. . . Vladimir & Estragon, sitting silently, gazing out across the ocean . . .
Two associated posts will soon follow:
• given the evidence of FJC auditor’s reports for FY2019 & 2020, has FJC sold the $3.265m loan?; &
• given evidence from FJC, Pacifica, & its FY2018 auditor’s report, has the loan been extended from 2Apr2021 to some day in Sep2021?
There will also be a post explaining why the current application for an Economic Injury Disaster Loan (EIDL) is likely to fail given:
• the lending criteria of the SBA, the Small Business Administration;
• recent reports by its Inspector Generalon SBA lending decisions; &
• Pacifica’s financial performance – not since the recent past, 30Sep2016, the last date of audited financial statements, but since the deep past, 30Sep2006, a full 10 years earlier.
IT IS FORBIDDEN TO READ THIS POST WITHOUT BEING ACCOMPANIED BY THE ANTHEM OF PACIFICAWORLD. THANK YOU FOR YOUR FORBEARANCE. YOU MAY NOW CONTINUE.
F2Apr next year is a big, big day for Pacifica. That’s the latest day it’s contracted to hand over $3.265m to the Foundation for the Jewish Community, operating as FJC.
Pacifica, in the 2½ years since the loan was taken out, has never made a public statement as to how it’s going to do this.
But that’s not the worst of it: the public behaviour since Apr2018 of the Pacifica National Board & six executive directors (Livingston, Jackson, Aaron, Vernile, Reyes, Brazon – LJAVRB) has consistently neglected the matter in hand. Moreover, there’s been no push from the local station boards – occasional grumblings, but never enough to even meld into a motion. Not only has there never been a vote on a relevant motion during a public session of any Pacifica board or cttee, there’s never been a public Pacifica discussion of what options are available – even worse, there’s never been an exploration of what they could be. And never a mention in a public report from the private Pacifica sessions.
So no director has ever brought a motion, either to their local station board or the PNB. And each director, by law, has, in the jargon, a fiduciary duty, a duty to act in the best interest of the organisation. A director, by law, can’t be an ostrich.
Yet this is so.
Enter, stage left, as many DeWaynes as one can stomach, discursive DeWaynes, bombastic, hyperbolic, hyper-hectoring, the PacificaWorld incarnation of those irritating, pompous-sounding but sadly true epithets, all entering to stride the stage: egregious . . . negligent . . . dereliction . . . in a phrase, the refusal by each & every director to discharge their fiduciary duty.
🦗 🌊 🦗 💦 🦗 🌊 🦗
Only some of the directors are fresh to the fire. Others constitute the inner circle, & it’s not known publicly why these specimens have continually failed to discuss in public how this $3.265m could be raised. (An alternative is persuading FJC to extend the loan, changing the maturity date of the contract.) In the two-year period thru to 2Apr this year, one can assume the failure was Being Homer: cognitive myopia, an inability to think that far ahead. But silence during the last six months? That’s a lil more difficult to explain. Having seen off the breakers in the March referenda, wasn’t that the time to seize the initiative, start afresh, set a new tone? OK, the US COVID-19 epidemic had just grabbed the attention, soon followed by a collapse in Pacifica income, but surely this made it even more urgent to sort out where the $3.265m is coming from? But no. In PacificaWorld, failure is utter.
But the prime responsibility lies with ED Lydia Brazon, in post since 5Dec2019. Her job is to deal not just with the present, the firefighting, but with the future, especially with known problems like finding a multi-million sum by a known date: The Mi$$ion. So, existentially, the Pacifica mission reduces to The Mi$$ion. Why hasn’t she hired someone both to list the kinds of options & to identify concrete options, the possible courses of action? Scenarios that she can then present to the Board for decision?
the leak –now mirrored across the net (only some of the 19 files are shown)
Most people, most of the time, don’t give a monkey’s about what goes on at Pacifica. And that includes the members. In the referenda brought by the breakers earlier this year, a massive 77% didn’t vote. (33k didn’t, 10k did.)
The anti-breakers shout about their ⅔rds support, but this misses the point. There’s aggregation – and there’s organisation. It’s the contrast between sharing attributes (typology) & being organised in & thru relatively enduring relations (structure). The contrast being statics & dynamics: one, a snapshot in the present; the other, a force projecting into the future. To be effective, atoms need to be organised – then mobilised. And things are so bad in PacificaWorld that even the anti-breaker higher-ups lack organisation: after three months they can’t get the PNB Strategic Planning Cttee to work. (Met twice, three cancelled, since it was ‘re-populated’ in April.)
