The last time Pacifica had audited net assets? 10yrs ago, 30Sep2012 . . . So, yes, zombie public charity

. . . 10yrs on: the last time Pacifica had audited net assets was 30Sep2012 . . . audited net liabilities went as far south as $4 525 638, at 30Sep2016 . . . the latest audited net liabilities are $1 241 649, at 30Sep2021 . . . almost all of the improvement, 99.5%, is due not to operating performance but the auditor agreeing to three adjustments to total liabilities – screenshot of the FY2013 auditor’s report (page 3; page 5 of the PDF), https://pacifica.org/finance/audit_2013.pdf . . .

Zombies? Yes, zombies. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Zombie_company

When did Pacifica last have audited net assets? That was 30Sep2012, $495 924. It was wiped out by the FY2013 loss of $2 824 046.

The zenith for audited net assets had been $7 684 012, at 30Sep2006. (Note that the higher figure in the FY2008 auditor’s report was restated downwards in the following year’s report.) FY2006 was indeed Pacifica’s last annual net income until it earnt an audited one for FY2020 . . .

. . . 13yrs of financial – and political – failure: the times of war against Afghans & Iraqis, of Obama hope & the $$$ crash, of Trump. Year after year when the directors responsible for Pacifica – with all these opportunities before them – proved they couldn’t turn a penny. Not one penny. Failures. All of them. No vision. No plan. No self-awareness that they failed – repeatedly. No recognition of their limitations – the need to ask for help from experts. No humility. No grace. So, arrogant. Zombies too.

One needs to say ‘audited’ coz for FY2019 NETA did present a net income to the auditors, but they effectively rejected it: they refused to express an opinion on the material accuracy of the three financial statements given to them coz they were unable to agree with NETA an evidenced estimate of the pension plans liability. In the jargon, the auditors issued ‘a disclaimer of opinion’ – auditor’s report (p. 2; p. 4 of the PDF), https://pacifica.org/finance/audit_2019.pdf.

(In the consideration here, highs & lows, it’s adequate to use data in money terms, not real terms, coz in the period there hasn’t been enough inflation to distort the meaning of the plain figures.)

The failing of Pacifica found expression in successive annual losses &, as its correlate, falling net assets, & during FY2013 these turned into net liabilities.

The nadir of audited net liabilities was $4 525 638, at 30Sep2016. This sum may even be an understatement because those financial statements had the added uncertainty of receiving a qualified opinion from the auditors – auditor’s report (pp. 1a-1b; pp. 3-4 of the PDF), https://pacifica.org/finance/audit_2016.pdf. Furthermore, until the 2019 Democracy Now! event mentioned below, net liabilities were presumably even greater coz NETA presented a loss for both FY2017 & FY2018, statements that were met by disclaimers of opinion from the auditors (in the URL above, just insert the relevant year).

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Things have since improved. The latest audited net liabilities, at 30Sep2021, are $1 241 649, a shift of $3 283 989. However, this has had little to do with operating performance – 5yrs of trying yielding a mere $16 566, unaudited (coz it involves the FY2019 record that was effectively rejected) – and was all down to three liabilities adjustments agreed to by the auditors, one in each year of the FY2019-FY2021 period:

• $427 677, the ‘KPFA property tax hiccup’ (convincing the California State Board of Equalization to accept that the tax shouldn’t have been levied) – FY2021 auditor’s report (p. 4; p. 6 of the PDF), https://pacifica.org/finance/audit_2021.pdf

• $477 918, provision for the pension plans liability (this portion was eliminated when Pacifica finally rectified the neglect). And now? Is there neglect? Even negligence? Are the two 2019 pension plans audits completed & filed with IRS, etc.? The two for 2020? The two for 2021? Have those auditors been paid in full for their work? . . . Not a word, from the PNB Finance Cttee, or the PNB Audit Cttee, or the directors sleepwalkers . . . The two plans: a 403(b)-defined contribution retirement plan, & a profit-sharing plan (sic); they are known in Pacificese as ‘the 403(b) Plan’, & ‘the Pacifica Retirement Plan’ – FY2020 auditor’s report (pp. 5, 24-6; pp. 7, 26-8 of the PDF), https://pacifica.org/finance/audit_2020.pdf.

And the recent cost to the Pacifica members & the other donors? It’s disclosed in the auditor’s reports. To take the FY2017 one, the total is in the functional expenses statement, p. 7 (p. 9 of the PDF), with the previous year’s on the next page; & the sum for each plan is in a note, p. 21 (p. 23 of the PDF). The charge for the last five years (total, 403(b), profit-sharing): FY2017, $150 288, $61 736, $88 552; FY2018, $103 944 (incorrectly given as $103 940), $52 540, $51 404; FY2019, $134 640 (incorrectly given as $134 741), $53 202, $81 438; FY2020, $120 067 (an incorrect figure was given, see below), $58 289, $61 778; FY2021, $126 279 (ditto, see below), $65 439, $60 840. These total as $635 218, $291 206, $344 012. (And the year before this period, FY2016? $425 399, $70 483, $201 941 – with no explanation by the auditor of the unidentified $152 975. An ‘indeed’ – to both the anomalous total charge (x~3), & the absent explanans. And to the 6yr charge being >$1m.)

Note, the FY2020 & FY2021 auditor’s reports give three wrong totals in the functional expenses statements: they’ve solely taken the 403(b) plan figure. Presumably the profit-sharing total was mis-posted to “Employee benefits”. Not spotted either year by the auditors, the PNB Audit Cttee, or the PNB. The FY2020 error was repeated in the ‘copy & paste’ into the FY2021 auditor’s report – will anyone stop them next year? Auditor’s report, FY2020, p. 7, p. 9 of the PDF; ditto, FY2021, pp. 6-7, pp. 8-9 of the PDF.

Odd is the very wide range of per capita 403(b) charge between the operating units (formerly termed ‘the divisions’). For FY2020: WPFW $268, WBAI $283, stepping up to KPFK $640, KPFA $668, KPFT $733, & all contrasting with PNO (includes PAN) $1 953, PRA $2 168. Why? (Sources: auditor’s report FY2020, & Oct2021 NETA-produced net income statements (using the comparative). FY2021 data can’t be used coz the NETA figure is way off the auditor’s: auditor agreed the total charge as $65 439, but NETA has $55 244 (Oct2021 set). Whereas the FY2020 totals are, respectively, $58 289 & $58 317. The unit-level charge isn’t in the auditor’s report, only the monthlies: KPFA $19 026, KPFK $16 317, KPFT $2 200, WPFW $2 282, WBAI $2 119, PNO (includes PAN) $8 787, PRA $7 587. The number of full-time equivalents is computed using $80k (see appendix to the 19Nov2021 post) as the per capita personnel cost: KPFA 28.5, KPFK 25.5, KPFT 3, WPFW 8.5, WBAI 7.5, PNO (includes PAN) 4.5, PRA 3.5, totalling 81.)

