Public Comment

Commentary: Political Criticism, Review of the Record Do Not Amount to Mud-Slinging

By Richard Phelps
Friday November 02, 2007

Exposing people for their true values and politics by showing what they have done versus their rhetoric is fair play in politics. Have you noticed that with all the hyperbole from Hallinan, Gendelman and their anonymous allies, they have not debunked any of the things we put in the campaign booklet. The reason that they are so hot is that they have been exposed for their duplicity. I have offered to debate any and all of them and they have declined because they are afraid of what the listeners will find out if their true positions are exposed. They like to stay with the controlled attack, e-mails behind our and the voters’ backs, and personal attacks with no facts, and the expensive mailer that says nothing in particular. 

Why don’t they have a position on the Program Council or the Democracy Now! time change issue or the unpaid staff issues in their campaign literature? Because if they published their actual anti-democratic, top-down positions they would be exposed. What would you think of a candidate for president who didn’t have a position on health care or the occupation? Trying to hide something, right. All they have said are general platitudes and on their slate mailer, conspicuous in its absence are the words “democratic process,” “transparency” or “accountability.”  

Compare’s program with the Concerned Listeners. Most of the points below have been with us since 2004. We don’t want to control or run anything. All we want is a transparent level playing field with a democratic process for listener input (the folks that donate all the money). We want it to be “your station” all year long not just during fund drives. While they wrongfully accuse us of micro-managing, they have applauded their ally, Dan Siegel, for trying to prejudice the election in their favor in violation of Pacifica Bylaws and any one’s sense of fair play. 

Our 10-point program — a brief synopsis (see website for original):  

1. KPFA with no corporate underwriting. Listener sponsors the primary source of financial and political support.  

2. A democratically elected Program Council with listener representation equal to staff, and with the authority to make programming decisions by majority vote. Webcast the Program Council meetings, post the meeting minutes. 

3. Broader diversity in programming as well as increased outreach to underserved communities, including more labor/workplace coverage, progressive analysis of world events, and enhanced coverage of developing political parties and movements. 

4. Newscasts should be based primarily on progressive sources, and should include coverage of news and community events for areas outside the immediate Bay Area. 

5. Democracy Now should be broadcast twice a day, once at 7 a.m. (prime time) and once in the evening. 

6. Transparency in all station affairs, with an accountable process for management decisions at the station.  

7. Strong, effective and transparent elected boards at KPFA and Pacifica. Meetings web cast and archived, agendas and minutes promptly available on the KPFA website. The LSB e-list should be open to listener observation.  

8. Unpaid staff allowed to organize for representation on the Program Council, and to negotiate with management. Unpaid programming staff should be reimbursed for the out-of-pocket expenses of producing their programs. 

9. The station should restore a Folio with listener comments to inform and unite the listener community.  

10. Fundraising must be treated as a means to accomplish the Pacifica Mission. Fundraising must not inhibit the Mission or make information a commodity to sell, as is currently done.  

They only way to hold a slate accountable is to know where they have stood in the past, something Concerned Listeners conveniently leave out, and when Peopleradio brings it up they want to kill the messenger instead of dealing with the issues. I am embarrassed that some “progressives” could fall for these attacks with no facts and Siegel’s unlawful and unprincipled attempt to sway the election. Did Ohio in 2004 or Florida in 2000 inspire him?  

Matthew and/or Sherry, let’s debate the issues in public for all to see and hear. Or are you afraid of the history of CL and KPFAForward, your predecessor? You don’t want people to know about Sarv’s and other allies votes with Justice and Unity on the PNB against transparency, and to allow them to control WBAI despite the fact that they were destroying the listener base? Etc., etc., etc.  


Oakland attorney and mediator Richard Phelps is candidate for re-election to the Local Station Board.