. . . “these amazing heroes”: FJC proudly advertising during the 2014 Gaza Massacre that it acts as a conduit for boosting the morale of enforcers of the colonial military dictatorship over Palestinians; ad in the NYC-area Jewish News, late July/early Aug 2014 . . . when it comes to the crunch, liberalism always breaks down, here with religio-ethnic supremacism trumping individual equality, the equal worth of human groups, & even the imperative of property rights . . .
If you must sing ‘Happy birthday, FJC! / happy birthday, FJC!’, at least repeat for more than 20secs whilst washing your hands in the proper manner, as modelled by Dr Tedros, the world’s fave Ethiopian (his day job is Director-General of one of those globalist elite organisations, the World Health Organization):
Please send celebratory greetings to Lorin Silverman, President & Treasurer of the Foundation for the Jewish Community (FJC), President & Treasurer of the Marty & Dorothy Silverman Foundation (MDSF), founder & President of F. Y. Eye, Inc., & President of National Enterprises Corp.:
email@example.com & 520 8th Ave, Floor 20, NYC 10018
MDSF: 130 East 59th St, Suite 1102, NYC 10022
firstname.lastname@example.org & 130 East 59th St, Suite 1102, NYC 10022
National Enterprises Corp.: 130 East 59th St, Floor 11, NYC 10022
FJC don’t let borrowers default: they sell “potentially impaired” loans, without discount, to MDSF. The advertising broker, F. Y. Eye, Inc., has a $37 000 advertising contract with Pacifica, as part of the $3.7m loan. All this is explained in this link, which also has all the loan documents:
FJC, in their latest auditor’s report, year-ending 31Mar2019, had net assets of ~$262m, investment income of $10m ($2.6m via the Agency Loan Fund from Pacifica, other borrowers, & sundry investments; possibly income from other loans; income from stocks & bonds), donors’ contributions of $33m, & disbursed $38m. (ALF generated $3m income but some, ≥ $0.4m, went to outside investors – p. 22 cf. p. 4; pp. 24 & 6 of the PDF.)
MDSF, in their latest 990-PF public filing, year-ending 31July2018, had net assets of ~$447m (fair market value ~$588m), investment income of $15m, interest ‘earnt’ from loans (such as those bought from FJC) of $2.4m, & disbursed $11m (including $10 000 to Forward, $42 366 to Mother Jones, & $76 800 to New Israel Fund).
[UPDATE: I seem to have got FJC’s birthday wrong. Not that Lorin rang me, but I’ve just come across an old note taken from Bloomberg’s: “[a]bout FJC […] FOUNDED 09/15/1995”. So, correct fiscal year, incorrect date. Not 1Apr1995. Apologies. https://www.bloomberg.com/profile/person/19329177 (undated webpage; on Mark Cohen, said to be FJC Chief Legal Officer & Assistant Secretary)]
As the other Bill wrote, about the land where Chris Albertson spent some of his childhood, “TikTok or Tick-Tock, that is the question” . . . Given Pacifica’s age structure, we know the answer. The foundation now has exactly a year to pay $3.265m to another foundation, the Foundation for the Jewish Community, that operates as FJC.
For two whole years, the directors have sat on their paws. See no evil. Hear no evil. Speak no evil. FJC loan? Excuse me? How many millions? Due when? Why worry? Thoughts & prayers. Thoughts & prayers. It’ll just go away. One day we’ll wake up & it’ll be gone. Like a miracle. It’ll just disappear. Yes. One day, it’s like a miracle, it will disappear. Thoughts & prayers. Thoughts & prayers. The loan, under control. Things. This FJC thing, it’ll just run its course. Let it rip. It’ll all work out well. Victory. The next PNB election. Incredible. Leadership. Be appreciative. A lot. A lot. This is what winning looks like. Stronger. Better. Victory. PacificaWorld, RealWorld. Country with a stockpile? Or all pile & no stock – a pile of BS, & a pile of gravestones. (But always a stockpile of nuclear weapons: priorities.) Vicious. Carnage. Keeping Amerika great. USA! USA! USA! Ode not to joy but to the United Scarves of Amerika.
Meanwhile, back in PacificaWorld, it’s from the ballot to the bullet – and the bullet has to be bitten. And now. How to pay the principal of $3.265m has to be decided now. And, rationally, that requires knowledge of the options Pacifica has.