RealWorld, in the latest form taken by its developed capitalist societies, has found a rhetoric to encourage both acceptance of an institution & participation within a ‘community’: be transparent, be open. Transparency of proceedings; transparency of facts. So, a threefold transparency: of process, of the world as it starts from, & of the world it creates. Well, the obdurate Pacifica secrecy culture is impervious to all this.
Three activities are essential to the species: working, reproducing, communicating. Pacifica’s pseudo-leaders may be able to work & reproduce, but they don’t know how to communicate, which is why transparency is an unwelcome complication. They’re always afraid they’ll be misunderstood – hence the sad performances of the hapless Mansoor ‘Uriah Heep’ Sabbagh & the hypocritical Chris ‘R Paul, my heart bleeds for WBAI’ Cory, continually fretting that the ignorant great unwashed won’t understand provisional financial data, data good enough for them, but not for others. Well, the hermeneutic failure is all theirs.
This contrasts with 26June2019: an exercise in transparency, communication, hermeneutic success.
On 2Apr2018, Executive Director Tom Livingston committed Pacifica to the biggest debt in its history, signing the $3.7m loan from the Foundation for the Jewish Community, known in the wider world as FJC.
So proud, the statement to the world included this from the then PNB Chair, Nancy Sorden (who’s still a director & WPFW listener-delegate):
I’d like to first thank the Pacifica National Board, for deciding on this approach and the enormous amount of work they put into it to get us to this point. Second, to FJC for providing this loan at a very difficult time for Pacifica, and third to the team of professionals that helped negotiate the settlement, secure the funding, identify and secure an agreement for our new transmitter location.
But the recognition of FJC didn’t stop there. A whole paragraph followed, detailing this ‘n’ that, as Mansoor would say, &, in referring to its Agency Loan Fund (ALF), Pacifica implied that this was the vehicle used to access money lodged at FJC. I carefully say ‘implied’ because no Pacifica employee or officer has ever disclosed the source of the loan: be it via ALF; one or more FJC donor-advised accounts; or some other FJC arrangement.
So given all these heart-felt thanks it was surprising that pretty soon, & with no explanation, the word ‘FJC’ became taboo, with the great & the good becoming boys in blue whenever someone mentioned the acronym. The policing became so extreme that Chair Nancy summarily ended the 20Dec2018 PNB meeting, cutting the stream, after ‘Jehovah’ ‘FJC’, that obscenity, had been uttered once too often by a blasphemer. PacificaWorld had collapsed into The Life of Brian.
(Digression . . . this portion of the meeting is an excellent example of how that breaker Rottweiler, Carole Travis, operates. A masterful performance. Not least for trying to get on the stack before the agenda item had even been reached. Superb. Chomping at the bit before the meat was even on the table. Kinetic. Carole, sadly, is now retired from the PNB & the KPFA Local Station Board, but hangs around, lurking, in the KPFA Community Advisory Board & as a trustee of one of the pension funds – along with former ED Tom Livingston. Yes, the ties that bind. https://kpftx.org/pacalendar/cal_show1.php?eventdate=20200222 (click ‘Committee Members’))
Giving credit where credit’s due, Chair Nancy, condemning mention of a press statement mentioning her very own words, richly earnt her PacificaWorld moniker, Chair ‘wooden as a chair’ Nancy. Nancy, we salute you, &, as they say interminably on Fox News, thank you for your service.
The self-appointed protectors of PacificaWorld created an aura of secrecy, one with its own lexicon: ‘the big loan’, to distinguish it from the Tom & Jerry loan, the Ben & Jerry loan – no, ‘the small loan’, the $0.5m loan collateralised by the Nakapon/National Office building (1921-1925 MLK Jr Way), the one ‘linked’ to director Jan Goodman, the Jan & Jerry loan, the Jan & fiends loan – no, the Jan & friends loan. In the leaked docs, ‘the small loan’ is called ‘the friendly loan’ & ‘the Pacifica supporters loan’ (sic). Inventive, & psychically revealing.
