On less than four days’ notice, the lame-duck Pacifica National Board has scheduled a vote on a resolution designed to prevent people who dissent from the current majority from serving on local or national boards.
After we alerted SaveKPFA supporters to this, hundreds wrote, calling the measure what it is: a political witchhunt.
“I’m stunned that a measure about ‘loyalty’ should even be considered by a Pacifica board,” wrote listener Alan Snitow. “Please stop this measure and repudiate its intent. The loyalty measure is the kind of pseudo-leftwing idea that merges Stalinism and McCarthyism.”
“How can you dare to try to turn Pacifica into a grotesque caricature of the reactionary tendencies KPFA was founded to oppose?” wrote listener Stephanie Reader. “This Orwellian ‘loyalty measure’ is yet more appalling evidence of how far over to the dark side some on the Pacifica board have drifted in their determination to run it without input from those who do the work, and those who pay the bills.”
The Pacifica’s board referred the matter to legal counsel for an opinion. That opinion has not been made public, but the “loyalty” proposal has reappeared on the agenda on the next Pacifica National Board phone meeting this Thursday, January 10, starting at 5:30 PM Pacific time. Anyone may listen to the live web-broadcast of the meeting at this link or this link.
“This is about KPFA’s foundational principles of free speech and political dissent,” noted Local Station Board vice chair Sasha Futran. “If a measure like this actually ends up being adopted, Pacifica’s founder Lew Hill would not even recognize the radio network he created,” she said.
Although Pacifica’s Bylaws require the incumbent national board be replaced by newly-elected members this month, the incumbent boardmembers have unilaterally extended their own terms by delaying the first meeting of the incoming PNB until February. They may be hoping that buys them time to do more damage: the anti-dissent resolution appears at the top of a 10-page agenda stacked with items that promise to eviscerate local control at Pacifica’s stations and place massive bureaucratic constraints on the work of the network’s rank-and-file staff.