Breaking up Pacifica (1): the attempt, Sep2019-Mar2020, by Crosier-Goldmacher-Sabbagh (as Pacifica Restructuring Project, incl. Tanaka-Gendelman-Spooner-Franck-Travis-da Silva)

This page brings together links to the principal PacificaWatch posts on the latest attempt to break up Pacifica, the latest incarnation of the breaker faction. This time round it’s inspired by Peter Franck & Carol Spooner, faction members who have already written break-up plans this decade, Franck in Sep2018, Spooner in Aug2012. Spearheading preparation within Pacifica, beavering away in the committees, are directors Bill Crosier (KPFT listener-delegate), Donald Goldmacher (KPFA listener-delegate), & Mansoor Sabbagh (KPFK staff-delegate).

The core organisers number nine, as stated on the petition they use:

The Pacifica Restructuring Project is the work of three current Pacifica Board members, Bill Crosier, Donald Goldmacher, and Mansoor Sabbagh; four former Pacifica Board members, Sherry Gendelman, Carol Spooner, Akio Tanaka, and Carole Travis; former Chair and current Vice-Chair of the KPFA Local Station Board Susan da Silva; and former President of the Pacifica Foundation Peter Franck.

[UPDATE . . . Peter Franck, without explanation, or announcement, resigned before the referenda took place, duly taking his name, & well-deserved reputation, with him; this is evidenced by a revised webpage: “[t]he Pacifica Restructuring Project is the work of three current Pacifica Board members, Bill Crosier, Donald Goldmacher, and Mansoor Sabbagh; four former Pacifica Board members, Sherry Gendelman, Carol Spooner, Akio Tanaka, and Carole Travis; and former Chair of the KPFA Local Station Board Susan da Silva” –]

Creating a new Pacifica constitution is their chosen vehicle. (Evocative of Mike Davis on Buda’s wagon.) It abolishes the member participation & scrutiny of the Local Station Boards; makes non-Pacificans the permanent majority of the national board (the ‘at-large directors’); &, once the current PNB is dissolved, planned for late Jan2020, six named at-large directors will be the sole decision-makers for a minimum of 92 calendar days & a planned maximum of 114 days. In this period they “shall be authorized to take any and all actions they deem necessary for the Board of Directors to take that are not in conflict with law or these bylaws” (their Article XV, Section 1, my emphases). You better read that again.

This new Pacifica constitution creates a dictatorship.

Now, dictatorship isn’t known to be a Pacifica value, so why go to all the trouble of structuring the whole new constitution around this form of governance, a dictatorship for c. 100 days, exercised by what they call “the Transition Board”?

Mere speculation on my part, but might it be to help push through what the breaker faction want to achieve, the dissolving of Pacifica, the Acid Bath Strategy?

The new constitution creates a ‘100-day’ dictatorship:

  • appropriating all decision-making from the whole membership;
  • that is, eliminating member participation in any decision-making;
  • eliminating the very presence of opposition within Pacifica decision-making bodies;
  • eliminating expressions of opposition & alternative futures within public Pacifica decision-making forums;
  • eliminating the ‘public comment’ opportunity for members, staff, & listeners at Pacifica in-person meetings;
  • so, shutting down opportunities for dissent, protest, & exploring futures;
  • in a phrase, crushing opposition by a blanket removal of existing opportunities; &
  • the six at-large directors are insulated from any scrutiny whatsoever because all their meetings can be private, secret: so, they’re accountable to no-one, can avoid any public proceeding, & there’s no transparency, as they only have to issue legally required statements.

Eat yer 💗 out, Amy G.

The six at-large directors aren’t random dudes: no, they’ve been specially selected by the breaker faction, & named in their proposed by-laws. They’re already on-board with what the breaker faction want to do. They’ve already made their minds up as to what’s best for Pacifica’s five stations. The six at-large directors aren’t neutral, objective, well-meaning outsiders. No: effectively they’re members of the breaker faction itself.

The Transition Board members themselves transition from RealWorld to PacificaWorld. They’re immediately subject to an atmosphere of great urgency, the final emergency, the End of Days. The susceptibility of the six to the influence of others will be enhanced by the whipping up of a climate of existential crisis, of impending doom, of being driven into the abyss. (Please suggest better clichés in the comment box below.)

And even if they harbour doubts, they’ve still been primed to be disposed to break up Pacifica. Furthermore, being new to Pacifica decision-making, with little time on their hands, they will be highly susceptible to advice from the IED, the ICFO, legal counsel, the bookkeeper & accountant NETA, the quiet word of the auditors, &, last but not least, the bald words of the ‘special advisors’ no doubt lined up by the breaker faction.

The icing on the cake, of course, making it so much easier for the six, is feeding them a very detailed break-up plan, one prepared earlier by ‘Breaker’ Franck & ‘Breaker’ Spooner. (Imagery of the six in high-chairs, in rainbow bibs, being fed using curved cutlery, is too obvious to be mentioned.)

Having done all the thinking for them, all the six have to do is sign on the dotted line.

A final point. IED Vernile (contract ending 31Jan2020), his ED replacement, & the Transition Board assuming supreme power in the last two weeks of Jan2020: who does the breaker faction want as ED?

On 15Sep2019, Jan Goodman said that Vernile’s contract is six months, & implied that it expires 31Jan2020 (2:10:27, KPFK LSB). Ms Goodman is supposed to know, not least because she’s Chair of the PNB Personnel Cttee & a Pacifica director (KPFK listener-delegate). On Vernile’s replacement, being as vague as usual, she said Livingston Associates will be posting the vacancy ad, & “it’s being planned be put it out some time soon” (my emphases). No explanation was offered for the 10-week delay, to date. And no-one on the LSB wondered why. (ED Maxie Jackson was ousted at the Tu2July PNB private session. Also, for some odd reason, Tom’s left his time as Pacifica’s IED off the firm’s website:


These are the PacificaWatch posts of a contextualised analysis, plus the breaker faction’s seven documents (each with an added short commentary):

[analysis: to be inserted W25Sep (apologies for the delay)]


The breakers’ website, again:



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