And yet the information gatekeepers, in doing their work, just couldn’t help themselves, antagonising fellow directors, by refusing to give everyone a copy of the loan documents. Directors Adriana Casenave & DeWayne Lark (both KPFT listener-delegates), not surprisingly, proved to protesteth the mosteth.
The notices for the PNB closed sessions say, “[o]n March 22, 2018 the PNB met in executive session and approved in principle a number of agreements that will immediately address our financial difficulties.” So, “in principle”: not the draft documents. The contracts were signed from the very next day: those with FJC signed 23Mar & before 3Apr by ED Livingston; the advertising contract with F.Y. Eye, Inc., signed 23Mar by ED Livingston (the euphemistic ‘underwriting’); & ‘the small loan’, the $0.5m, signed by director Grace Aaron perhaps 28Mar, & was due to be signed by director Mansoor Sabbagh. These docs weren’t distributed to all directors, either then or since. https://pacifica.org/documents/pnb_exec_180322.pdf
It should be added that the PNB Finance Cttee repeatedly complained about only some of its members having the FJC loan docs, even asking for them from the PNB. Fat chance. It was sorrowful to witness the repeated requests in Cttee of the forlorn Nick Arena, WPFW treasurer, a man who only happens to administer bank loan contracts in his day job. What could he contribute to Pacifica? Just as well he’s kept out of the loop.
(Elaboration . . . the lender of ‘the small loan’ was Pacifica Supporters Loan, LLC, & signing the contracts were two denoted “managers”, King Reilly & Jerry Manpearl. (Mr Manpearl just so happens to be hubby of a Ms Goodman: Jan, the Pacifica director.) The PNB agreed that Pacifica donors pay Mr Reilly $10k “as a brokers’ fee for arranging this loan”, & pay the lender $28k as “legal fees and expenses” – page 2 of doc #1. In contrast, it takes a worker on $15 an hour all of 4 months to earn $10k. Progressive values in action, the Reilly/Manpearl way. From 1921-1925 MLK Jr Way to the Reilly/Manpearl way. The Pacifica journey. All funded by the members & listeners. #ThisIsWhatWinningLooksLike. https://mega.nz/folder/EdtSkCDZ#oJZi7rkbk2KcI6DtzIudXw
— The ledger shows that ‘the small loan’, $0.5m, was the residue of a liquidated $2.075m loan, also at 7.5% a year, that had lasted one month. This loan had 13 lenders, of between $25k & $875k (Manpearl $400k, Reilly $875k). Curiously, a $50k lender ‘earnt’ no interest, so perhaps the sum either was only committed or was withdrawn the day it was deposited (if the interest were foregone as a donation to Pacifica then this would have been further recorded). The existence of this $2.075m (or $2.025m) loan has never been publicly acknowledged by Pacifica, neither by employees nor officers.)
The publication of the FJC loan docs on 26June2019 was a giant step forward in making Pacifica transparent. The fact that no director claimed responsibility speaks volumes. Instead, respect goes to those who work to inform the members & listeners. Respect.
. . . one reason why the PNB only has teleconferences – without cams . . .
At least the protesters in the streets today have some vitality. Back in PacificaWorld the directors just keep on keeping on, shuffling along as zombies, towards the abyss they refuse to see.
Besides the obvious – money & more appealing programmes – Pacifica needs one thing: Karen.
Yes, the directors vary in their abilities, but why the continuing collective failure? Just like the street, there has never been a more opportune moment to say, no more. Cometh the moment, cometh the Karen. Karen needs to step up to the counter.
The anti-breaker coalition hasn’t endured: Steinberg & Aaron have pushed Reyes aside, trying to close down discussion, stitching things up beforehand over Skype calls. The revived PNB Strategic Planning Cttee has been stymied. It’s as if when the moment suits them they’ll sort something out with Brazon, getting Marc Hand or whoever to try to find a new lender. What isn’t happening is transparency of proceedings, giving Pacifica members the opportunity to then hold directors & delegates accountable for their views/silence, for their action/inaction. All this has been made worse by the ugly tone that has descended upon the PNB, under the chairmanship of Alex Steinberg.
The differences between the street process & the PNB process can be pursued further.
The political problem facing the protesters, albeit unacknowledged, is the politics of the institutionalisation of enthusiasm, that is, how to meliorate oppression (glossed as achieving justice) through new or reformed institutional arrangements. So what institutional demands will the protest coalesce around? Or will it just peter out, like Occupy, without even an organisational legacy, just a fond memory?
