SaveKPFA and the Truth
SaveKPFA's competing fund drive
by Richard Phelps, former Chair KPFA LSB
June 20, 2011
What does it say about an organization, SaveKPFA, that needs to distort reality so often and so much to support its cause? To me it says that they have the same morality as Karl Rove and the Corporate/Pentagon owners that control the overwhelming majority of our media and thus what people think about. If they try to win by lies and distortions how will they function if they are running KPFA and/or Pacifica. SaveKPFA/Concerned Listeners recent efforts in collusion with the JUC between 2005-2009 almost bankrupted KPFA/Pacifica.
In quotes are statements from the SaveKPFA web site. Followed by the simple truth.
"In a separate action, Phelps is suing several SaveKPFA members for their role in collecting $63,000 in financial pledges to restore The Morning Show. (That's right — he's suing them for fundraising!) Phelps alleges the fundraising activity was "disloyal" to Pacifica, and he's demanding $800,000 in damages."
First, I am not suing, I am the Plaintiff's lawyer. No one is being sued for being a SaveKPFA member. The four defendants are elected members of Pacifica governance that launched a fund drive competing with KPFA's fund raising efforts. It is well established law that members of corporate governance can not compete with their corporation, which is what they are being sued for: Breach of their duty of Undivided Loyalty. One of many ways to Breach their Fiduciary Duty to Pacifica, a duty WHICH COMES WITH ELECTED OFFICE IN PACIFICA GOVERNANCE, as Dan Siegel lectured to the LSBs in 2008 when he was Foundation Counsel.
The evidence is absolutely clear that their fund raising was/is disloyal to Pacifica. In their pitch they say :
"If Pacifica does the right thing, we will bundle your pledges and submit them to KPFA as part of a special fund."
This was not a benign and positive action. It was designed to leverage and manipulate the management and governance processes. Otherwise there would be NO CONDITIONS on their fund raising.
"Attorneys at Siegel & Yee sought to have the suit dismissed as a SLAPP (Strategic Lawsuit Against Public Participation), but a Fremont-based judge allowed it to move forward. Phelps filed the lawsuit in Fremont, presumably to avoid landing in the Oakland courtroom of the judge who has repeatedly ruled against him. "
This statement is so far off base it should be embarrassing to who wrote it. I have long since given up on SaveKPFA/CL folks being concerned about their dishonesty and inaccuracies. If they were they would have stopped years ago and they have only gotten more rabid.
First, I didn't file this suit in Fremont, I walked from my office to the Oakland courthouse to file it, and if I did file it in Fremont, there would only be a slight chance of it staying there. Where you physically file the complaint has nothing to do with what judge gets it. Civil cases are randomly assigned to trial courts in Oakland, Hayward and Fremont. You don't get to pick. The judge that ruled against their motion is no different than any other Alameda County Superior Court judge. His court room is in Fremont, part of Alameda County last I checked. The judge ruled against them since the law does not support their motion. Breaching a Duty of Loyalty is not a constitutionally protected activity, and thus not subject to anti-SLAPP protections.
Now let us take a brief look at how SaveKPFA's slim majority is governing. The last LSB Radio Report was a good example of how they struggle demonstrates how they govern.
When I was Chair of the LSB back in 2005-6 I produced most of the LSB Radio Reports and I always invited and encouraged the other side to be on the show. When they were on I didn't control their mics. I wanted both sides to be heard. It is the clash of ideas that helps advance society and KPFA/Pacifica.
The recent show run by Save KPFA was a very different format. Tracy Rosenberg and I were to be on the show to represent our side. Their previous show had 4-5 of them on and very brief controlled participation by our side. Pam Drake and Margy Wilkinson were producing and hosting the recent show. The show started at 8 a.m. I arrived at 7:50 to get ready and was told that I would have to wait to go into the studio. Tracy arrived at a little after 8 and was told the same thing. At 8:30 a.m we were finally allowed to sit in the broadcast studio by ourselves. Our Mics were off. The Save KPFA hosts then announced that "we had just arrived" and would now join the show. Which didn't happen for a few more minutes.
While we were waiting outside the studio they played a pre-produced piece read by Matthew Hallinan totally distorting the history of the 1999 struggles at KPFA and what followed for the next several years. Neither Tracy nor I were allowed to be on mic after their "1984" version of KPFA history. We weren't even in the studio.
While we were in the studio our mics were off except when "they" wanted to allow us to speak. It was totally different from the way I hosted the shows. It was clear that they didn't want us to get to say much and only on the topics they wanted. Does this sound like what Pacifica was founded for? No. And it is consistent with how SaveKPFA deals with the facts and the truth. Their version of Faux "Fair and Balanced". They also screened the calls that they took and this is nothing new.
Why would anyone who believes in the Pacifica Mission not want to allow different positions and ideas to both be heard by our audience?
Now lets look at SaveKPFA's direct LSB governance. In April they made a motion to censure Tracy Rosenberg for conduct outside the meeting having to do with e-mail lists. I am not going to deal with the specifics since it has been commented on multiple times and this is about due process and tyranny of the majority. I was not at that meeting since I was at Kaiser ER with a family member.
At the May LSB meeting I raised a Point of Order pointing out that Tracy was not given proper due process since our rules require that any discipline for conduct out side of a meeting must be done with notice and a hearing. As soon as I started raising the issue Conn Hallinan gave me the finger from across the room. My Point of Order was postponed until later. When we did get to it the SaveKPFA Chair ruled that a Censure was not discipline. This is ridiculous and I challenged the chairs ruling and the SaveKPFA's slim majority voted in lock step to support their chair, ignoring this fracturing of reality. Not one of them would stand up for the truth. They all put their power and control and desire to punish and embarrass a vocal opponent above due process. This is TYRANNY OF THE MAJORITY and quite scary.
When SaveKPFA does this and their members vote in lock step, contrary to the truth, I get really worried about our "progressive-left" movement. Either SK/CL folks do not realize that they are practicing just like our corporate masters or they do and they don't care. They are going to do anything to win. How is this helping to create a more just society? What message is this giving to our children and the youth, who will be running things one day?
What does it mean when the SK/CL folks demonstrate for democracy and due process for foreign countries and don't practice it here when they can?
If SK/CL were running our country I am sure I would still be on the outside fighting for democratic governance and due process given the way they practice now.
--RICHARD PHELPS, former LSB Chair.
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