• $2 361 828, the write-off of the Democracy Now! debt – FY2019 auditor’s report (p. 4; p. 6 of the PDF), https://pacifica.org/finance/audit_2019.pdf. It was first publicly disclosed by Pacifica Executive Director Maxie Jackson, to the 12Mar2019 PNB Finance Cttee (17:53) – https://kpftx.org/archives/pnb/finance/190312/finance190312a.mp3. No-one asked why Amy waited 5mths to tell Pacifica. And no Pacifica employee or officeholder has described how DN! chose to manage that debt, but it is in their public record (especially the 2017 IRS Form 990, stamped received 20Nov2018): debt at 31Dec2017, $2361828 = 807000 (doubtful debt provision made FY2012, so both removing it as an asset from its balance sheet (but still leaving it money that Pacifica owed: it wasn’t being treated as uncollectible, a bad debt), & charging it as an expense) + 777000 (FY2017, both removing it as an asset from its balance sheet, & charging it as an expense, in the form of a grant) + 777828 (FY2018, ditto). Like in Iraq, a phased withdrawal. (Obvious Q, asked by no-one: has Pacifica Foundation, Inc. been invoiced since 31Dec2017 for airing DN!, now getting on for 5yrs? That Pacifica may be getting it for nowt or close to is suggested by the change in the pattern of DN!’s annual total broadcasting fees, FY2005-FY2020, with the level falling across 2012-14 from $1.1m to <$200k – when it was decided to start to unload Pacifica from the balance sheet, beautifying the accounts receivable figure, putting a stop to its rise, avoiding a flashing red light.)

DN! is the commodity of Democracy Now! Productions, Inc., founded in 2002 (per its 990’s). How’s it doing? FY2020, coinciding with the calendar year, per their latest 990 (the auditor’s report wasn’t filed with the NYS Attorney General’s Charities Bureau, https://charitiesnys.com/): total revenue $11 442 800, total expenses $8 267 813, net income $3 174 987; total assets $36 302 179, total liabilities $659 173, net assets $35 643 006. (And Pacifica? FY2020, thru 30Sep2020, link above: total revenue $11 507 060, total expenses $11 241 966, net income $265 094; total assets $3 689 886, total liabilities $4 916 323, net liabilities $1 226 437.)

FY2020 personal incomes from DNPI: Prez Amy, $220 823 (FY2005: $58 786), excluding the coiffeur, beautician, & wardrobe allowance; Secretary Juan, $37 411; Denis Moynihan, $124 146 (Special Projects Coordinator … & Juan’s hubby: https://ladailypost.com/amy-goodman-broadcasts-democracy-now-live-from-fuller-lodge-this-morning/); Thomas Burke, $113 224 (News Director) … then the admin heavies (showing the market-worth of newsgathering): Julie Crosby, $173 410 (General Manager; ex-Free Speech TV, https://www.democracynow.org/about/staff); Miriam Barnard, $152 938 (Director of Finance & Operations); Erin Dooley, $119 727 (Development Director) … & $0 for Chair Karen Ranucci (https://dignityandrights.org/team-member/karen-ranucci/), Director Sarah Jones (https://newrepublic.com/authors/sarah-jones), & Director Dan Silverman (related to Lorin et al.?).

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[DNPI’s last filed 990 is dated 28Oct2021. So with another due soon it makes sense to do a post on the contrasting fortunes.]

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NETA left 8 days early, Th22Sep, replaced by Markisha Venzant-Sampson. The Queen is dead, long live the Queen! . . . Meanwhile, without chopping KPFA’s ~31 FTE staff, Pacifica is sleepwalking into the chainsaw. So, impose a network development plan, using centralised control to destroy the fiefdoms! Solidarity!

. . . the PNB Finance Cttee: really more mature? 13yrs of Pacifica losses out of the 15 thru FY2021: more faced up to reality? Who’s less in denial? Who’s the baby? . . . the Cttee, ‘advising’ the directors sleepwalkers who have the legal duty as trustees to protect the assets that aren’t even theirs, but the ~40k members’ (~42.6k at 30June2021) . .

. . . foto of James Sagurton (Chair of PNB Finance Cttee, & WBAI listener-delegate), courtesy of P C Robinson, Observer-Tribune, on the occasion of Mitch McConnell visiting Mendham Township, where Chris Christie also lives, the Jersey Hills, Su15Dec2019, at the moment when the first cases were arising in Wuhan – https://web.archive.org/web/20191216234127/https://www.newjerseyhills.com/observer-tribune/news/videos-mcconnell-visit-to-mendham-township-sparks-impromptu-protests/article_9c540ab7-2533-5fe0-b695-a91ce3dc9e02.html (pic 2 of 5) . . .

. . . and Amerika is so conservative: Trump, no nip rings . . .

Meanwhile, back in PacificaWorld . . .

. . . Couldn’t even wait till Friday – of that week, let alone the one after. Emptied the fridge Thursday. Julia, looked around one last time, sighed, reached out to knock off the light, laughed: she’d forgotten, the power had been cut off. Yes, this really was the end. At least she was getting out with her sanity – or so she thinks. How would it be after the weekend? Adrenalin draining, PTSD descending? Hopefully NETA has a post-conflict rehab programme for returnees to RealWorld.

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Nine sections:

🙏1🙏 the announcement – Th22Sep2022 PNB

🤲🏽2🤲🏽 no inkling, just Julia dozing – Tu20Sep2022 PNB Finance Cttee

•3• ED Steph’s “they’re opting not to use them” met by deafening silence from the directors sleepwalkers, & treasurers – Tu27Sep2022 PNB Finance Cttee

🙏4🙏 directors sleepwalkers never talk to the ED: 38 days of the 92 wasted in search for NETA’s replacement – Tu26July2022 PNB Finance Cttee & Su7Aug2022 PNB Personnel Cttee

🤲🏽5🤲🏽 Pacifica’s first NBM, National Business Manager, Markisha Deshaun Venzant-Sampson

•6• Markisha: why the secrecy? why the shielding?

🙏7🙏 what work is NBM KSM MBS MVS supposed to do?

🤲🏽8🤲🏽 is Markisha proximately responsible for the financial management tasks mandated by California law? If not, who?

•9• directors sleepwalkers must disclose the hierarchy of their decision rules, & its justification, how they’re addressing the debt-service crisis

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🙏1🙏 The announcement – Th22Sep2022 PNB

This news broke at the Th22Sep Pacifica National Board (soon after 9:08, when Chair Julie Hewitt had discouraged questioning of the Executive Director – subtle). News courtesy of ED Stephanie ‘my contract means I have nothing to do with personnel & programming – I’m simply ED of the company’ Wells. Adding, this was NETA doing Pacifica a favour. Saving on 8days’ charge. https://kpftx.org/archives/pnb/pnb220922/pnb220922a.mp3

Please.

They’re even rubbish at lying. Do they really think the listeners are stupid? Do they really think that no-one notices that ‘saving $8k’ is such an absurd thought? When desperate times demand quality & timely knowledge – not simply information – to have a chance of making quality decisions?

• A $8k saving, coming at the expense of there being no August net income statements, & no emergency interim mid September ones? An info deficit meaning that Pacifica is flying blind, with Navigator Steph peering into the gloaming, holding info (thru 31July) that’s almost 2mths out of date? Since when has it been to Pacifica’s advantage to dispense with timely knowledge collated, reviewed, supplemented, & interpreted by a certified public accountant?

• A $8k saving, coming at the expense of one last effort by an accounting professional like CFO Julia Kennard to finally convince the directors sleepwalkers of the PNB that they MUST instruct the ED to instruct the eight accounting unit managers that they instruct their bookkeeper to use the Great Plains system, so that Pacifica has a unitary accounting record, allowing the ED, unit managers, & business managers to see in quasi-real time the depth of the money crisis? (No-one seems aware that’s its old name: for many years it’s been Microsoft Dynamics GP – unless Pacifica’s version actually is from the 1990s.)