So it’s the unknown that’s being lived in the street, & this makes the behaviour of the Pacifica directors even more inexcusable: they know what has to be done; they simply refuse to take responsibility, they simply refuse to carry out their duty. Instead, the last two months of proceedings have been largely devoted to tertiary & quaternary matters.
the Pacifica directors know what has to be done
they simply refuse to take responsibility
they simply refuse to carry out their duty
The reality is in plain sight: Pacifica is contracted to pay the Foundation for the Jewish Community, FJC, the $3.265m principal by 31Mar2021. What payment options have the directors contractually committed Pacifica to?
a swap or sale of one or more radio station licenses or a sale of other Pacifica owned assets of sufficient value to repay this Loan (as defined below), or such other sources that will become available
Just over two months ago, on 31Mar, when many were basking in the glow of the referenda results, I drew attention to the enduring problem, the elephant, the fact that Pacifica not only didn’t have a plan for what to do but hadn’t even identified the practical options it has. As I said,
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?
With not an ounce of expectation, I asked the question whether at the Th2Apr PNB meeting a director would take the initiative & do the obvious.
No doubt counter-intuitive, but what Pacifica needs at this moment is a Karen: a director, of any pronoun, who demands to speak to the manager. Tonite, will anyone move a motion to instruct ED Brazon to identify the practical options Pacifica has for paying $3.265m to FJC by 31Mar2021?
Not to be thought reductive, but no Karen equals no Pacifica: Karen = Pacifica.
~💗~ code 666, Karen at the counter ~💗~
How many are in the streets?
It seems to be roughly ½% of those older than 14. ½%. Not even the fabled 1%.
Politically it’s always crucial to have a sense of scale, not to be fooled when seeing lots of people around you: it’s easy in the enthusiasm of the moment to be deluded, & misled in your judgment.
Do a ballpark exercise. The crowds are say 15k, & there are only 50 states, plus DC, & the other colonies. OK, even double the crowd: 30k x 50 = 1.5m.
US population is ~330m, & those aged 0-14 are 18.46%, which leaves ~268.9m. And ½% is ~1.345m.
How may the fallout of the protests affect electoral politics? Trump lost the 2016 popular vote by ~2.9m (65 853 514 − 62 984 828 = 2 868 686). This time he could lose it by 5m – and still win the electoral college. Remember, a US voter casts their ballot not for a presidential candidate but for a party’s state list of candidate Electors.
Meanwhile, the most excited of all by far, the most expectant, is Viro the Virus, the billions & billions & billions of SARS-CoV-2 virions.
https://www.cia.gov/library/publications/the-world-factbook/geos/us.html(0-14: 18.46%; this source is used because the latest age structure at the Census Bureau website is 2015;note, the CIA uses a different total population figure; re the age stratum, it’s ♀ 30 034 371 + ♂ 31 374 555 = 61 408 926; incidently, the total is ~20m for each of the 5-year age groups from 0-4 thru to 60-64)
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.
In a vote, it’s usual that the absolute numbers are made public. They even do that in The Other Land of the Dear Leader, the Democratic People’s Republic of Korea. But that’s RealWorld. In PacificaWorld, the NES, Renee Penaloza, chose not to. Why, a director or three may be able to find out.
Here are figures for the stations, albeit approximate, not least because the NES only gave whole number percentages, presumably rounded.
[When I have nothing better to do, I’ll post the below as tables. Before that, in another post, I’ll comment on what the figures reveal.]
Info is in this order:
(a) electorate (#);
(b) respect for those members not taking part in the process: abstainers (#,%) — voters (#,%); &
(c) the voters: ‘no’ voters (#,%) — ‘yes’ voters (#,%) — invalid ballots (#,%). Some of the Total voter info gives two percentages: of the electorate, & of the ballots cast.
Station staff-voting summary (‘no’ — ‘yes’ — invalid ballots):
KPFA: ….. 49 — 68 — 1 — ‘yes’ win by 19
KPFK: ….. 45 — 61 — 1 — ‘yes’ win by 16
KPFT: ….. 19 — 37 — 0 — ‘yes’ win by 18
WPFW: .. 72 — 4 — 1 — ‘no’ win by 68
WBAI: .. 146 — 7 — 1 — ‘no’ win by 139
Note: the staff electorates are small compared with the listeners’ – and given the paucity of info from NES Penaloza this causes a slight computational problem. Absolute numbers are derived from the voting percentages, & being provided by the NES they’re treated as authoritative (Final Report, p. 10); squaring the figures has meant that the occasional number tips over into a contiguous percentage point.
