FacebookTwitterGoogle+RedditEmail

The Battle for Clarity

by TRACY ROSENBERG

In his Nov 5th Counterpunch op-ed titled “The Battle for Pacifica”, Oakland attorney Dan Siegel exhibits a severe case of amnesia. While chronicling a presumed series of deeds he claims occurred since 2009, Mr. Siegel mentions nothing at all that happened prior to 2009.

As if Pacifica were a tabulae rasa born shiny and new at the exact moment Mr. Siegel and his cronies lost their 6 year grip on the foundation’s national board of directors.

Siegel was the Pacifica attorney from 2006-2009, and at all times a powerful player in internal affairs and prime financial backer of the Concerned Listeners group that now calls itself Save KPFA. It is disingenuous for Siegel to pretend to a lack of culpability for some of the unfortunate circumstances he presents.

The Internet, at last report, existed well before 2009, so one must ask why in the decade prior no technology upgrades were made by the group Siegel now wishes to return to leadership. Who does he think failed to invest money — when Pacifica had money to invest — in digital technology throughout the 2000’s?

Well …. um….. himself?

In fact, his crew didn’t even maintain the radio transmitters, which in 2012, failed in both Houston and Los Angeles.

As the legal adviser to the board of directors in 2006, Siegel had every opportunity to point out the unaffordability of the Empire State building lease for WBAI-FM’s transmitter, which was signed in 2006 for 20 years with rates that increase by 15% a year. Instead, he recommended that the board sign it, and sign it they did.

Or perhaps the WBAI lease at Wall Street which was signed repeatedly by him and his cronies in what the then-minority knew even then was financial insanity? That’s not even mentioning a totally nutty balloon loan proposed in 2008 that would have endangered foundation buildings and licenses and was averted by one solitary vote from the contingent he ridiculously insults.

This kind of raw hypocrisy is the problem.

Siegel fails to mention his role in actively supporting a number of managers in extracting significant legal settlements from Pacifica after termination, greatly exacerbating the financial chickens that came home to roost in 2009-2010. Siegel served as an attorney for fired KPFK manager Eva Georgia and testified  on behalf of Lonnie Hicks after he was let go as the CFO. These legal shenanigans are his responsibility and his alone. They’re usually defined as malpractice.

Siegel’s Save KPFA contingent described unpaid workers at KPFA-FM as “clowns” on Michael Krasny’s Forum radio program, needlessly insulting the workers who create 75% of the program content and raise more than 1/2 the operational funds.

The point is, the last thing Pacifica needs is more of the same. Economic pressures are what they are. Like Pacifica, San Francisco’s public radio station KALW-FM also has a going concern alert on their audit. It’s endemic in this age of financial catastrophe. Very few of us besides wealthy lawyers  are a going concern these days.

Siegel is so desperate to keep control of Berkeley’s KPFA-FM that he ran a lawyer from his own firm, Siegel and Yee, for the KPFA board in 2010 and now proposes to add a third lawyer from Siegel and Yee, Jose Fuentes Roman, to the local board. This will make more than 10% of the local board his current and former employees. Does Siegel and Yee think KPFA-FM is their personal property?

Reject this nonsense and vote for candidates who are not a part of the Siegel machine.

Http://www.votecommunityradio.org in Berkeley
http://www.candidatelslate.orgin LA and
http://TakeForwardWBAI.netin New York.

Pacifica will thank you. Its survival depends on not repeating the mistakes of the past decade.

Tracy Rosenberg is the executive director of Media Alliance and a current local board member at KPFA-FM in Berkeley.

More articles by:

CounterPunch Magazine

minimag-edit

bernie-the-sandernistas-cover-344x550

zen economics

May 24, 2017
Paul Street
Beyond Neoliberal Identity Politics
Daniel Read
Powder Keg: Manchester Terror Attack Could Lead to Yet Another Resurgence in Nationalist Hate
Robert Fisk
When Peace is a Commodity: Trump in the Middle East
Kenneth Surin
The UK’s Epochal Election
Jeff Berg
Lessons From a Modern Greek Tragedy
Steve Cooper
A Concrete Agenda for Progressives
Michael McKinley
Australia-as-Concierge: the Need for a Change of Occupation
William Hawes
Where Are Your Minds? An Open Letter to Thomas de Maiziere and the CDU
Steve Early
“Corporate Free” Candidates Move Up
Fariborz Saremi
Presidential Elections in Iran and the Outcomes
Dan Bacher
The Dark Heart of California’s Water Politics
Alessandra Bajec
Never Ending Injustice for Pinar Selek
Rob Seimetz
Death By Demigod
Jesse Jackson
Venezuela Needs Helping Hand, Not a Hammer Blow 
Binoy Kampmark
Return to Realpolitik: Trump in Saudi Arabia
Vern Loomis
The NRA: the Dragon in Our Midst
May 23, 2017
John Wight
Manchester Attacks: What Price Hypocrisy?
Patrick Cockburn
A Gathering of Autocrats: Trump Puts US on Sunni Muslim Side of Bitter Sectarian War with Shias
Shamus Cooke
Can Trump Salvage His Presidency in Syria’s War?
Thomas S. Harrington
“Risk”: a Sad Comedown for Laura Poitras
Josh White
Towards the Corbyn Doctrine
Mike Whitney
Rosenstein and Mueller: the Regime Change Tag-Team
Jan Oberg
Trump in Riyadh: an Arab NATO Against Syria and Iran
Susan Babbitt
The Most Dangerous Spy You’ve Never Heard Of: Ana Belén Montes
Rannie Amiri
Al-Awamiya: City of Resistance
Dimitris Konstantakopoulos
The European Left and the Greek Tragedy
Laura Leigh
This Land is Your Land, Except If You’re a Wild Horse Advocate
Hervé Kempf
Macron, Old World President
Michael J. Sainato
Devos Takes Out Her Hatchet
L. Ali Khan
I’m a Human and I’m a Cartoon
May 22, 2017
Diana Johnstone
All Power to the Banks! The Winners-Take-All Regime of Emmanuel Macron
Robert Fisk
Hypocrisy and Condescension: Trump’s Speech to the Middle East
John Grant
Jeff Sessions, Jesus Christ and the Return of Reefer Madness
Nozomi Hayase
Trump and the Resurgence of Colonial Racism
Rev. William Alberts
The Normalizing of Authoritarianism in America
Frank Stricker
Getting Full Employment: the Fake Way and the Right Way 
Jamie Davidson
Red Terror: Anti-Corbynism and Double Standards
Binoy Kampmark
Julian Assange, Sweden, and Continuing Battles
Robert Jensen
Beyond Liberal Pieties: the Radical Challenge for Journalism
Patrick Cockburn
Trump’s Extravagant Saudi Trip Distracts from His Crisis at Home
Angie Beeman
Gig Economy or Odd Jobs: What May Seem Trendy to Privileged City Dwellers and Suburbanites is as Old as Poverty
Colin Todhunter
The Public Or The Agrochemical Industry: Who Does The European Chemicals Agency Serve?
Jerrod A. Laber
Somalia’s Worsening Drought: Blowback From US Policy
Michael J. Sainato
Police Claimed Black Man Who Died in Custody Was Faking It
Clancy Sigal
I’m a Trump Guy, So What?
FacebookTwitterGoogle+RedditEmail