But that remedial action requires a recognition that nothing effective can be done in PacificaWorld without two conditions being satisfied: (a) centralised control, with the directors sleepwalkers using as their principal instrument the ED; & (b) the operation of a control structure – a transmission, enduring – so that the ED controls the station managers. But this would mean the destruction of the fiefdoms, replaced by a different polity, the rule of the centre over the periphery – a rule, in the normal democratic way, with the centre carrying out policies decided collectively by the directors, who in Pacifica’s case happen to be locally elected (call this whole arrangement democratic centralism). And that has proved impossible – the whole of this century.

• A $8k saving, coming at the expense of one last effort by Comrade Julia to take Pacifica to Shangri-La, to get the eight accounting units to use the same list of accounts, with the same definitions: the mythic chart of accounts?

Uniformity, standardisation, consistency. But in PacificaWorld, all are anathema: the spectre of totalitarianism, of authoritarianism, of interfering with local autonomy. But as Freddy said long ago, freedom stems from the recognition of necessity. Reality is obdurate. It can’t be wished away. Doing what has to be done, in circumstances largely not of one’s choosing, simply makes life that lil bit easier – comparing like with like, & saving time, making the audit prep easier & the audit itself cheaper.

But instead, what do we get? No director sleepwalker said a word. Not one.

Statement + silence, S + S.

The 8days: seems to total either $7 233 or $8 000. The NETA-produced monthlies habitually gave a monthly charge of $27 500 ($330k pa), & did so thru Jan2022, since when there have been three different figures (a fact never mentioned publicly), but Apr thru July it has been $30 417 ($365 004 pa, ~$365k, making it a neat $1k pd). Note, the annual rise, $35k, is an inflation-besting ~10.6% (Consumer Price Index – Urban per Dept of Labor, the year thru Mar2022 = 8.5% – https://www.bls.gov/data/inflation_calculator.htm, Bureau of Labor Statistics).

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🤲🏽2🤲🏽 No inkling, just Julia dozing – Tu20Sep2022 PNB Finance Cttee

Two days earlier, there was no inkling of what was to transpire. At the Tu20Sep PNB Finance Cttee, no suggestion that NETA was going to rip up the departure timetable. That apart, this meeting ranks as one of Pacifica’s weirdest. It was ridiculously short – 15mins8secs – given the scale, complexity, & seriousness of what’s happening. (But what do the members, all ~42.6k of them, deserve to know about what’s going on, what the plans are? Anyone would think they own Pacifica.)

ED Wells was there at roll-call, but not CFO Kennard. Although there had been a chat before the meeting: Sir James Chair James said Julia “did mention that she was gunna take a little rest [James chuckled; then paused, for effect]. We may need to wake her up” (1:42). Obviously thinking he was onto a winner, we then got: “Chair’s announcements is [sic], urgh, just tonight we’re going to have reports from the ED & the CFO – if we [chuckle, but no pause], if we get her out of her nap” (3:07). How we laughed. https://kpftx.org/archives/pnb/finance/220920/finance220920a.mp3

Julia never turned up.

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CFO Julia Kennard also hadn’t been at the previous week’s PNB, Th15Sep: “she will not be here this evening”, said a stern Chair Hewitt (2:21). Of course no director sleepwalker asked why.

This meant the last time Julia had been heard was at the Tu13Sep PNB Finance Cttee (47:31). This meant there was no public goodbye. So even more reason for PacificaWatch to wish her & NETA a heartfelt adieu! A rare ray of competence, that tried to help PacificaWorld flourish, rather than suffer. NETA performed as centurions – it was just that they were never allowed by ‘governance’ & ‘management’ to have troops. For four years. Adieu! https://kpftx.org/archives/pnb/pnb220915/pnb220915a.mp3, & https://kpftx.org/archives/pnb/finance/220913/finance220913a.mp3

At the 13Sep meeting, Julia said she & Markisha were sharing the work on the Aug mthly net income statements, & they should be produced “by Monday [19Sep], & get them out for next week’s meeting [20Sep]” (49:36). Didn’t happen. At the 20Sep meeting, no-one asked why.

[UPDATE: as of M10Oct, 21days after delivery day, not a word. Is anyone surprised? Is Markisha simply unable to produce the statements? How long will she be trying to do the impossible?]

[2° UPDATE: the monthlies didn’t appear at the Tu11Oct PNB Finance Cttee. Neither on the agenda (draft, proposed, amended, accepted) nor mentioned. Guess they disappeared with the departure of NETA. A quirk of NETA – not standard reporting for the likes of a ~$11m-annual public charity. The Cttee members’ behaviour indicates they won’t miss the 9 mthly net income statements – guess they never found them useful or even interesting. https://kpftx.org/archives/pnb/finance/221011/finance221011a.mp3 & the b-audiofile]

[3° UPDATE: at the Th20Oct PNB, ED Wells, answering a question from Darlene ‘I know a thing or three about BDSM, & it’s proven invaluable at my LSB meetings’ Pagano (KPFA staff-delegate), declared that the Aug monthlies do indeed exist: “[t]he last one we had, umm, that was sent to the Board last month [so in Sep], was, argh, the year-to-date ending August” (18:21). Very odd: they’ve never been mentioned at the PNB Finance Cttee (not even a ‘where the hell are they?!?’); &, as is well known, the procedure for the monthlies is once they’re generated they go first to that cttee, not least for checking, & are then sent out to the 22 directors, the eight unit heads, the five LSB’s, & then on to the four LSB Finance Cttees (KPFA doesn’t have one – coz the LSB majority does its best, at all times, to stifle discussion & minimise participation by Pacifica members: who knows where questioning may lead). ED Wells also went on to give news of the Sep monthlies: “[w]e have not run a consolidated financials yet for the end of September, and Markisha should have that before the next Board meeting [Th27Oct]”. Given this evidence, (a) the PNB Finance Cttee is being cut out of the loop (how can they make informed decisions?!?), (b) the LSB’s & LSB Finance Cttees are being cut out of the loop, & (c) not even one of these excluded boards & cttees has made a public protest. Not for the first time, one needs to ask, why is it that within Pacifica, peeps behave in ways that (a) copy the opacity of our rulers, (b) copy the participation-stifling measures of our rulers, & (c) copy the submissive, indifferent ways that ‘activists’ are banging their heads up against? One should also note ED Wells’ usage of “we”: a Royal ‘we’, or is ED Wells violating California law (Corps Code, § 312(a); this sub-section also requires Pacifica to have a CFO (the “shall have”): which it doesn’t, & hasn’t effective 1Oct) & by-law 9/1, which prohibit an executive director also doing the work of the chief financial officer? The plebs, & the CA AG, deserve to know. https://kpftx.org/archives/pnb/pnb221020/pnb221020b.mp3; https://leginfo.legislature.ca.gov/faces/codes_displayText.xhtml?lawCode=CORP&division=1.&title=1.&part=&chapter=3.&article=, & https://pacifica.org/indexed_bylaws/art9sec1.html.]

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•3• ED Steph’s “they’re opting not to use them” met by deafening silence from the directors sleepwalkers & treasurers – Tu27Sep2022 PNB Finance Cttee

ED Steph ‘don’t look at me, I’m only the ED’ Wells, 8½mths into the job, dropped a bombshell at the Tu27Sep PNB Finance Cttee:

They have them [all the units have the Great Plains software]. That’s the key. They have them. They’re opting not to use them.

ED Stephanie Wells (14:51, emphases added), 27Sep PNB Finance Cttee – https://kpftx.org/archives/pnb/finance/220927/finance220927a.mp3

‘They’ve opted out’. Making Pacifica what? A polity of actually existing fiefdoms.