NES Penaloza’s refusal to disclose absolute numbers (Referendum Final Report, Su29Mar2020, p. 10)
IMPORTANT CORRECTION (M30Mar) . . . The lack of info provided by the NES is even worse than I thought: the station voting percentages she gave (the “Voted (%)” column in the above tables) aren’t the station turnouts, as I mistakenly took them to be, but each station’s share of the total vote – that’s why, in the tables, one adds to 99 & the other to 100 (it’s 100 in the “Electors (%)” column of each table). Note, the heading “Voted (%)” is misleading: it should have been ‘Voting Share (%)’.
(I’m working out all the absolute numbers, which necessarily have a margin of error, not least because the percentages given are whole numbers; I’ll post them later today, M30Mar.)
M23Mar, NES Renee Penaloza posted on her website’s homepage the two referendum result certificates, issued by Simply Voting Inc. the same day. These stated the ‘yes’/’no’ numbers, as well as the percentages.
What was missing were station data. Obviously these would be in today’s NES’ report. As absolute numbers, & as percentages. But no. Just percentages, rounded to, presumably, the nearest whole number.
Hopefully, one or three Pacifica directors will persuade the NES to include them in the report. Those numbers should be prominently & proudly displayed. After all, this is the go-to document on a Pacifica high: “[v]oter turnout was higher than in any prior Pacifica election” (p. 1).
More importantly, not least for voters, the raw data, anonymised by each voter’s receipt code, haven’t been disclosed. They’ve been kept secret. Why? Why have voters been prevented from checking if their vote was properly recorded? Why? . . . More work for directors who care.
(awkward to read the NES’ posting of the report (viewing its pages at 67% may be adequate) – why no PDF? Note, to turn the pages of the doc on the webpage, hover just below the ‘0’ at the bottom, which is the page number. Also, the downloadable zip file, oddly, doesn’t include the NES’ report – as efficient as the US’ ‘Third World’ capitalist response to the work of the SARS-CoV-2 virus . . . somewhat worse than the usual ‘market failure’.)
the four tables sent by NES Penaloza to the PNB, Th5Mar (the first in the sequence) & F6Mar2020; elector & online-voting totals for Pacifica & stations, split for listeners & staff in the last two tables
The listener elector rolls for the referendum are drastically different from those used just nine weeks ago in the 2019 LSB pseudo-elections. There’s been a shocking, sudden change. A strange change. A Pacifica purge has been perpetrated, particularly at WBAI. And the Lord has delivered unto KPFT a heavenly host of new believers. Besides the practical implications for these existential referenda, there’s a lot here that needs explaining.
Highlights, the changes in only nine weeks:
listener-membership has fallen 3 581 (−7.84%, 1-in-13), from 45 690 to 42 109
KPFA listeners −13.6%, so 1-in-7 (14 334 → 12 385, so −1 949)
KPFT listeners +21.2% (3 569 → 4 327, so +758)
WBAI listeners −30.1% (8 240 → 5 761, so −2 479)
WPFW listeners −4.2% (6 293 → 6 029, so −264)
staff membership has fallen −1.5% (970 → 955, so −15)
Five topics are addressed:
the listener referendum online-voting data – including necessary revisions to last Wednesday’s blogpost
adding in estimated paper-voting
the staff referendum
predicted referenda turnout
final, regrettable point: the coronavirus societal crisis, Pacificans (not least re the age structure & existing ill-health conditions), & the $3.265m loan from the Foundation for the Jewish Community (FJC); this crisis of capitalist society will necessarily cause both the largest & the swiftest contraction in the world economy in human history.
[I’ll finish writing this, & its replacement will be posted on the blog a day late, so apologies, on Referendum Day, Th19Mar.
