“Loyalty” lawsuit against KPFA listener-activists dropped

Some of the hundreds of listeners who pledged to restore the Morning Show
Some of the hundreds of listeners who pledged to restore the Morning Show

A lawsuit demanding over $800,000 in “damages” from four KPFA listeners who tried to raise money for KPFA has been dropped, with its initiator agreeing to pay all costs for SaveKPFA‘s legal defense team.

The SLAPP suit had been filed against the Morning Show 4 — elected KPFA board members Margy Wilkinson, Dan Siegel, Mal Burnstein and Conn Hallinan — who led a 2011 SaveKPFA campaign that collected over $60,000 in pledges to restore the KPFA Morning Show, after Pacifica claimed it had cancelled the show for financial reasons.

Hundreds of listeners made financial pledges in that campaign, but Pacifica refused to accept them. Shortly thereafter, KPFA partisan Daniel Borgstrom and his lawyer, former LSB rep Richard Phelps, slapped the four SaveKPFA board members with a lawsuit demanding $800,000 in “damages” for the fundraising activity, which they claimed was “disloyal” to Pacifica.

While Pacifica formally took no position on the suit, national board members such as treasurer Tracy Rosenberg had been publicly proclaiming the existence of the lawsuit as a “win” for her side. In January 2013, she and her allies on the PNB even passed an Orwellian anti-dissent “loyalty” measure targeting the SaveKPFA‘s activists, threatening to boot them from the board should Borgstrom win his lawsuit. Outraged listeners and staff wrote to the PNB when the measure was introduced earlier this year (a sampling of the letters is here.)

Thanks for your support, and congratulations to everyone who has worked to support KPFA through these difficult times!  Please renew that support by making your pledge to KPFA during this week’s fund drive.

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