And the response of the assembled? Of the 10 Pacificans on the Cttee, only WPFW Treasurer Nick ‘what have I done to deserve this?’ Arena was missing. (A cold? COVID? Maybe a migraine? No, station financial scandal.) So four treasurers were present. Not one responded. Not one. Silence. Deafening.

The scandal, all very hush-hush. The W14Sep LSB, an open meeting, was postponed to W28Sep. But it was then held in secret, closed to the public, violating by-law Art. 7, Sec. 6(C) & the CPB standard: the Zoom page never transitioned to a meeting; & there was neither a stream nor a phone #.

The scandal also involves station manager Jerry ‘I’ve been here since 2015, so give me a break! And it was ED Vernile who made me WBAI’s GM!’ Paris, more recently known as Jerry ‘the difference between a fund-drive statement, a cash account statement, & a bank reconciliation statement? – aren’t they the same?’ Paris. But a resolution was reached, with Nick & Jerry ending up in the Potomac, the local East River. Someone has to pay. Accounts have to be settled. The replacements? Nick’s is Kamau Harris (one of the three certified staff candidates in 2021 – for the three seats), whereas with Jerry they’re still too busy drowning him in the ‘evaluation process’. Nick had been on the PNB Finance Cttee since 19July2016 (he succeeded Eileen ‘it’s Ros-in’ Rosin) – was his passing regretted by Chair ‘wooden as a chair’ Sagurton? You know the answer. As if he never existed.

More important than the treasurers, also present were five directors sleepwalkers. Not one responded. Not one. Silence. Deafening.

Pathetic.

And who were the Pathetic Five, the ones with the exalted legal fiduciary duty, as trustees, to protect Pacifica’s assets?

James ‘I may write in Counterpunch & design space instruments, but I can’t for the life of me come up with a vision for Pacifica’ McFadden (KPFA listener-delegate, & anti-breaker)

PNB Vice-Chair Beth ‘Queen Liz III’ von Gunten (KPFK listener-delegate, & anti-breaker)

Susan ‘I’m able to talk, so I’ll talk, & talk, & talk, & talk’ Young (KPFT listener-delegate, & breaker)

PNB Chair Julie ‘there’s only so much we can say in open session’ Hewitt (WPFW listener-delegate, & anti-breaker), &

Cttee Chair James ‘don’t look at me, I’m only the chair – a wooden chair’ Sagurton (WBAI listener-delegate, & anti-breaker).

You see why PacificaWatch said last July that the anti-breakers are, objectively, breakers? https://pacificaradiowatch.home.blog/2021/07/20/anti-breakers-you-re-politically-bankrupt-accept-reality-but-will-a-new-defender-of-pacifica-arise-qm-fat-chance/

Indeed, Julie Clueless, PNB Chair, was Zen-like thru’out this 39min meeting: she uttered a single word, “here”, at roll-call. I kid you not. And this behaviour of Julie Clueless has been consistent thru’out this whole crisis: bunny in the headlights.

Yes, simply unbelievable.

. . . Jim . . . bat . . . favour/misery . . .

(Julie Clueless was not alone in cosplaying as a near-perfect Quaker: two other directors sleepwalkers mimicked the leader, Jimmy Mac & Queen Liz III. Leading, all the way to the back.)

All this meant not one director exclaimed in astonishment,

‘Ms Wells, you are the executive director, & have been for 8½mths. You manage the station managers, & indirectly their underlings. So why on earth, Ms Wells, have you been derelict in allowing the unit managers & bookkeepers to objectively sabotage Pacifica’s tracking of money & debt accumulation?!?’

No. Her statement was met with the universal silence. Not even one word. (Where’s Twit Wit Radio when you need it?)

And not one director proposed a motion along the lines of,

‘Given the imperative for the ED & directors to know what the fuck’s going on, the PNB Finance Cttee cannot recommend too highly to the PNB that it immediately instruct ED Wells to ensure that all eight accounting units (the five stations, National Office, Radio Archives, & Affiliate Network) are comprehensively using the unitary Great Plains system as of yesterday, if not 10 years ago. We don’t have time for the whereas clauses: just to say, NETA tried for over four years, and were ignored & resisted by directors & managers alike. But now is now: now it’s up to you, Ms Wells. Impose yourself. Do your job.’

. . . ‘I’m just the ED. They can opt out if they want.’ . . .

. . . ‘We’re just the directors. They can opt out if they want.’ . . .

Sums it up, yes?

There you go, says Lydia.

[UPDATE, of the greatest importance: at the Tu11Oct PNB Finance Cttee, Markisha displayed her gross ignorance of the Great Plains problem – speaking, in a timeless way, as if there is no problem. In so doing, she demonstrated that the Great Plains problem remains a key expression of the generative reality, that is, of the Pacifica governance/management problem (25:25 – this is the b-file, https://kpftx.org/archives/pnb/finance/221011/finance221011b.mp3). Of course, no-one pointed out that there is a problem. Absolutely no-one. Not Julie Clueless, the most senior director sleepwalker, who said nothing. Not ED Wells, who said nothing. And not the other directors sleepwalkers (James McFadden, Beth von Gunten, Susan Young, James Sagurton), who all said nothing. Passive thru & thru. Trying to conceal reality. Unable to point out to Markisha the bombshell dropped two weeks before.

After all, if the problem had been overcome, then ED Wells, in particular, would have welcomed the opportunity to inform the world, & take the credit. But no. Complete silence.

After all, if the problem had been overcome, then where are the Aug monthlies, & where are the Sep monthlies?

• Markisha’s display also shows that she currently isn’t using Great Plains! Jesu. Pacifica is really flying blind . . .

. . . & if it goes into Chapter 11 bankruptcy, there’s every chance the judge will be presented with evidence that Pacifica lacks competent fiduciaries for protecting its assets, be they the passive ED Wells or the Fabian directors who, for example, have chosen not to hire a suitably qualified & experienced chief financial officer to be responsible, on their behalf, for the financial management tasks mandated by California law. If persuaded, the judge will issue a rare order to the Office of the United States Trustee to provide a ‘case trustee’: new management in the house Title 11 United States Code, section 1104, https://www.govinfo.gov/content/pkg/USCODE-2020-title11/pdf/USCODE-2020-title11-chap11-subchapI-sec1104.pdf; & https://www.justice.gov/ust-regions-r16 (Central District of California; Peter C Anderson).]

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🙏🤲🏽🙏🤲🏽🙏

~

🙏4🙏 directors sleepwalkers never talk to the ED: 38 days of the 92 wasted in search for NETA’s replacement – Tu26July2022 PNB Finance Cttee & Su7Aug2022 PNB Personnel Cttee

So that’s the kinda situation Markisha is supposed to work in. But before getting to the dynamo herself, what happened when NETA gave their notice?

Nothing.

For 38days.

ED Wells thought the directors sleepwalkers & their cttees were getting things ready. And the directors sleepwalkers thought the ED was racing ahead with things.

Don’t. Talk. To one another.

NETA gave their 3-mths’ notice on 30June2022. Seems no-one noticed. To make all this worse, strong hints must have been given weeks, or even months, before the blood splattered all over Steph’s desk, & the sluice gates opened up to turn her office into a drowning tank. The inner circle – ED Wells, PNB Chair Hewitt, privileged others – knew what was coming.