[Just noticed that the NES, after seven l-o-n-g days of silence, has just given a turnout update (online voting only, take note). The W11Mar one gave listeners 13.8% (~5 811) & staff 34.7% (~331). The one denoted an ambiguous 1.42am (EDT?), W18Mar, gives listeners 19.0% (~8 001) & staff 42.2% (~403). So, added votes of 2 190 listeners (+37.7%) & 72 staff (+21.8%). The listener surge is a whole week of 313 a day, compared with 232 a day for the difference between 9 & 11Mar, the previous updates.
. . . receding – or rising? . . . and how close? . . .
Reprinted below is a purported progress report on the KPFA property tax debacle, sent by the Pacifica executive director, Lydia Brazon. It’s said to be an email of Sa15Feb. It was originally re-published the day after, as a Facebook comment by Tim Lynch, KPFA LSB staff-delegate. (The comment doesn’t have a URL, but it’s here:https://www.facebook.com/groups/PacRadioSupporters/permalink/2974960562523557/.)
Note that even this report is a product of the default Pacifica secrecy culture secreting itself again: the update is not sent to the members & listeners, the funders of the whole network, but to the directors, the occupants of the highest perch in the cage. Indeed, Brazon starts off in permitting mode, focusing on info control: “[f]eel free to share this information with your LSBs in open session”. Her orientation is to fellow officials – not the members & listeners. In the realm of this bureaucratic outlook, in the patrolling of its horizon of interest, the members & listeners are only good for money, mere cows to be milked for cash. Paternalism rules. The watchword, not-in-front-of-the-children. Here, the relationship of service & duty is inverted: the members & listeners exist to dutifully serve the management & officialdom.
As I noted 19Oct last year, “[t]he politics of ‘not in front of the children’ really has to end […] It’s crucial that the new PNB majority speaks publicly – to members, staff, listeners, interested vendors, creditors, regulators, & potential donors & grantors. In a struggle, it’s essential to communicate […] The new PNB majority must start a website or blog, not only posting their statements & reliable info, but also opening a discussion forum.Just in terms of disseminating the most basic info, it was absurd that the PNB tumult starting Th10Oct wasn’t made public by the PNB solidarians but by Tracy Rosenberg, in her Pacifica in Exile newsletter, released Su13Oct after the PNB sessions that day. That is the responsibility of protagonists, no-one else.” [some emphases removed]https://pacificaradiowatch.home.blog/2019/10/19/qt-my-guess-is-that-there-is-big-money-and-powerful-people-behind-vernile-and-quincy-mccoy-qt-temp-pacifica-chair-alex-steinberg/
In terms of transparency of proceedings, both of discussion & decision-making, no progress, regrettably, has been made. These self-proclaimed progressives remain as alienated as ever from the members & listeners.
From: Pacifica Executive Director Date: Sat, Feb 15, 2020 at 8:08 PM Subject: Open session statement re KPFA Property Taxes To: Pacifica National Board
Dear PNB Members,
Feel free to share this information with your LSBs in open session.
This is a progress report specifically re the KPFA property taxes which have become a topic of public discussion.
At issue is that the property taxes for KPFA and its transmitter parcel in Berkeley were not paid for a number of years. Penalties were accrued resulting in tax liens.
Pacifica Foundation, Inc. has engaged two specialty firms helping us with the tax lien for KPFA and the transmitter property as well. Both firms have clearly made this a priority. The law firm helping us with the tax exemption has great expertise in this particular area and the lawyers and [sic] communicated with someone with the authority to grant us some status relief, pending the submission of our exemption application by Friday, February 14. Relief regarding the lien is not guaranteed, but I think we can be cautiously hopeful. KPFA produced the final financial documents needed for both properties on Thursday, February 14 [sic: the 13th].
However, it is also the case that the Organizational Clearance Certificate I sent them which we’ve always used, and which grants the Pacifica Foundation, the property tax exemption status as a non-profit entity, must be reapplied for. It turns out such a Certificate had to be applied for when the name was changed in 2013 and again when we changed it back in early 2015 to Pacifica Foundation, Inc.. That further complicated the application attempted by KPFA during that same period. KPFA already had a reduced tax amount as a result of previous tax exemptions applied for, but the subsequent one was intended to render the properties totally exempt from taxation. The lawyers also believe all of Pacifica’s properties should qualify for full exemption status.
On Friday, the focus was on providing the lawyers the requisite information for a new Organizational Clearance Certificate application including Pacifica’s financials for fiscal ending 9/30/19.
