From 2014, bad actors, history

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https://la.indymedia.org/news/2014/04/263659_comment.php#263660

Folks reveal their own bad intentions in their own writings:

Los Angeles Indymedia : Activist News

by ERIC C. JACOBSON Tuesday, Apr. 08, 2014 at 2:07 PM
ECJLA@AOL.COM (310) 204-0677 PO Box 67674, Los Angeles, CA 90067 Excerpts follow:

” . . . A case in point is Carol Spooner. She was the lead plaintiff in one of the two main “listener lawsuits” that succeeded in “taking back Pacifica” during the last major crisis involving the Foundation at the turn of the 21st century

Ms. Spooner and her allies wrested control of Pacifica Foundation away from a self-perpetuating Board of opportunists who really were aiming to denature Pacifica’s heritage and essence, put it into service of what the late, great Alexander Cockburn called “the neo-liberal inferno” and remake Pacifica into a benign Democratic-establishment-friendly left-of-center version of National Public Radio. Ms. Spooner then spent the next half-decade immersed in enervating factional conflicts with others who competed for power within the new framework of democratic governance for Pacifica enshrined in complex bylaws adopted following the final seizure of Pacifica in 2002 from the “ancient regime”.

Ms. Spooner spelled-out the (burn-out driven) thinking of her and (presumably) her allies at KPFA (the Foundation’s Berkeley station) in a published article in 2012, found online here: http://myemail.constantcontact.com/Time-for-an-Amicable-Divorce-at-Pacifica-.html?soid=1105302426303&aid=X12MM2fkcXk

In it she (astonishingly) calls for the Pacifica Foundation to dissolve its 5 station union, transfer its valuable broadcast licenses to the governing bodies of its constituent stations, sell WBAI into the commercial marketplace and distribute the proceeds as “endowments” to the remaining 4 stations. Suffice it say this is a very radical and almost certainly legally untenable proposal (given the trust and fiduciary responsibilities of any Pacifica Board of Directors to maintain fidelity to the founders’ non-profit mission and the charitable nature of Pacifica’s acquisition of WBAI), and would come as a shock to the vast majority of the 80,000 listener-sponsors at the 5 stations. Most Pacifica station listener sponsors like the idea of Pacifica being a small but proud “national progressive radio network” and want to build that network up, not shatter it to pieces. . . .”

” . . . For example, Pacifica acquired its New York City station WBAI (in 1960) as a charitable gift from philanthropist Louis Schweitzer. Schweitzer’s stated purpose was “to liberate a single element of mass media technology on behalf of the public” and thereby enhance “the free marketplace of ideas.” http://www.wbai.net/hist/tab_77_2.html . The law treats such charitable bequests as perpetual and although a court could permit subsequent stewards of such a donated property to divest themselves of it, under the “cy pres” doctrine, the most they could do is transfer it to another strictly non-profit organization equally devoted to the donor’s charitable purpose. In sum WBAI cannot legally be sold into the commercial marketplace in the unimaginable event a majority of Pacifica listener-sponsors voted to do so.

Yet in recent interviews Ms. Reese has recounted a stunning conversation she had on this subject with Dan Siegel, the Oakland, California lawyer who brought another of the lawsuits in the “take back Pacifica” mobilization of ~2000, and who has been a protagonist in Pacifica’s factional wars ever since (particularly those occurring at KPFA). In August of 2013 Mr. Siegel endorsed Ms. Spooner’s proposal although they differ on some “fine points”. See an exchange between Mr. Siegel and Ms. Spooner found here: https://groups.yahoo.com/neo/groups/PacificaRadiowaves/conversations/topics/10735 .

And according to journalist Paul Derienzo found here ( http://eastvillagernews.com/2014/03/after-directors-firing-wbai-sale-is-now-rumored/ ) Mr. Siegel told Ms. Reese that he (Siegel) would “sell WBAI to save KPFA”, the Berkeley station. The article also quotes former KPFA Local Station Board (LSB) member and Reese supporter Tracy Rosenberg . . .”