Despite this, the public record shows that Julie Clueless did nothing. Nor any other director sleepwalker. Absolutely nothing. This was evidenced by an episode at the 26July PNB Finance Cttee, https://kpftx.org/archives/pnb/finance/220726/finance220726a.mp3. Listen along.

This is how it went.

Director Sagurton: “Umm, I have a question for Julie and/or Stephanie. And that is, in terms of replacing NETA, I don’t, I don’t know where the discussions are on that [I’m only the Finance Chair]. Up to this point I know that there’s been some talk about, umm, trying to muddle on using internal resources for at least [a] period, umm. Don’t know what other explanations [sic] are being made. Argh, but let me just ask Stephanie first, and then I’ll ask a follow-up. Stephanie, do you need any further authorization from the PNB to start looking into how to replace the various functions that NETA provides – payroll, umm, H-HR, etc., accounting?” (20:31, emphases added).

[… you need any further authorization to start that process?’]

ED Wells: “It was my understanding that the PNB needs a – unless there’s a motion that’s g-going to be addressed on this upcoming meeting. I know, I know I thought something had been on the agenda for a while, that the Personnel Search Cttee was going to start that process. And I thought the Finance Cttee, this one, was going to determine what was needed as far as the CFO replacement” (21:21, emphases added).

[… ‘no: Personnel Search Cttee was going to do the starting’]

Director Sagurton: “Do you need any more authorization to do what you need to do? Or are you good?” (21:48, emphasis added).

[… ‘I don’t think you understand: I repeat my Q’]

ED Wells: “I’m under the assumption that since these are fairly large positions, that the Personnel Search Cttee or search cttee through the-a motion as approved by the National Office [sic; no, PNB] would start that process. But I don’t think that I have the [an “OK” interjection by Sagurton] I don’t think that I have the ability to-to hire an HR director or payroll person or finance person” (21:56, emphases added).

[… ‘I don’t think you understand: I repeat my A’]

. . . Kim put James out of his misery, saving the day . . .

KPFK Treasurer Kim ‘(sigh) yes, Bella (sigh)’ Kaufman: “[sigh] Kim to the stack [sigh]” (22:20).

. . . And, of course, The Leader of Pacifica, Julie Clueless, didn’t say a word. Bunny. Headlights.

Obviously, at the PNB meetings of 7 & 21July no director sleepwalker thought to ask ED Wells what she was doing to replace NETA – even as a prompt, to let the public know what’s happening. Or to ask her in a phone call or email.

And the Chair of the Board obviously hadn’t spoken with the ED for the best part of a month, because otherwise they would have created a timeline, & agreed any division of labour, on how to maintain from 1Oct some financial & pecuniary control over the affairs of the public charity known to California Attorney General Rob Bonta as Pacifica Foundation, Inc.

The Tu26July PNB Finance Cttee debacle provoked a response. It pushed the PNB Personnel Cttee into action. A gentle push: it met 12days later, Su7Aug.

Effectively, this was the last we heard – until everyone started using the ‘M’ word: Markisha. The idea of creating the post of National Business Manager was never broached in a Pacifica public meeting. Let alone there ever being a discussion. And no public meeting even mentioned the idea that there should be a discussion of how to cope with NETA leaving. So also from the local station boards, nothing. In fact, the 120 officeholders elected directly by the ~42.6k members have made it plain that the members deserve exactly what they get.

~

Enough of the past. Let’s go forward.

Although we’ll see that the present is marked by the past, & shapes the future. And despite what the directors sleepwalkers may think, wishful thinking is no more than it is, it doesn’t make things better. No, it deludes, it disorientates, it debilitates. It’s self-harming.

~

🤲🏽5🤲🏽 Pacifica’s first NBM, National Business Manager, Markisha ‘I’m so calm I could be basking in the Gulf – and yes, I’m cooler than Cerene’ Venzant-Sampson

Which brings us to Markisha. Markisha Deshaun Venzant-Sampson. The KPFT business manager & bookkeeper. Not on the station website – but then no-one is. Not even the station manager – violating all sorts of rules, regulations, laws. https://kpft.org/

Markisha. Now also the NBM, the National Business Manager.

Markisha ‘I’m so calm I could be basking in the Gulf – and yes, I’m cooler than Cerene’ Venzant-Sampson, to give her full PacificaWorld name – and yes, it deserves being given twice. But whether her serenity survives being NBM is another matter.

. . . after rush & sorority, there’s always the junior service league – and y’r local Pacifica station – Fort Bend/Southwest Star, 23May2012, page 14 . . . 2012, when Pacifica last had audited net assets at year-end: the $495 924 that was to be wiped out by the FY2013 loss of $2 824 046 – can’t say the directors sleepwalkers were never warned . . .

Markisha, a fixture at KPFT. She was Business Manager Markisha even in 2003:

. . . this was at the time of the Dixie Chicks scandal over the invasion of Iraq – screenshot of info provided at a reactionary website, 15Mar2003, responding to a statement in the Houston Chronicle by KPFT, https://freerepublic.com/focus/news/865218/posts, & https://www.chron.com/news/article/Chicks-tunes-pulled-after-Bush-remark-With-poll-2121802.php . . .

[UPDATE: two inferences from the Tu11Oct PNB Finance Cttee: Markisha is off the KPFT payroll; & her bookkeeping for KPFT is being paid by the National Office. There are three reasons for this. First, Chair Sagurton never referred to her as the KPFT business manager or bookkeeper, choosing to name her as the NBM (5:11), & saying she would be co-presenting KPFT’s FY2023 budget (5:37). Second, even during the proceedings of that item, at no point was Markisha described as a KPFT bod, be it as staff, employee, personnel, consultant, position-holder. For example, when station personnel was discussed (25:12), Markisha wasn’t included amongst the paid peeps: Howard Reynolds (engineer; the only full-time employee (25:12) – and, given what was said, & not said, he’s presumably the only station employee); & Robin Lewis (development, fund-drives, membership; the only contractor (25:18)). (The two paid workers were named in a recent Houston Chronicle article, 26Sep2022, on the KPFT station-move – https://preview.houstonchronicle.com/theater/after-50-years-two-bombings-and-a-notable-bullet-17462443.) Third & last, Chris Corey had a dialogue with M-Girl, all a bit nod-wink, mysterious (49:56): “Markisha, where are you on this budget […]?” — “I am no longer in this budget” — “[…] I understand why – there’s no need for you to explain that comment […]”. For the listeners, it was a Masonic, secret-society moment. Chair Sagurton didn’t function as the people’s representative, insisting on explication. Par for the course. https://kpftx.org/archives/pnb/finance/221011/finance221011a.mp3]

And before going into Markisha’s new workload . . .

•6• Markisha: why the secrecy? why the shielding?

Secrecy?

Structurally, Pacifica had made itself reliant on NETA, as the range & depth of work grew. A prime part of any executive director’s work is to (a) identify risks, (b) outline coping scenarios, & (c) devise efficacious plans. No evidence has ever been presented that any of the seven relevant Pacifica ED’s have done any of this: in sequence, Tom Livingston, Maxie Jackson, Grace Aaron, John Vernile, Lawrence Reyes, Lydia Brazon, & Stephanie Wells.

So,

• why no Pacifica open meeting discussion of how to cope with NETA leaving, that is, what policy to adopt?

• ditto, if a qualified accountant couldn’t be afforded, would it require the creation of a new post, something not done since whenever, if at all?

• ditto re the job description?

• ditto re the hiring process?

• ditto where to place adverts?

