

~

Pacificans get their tax-$$$ back: perhaps $2.56m [update: actually $2.64m]

Corona-fed fed money received ($):

First Draw Paycheck Protection Program (PPP): mid June 2020 . . . . . . . . . . . . . . ~1 200 000

Economic Injury Disaster Loan (EIDL), fixed 2.75% annual

interest ($4 397.25) over 30 years ($131 917.50), + re-paying the $159 900:

advance: early Apr 2020 . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 10 000

balance: 13Nov2020 . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 149 900

Second Draw PPP: approved c. Th28Jan2021 . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 1 200 000

Total feed . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . ~$2 559 900

[UPDATE: ED Brazon told the Th4Feb2021 PNB that the PPP money will almost certainly be received F5Feb. (As of Su21Feb, audio still not posted. ADD LINK + TIME … another Pacifica Godot phenomenon: still not posted as of 19Oct2021 (sic).) . . . As subsequently updated above, the ~$1.2m rolled in Tu9Feb, as reported by PNB Finance Cttee Chair James Sagurton at that evening’s meeting.]

[FURTHER UPDATE: the FY2020 auditor’s report was the first source to disclose accurately PPP #1 & PPP #2: $1 256 630, & $1 222 237 (p. 19; p. 21 of the PDF) – https://pacifica.org/finance/audit_2020.pdf. Makes the total feed, more accurately, $ 2 638 767.]

Roughly $2.5m. Mustn’t grumble.

Can carry on muddling thru, without, importantly, having to think, having to choose.

~

[UPDATE: within days of learning of the PPP decision, it was back to normal at National Office: on Su31Jan, Pacifica’s homepage had a makeover, disappearing the National Fund Drive (never announced how much it made; nor whether it was success or failure; &, of course, not even thanking the punters for the wonga), this disappearance allowing the notice of by-law submissions to assume its rightful place, bang centre on the homepage. Brilliant. Panic over. Back to business as usual – until the next crisis. Looking inward, not outward. Notify visitors to Pacifica of the $1m+ PPP award? Are you crazy? That would require communication, being mindful of the bods who fund the whole charabanc. PacificaWorld, where alienation flourishes. https://pacifica.org/.]

~

Digression: how can NETA be saving Pacifica money?

According to the Nov2020 Foundation monthly management accounts, since Oct2019 NETA has been charging $27 500 per month, so $330k per year; this, within $20, was 2.50% more than the FY2019 comparative, $321 934. (Consider some of the raise a peppercorn interest rate on the de facto loan NETA is making, the “about $200 000” they’re owed as of Dec2020 Grace Aaron’s report to 20Dec2020 KPFK LSB (2:06:20, read in her absence by staff-delegate, now ex-director but newly elected PNB Secretary, Polina Vasiliev).) When NETA was hired, ED/CFO Livingston told the 5July2018 PNB, “[t]he monthly cost, urgh, for, urgh, for their work is in the neighborhood of half of what we were paying Sam and the two senior accountants who, who all departed in the past three months” (27:59, emphases added). (This contrasts with the less informative & misleading minute: “the monthly cost will be approximately half of the total of Sam Agarwal and the accounting personnel” (unpaginated, but p. 2 of the PDF, emphases added).) Really? Twice the price? The ‘expensive three’ were annually ~$630k-$650k, so $210k+ each? Alternatively, & granted NETA may have taken on extra work, can it really be the case that, given the IRS Form 990 evidence cited below, NETA only started off at roughly ½ x ($110k + 65k + 65k) = $120k a year, $10k per month, ~⅓ of their current charge? Please. ED/CFO Major Tom was telling porkies, yes?

https://mega.nz/file/RQ82EbIB#-Iik_0BDAYHPMWfPtZU2oYDTPTcv42-8z0tJdon7264 (as noted earlier, the file gives as author, “Tamra Swiderski”, NETA Senior Controller); https://kpftx.org/archives/pnb/kpfk/201220/kpfk201220a.mp3; https://kpftx.org/archives/pnb/pnb180705/pnb180705a.mp3, & https://kpftx.org/archives/pnb/pnb180705/pnb180705_5351_minutes.pdf