The directors, since 2Apr2018, have lacked not foresight on this but due diligence. It didn’t even require vision; just plain diligence. Everyone knew what has to be re-paid, & when. The question was, how. The 2018 directors, by agreeing to the contract, identified two particular ways of getting the money to FJC: signal swap or sale of assets. The third way was generic, “other sources that will become available” – such as cash provided by another lender. So what’s it going to be: signal swap? buildings sales? extend the loan? find new lender? maybe the Jesse James approach, improving on the Symbionese Liberation Army?
There’s no evidence that research was done on any of this by the then executive director, Tom Livingston. Nor by ED Maxie Jackson III, or ED Grace Aaron, or ED Lawrence Reyes, or the current ED, Lydia Brazon.
So, obviously, the PNB needs to immediately direct ED Brazon to conduct or commission an authoritative report on Pacifica’s options. The PNB meets on Thursday, 2Apr. Will a director make the necessary motion?
Thoughts & prayers. Thoughts & prayers.
Since 2Apr2018, Pacifica’s being & future had been structured most forcefully by the FJC loan. No more. Since mid March, that’s been replaced by the spread of disease, of COVID-19. It’ll collapse Pacifica’s revenue. And well before the principal is due. Pacifica’s executive & national governance aren’t noted ballerinas, nimble. And confirmed cases are cascading. NYC’s first was Su1Mar. 1Mar. The Bay Area shelter-in-place started 0001, Tu17Mar. The US’ first 100k confirmed cases took 68 days, M20Jan to F27Mar. The second took 5 days[UPDATE, W1Apr]. It was as if federal officials were watching Fox & CNN rather than the world news. (Guess Al Jazeera America was ahead of ‘the market’, one suffused with national chauvinism.)
The set of loan documents are linked from the below webpage (it consists in the 19July2019 PacificaWatch summary of the loan, including details of the attendant advertising contract Pacifica’s directors agreed to, worth $37 000):
Please note, as of tomorrow, W1Apr, the $3.265m owed to FJC is no longer a long-term liability: it becomes a current liability. In so doing it significantly worsens Pacifica’s illiquidity quotient, the measure of Pacifica’s incapacity, in terms of current assets, to pay current liabilities, that is, those falling due within 12 months. Even before this $3.265m became a current liability (albeit mitigated by the $2.361m written off by Democracy Now!, announced to Pacificans by ED Maxie at the 12Mar2019 PNB Finance Cttee), Pacifica was last liquid, according to audited balance sheets, at 30Sep2009. Yes, 2009. Pacifica’s latest audited balance sheet is at 30Sep2016 (the FY2017 one, proffered by NETA, wasn’t audited thru lack of supporting documentary evidence). That’s exactly 3½ years ago. And the illiquidity ratio was 11.54: that means every Pacifica $ of current assets was being chased by $11.54 from the short-term creditors (7 356 997 / 637 716 per auditor’s report, p. 2). Micawber would be cheered, yet saddened, seeing someone worse off than himself – splendidly cheered, m’boy.
Here are a few notes on the KPFA property tax debt, ~$487k. To be exact, it’s $486 750.86. It means an online public auction of the Pacifica building in Berkeley, at 1929 MLK Jr. Way, has been ordered for 20-23Mar – a building, one should add, that KPFA enjoys rent-free, so effectively receiving a subsidy, year after year, from the other four stations. Some thanks.
1) Almost half a million $$$? But aren’t charities exempt from this tax? Indeed: if a non-profit organisation is a registered charity, say, & the property in question is solely used for charitable purposes, then no tax is due, it’s exempt – but only if the organisation jumps thru the hoops set up by the taxwoman. Hoops such as annually applying for the exemption. Hoops such as providing the required evidences. OK, so administrative ABC, right? – or so one would think.
KPFA has to deal with the Alameda Co. taxwoman. As expected, the exemption’s on their website. It’s called the Welfare Exemption (it’s been around since 1944), & to apply the organisation needs an Organizational Clearance Certificate. The relevant introductory webpage even has this coaxing prompt, hypertexted: “Welfare Exemption for Non-Profit Organizations”. https://www.acgov.org/assessor/decreasetax/exemptions/other-exemption.htm
ABC. The basics. Basic admin. The sort of thing the average 14-year-old can do. If Pacifica had a Young Pioneers wing, they could have been charged with the responsibility. After all, kids have been known to run even more complicated things: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Gyermekvas%C3%BAt.