• ditto, if this new post can’t cover everything, what policy will allow the necessary other tasks to be performed?

• why didn’t the PNB Personnel Cttee, in open session, meet to discuss all this?

• why didn’t that Cttee pass a motion, in open session, making recommendations to the PNB?

• why didn’t the PNB, in open session, discuss such recommendations?

• why didn’t the PNB Personnel Cttee, in open session, discuss the mechanics, & timeline, of the hiring?

• why wasn’t her appointment, a Pacifica first, thought worthy of a public announcement at any Pacifica meeting or in any Pacifica statement?

• why was the M-word, ‘Markisha’, simply mentioned in passing?

So, summarily,

• (a) why was there no PNB open meeting when the directors decided their policy on how to cope without NETA?

• (b) why was there no PNB open meeting when the directors decided their policy to create this new post?

• & (c) given that this matter concerned personnel structure, not an individual employee – the post had yet to be filled – why did the directors choose to violate the open meeting requirement of the CPB, whose rules Pacifica management & officeholders are trying to adhere to in order to make an eligible application to join the Radio Community Service Grant Program, be it in May2023 or sometime this century?

The secrecy culture continues to cause a loss of trust.

Pacifica: a secret society. A self-harmer.

Shielding?

No director sleepwalker or the ED has described what Markisha is expected to do – let alone published a job description. All we’ve had is a job title. No-one has said she even has a bookkeeping qualification – let alone an accounting qualification. The directors sleepwalkers behave as if such thoughts have never crossed their minds.

[UPDATE: at the Tu11Oct PNB Finance Cttee, Chair Sagurton pointedly never mentioned that Markisha has either any bookkeeping or accounting or financial management qualification, or any bookkeeping or accounting or financial management experience. Instead, he said she’s been a Pacifica “business manager” for close to two decades – something quite different!; “has a BA in accounting” – something very different!; & “an MBA in business management” (5:11). And when Chair said, “do you want to take a moment to introduce yourself?” (8:14), Markisha declined (sic). So that’s how it’s going to be. https://kpftx.org/archives/pnb/finance/221011/finance221011a.mp3]

What’s been said in open meetings has been ‘no, Julia won’t be at the meeting . . . and no, neither will Markisha, “I don’t think for the short-run” . . . in fact, “I think we’ll let Stephanie give reports, and see how that goes”‘ (Julie Clueless (2:21), 15Sep PNB, https://kpftx.org/archives/pnb/pnb220915/pnb220915a.mp3). Of course, no director sleepwalker said,

point of point, madam Chair: isn’t it true that the Board has yet to agree those two matters as policy – and this is eminently controversial: it prevents the directors, who have a legal fiduciary duty to protect the assets of the public charity, from doing their due diligence by directly asking Pacifica’s most senior financial officer, Markisha, what the hell’s going on?’

The plan seems to be an extreme example of the management of National Elections Supervisor Peñaloza: keep Markisha away from scrutiny, & if it’s impossible to quarantine her then say she’s incredibly busy with everything, she can only stay for 10mins, & then get her to give an 11min report so she can’t take any questions. Brilliant!

The inner circle will try to protect Markisha: they don’t want her to be driven out. So, keep her public appearances to an absolute minimum; warn cttee members to think about how they ask questions, & how far they push her; in fact, better to not even mention her, keeping the focus on Steph; etc., etc.

The plan now has a name: ‘the folded-in ruse’. Revealed by Julie Clueless, at the Th29Sep PNB Coordinating Cttee, just before the PNB met:

[p]reviously we had a ‘CFO report and Q&A’, & I b-believe going forward what we’re gunna do since we don’t, umm, tech-technically have a CFO – we have a National Business Manager – but-but the National Business Manager’s report is gunna be folded in with the, urgh, ED’s report, you know, the financials, umm, so we’ll call that just the ‘ED report and Q&A’, so I’m deleting the item that used to be the CFO report.

Julie Clueless (3:03, emphases added), W28Sep2022 PNB Coordinating Cttee, https://kpftx.org/archives/pnb/coordinating/220929/coordinating220929a.mp3

The CFO is dead, long live the NBM!

. . . shielding . . . extend . . . life . . .

And again we got the presumption, an “I b-believe going forward what we’re gunna do […]” – of course, no director sleepwalker pointed out this isn’t Pacifica policy. Yup, this polity, strictly speaking, is a dictatorship, not a democracy. The Führerin speaks. This is law – it doesn’t even become law, & that’s because the Führerin is law: this is an identity, making transition impossible. Moreover, a speaking Führerin makes voting superfluous. And acceptance of the Führerin’s position means no-one speaks – indeed, their speaking is rendered superfluous for the Führerin speaks for them. Hail!

Meanwhile, given an absence of reassuring words, it’s obvious that Pacifica doesn’t have a single CPA under contract. Certified public accountant – the sort of person who can not only know what’s happening but, crucially, know the questions to ask, & the things to do, to give oneself the chance to discover what’s happening. A bookkeeper doesn’t live in this dimension. Ignorance can be an absence of knowledge, but it can also be the result of a lack of training, a lack of skills configured as competences, that need to be exercised, practised, allowing the opportunity to improve. And a key competence, especially when an organisation is stressed, is identifying the presence of absence. Lacking that, one can easily believe things are under some sort of control, that there’s an inner stability within the turbulence. When those at the centre of Pacifica ‘management’ & ‘governance’ think they’ve managed the latest storm, that they can now take a breather, that’s in fact a moment of great danger.

Which is why Markisha shouldn’t be shielded. Now, with no expert above her, more than ever she needs to be exposed to scrutiny because Pacifica will be seriously harmed if it’s actually the case that Markisha has been promoted beyond her competence – https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Peter_principle.

When the very existence of a ~$11m-annual public charity is on the edge, there can’t be a safe space for anyone. And no-one should be put in a place where they can’t cope. In rational money management, thus basing the accounting/money planning function upon knowledge, no expense should be spared: the alternative is too costly. It needs to be paid for – here, be it diverting some of the annual $365k NETA saving from baying creditors, or having to make redundant 1½ full-time equivalent KPFA employees (~$120k).

So maybe the shielding is to do with a disparity, known or suspected by the inner circle, between Markisha’s competences/habitual practice/experience/qualifications/training & the task before her. Let’s take a look.

🙏7🙏 what work is NBM KSM MBS MVS supposed to do?

Despite appearances, everything’s under control:

• Markisha can do the mthly 9 net income statements (the 5 stations, PNO, PRA, PAN, & consolidated) – get the Aug ones out by the end of Sep, the Sep ones out by mid Oct, the Oct ones by mid Nov, etc., etc.

• Markisha can do what no CFO has ever been able to do, get Maria to stop holding things up (this is KPFA’s business manager, Maria ‘if you don’t stop your nasty questions about the budget I’m off this call’ Negret – and, of course, her minion, even in these desperate times, “Bookkeeping Assistant, Angie Llarinas” – https://kpfa.org/contact/)

• Markisha can maintain, daily, KPFK’s bookkeeping

• (Markisha’s already doing KPFT’s bookkeeping)

• Markisha can maintain, daily, WPFW’s bookkeeping

• Markisha can maintain, daily, WBAI’s bookkeeping

• Markisha can ensure, daily, that Pacifica’s bookkeeping & accounting is done within a single system, the famed Great Plains – Markisha can do what x number of CFO’s have failed to do since whenever, & persuade the ED to get the managers of accounting units (so including PRA & PAN) to ensure that the bookkeepers use this system

• Markisha can produce, wkly, the 9 analysed aged payables reports (current, due within the contracted period; 1-30days late; 31-60days; 61-90days; over 90days late – note, one needs to take great care with the headings (these are not ‘days since invoiced’) coz otherwise one can misunderstand what’s stated, as evidenced when ED Wells gives info to the directors & treasurers). ‘Analysed’ means the identification of each individual invoice, by amount & date due, grouped by period (so 5 x 9 = 45 sub-lists)

• Markisha can produce, wkly, the 9 accrued expenses reports. (Accrued revenues reports, presumably, figure little – such as sub-carrier accounts.)

