Tell Pacifica: stop the delays, hire an impartial election supervisor, now!

Pacifica continues to stall a listener-initiated recall of Pacifica National Board treasurer and KPFA board member Tracy Rosenberg. No ballots have been sent to listeners even though December 30 was the deadline to mail them under Pacifica’s own recall procedures. | SEE RECALL FLYER | SEE NEW LISTENER MAIL | SIGN PETITION

Over a thousand listeners have signed a petition demanding the hiring of an impartial supervisor to oversee the vote. The recall procedure adopted by Pacifica does not require that the election supervisor be acceptable to all parties, including the subject of the recall. To do so would give the subject of the recall an unfair advantage. The election supervisor needs only to acceptable to the national board.

What can we, as listener-members do, to get this process fast-tracked? The Pacifica national board is holding its quarterly meeting this weekend in Los Angeles. They need to hear from us. CLICK HERE TO EMAIL Pacifica’s entire national board to demand that a qualified impartial supervisor be hired immediately to oversee the recall process in a fair manner. Use our suggested message, or write your own, but please write!

KPFA’s interim manager abusing station email list
It is becoming clear to KPFA’s listeners why the delays are happening: so that Pacifica’s hand-picked management at KPFA can use the extra time to campaign on Rosenberg’s behalf.

KPFAWorker.org reports that over the last month, Andrew Leslie Phillips, who was appointed by Pacifica without any input from KPFA’s staff or its elected local station board, used KPFA’s subscriber email list to mass-distribute materials attacking KPFA’s union as well as the petition seeking a recall of Rosenberg.

KPFA chair Margy Wilkinson, writing on behalf of the board’s majority, told Phillips his email was “misleading and outright false.” Calling his words “a thinly-veiled partisan intervention in an election that you yourself said station management is supposed to stay out of,” Wilkinson demanded equal access to KPFA’s email list for a rebuttal. She says there’s been no response yet.

No manager in KPFA’s history has behaved this way. It is a violation of Pacifica’s by-laws to use station resources to take a side in elections — something Phillips skirts by calling his emails attempts to “correct factual misstatements.”

Sadly, the bad facts are coming from KPFA’s interim manager himself. Phillips suggests that KPFA’s financial situation has improved because of Rosenberg’s move to eliminate the Morning Show — at the time, KPFA’s biggest fundraiser. He fails to mention that over 90% of KPFA’s salary savings came from hour cuts and voluntary layoffs made by prior KPFA management before Pacifica stepped in and killed the Morning Show, and that KPFA’s listeners and staff have had to suffer through nearly four weeks of additional fundraising last year to make up for the drop in morning pledges.

Not that numbers are his strong point: In December, Phillips prefaced a mass mailing with a rant blaming the station’s union workers for $200,000 in costs spent “defending [KPFA] from grievances.” Phillips conceded later that the amount only totals $80,000. Likewise, Phillips told the KPFA local board meeting last month that the huge fundraising losses during the morning hours (see chart above) hadn’t hurt KPFA’s finances. He clearly couldn’t add up the figures correctly. | LISTEN HERE to Phillips doing bad math to justify bad decisions, or hear the entire KPFA local board meeting: PART 1, PART 2

During December’s Local Station Board meeting, many board members were frustrated that KPFA’s interim management refused to give contact information for the station’s workers to enable the board to survey them about interim GM Andrew Phillips‘ performance. | AUDIO: part 1 | part 2 |  part 3 | part 4

CWA responds to anti-union KPFA management
Phillips’ slanted emails to subscribers have also angered KPFA’s workers, who have opposed Pacifica’s decision to spend KPFA’s money on a $400/hour anti-union law firm, in the first place — rather than sit down and work through grievances from the union.

“Your email is inaccurate and offensive,” wrote Christina Huggins of CWA 9415 which represents KPFA’s unionized staff, noting that Phillips’ supposed correction “speaks volumes as to your free and easy use of the truth, with barely a nod to the level of inaccuracy (your self-described style of ‘throwing stuff against a wall to see what sticks.'” In response to Phillips’ anti-CWA comments, she points out that CWA is a progressive union that was among the first to support the Occupy movement, came out early against the war in Iraq, and works in coalition with progressive movements around the world.

One KPFA staffer is quoted as saying, “Andrew has demonstrated an anti-union bias from the day he stepped through the station’s doors, and he’s spent most of his time trying to create divisions between the unpaid and paid staff.” Another said Phillips’ actions showed “very poor judgment from the person we’re supposed to look to heal KPFA.” | LEARN MORE about KPFA’s labor history here.

Another legal victory for SaveKPFA; court rejects Spooner action

A last-ditch attempt by Pacifica management ally Carol Spooner to keep KPFA Local Station Board members Dan Siegel and Laura Prives from their elected Pacifica National Board seats has gone down to defeat, only a week after being filed.