” . . . Although Mr. Siegel is no longer on the PNB (due to Bylaws provisions . . . Ms. Reese’s main antagonist on the PNB majority is Dan Siegel’s law partner Jose Fuentes, the member who made the motion for her termination at the very end of the March 13, 2013 telephonic Board meeting. Given the close relationship between Siegel and Fuentes, it is reasonable to assume that Fuentes and his colleagues in the Board majority are likely pursuing Ms. Spooner’s outlandish “game plan”

As to some of those: PDGG is seeking to restrain the Board majority from breaching Ms. Reese’s contract. And it is not seriously disputed by anyone that the Pacifica Foundat . . . “

” . . . The Board did not provide notice to its own members that Ms. Reese’s termination would be voted upon at the March 13th meeting, and took the vote with 4 members absent and without hea . . . “

Kpfk

by Kim Kaufman Wednesday, Apr. 09, 2014 at 11:44 PM
kim.kaufman@att.ne
“…3 out of the 4 current delegates to the PNB from KPFK, my home station here in Los Angeles, have evidently joined forces with like-minded cohorts from KPFA…”

One current PNB member, Lydia Brazon, is surely one of the architect’s of this plan going way back. She and Dan Siegel have long been allies and co-conspirators..

Thank you for this well written article.”

Carol Spooner supports Summer Reese

by Carol Spooner Saturday, Apr. 12, 2014 at 11:22 AM
wildrose@pon.net

I strongly support Summer Reese in her position as Executive Director of Pacifica and in her efforts to preserve and protect the network and five Pacifica stations and their mission, and to prevent the total collapse of Pacifica into bankruptcy court, pay-off its debts, clean-up the corruption and financial mess, and rebuild.

I believe those Pacifica directors who voted to fire her without cause weeks after her contract was signed acted with gross abuse of their authority and have recklessly and/or intentionally placed Pacifica in grave peril. Some of them may just be acting out of cluelessness and factional malice. But others of them are not clueless, including Dan Siegel’s “SaveKPFA” allies at KPFA — Margy Wilkinson, Brian Edwards-Tiekert and Jose Luis Fuentes — and Lydia Brazon at KPFK and Cerene Roberts at WBAI. I’ve heard speculation and rumors about what their ultimate “end game” intentions may be, but whatever that is they are clearly attempting to force Pacifica into a position where desperate deals may have to be made that may not preserve and protect Pacifica’s mission.

It is true that in August 2012 I circulated the outlines of a plan for an “amicable divorce” at Pacifica — by doing a signal swap for WBAI (which is in the commercial band) with another station down the dial in the NYC area and using the cash generated to endow an independent Pacifica national programming service as well as five independent nonprofit radio stations set up by the local boards at the five signal areas. You can read it here: http://tinyurl.com/nxcau5c

I still think that may be the best way forward, but reasonable people can disagree about that. I know that Summer Reese disagrees.

What is not subject to reasonable disagreement is that firing the Executive Director, in breach of her contract, exposes Pacifica to serious risk of total collapse with little or no opportunity for an orderly resolution to its difficulties.

As a side note, it’s easy to get lost in the cast of characters who have been involved in Pacifica, so I don’t blame Eric Jacobson for his confusion and mistaken characterizations of me and my role at Pacifica. I served on the Pacifica National Board for 3 years — from January 2002 through January 2005 — first on the “interim” Pacifica Board for 2 years after our lawsuit was settled removing the old corporatizing board. During that time I chaired the committee that re-wrote the bylaws creating a democratic Pacifica with a voting membership. I then served for one year on the first elected board, after which I retired from any formal role at Pacifica. Since then I’ve sent out occasional email commentaries over the years, and have supported those candidates who I believed were best suited to ending the enervating factionalism and rebuilding Pacifica for the “beacon of the Left” that it should be and needs to be in these times. . . . “

Carol Spooner is a retired attorney living in Santa Rosa. She can be reached at wildrose@pon.net

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