Internal Revenue Service Form 990’s can disclose higher paid employees, & Shailendra, aka Sam, was the only accounts staff to appear in the last two 990’s that Pacifica has published: $92 000 (2015 Form 990, p. 8 of the PDF, using FY2016 data; this was an amended return, p. 30 of the PDF), & $103 694 (2016 Form 990, p. 8 of the PDF, using FY2017 data; this also was an amended return, p. 36 of the PDF). https://pacifica.org/finance_reports.php; and https://pacifica.org/finance/990_2016.pdf, & https://pacifica.org/finance/990_2017.pdf

Final point, on the 990’s

The Form 990 is the annual return to the IRS by an organisation exempt from income tax. It’s due “by the 15th day of the 5th month after the organization’s accounting period ends” (IRS, p. 6), so for the 30Sep year-end Pacifica it’s 15Feb. The initial versions of the above 990’s aren’t in the public domain at pacifica.org, but the amended ones were filed significantly late, probably once the corresponding audits were finally done. https://www.irs.gov/pub/irs-pdf/i990.pdf (wedge on how to fill in the 2020 Form 990, 102 pages thick, with a 6-page index, dated 12Jan2021)

The 2015 Form 990, signed by ED Tom Livingston, is undated, but presumably used the FY2016 auditor’s report issued 31May2018, so at least 15½mths late; there’s also a Form 8868 application for a second extension, to 15Aug2017, albeit lacking the signer’s name, signature, & date of signing (pp. 1 & 34 of the PDF) . . . penalty for unauthorised late filing?

The 2016 Form 990, with ED John Vernile’s name on it but unsigned & undated, has a preparer’s date of 9Aug2019 (sic), a week shy of 18mths late, & presumably used the FY2017 auditor’s report issued 27June2019; the PDF also has a 8868 application to extend to 15Aug2018, hence the typed addition at the start of the 990 (pp. 1 & 37 of the PDF) . . . penalty for unauthorised late filing?

Note that to comply with federal tax law, Pacifica, as a tax-exempt organisation, “must make available for public inspection and copying its annual return”. Presumably it does this, but it has also made a habit of posting its 990 on the website. Until now. Why? https://www.irs.gov/charities-non-profits/public-disclosure-and-availability-of-exempt-organizations-returns-and-applications-documents-subject-to-public-disclosure; https://pacifica.org/finance_reports.php

Indeed,

has Pacifica filed its 2017 Form 990 (using FY2018 data) due 15Feb2019, &, if so, when?

has it filed its 2018 Form 990 (using FY2019 data) due 15Feb2020, &, if so, when?

has it filed its 2019 Form 990 (using FY2020 data) due 15Feb2021, &, if so, when?

Re these, only the FY2018 audit has been finished (albeit so incomplete that it required a disclaimer of opinion), the auditor’s report being issuable 16July2020, & published 15Aug2020 (sic) at https://pacifica.org/finance_reports.php. So, given that Form 990 needs figures from all the different kinds of accounts, both those appearing in the net income statement (incomes & expenses) & the balance sheet (assets & liabilities), when did NETA first compile these financial statements for FY2019 & FY2020? Or maybe they haven’t, & the three 990’s haven’t been filed with the IRS.

After all, there may be a lil legal difficulty here: “[u]nder penalties of perjury, I declare that I have examined this return, including accompanying schedules and statements, and to the best of my knowledge and belief, it is true, correct, and complete. Declaration of preparer (other than officer) is based on all information of which preparer has any knowledge” (p. 1 of the 990). Executive director; certified public accountant. Well, if an auditor won’t vouch for the material accuracy of the financial statements submitted to them, rendering them devoid of professional confidence, unusable by anyone (which is what a disclaimer means) . . .

Given the chaotic condition of the FY2017 financial records, no-one wanted to sign anything, hence the mentioned delay with the 2016 Form 990, due 15Feb2018, it only being submitted, possibly on 9Aug2019, after the FY2017 auditor’s report (the first to have a disclaimer) was made issuable on 27June2019 – so only after someone else had gone public with the bad news, & even then ED Vernile didn’t sign. But then neither did ED Livingston, nor ED Maxie Jackson, nor ED Grace Aaron. This, an absence, is an example of what can be missing from a director’s report to a local station board, how it can fail, the director failing to take responsibility, failing to acknowledge & disclose their acts of omission.

~~~

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