2) As of 29Jan this year, the last payment made to Alameda for 1929 MLK was 3Apr2013 – almost seven years ago. (Primary documents are linked at https://pacificainexile.org/.) The itemised bill has property tax due, to 30June2020, of ~$373k. But the debt is ~$487k? Yes: penalties, interest, & fees is the difference, ~$114k. $114 000. Oh.
3) Is KPFA the only part of Pacifica paying – or not paying – property tax, when, on its face, there should always be an exemption? No. Consider, arbitrarily, the period since 1Oct2009, the start of Pacifica’s financial year 2010, FY2010. There are seven sets of audited figures, plus the financial statements in the FY2017 auditor’s report, statements which are not audited because the auditor, Rogers & Company, said they lacked sufficient evidence in order to express an opinion on the statements’ material accuracy. In the jargon, The Black Spot is a ‘disclaimer of opinion’. (As repeated Pacifica mtg. audios reveal, no delegate, even no director, seems to appreciate that the FY2017 statements, so all the figures in them, are effectively worthless. However, for prospective donors & lenders, & the Corporation for Public Broadcasting, they are not worthless but valuable: they are a bigger red flag than the one gracing Tiananmen Square, alerting anyone reading the auditor’s report that Pacifica is out of control, lacking even the basic financial controls.) https://pacificaradiowatch.home.blog/2019/07/19/fy2017-auditor-refuses-to-declare-that-the-statements-are-materially-accurate/
For these eight years, FY2010 thru FY2017, total charge for property tax = $502 187. Yes, talk again of half a million. Almost all of it was for KPFA: 91.9%, $461 334. (The others: KPFK, $23 624; KPFT, $15 126; & ‘National Division’, the auditor’s term, $2 103.)
Pacifica owns properties housing KPFA, KPFK, & KPFT. Not every station has been charged property tax each & every year. The annual charge for each station, & National Division, starting with FY2010, are:
There’s a lot of explaining to be done here. Not least the KPFA FY2016 charge of ~$338k. Since the statements include National Division in their analysis, this figure can’t have anything to do with the Berkeley ‘Nakapon’ building, 1921-1925 MLK, that housed the national office. (Coincidently, that auditor’s report, by Regalia, is dated 31May2018, & it addressed a post-balance sheet event, the sale of that property. Please note, if the ~$338k charge were to largely refer to previous years, perhaps even to the sold property, then that would have been disclosed as an adjustment to the opening balances, with an explanatory note, not as a FY2016 expense.)
4) Then there’s the Foundation for the Jewish Community, operating as FJC. Pacifica have to pay them $3.265m by 31Mar next year. A condition of the loan is paying all taxes when they fall due. A condition of the loan is getting FJC’s permission before any asset is sold. A condition of the loan is adhering to the conditions. FJC also have the legal right to sell on the loan, their asset, whenever it suits them. And this they have done in recent years, even of a loan comparable in size to Pacifica’s. And they don’t wait for a borrower to default; no, they sell it on when the loan is “potentially impaired”, as disclosed in any of their auditor’s reports. And we know who they sell it to: the Marty & Dorothy Silverman Foundation. Is this latest debacle the straw that finally breaks the camel’s back? https://pacificaradiowatch.home.blog/2019/07/20/has-fjc-sold-the-3-265m-loan-is-the-owner-the-marty-and-dorothy-silverman-foundation/ & https://pacificaradiowatch.home.blog/what-fjc-has-made-pacifica-do/ (this also has a link to the root contract, the ‘loan agreement’, signed 2Apr2018 by Pacifica ED Tom Livingston & FJC President Lorin Silverman)
If the Pacifica building in Berkeley is indeed sold, it better go for in excess of $1.5m because FJC will want their $1m or so. That’s because it’s collateralised against the loan, which was made on a 3:1 value-to-loan basis. If Pacifica loses an asset, FJC gets its corresponding cash back immediately. “Cash back, Ma’am?” — “Why, I’ll have a million plus, thank you, young lady” — “Have a nice day, y’all!”
5) Money & debt aside, what about the politics of all this? Two democratic virtues are at stake: transparency & accountability.
A written public explanation must be provided by ED Lydia Brazon.
