without due process
by Richard Phelps, former Chair KPFA Local Station Board
June 21, 2012
The Concerned Listener majority on the KPFA Local Station Board practices tyranny of the majority just like the Republican Congress. The CL censured Tracy Rosenberg without due process and when called on their wrongful conduct they continued to defy logic and fair play. (See the entire story below. But first Margy Wilkinson's latest lie to our listeners.)
Then to top it off Margy Wilkinson lied to the listeners during her June 29th debate with Tracy on the air on KPFA regarding the Recall.
Margy stated on the air (I have a recording of it) that the reason she ruled that a censure was NOT discipline was that in Robert's Rules of Order a censure is defined as a "warning". Despite the fact that a "warning" would be the first level of discipline, NOWHERE in RRO is there a statement saying that a censure is a warning. You can find the word censure in RRO at pages 120, 131, 333, 436, and 642. It is discussed as a response to someone doing something improper. Legislatures censure members now and then and everyone KNOWS that it is punishment for wrong doing. The Senate censured Joe McCarthy, something Margy and her father were cheering along with all Americans that believe in due process, which McCarthy denied to many. What happened to Margy such that she is now denying due process? Obviously, her sectarian groups desire for power and control over KPFA/Pacifica have become more important than principles like due process. Thus we should not trust her or her allies.
So Margy Wilkinson lied to KPFA listeners/voter, to cover her and her slim majority's tyrannical denial of simple due process to Tracy Rosenberg. Margy and her group, which included three lawyers and a journalism professor, who all knew the truth and voted for power over due process, were in a hurry to recall Tracy and didn't want to go through the due process procedures to properly censure Tracy, notice and a chance to prepare a defense. Shortly after the May meeting referenced below they issued their recall petition with mention of Tracy Rosenberg being censured. The details follow:
At the April, 2011 LSB meeting I was absent due to a family emergency. The Concerned Listener majority on the LSB passed a motion to censure Tracy Rosenberg for conduct outside of an LSB meeting. The procedural rules that our LSB must follow require any discipline for conduct outside a meeting requires reasonable notice for a hearing/trial where the person charged will be able to produce witnesses and present evidence in her defense. Tracy was not provided with this due process and was ambushed at the meeting.
At the May 2011 LSB meeting I made a Point of Order challenging their censure of Tracy. The first response was Conn Hallinan giving me the finger. After some delay their Chair Margy Wilkinson allowed me to speak. I laid out the rules, even quoting some, and explained that they needed to withdraw the censure and give Tracy a hearing/trial with fair notice so she could prepare her defense. Their Chair ruled that my Point of Order was overruled since a censure is NOT discipline. I was shocked but on reflection not surprised that their chair would do this.
When I was chair of the LSB I went out of my way to be fair to all. LSB meetings should be a level playing field for discussion and debate on how to make things at the station better.
On the vote to uphold the chair's ruling the CLers, in their sectarian tradition, voted in lock step and supported the chair's illogical and self-serving denial of due process. Shortly there after out came the Petition to Recall Tracy Rosenberg which included that Tracy had been censured by the KPFA LSB. I guess the CLers didn't want to delay their recall petition since they knew they would have ignored any actual evidence that Tracy may present as they did the evidence I presented on the due process for Tracy issue.
Perhaps the saddest thing about this was that NONE of the CLers seemed to have any problem (conscience) with this obviously wrong ruling!
What kind of progressive doesn't believe in due process? How are we going to build a movement for a more just society when some among the movement use the same corporate tactics, win at all cost, that they claim to be against? The answer is that we won't succeed unless we demonstrate to the 99% that we have principles like due process, truth being our guide, and fair play in all our disputes. How we win in internal movement disputes is often just as important as winning and sometime more important.
We are what we do, not what we say we believe in. Fighting for justice and fair play in Oakland, Washington DC or anywhere in the world has limited value for building a more just world if we don't practice what we preach with each other!!
RICHARD PHELPS, former Chair KPFA Local Station Board
June 21, 2012
P.S. As some of you know I have some political differences with Tracy Rosenberg regarding KPFA, Pacifica and progressive principles and I am still against the recall because it is dishonest and wrong.
Stop the KPFA Recall.org
United for Community Radio
The original 1993 Save KPFA group were outraged and objected strenuously. But the CL'ers are still using their new ill-gotten name.