It all started last December, when Tracy Rosenberg pushed an illegal motion through the national board to unseat elected KPFA reps Dan Siegel and Laura Prives. Alameda County Superior Court Judge Frank Roesch issued an injunction requiring they be seated.

The Pacifica National Board appealed the injunction and threw Siegel and Prives off the board for a second time. But Judge Roesch stepped in again, threatening to hold Pacifica National Board officers in contempt of court for their actions, and ordering Siegel and Prives to be seated. As part of the settlement, KPFA board member Richard Phelps, who had been acting as Pacifica’s attorney in the matter, paid SaveKPFA‘s legal expenses out of his own pocket and resigned from KPFA’s local board.

So did it end there? Nope. From the sidelines, Spooner filed a petition with the Court of Appeal, trying to intervene and knock Dan and Laura off the national board a third time. The Court of Appeals quickly shot that down last Friday.

Pacifica’s frivolous legal maneuvers have gotten nowhere in court, but they have managed to run up the foundation’s legal bills and keep two of our locally elected representatives from assuming their seats on the national board for nearly half their one-year terms. Accountability comes from the ballot box — send in your recall petition today!

Return KPFA to local control: Support the recall!

Original KPFA radio dial, circa 1949
Original KPFA radio dial, circa 1949

You asked for it: during our first-ever SaveKPFA survey, over 87% of respondents said they’d support a recall campaign against incumbent members of the KPFA/Pacifica boards involved in misconduct. Today we are launching a campaign to recall KPFA board member Tracy Rosenberg, who also sits on the Pacifica National Board as its treasurer.

In her partisan quest to eliminate her opponents within KPFA, Rosenberg has destroyed KPFA’s most popular local program, The Morning Show, undermined KPFA’s fundraising, attacked the station’s union, misappropriated subscribers’ emails, and created legal liabilities for the network. | READ THE CHARGES, SIGN THE PETITION (this is a PDF; simply open and print — you must have Adobe Reader (free) on your computer)

Rosenberg has fully backed Pacifica executive director Arlene Engelhardt in her destructive actions at KPFA.

KPFA’s listeners and board members have made it clear they want local control of programming, including reinstatement of The Morning Show. SaveKPFA raised enough in pledges to pay for that reinstatement. But Pacifica rejected those pledges and instead chose to waste listener money on a $400/hour anti-union law firm to fight KPFA’s workers. The cancellation of The Morning Show has already cost the station nearly $300,000. If we don’t break this costly impasse, we may lose KPFA.

Our only path forward is to directly remove supporters of Pacifica’s executive director from Pacifica’s Board. Tracy Rosenberg has been Engelhardt’s most ardent public defender. She drew up the the secret layoff list that got The Morning Show cancelled. She was a driving force behind Pacifica’s illegal moves to keep SaveKPFA representatives from taking the positions to which they were elected on KPFA’s Local Station Board and the Pacifica National Board.

How the recall works

Recall Tracy Rosenberg
CLICK IMAGE TO OPEN PDF, PRINT & SIGN PETITION

To initiate the recall, we’ll need roughly 440 valid signatures from KPFA listener-members. You are a member if you have donated $25 or more to KPFA in the past year.

1) If you aren’t already a KPFA member, become one so your signature counts. Give at least $25 dollars if you’re an individual, $50 if you’re a couple. Make a donation securely at KPFA’s online donation page.

2) Open and print the recall petition HERE.

3) Sign and mail your petition to SaveKPFA, PO Box 3263 Berkeley, CA 94703.

Become a SaveKPFA organizer!

Petitions with a single signature are welcome, but if you’re willing to spend a little time to gather additional signatures from other KPFA members, that’s even better. Can you circulate a petition at a local event, or are you willing to hold a house meeting to talk to your friends about KPFA? Fill out this form, and we’ll do our best to connect you with like-minded supporters in your area.

Questions? Email us or see our Frequently Asked Questions about the recall campaign.

We need to change Pacifica’s board to save KPFA

Now that a judge has ordered the Pacifica National Board to seat all of KPFA’s delegates, we stand a good chance of tipping the balance of power on that board if we can remove Rosenberg from it. (As part of the court settlement, Richard Phelps, who had acted as Pacifica’s lawyer in the case, resigned from KPFA’s board last week.)

Luckily, a recall campaign may actually bring in money for KPFA. In addition to strong support from KPFA members, nearly half the survey respondents who said they aren’t currently KPFA members said they’d be willing to join in order to vote on restoring local control.

So please take a moment to print out the petition, sign it and mail it in. Renew your KPFA membership if necessary. And please ask other KPFA listeners to participate. Together, we can reverse course and make KPFA a beacon of progressive radio broadcasting once again. | MAKE A DIFFERENCE, SIGN THE PETITION!