And who was responsible for this debacle? The KPFA GM, dear Quincy? The KPFA business manager, Maria Negret, who has exalted the financial performance of the station at every LSB mtg. she has graced? The KPFA treasurer, Sharon Adams? The KPFA Finance Cttee? What about the PNB as a whole, since 1Jan2014, say? Then there’s the current chair of the PNB Finance Cttee, Chris Cory, also on the KPFA LSB? The PNB Finance Cttee since 1Jan2014? The PNB Audit Cttee? And all the ED’s of the last six years? Indeed, whilst Breaker Bill Crosier was ED for almost a year, 2017-8, he supervised, by a continual act of omission, an increase in this property tax debt, including penalties, interest, & fees.
And, last but not least, what about Pacifica’s bookkeeper, accountant, & provider of the Chief Financial Officer since Sep2018, NETA, the expensive National Educational Telecommunications Association? How long did it take NETA in its early precautionary overview of Pacifica’s assets (& their attendant liabilities) & Pacifica’s aged creditors, to identify KPFA’s property tax debt, one accumulating since 2013??? A week? Two weeks? A month? When did NETA notify Pacifica’s ED of the seriousness of this debt? . . . this debt which, in the absence of contrary info, is an existential threat to KPFA?
So, besides the members & listeners, who will pay for this debacle? In neglecting the oft-cited fiduciary responsibility, who will pay the price? Is there evidence that GM Quincy McCoy continually disclosed & appealed to successive ED’s that KPFA was both living beyond its means & jeopardising a key asset of the Foundation? Is there? Or, as GM, does he deserve to pay the ultimate Pacifica price?
charities as capital, M-M´ . . . richer charities (non-profits, of course) making money out of poorer ones
The questions arise because of the secrecy culture that Pacifica is notorious for. Pacifica office-holders, since the end of last summer, have consistently chosen not to utter the word ‘FJC’, the Foundation for the Jewish Community which lent Pacifica $3.7m on M2Apr2018. At that time Pacifica proudly issued a press statement, & not only named FJC but devoted a paragraph to their activities. The websites of Pacifica stations proudly carried it, two of them to this very day. (The word ‘FJC’ also appears in two other publicly available documents, ones that Pacifica paid for – more precisely, have been invoiced for: the auditor’s reports for FY2016, dated 31May2018, & FY2017, dated 27June2019.)
Given this, it’s reasonable, & diligent, to ask whether FJC still own the loan.
The Marty & Dorothy Silverman Foundation (MDSF) was almost wholly responsible for creating in 1995 the Foundation for the Jewish Community (FJC). The president of FJC is Lorin Silverman, the son. FJC has a policy, declared in their auditor’s reports, of not going to court when a borrower defaults. No, no, nothing as unsavoury as that. Bad publicity too. Money-men pursuing charities. That wouldn’t do. No. Best keep things quiet, keep everything civil. Instead, FJC sells to MDSF, at no discount, the loans they assess as being only “potentially impaired”, the phrase used in their auditor’s reports; this is the latest one, year-end 31Mar2018, dated 22Aug2018: http://fjc.org/uploads/user-uploads/image/FJC%203-31-18%20FINAL.pdf (pages 10 & 11, pp. 12 & 13 of the PDF)
It was disclosed at the M15July Audit Cttee that, quite remarkably, Pacifica has nothing in writing from FJC (or whoever is now the lender) permitting Pacifica to be currently violating the loan conditions. Oh. That’s quite different from when the loan started on 2Apr2018: ED Tom Livingston said in an Apr2018 email, kindly sent to me by Grace Aaron, that “[t]he Board has been told it has a 6 month waiver of the loan covenants.” (Bear in mind, he didn’t say ‘has received a written waiver’ – only “told”.) So that ran out 1Oct2018. It is important to note that in no publicly available document or audiofile has there been mention of this topic – until the 15July meeting.
At this meeting was George Walter, a Senior Controller at NETA, the National Educational Telecommunications Association, which since Sep2018 has done Pacifica’s bookkeeping & accounting. Also present was Jorge Diaz, a Principal Auditor at Rogers & Co., which did the FY2017 audit & are currently doing the 2018. The George & Jorge Show. And they both take a nice pic, yes? https://www.netaonline.org/OurStaff (last Controller pic) & https://www.rogerspllc.com/about/leadership/jorge-diaz-cpa/
George, when asked by Marilyn Vogt-Downey (WBAI listener delegate) about the submission of Pacifica documents within 120 days to the lender of “the $3.2m loan”, replied, “we’re, we’re off, but they know, & they’re urgh, urgh, they’re, they’re content” (16:45, https://kpftx.org/archives/pnb/audit/190715/audit190715a.mp3). Not surprisingly he was pushed further – and, for recent Audit Cttee meetings, it was in a totally unexpected direction. Polina Vasiliev (KPFK staff delegate) asked about “our New York lender” being OK with the loan condition violations: “do we have that in writing?” (21:39). George was as decisive as ever: “[pause] um, [pause] no, urgh, that’s my, urgh knowledge” (22:04).
