This is what democracy looks like? Really?

Three-and-a-half months, and counting. That’s how long KPFA listeners have been waiting to vote on the recall of Pacifica board treasurer Tracy Rosenberg. As readers may remember, Rosenberg was one of the chief architects of the elimination of KPFA’s highly-successful Morning Show, and led efforts to illegally deny duly-elected KPFA representatives, who opposed her, their seats on the Pacifica National Board.

Listeners submitted a recall petition on September 1 and, according to Pacifica’s bylaws, ballots should have been mailed between December 15 and 30.

After months of stalling, Pacifica informed SaveKPFA last week that it has finally hired an election supervisor — but it hasn’t told us who that is, or what the long-overdue ballot schedule will be.

A cynical observer would point out that Rosenberg’s allies on the national board have deliberately delayed the election to give Rosenberg time to organize her campaign, which she had not been able to do by the ballot deadline of December 30. Whether that, or incompetence, or a disdain for the democratic process, Pacifica’s clear violation of its own bylaws led listeners on Feb. 28 to file a charge with the California Attorney General’s office, which oversees California non-profits. | LISTEN to 2 min audio clip from KPFA News | READ board rep Jack Kurzweil‘s YES on recall essay

L.A. Theatre Works booted off KPFA, but welcomed with open arms at sister station KPFK

KPFA’s sister station in Los Angeles, KPFK, announced it scored a coup by signing up the award-winning program L.A. Theatre Works to run every Sunday night. “We feel it is far and away the best radio drama show in the country,” KPFK’s interim program director Alan Minsky told the press.

This is the same program that interim KPFA managers Andrew Phillips and Carrie Core removed from KPFA’s airwaves last fall, despite an outcry from listeners. They filled the time slot with two programs hosted by allies of Pacifica management, The Week Starts Here and TwitWit (actors reading a Twitter feed from a computer screen). Fresno’s KFCF, which re-broadcasts much of KPFA’s programming, soon dropped the new programs and reinstituted L.A. Theatre Works.

Democracy when? Still no ballots and paychecks bouncing

Still nothing from Pacifica on when ballots will go out in the  recall of Tracy Rosenberg. As a reminder: Pacifica’s own rules for recall elections required it to send out ballots no later than December 30, 2011. That’s nearly 6 weeks ago!

One thing Pacifica’s delay has accomplished (probably by design): it’s bought Rosenberg time to build a campaign machine, and for the Pacifica-imposed interim manager at KPFA to start using station resources to support her efforts.

Thank you to those who have signed the online petition (over 1100 currently) or written letters to Pacifica demanding an impartial recall supervisor. SaveKPFA is also considering legal options for forcing Pacifica to comply with its own rules.

Now Pacifica’s bouncing paychecks, too has published an email from KPFA’s union, CWA Local 9415, sent to Pacifica management. The message spoke to two issues: bounced paychecks and the network’s illegal withholding of retirement contributions. Several employees across Pacifica’s stations — including one at KPFA — took their paychecks to the bank in January and got nothing to show for it but a bounced check fee. There’s been no explanation from management to staff about why it happened, or what Pacifica is doing to prevent a recurrence. Bouncing paychecks is a criminal offense.

This comes on the heels of revelations by KPFA’s union last fall that Pacifica had been diverting workers’ contributions to their retirement plans in order to pay other bills. At the time, Pacifica promised workers it would 1) catch up on payments to their accounts — which it eventually did, 2) pay them the legal minimum interest rate on the catch up payments — which it hasn’t yet, and 3) make timely contributions in the future. On that last point, KPFA workers report that their retirement accounts should have had two deposits from Pacifica in January — they’ve had none.