Berkeley-In an action that could be cause for disbarment, Oakland attorney Dan Siegel today issued a letter to Pacifica's payroll vendor stating he is the counsel for the Pacifica Foundation. (http://www.mediafire.com/
download/fanvmp5a9we5sgh/ Sandra+Cain.pdf) The position of general counsel for the foundation is one selected by the entire Pacifica ...National Board. No such decision has been made by the board's own declaration. (http://www.mediafire.com/ download/c0bqna4yefj2k47/ pacifica.org_documents_pnb_exec _140414.pdf)
The 5 Pacifica stations went into fund drive this week, with reasonably positive numbers so far. KPFK booked $99,000 in their first four days and KPFA booked $85,000. Numbers are not yet available from the non-California stations. Pacifica-In-Exile readers are strongly encouraged to donate to their local stations. If the May 6th preliminary injunction request is granted, there will be a need to settle out the new lawsuits and labor grievances, meet equipment needs, and repair the havoc of the past few months. All 5 station websites (wbai.org,kpfk.org, wpfw.org,
Your support will help to avert a threatened break-up of the network and keep all 5 radio major-market licenses non-commercial and non-corporate for the long run.
A FAQ about the events of the last 90 days can be found here. (http://2014.supportkpfa.org/
Tomorrow, May 6th at 9:00am, the preliminary injunction request in PDGG vs. Pacifica will be heard in Alameda Superior Court in Department 15 with Judge Ioana Petrou. It will be followed at 10:00am by a hearing on the Siegel and Yee request to evict the national office. The opposition filing on the Siegel and Yee eviction request was filed on May 5th and can be found here. (http://www.mediafire.com/
The PDGG vs. Pacifica complaint can be found here in a 137-page full complaint (http://www.mediafire.com/
Project Censored's Mickey Huff and Peter Phillips, volunteer programmers at the station whose program airs Friday mornings at 8:00am released this statement on May 2nd discussing the important role of volunteers like themselves in KPFA's mission, linking some of the recent struggles to the possibility of Cointelpro-style infiltration, and suggesting mediation for the entire Pacifica National Board. (http://2014.supportkpfa.org/
An open letter signed by hundreds of the network's staffers and supporters objecting to the breach of Reese's contract can be found here
Pacifica in Exile tries to document some of the bizarre behavior manifesting in the rogue board majority, most of which passes under the radar screen of listener sponsors who have no access to the flurry of emails between board members. Having passed on a few emails in the last edition, here are some updates. KPFT listener-sponsor representative Hank Lamb, whose stirring recitation of National Rifle Assn talking points was sent out on a public list-serv, is a convicted felon, having served a 16-month prison sentence in Southern California in the 90's. This means two of the twelve directors that comprise the rogue majority have significant criminal records, which would probably prevent Pacifica from qualifying for bonding, as some directors have suggested be done in the past. It also brings up a larger question whether background checks are in order for board volunteers and whether candidates should be required to disclose material facts to voters, such as felony convictions, when they stand for election. (Lamb did not).
KPFA local station board member and Oakland community activist Samsarah Morgan wrote about her perceptions after a year on the board here.
The national committee elections process, already months overdue (it should have been done in February), was thrown into disarray after a board member violated the secret ballot protocol by sending their electronic ballot to other board members rather than to the election teller. A member of the board majority was apparently running their ballot by the officers and LA board member Lydia Brazon - and accidentally sent it to the whole board. KPFA and KPFK board members Janet Kobren and Kim Kaufman had tried unsuccessfully to get the board to allow committee candidates to address the whole board to present their qualifications for the posts they have requested, but were denied by the officers.
A complaint filed by 8 former national board members with the CA Attorney General can be found here. (http://www.mediafire.com/
KPFA news anchor John Hamilton is moving to San Diego and vacating his part-time job at KPFA. We wish him well in his new endeavours. Hamilton's position avoided layoff in early 2011 after KPFA posted operating deficits of almost $600,000 the two previous years by the use of an Employment Development Department job-sharing program, which allowed members of the KPFA news department to temporarily reduce their working hours and get reimbursed by the State of California for the pay difference between their modified schedules and their normal schedules. The program has been in effect ever since, and Hamilton's departure should cause it to terminate as the vacancy is being advertised indicating KPFA no longer needs Employment Development Department subsidization to pay its payroll. (http://www.cpb.org/jobline/
A satirical look at the chaos at the radio stations and what the future holds amid rumors of a network breakup by the Twit Wits comedy troupe (produced by noted theatrical producer George Coates) can be found here. (https://soundcloud.com/
A community forum held at the Berkeley Federation of Universalist Unitarians (BFUU) discussed the current situation last Sunday and is available on video. (http://2014.supportkpfa.org/
KPFA's Community Advisory Board announced more town hall meetings:
One on May 17th at the Marcus Garvey building at 1485 8th Street in West Oakland (http://www.kpfa.org/events/
One at EastSide Arts Alliance at 2277 International Boulevard in Fruitvale on June 21st. (http://www.kpfa.org/events/
Attorney Alan Yee of Siegel and Yee misquoted Internal Revenue Service code USC 26 Section 6109 (c) in the injunction reponse filed by the rogue board majority. Looking to buttress their claim that Reese was never hired as the executive director, Yee printed a list of citations lifted directly from a "find law" page located in a google search without verifying if the IRS citation on the page was correct. It wasn't. Here is the correct citation:
"26 USC 6109(a)(3) Furnishing number of another person Any person required under the authority of this title to make a return, statement, or other document with respect to another person shall request from such other person, and shall include in any such return, statement, or other document, such identifying number as may be prescribed for securing proper identification of such other person.
26 CFR 301.6109-1(c) Requirement to furnish another's number. “If the person making the return, statement, or other document does not know the taxpayer identifying number of the other person, and such other person is one that is described in paragraph (b)(2)(i), (ii), (iii), or (vi) of this section, such person must request the other person's number. The request should state that the identifying number is required to be furnished under authority of law. When the person making the return, statement, or other document does not know the number of the other person, and has complied with the request provision of this paragraph (c), such person must sign an affidavit on the transmittal document forwarding such returns, statements, or other documents to the Internal Revenue Service, so stating”
The employer penalty is $50, usually described in legal lingo as a de minimus burden i.e. "not much". The penalty, which the IRS never assessed Pacifica in 2012 when Reese was placed on payroll, is the sole employer consequence for failure to submit an employee's social security number after submitting an affidavit that the request was made.
Pacifica's board was told this in February of 2013 by their corporate counsel and would have been told so again in February 2014 had they allowed the corporate counsel to address the board.
Disputed chair Margy Wilkinson is reported to have said with regard to Reese's attempted firing; "it isn't illegal until someone says it is".
Reese has continued to report to work at the national headquarters since March 17th.
Started in 1946 by conscientious objector Lew Hill, Pacifica's storied history includes impounded program tapes for a 1954 on-air discussion of marijuana, broadcasting the Seymour Hersh revelations of the My Lai massacre, bombings by the Ku Klux Klan, going to jail rather than turning over the Patty Hearst tapes to the FBI, and Supreme Court cases including the 1984 decision that noncommercial broadcasters have the constitutional right to editorialize, and the Seven Dirty Words ruling following George Carlin's incendiary performances on WBAI. Pacifica Foundation Radio operates noncommercial radio stations in New York, Washington, Houston, Los Angeles, and the San Francisco Bay Area, and syndicates content to over 180 affiliates. It invented listener-supported radio.