Then Audit Chair Eileen Rosin dived in, prompting the witness. Tut-tut. Auditor Jorge then tried to assist. Polina persisted, & George, to his great credit said, “[r]ight, & so, t-to my knowledge there’s no, no written waiver. Um, urgh-urgh, it’s very possible that we’ll, urgh, urgh, get one” (23:05). Which only raises the question, why hasn’t a request for a written waiver been made?!? Why has this situation been allowed to arise, & to persist?And was there a written waiver for 2Apr-1Oct2018?And a written waiver for 2Oct2018-1Apr2019?There’s something not quite right here. Something fishy . . . Oh. So, nothing in writing. Oh. And the annual default interest rate is the lesser of either 18% or the maximum legal rate (clause §1.1(10) of the FJC loan contract).
One could have done a separate post on the Eileen & George Double Act that followed, doing a spiel with such gems such as, “the lender is actually a non-profit lender, it’s not like any ordinary bank, I guess […] I’m guessing they would tend to be a bit more lenient than, you know – more willing to work with their clients” (Eileen, 24:14), & “it doesn’t help them to er, to er, to, to threaten default on the loan […] that would be, urgh, not in their interest” (George, 24:44). And FJC’s fiduciary duty towards the donors whose money (& other assets) it now manages? Get real. That’s why FJC’s dodgy & troublesome loans, when they’re simply “potentially impaired”, not even defaulting, are sold on to the Marty & Dorothy Silverman Foundation.
Lastly, Marilyn reminded everyone (25:11), that it had been said, mistakenly, that Pacifica had been promised orally by Empire State Realty Trust that they didn’t have to pay all the monthly rent for housing the WBAI transmitter (Marilyn could have been explicit, saying that the determination of this belief as false was by the court). But to return to the main matter: why won’t people be upfront, & speak of FJC’s business relationship with the Marty & Dorothy Silverman Foundation?
Recorded Pacifica public meetings – less so the very few published Pacifica documents – have been full of misdescriptions, being misleading, false, even what can only be deemed deliberate falsehoods, intended to reassure, placate, obscure, confuse, & mislead. From the naive to the wilful. This sorry state of affairs refers to both the $3.265m loan conditions & FJC.
Just in case one may think ‘a nod & a wink’ will suffice, just check the FJC contract. It’s explicit & unambiguous on the degree of legal force held by what is believed to be an oral understanding or agreement: none, in a word. The pertinent passage:
“[t]his Agreement and the other Loan Documents embody the entire agreement and understanding between Lender and Borrower and supersede all prior agreements and understandings between such parties relating to the subject matter hereof and thereof. Accordingly, the Loan Documents may not be contradicted by evidence of prior, contemporaneous, or subsequent oral agreements of the parties. There are no unwritten oral agreements between the parties” (Article 10 Miscellaneous, Section 10.21 Entire Agreement, my italics & bold; p. 18)
A final, crucial point which will be addressed later. Except when the loan was taken out, those in the know have consistently never said who owns the loan –FJC may have sold it on. It may have already been sold to the Marty & Dorothy Silverman Foundation. Indeed, that foundation may even have sold it on. We simply don’t know. Secrecy culture breeds suspicion. It corrodes trust. It undermines the organisation. It’s simply destructive.
Was the 2Apr-1Oct2018 waiver in writing? If not, why? Was there a written waiver for 2Oct2018-1Apr2019? If not, why? Why hasn’t there been a written waiver for 2Apr-1Oct2019? Why did NETA, Pacifica’s supposed competent accountant, not tell ED Maxie Jackson that one was needed? Why didn’t Jackson insist on one? Why didn’t the Pacifica directors do likewise?
The Pacifica National Board needs to disclose who owns the $3.265m loan. Is it still FJC?
Or, if names are not to be named, has Pacifica’s lender changed, & if so, how many times?