• Markisha can produce, wkly, 9 analysed aged receivables reports

• Markisha can produce, twice-wkly (if not daily), the 7 bank reconciliation statements (reconciling Pacifica’s books of account to the statements of tens of bank accounts) – and she can check that for KPFA produced by Maria, & PRA’s made by Mariana Berkovich, https://pacificaradioarchives.org/whos-who.

(PRA & KPFK share a building: how is it that PRA has kept a full-time business manager/bookkeeper whereas KPFK lost theirs in 2021, F1Oct, given that KPFK is x7 the size of PRA: FY2021, KPFK annual revenue $2.667m, PRA’s $392k? – p. 33, being p. 36 of the PDF, https://pacifica.org/finance/audit_2021.pdf)

• Markisha can produce, mthly, 9 general ledger reconciliation statements (reconciling Pacifica’s books of account to ‘the paperwork’ – invoices, receipts, bank statements)

• Markisha can produce, twice-wkly, the 9 cashflow statements

• Markisha can produce, twice-wkly, the 9 cashflow forecasts (for the obvious periods of 7days, 14days, 30days, 60days, 90days) – necessary, but not sufficient, to plan payments re the aged past-due accounts payable

• Markisha can collate – as a Pacifica first – the 7 sets of fund-drive performance data (pledge goal, total pledged, fulfilment rate, gross proceeds, cost of fundraising, net proceeds), for the 5 stations, plus Radio Archives, & National Office

• Markisha can also set up a system to produce, mthly (if not wkly), 9 balance sheets

• Markisha can produce all the rates of change reports that are needed, as & when

• Markisha can produce all the comparative reports that are needed, as & when

• Markisha can both devise the chart of accounts, & ensure its consistent application by all 8 accounting units

• Markisha can evaluate the design & procedures of the internal audit system she inherited from NETA, make all necessary changes, & twice-mthly & mthly perform all necessary exercises

• Markisha can do the basics of preparing for the FY2022 audit, with the audited financial statements contractually needed by FJC by 28Jan2023: (a) producing the 8 unit FY2022 trial balances, (b) consolidate them, & then (c) produce the 3 draft financial statements, & send them to the FY2022 auditor (the PNB Audit Cttee has yet to discuss whom to recommend to the PNB), before (d) girding herself for the tortuous liaison with the auditor, mth after mth

• Markisha can complete, & file, all the pecuniary forms required by creditors (such as re the $2 258 821 from FJC, & the $2m from the Small Business Administration’s Economic Injury Disaster Loan programme), regulatory & tax bodies (FCC, state authorities, federal authorities), & even grantors, prospective (CPB, say) or current (perish the thought)

• Markisha can also find the time, twice-mthly (sometimes thrice-mthly), to collate all the payroll data from the 8 units, check them scrupulously, then enter them into the system of “the payroll company”, Paylocity – https://www.paylocity.com/.

. . . this is Markisha’s 23rd generic task – working how long each week? . . .

• Markisha will forego any days off – let alone holidays – coz she doesn’t have an assistant – let alone a colleague – who can step in to do all this essential daily work

Manageable, Markisha?

[UPDATE: after the removal of the last wisp of cotton wool, Markisha was led into the room by Steph, to make her first public appearance, the Tu25Oct PNB Finance Cttee (54:48). She spoke for exactly 100secs, 100secs, so Pacifica members are really getting their money’s worth (55:21-57:01). She said two things, and two things only, but they spoke volumes: she doesn’t have a report, & in fact she isn’t the NBM but the CHC, the Creditor Hotline Clerk. CHC Markisha. Apparently she can’t do any national, or local, business managing coz she spends all day getting calls from creditors, angry calls – all day long. Markisha really needs to tell her union steward she has to file a misrepresentation claim against her employer. https://kpftx.org/archives/pnb/finance/221025/finance221025a.mp3]

~

🤲🏽8🤲🏽 Is Markisha proximately responsible for the financial management tasks mandated by California law? If not, who?

[to be written-up M17Oct Tu18Oct Su23Oct Su30Oct at the latest … incl.: CA Corporations Code, https://leginfo.legislature.ca.gov/faces/codesTOCSelected.xhtml?tocCode=CORP&tocTitle=+Corporations+Code+-+CORP; CA Government Code, 2/3/2/6/7, https://leginfo.legislature.ca.gov/faces/codes_displayText.xhtml?lawCode=GOV&division=3.&title=2.&part=2.&chapter=6.&article=7.; CA AG guide, https://oag.ca.gov/system/files/media/Guide%20for%20Charities.pdf .]

[apologies: finishing a quantitative piece on KPFK heading for repeater operation, given

(a) the current fund-drive’s $3 500-3 600 average daily pledged: in the first week, “daily average, so far in this drive, for a week, is $3 600” (Kaufman, Tu11Oct PNB FinCttee, 53:26 – https://kpftx.org/archives/pnb/finance/221011/finance221011b.mp3), dropping by the weekend, “the fund-drive is making $3 500 a day” (Kaufman, Su16Oct KPFK LSB, 2:29:18 – https://kpftx.org/archives/pnb/kpfk/221016/kpfk221016a.mp3) … & @78% fulfilment (the latest disclosed rate, per the Oct2021 & Dec2021 drives – praps a current understatement: with donors presumably fewer, maybe they’re more motivated to come thru), $3 600 pledged = $2 808 gross proceeds ≃ $2 800.

Despite the turn of phrase, esp. saying ‘making $x’, it’s imperative to appreciate that Kim is spkg. not of cash but of pledges.

Four reasons: (i) she doesn’t give two totals, cash & pledges, & give the derived current fulfilment rate; (ii) with the info being current, she has no way of knowing if, say, yesterday’s pledges & payments will come thru as cash; (iii) during a drive itself, the certain figure is pledges made, not what cash will come thru; & (iv), the killer, the 2nd quote continues immediately by contrasting this pledge level with that used in the FY2023 budget: “the fund-drive is making $3 500 a day. The budget was for $5 200 a day [no: $5 333]”. And what’s in the budget? It was presented to the earlier Su28Aug KPFK LSB, & it explained how its drive cash figure, “$790 245”, was generated: drive days = (5 x 30) +12 in Dec = 162, x $5333 daily pledged (so the mth pledge goal is $160k) = $863 946, yielding $790 245 cash. Noticeably, the fulfilment rate wasn’t disclosed – and no-one asked!?! – but it’s 91.469%, ~91%, & this is worthy of comment: the latest disclosed rate, as mentioned, is 78%, meaning the budget figure is a rise of >13 percentage points, & the actual percentage rise is a Burger King 17.268% ≃ 17%. No justification has been given for this. An actual rate for KPFK higher than 78% has never been spoken, or intimated, in a Pacifica open meeting. Habeas data! https://kpftx.org/archives/pnb/kpfk/220828/kpfk220828a.mp3 (from 42:35, with the cash figure at 43:18).

