Public Comment

Commentary: The Plot to Steal KPFA and Pacifica

By Jim Weber
Thursday October 01, 2009 - 09:24:00 AM

During the KPFA-Pacifica history, the progressive listeners have, at several moments of crisis, come to the rescue of KPFA and Pacifica, and demanded to get their stations back. The listeners helped rescue the network in the 1999 attempted takeover, along with dedicated legal help from attorneys like Dan Siegel, the network is still alive. The following message is to alert the listeners that another, very serious, crisis is now in progress, here in Berkeley today. 

Fact 1: All KPFA listeners are gentle progressive people who appreciate kindness, believe in democracy and are opposed to violence and cruelty. 

Fact 2: The thugs who are trying to steal KPFA and the Pacifica Network today, at this current KPFA-LSB election, are power lusting bullies who hate democracy and are devoted to controlling others with fear, violence, cruelty, lies, and deceit. I have known them for over 60 years, first in New York City, where they originated, and in Berkeley after they expanded to recruit young UC Berkeley students in the 1960s. 

Fact 3: These same New York thugs, in Berkeley today, who have already crippled the original WBAI Board in 2004 that turned that station over to thugs, who manage the station with violence, causing progressive staff to escape. Amy Goodman was attacked, at that time, and she escaped to start an independent version of “Democracy Now” which fortunately thrives as a huge success, and she still serves KPFA plus 800 other stations, which is good for Amy, good for KPFA, and good for the listeners of Amy’s 800 other stations. But the now crippled WBAI is still part of the larger plan to control the entire Pacifica Network. Recently they infiltrated and took over the Pacifica National Board, so the only obstacle left in this total takeover plan is to control KPFA—at this current KPFA-LSB election. 

Fact 4: If this current KPFA-LSB election is successfully corrupted, which appears to be possible, KPFA and Pacifica are finished as a progressive voice of hope. However, those who want to steal this election must do the following things, which have been tried at previous elections without much success, but their massive deceitful efforts today could be successful. Listeners need to be informed of the betrayal they face. 

Tactic 1: Stolen Ballots: Of the large number of deceits being used in this election, one of the most dangerous will be stolen ballots. In the 2006 election one of the participants in the final vote-count process, who was removing ballots from envelopes, was shocked to see a large number of Ballots with identical choices, obviously from one person with stolen Ballots. The easiest place to steal ballots is at the print shop where 30,000 ballots are printed, sealed in envelopes, and piled in postal bins waiting to be delivered to the post office. But only 3,000 KPFA listener-voters actually vote. Therefore, some believed that only a small number of stolen ballots could determine the election outcome, and stolen Ballots would not be noticed if only 10% of the listeners vote. At that 2006 election vote-count procedure, “volunteers” clearly brought stolen ballots with them into the final vote-count confusion, and more stolen ballots were also likely stuffed into the unsecured ballot box at the station during the final week, when mailed ballots couldn’t arrive on time, and listeners dropped off their ballots at the station. The Local Election Supervisor refused to open the ballot box to possibly expose an exceptionally large number of drop-off ballots, which could include stolen ballots. These ballots were included in the vote count. But the drop-off ballot envelopes had data to identify the voter. A request, to phone a sample of drop-off-ballot voters to confirm that they actually put their ballot in the ballot box at the station, was resisted. A “no” answer would indicate a stolen ballot. But the Election Supervisors resisted this verification, and finally lied that they had erased the database and could not make calls. Even if they did erase the voter database, the phone numbers are still available in the regular listener database. After the Executive Director of Pacifica was notified of this problem, the local ballot print shop was replaced by a distant print shop at a secret location, to print all ballots for all stations, which protected the 2007 and the 2008 elections from stolen ballots. But this 2009 election has no protection against stolen ballots. If the previous couple of dozen stolen ballots didn’t work in the 2006 election, many hundreds of stolen ballots are now available to corrupt this election. Without a Pacifica Executive Director to watch for problems, we have no assurance of a fair election with only honest ballots from only honest listeners being counted. But this problem can still be eliminated with enough honest listener observers at the vote-count procedure to watch for piles of identically marked Ballots. 

Tactic 2: Computer Fraud: At the early LSB elections I watched the scanned ballot data being transferred into ChoicePoint software in minutes to process the final election results in less than an hour. At the last election in 2008, the possibility of modifying the scanned computer data to pre-determine the winners and losers was great. At that 2008 election I spent many hours watching a new computer technician modifying the raw ballot data from the scanned ballots, before that data was entered into the ChoicePoint software to get the final vote result. When he finally did run a test in ChoicePoint, two names came up with obviously unintended “wrong” results, so this technician claimed that the software had a “bug” that he had to fix. He dismissed the observers, with a promise to call us when the “bug” was fixed. I didn’t wait for his call, and I went to the station to see how it was coming. I was told that this technician and the Election Supervisor left shortly after we observers left, to catch a flight to the next election site. My suspicion that he spent hours trying to define the election results by modifying the scanned data was verified when I took my copy of the original raw scanned ballot data to a ChoicePoint expert I knew who, in a few minutes, produced the honest election outcome that was not reported officially to the station until many days later. That accidental failure to pre-determine the election outcome in 2008 is expected to be corrected in this 2009 election if that same technician gets his hands on the software. But, again, with more honest listeners to observe the vote-count procedure, and demand to be told what is being done, this vote fraud may be eliminated. Moreover, it is important for more voters to vote, which can assure an honest election. The low 10 percent of voters actually voting is an open door for a stolen election. Today we need to actively stop this new takeover attempt. 

Listener response, comments, and new information are welcome at