I’m happy to report that the February 14 deadline was met and both the multiple exemption applications and the application for a revised Organizational Clearance Certificate were submitted yesterday.
The second law firm dealing with the actual tax bill and fines for KPFA, part of which hinges on the exemption discussed above, is working simultaneously to eliminate as much of the penalties as possible and get Pacifica out from under the threat of the dire consequences which would otherwise be a possibility.
Additionally, the KPFK Business Manager submitted an application for additional tax exemption yesterday as well. KPFK is current with its tax payments but since the yearly deadline for exemption claims is February 15, I asked the attorneys to review it as well and they found KPFK application to be in good order.
The KPFT property in Houston Texas is totally exempt from property taxes.
As the situation progresses toward resolution, I will update your PNB directors [sic].
Than [sic] you,
Lydia Brazon Interim Executive Director Pacifica Foundation
As Alex says, it augments his remarks made Tu15Oct on the steps of NY City Hall. Given the political points he makes, & his assessment that Vernile & McCoy are more than they might seem, it warrants being a separate post on this blog.
However, what I said on Tuesday still stands: we need, & deserve, an explanation of why a temporary Chair was elected in secret. Not only does this violate the transparency principle of democratic proceedings, it’s also contrary to the Communications Act of 1934 – §396(k)(4); page 216 of the PDF. https://transition.fcc.gov/Reports/1934new.pdf
Even when Pacificans are victims of egregious secret manoeuvring, they themselvesseem incapable of breaking with the unthinking obdurate & deep secrecy culture permeating the organisation. Yet, as passed down from the fathers to Primo Levi, if not now, when? The politics of ‘not in front of the children’ really has to end.
And this opens out into a much wider vista. It’s crucial that the new PNB majority speaks publicly – to members, staff, listeners, interested vendors, creditors, regulators, & potential donors & grantors. In a struggle, it’s essential to communicate. And the PNB minority seems to have control of Pacifica’s website & meetings archive. The new PNB majority must start a website or blog, not only posting their statements & reliable info, but also opening a discussion forum. Just in terms of disseminating the most basic info, it was absurd that the PNB tumult starting Th10Oct wasn’t made public by the PNB solidarians but by Tracy Rosenberg, in her Pacifica in Exile newsletter, released Su13Oct after the PNB sessions that day. That is the responsibility of protagonists, no-one else.https://pacificaradiowatch.home.blog/2019/10/14/can-this-be-true-qm-has-pnb-reversed-wrecker-vernile-s-wrecking-qm-will-he-resign-in-disgust-qm/
In the meantime, Mr Steinberg . . .
I would have said something about the politics of the coup. But I was under pressure to finish my remarks quickly. The lineup at the Press Conference gave too much time to people who were talking in general about WBAI and not about the coup. We did not hear nearly enough from [the Chair of the WBAI Local Station Board], Carolyn McIntyre, or the WBAI GM, Berthold Reimers, or the WBAI Program Director, Linda Perry.
It is now obvious that John Vernile was selected for this job to do a corporate style takeover of WBAI and to drown up whatever radical voices remain on WBAI and afterwards the rest of the network. My guess is that there is big money and powerful people behind Vernile and Quincy McCoy [my emphases]. They are attempting a ‘cleansing’ operation to remove any dissident voices to the left of the Democratic Party establishment from having any say on the politics and culture of this country. It’s of a piece with Hillary Clinton’s attempt to demonize Democratic Party presidential candidate Tulsi Gabbard, who is the only consistently anti-imperialist candidate running as a Democrat.
Alex Steinberg WBAI Director to the Pacifica National Board [Sa19Oct2019]
This Wednesday, 16Oct, a group was again outside the Pacifica building in Berkeley, protesting the breakers’ coup against WBAI & Pacifica. (Vid is 15:58.)
One speaker is Tom Voorhees, a Pacifica director, & KPFA listeners-delegate (1:36). The breakers are trying to oust him as a director, replace him by a breaker, turning the PNB back into a 11-11 paralysis. Two weeks or so after the launch of their petition for a new Pacifica constitution, the breakers on Th26Sep called a KPFA delegates assembly to oust Mr Voorhees. This takes place Sa26Oct. It’s crucial that he’s supported both within the meeting & outside. https://kpftx.org/pacalendar/cal_show1.php?eventdate=20191026