(KK’s speech at the Su16Oct KPFK LSB continued immediately as a reality check: “and that budget was a million dollars in deficit, so that’s more than just bad, it’s like really, really bad […] And then there’s all November with no revenue coming in […] and there’s really no other money from around the network to help us out […] It’s worse than bad […]” – intelligent verbatim transcription. And Ms Reality Check has ruffled the wrong feathers – again, as she did in Apr2015, https://kpftx.org/pacalendar/showfile.php?id=3663&type=agenda (charge sheet from the PacificaWorld Feds, 30Apr2015 PNB) & https://pacificainexile.org/archives/554. She may still have majority support within the KPFK Finance Cttee, but that counted for naught at the LSB, as shown last Sunday: they sacked her as station Treasurer. What was particularly nauseating was witnessing delegates who have demonstrated no evidence of knowing anything about the finances of either Pacifica or KPFK piling in with gusto, when if they had an ounce of integrity they would have asked pertinent questions & certainly abstained (most egregious was Mr Funmaker, who took his seat that very day (sic), someone who’s never made a contribution to a station meeting, in either public comment or the Zoom chat). But no, the herd trampled all over her. Another victory. Dizzy with success . . .);

(b) the station’s cost structure being treated as obdurate: the ‘cut to the bone’ refrain, although ~63% of budgeted FY2023 non-CS is personnel costs (pm: $90k ÷ 143k), ~13½ FTE – whereas KPFT has 1 FTE (the engineer), sic, with the longstanding development/membership/fund-drive bod paid as the single consultant (hello, IRS!) … (i) re the $90k, Kim ‘(sigh) yes, Bella (sigh)’ Kaufman: “the total salaries, line 62, I’ve just put in what we’ve been doing this year […] the total for that is – for this year, for the current year, which is the same as the budget – is $1.1m” (39:37, intelligent verbatim transcription), & ÷ 12 ≃ $91 667 pm – Su28Aug2022 KPFK LSB … (ii) re the $143k, non-CS expenses total “$1 718 533” (48:14; she misspoke: it’s $2 more), & ÷ 12 ≃ $143 211 pm – W24Aug2022 KPFK Finance Cttee, https://kpftx.org/archives/pnb/kpfkfin/220824/kpfkfin220824a.mp3; &

(c) Pacifica’s unchallenged dominant ideology of Reaganite/Thatcherite ‘pull y’self up by yer bootstraps’ & ‘Pacifica as a series of household economies (the stations), not the network as a single accounting unit’, & in being non-reflective it’s cemented into the spontaneous understanding of what’s at stake & how to respond – even though, as explained in this blog (section 3, 19Nov2021), the Articles of Incorp’n specify “the facilities”, not ‘the facilities of each station’ or similar formulations.]

~

•9• directors sleepwalkers must disclose the hierarchy of their decision rules (& its justification), & how they’re using them in addressing the debt-service crisis

The decision rules hierarchy:

• so, how to rank selling the Pacifica building in Berkeley rather than the one in Los Angeles, the latter also housing the temperature-sensitive Radio Archives? What criteria are being used? In this single matter, what are the time-dependent conditions that have been identified?

• if a single swap is envisaged, what’s the justification for it being not KPFA’s but KPFT’s?

• as KPFA has a paid staff of ~31 full-time equivalents (FTE), on what basis should this be dropped to 15 rather than 12?

• generally, how to decide, for example, whether to raise cash from either selling a building or making redundancies at scale – for sake of argument, a one-off $1m net proceeds from a sale (including after FJC take their share: ⅓ of the valuation they hold) or make 12 FTE redundant at KPFA for an annual $1m gain (as KPFA Treasurer Chris ‘Janus’ Cory would say), 12 x $80k, a gift that keeps on giving, yr after yr?

So many questions. So many decisions to be made. So much silence in how the directors sleepwalkers, how the inner circle, are going about things.

But why do the closed meetings hardly ever say whether any decisions were actually made, & their subject matter? There’s no confidentiality at stake in such disclosure. Just the secrecy habit of ‘the culture’.

Recent nuggets:

• real estate – https://pacifica.org/documents/pnb_exec_220915.pdf (accessed from Pacifica homepage, https://pacifica.org – left-hand ‘button’, the lowest of the low)

• a trial – of course, all part of PacificaWorld’s bread & circuses: locally we get the 2022 Potomac Incident, & nationally the demand for court appearances of Donny ‘do you think I care?’ Goldmacher and the stars of Macbeth & Hollywood films, creeping across the heath, chanting “Fair is foul, and foul is fair: / Hover through the fog and filthy air”: Carol ‘she spoke! remove her from the meeting!’ Wolfley & Christina ‘Nurse Ratched’ Huggins – https://pacifica.org/documents/pnb_exec_220922.pdf

• and signal-swapping, slipped into a PNB meeting, the fateful 22Sep one, when ED Steph said she had been told by a resolution (obviously of a closed session) to “meet with a signal broker […] I did meet with someone […] we were just discussing valuation reports & population counts for two of the stations” (12:22, emphases added) – https://kpftx.org/archives/pnb/pnb220922/pnb220922a.mp3. So, which ones? On what basis were they chosen, the application of what policy? And why is this info kept secret? Of Pacifica’s ~42.6k members, why should they be excluded, unlike the privileged 20, the ‘station’ directors? (1% = 426.) Do those who fund the network not deserve to know what is being explored ‘on their behalf’? Who knows, maybe they even have something to say on the topic?

[UPDATE: two points from the Tu11Oct PNB Finance Cttee. (1) Re downgrading to a repeater station, after a few mths of silence, it popped up again at this meeting – at least in its agenda: “9. Repeater Station estimates and questions (10 minutes, Kim Kauffman [sic])” – yes, time wasn’t extended to reach it (nor to reach “8. Executive Director’s Report (20 minutes)” – https://kpftx.org/archive.php (not available as a separate file). (2) Cuts are being carried out, but thru the filter of the Pacifica secrecy culture there have been no unit-level details. However, Chris Cory noted in passing, surprisingly without a false laugh, “there’s been a little chaos at KPFA […] but […] it seems like things are starting to settle down” (13:08). So this is likely to be the station – absurdly anonymised – where employees’ hours were being reduced. In one of those PacificaWorld coincidences, he has been AWOL, missing two or more meetings, at a time when he might have had to face a pointed question or three – https://kpftx.org/archives/pnb/finance/221011/finance221011a.mp3.]

~

The directors sleepwalkers & the ED, given the level of their public discussion, provide little evidence that any of them know, with NETA gone, what it’s going to be like flying blind. The guessing the pattern of fires – coz waiting for them to break out will be too late.

Now is different from previous years without audits & financial control: now it’s touch-&-go. Touch-&-go whether the mass of debt, ever increasing, can be serviced. The supply of cash is barely enough for personnel costs, utilities, tower, office, insurance, paying FJC quarterly, & the inevitable premiums. The cumulative threat to Pacifica is now existential. Hence recent talk of being in a Chapter 11 situation.

The open meetings are funereal. Solemn. Why? Peeps allow themselves a lil peek into the black box, allowing themselves an inkling of a reality check – and they can’t completely suppress their distress. But this is nothing compared to what’s coming. The fund-drives starting early October at the five stations – the biggest of the year – will provide some cash, but once that’s eaten up, the fires will do their work.

Pacifica is being turned into a kill-box.

~

. . . a genius indeed . . .

~~~

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.

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[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/.]

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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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