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"ProjectCensored" by Project Censored - This image has been downloaded from the website of Project Censored at www.projectcensored.org.. Licensed under Fair use via Wikipedia - https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/File:ProjectCensored.png#/media/File:ProjectCensored.png LUMPENPROLETARIAT—Free speech radio KPFA is holding its On-Air Forums this week for the 2016 KPFA Local Station Board (LSB) elections, as part of the nationwide Pacifica 2016 Elections.  KPFA’s LSB, like other Pacifica LSB’s, is a deliberative governing body tasked with providing checks and balances to the station management hierarchy. [1]

During this on-air forum, candidates were supposed to be given equal time in a formal debate fashion.  But instead the host Leon Sykes, unfortunately, bumbled through the entire broadcast, with the SaveKPA candidates frequently commandeering the proceedings, particularly the current LSB Chair Carole Travis, who sounded like every other authoritarian thug enforcer SaveKPFA has positioned for power over the years.

One listener, Janet, actually called them on it on the air.  But, then, the host didn’t even acknowledge the problem, which of course is within his purview as host.  So, the pugnacious Carole Travis went on to continue doing the same thing by speaking out of turn to cynically complain that the caller’s concern was a “waste of time”, as the host remained silently acquiescent.

Wow, what a truly disgusting performance from the SaveKPFA candidates tonight.  They spent the entire hour fear-mongering and spinning yarns of gloom and doom, which require immediate cutbacks at KPFA, but without any specifics as to how KPFA got to this point.

If you listen to free speech radio KPFA, and you’ve received a ballot to vote for this next round of candidates to KPFA’s governance board, know that the SaveKPFA slate is toxic to KPFA/Pacifica’s principles of socioeconomic justice because they represent a clique of people, who have historically associated themselves as Wellstone Democrat partisans with associated moneyed interests, and have attempted to run roughshod over anyone to the left of their centrist circle at KPFA, or anybody who comes to free speech radio with any degree of sincerity and curiosity about the workings behind the green curtainListen (and/or download) here. [2]



[KPFA archive page programme summary.  Yep, that’s all the information listeners were given.  It kind of shows how little certain people at KPFA think of having a democratic governance structure.  It paralleled the substandard production value of the broadcast.  It seems certain people have a special interest in undermining KPFA’s democratic governance to capture all the power for themselves.]

KPFA—[6 SEP 2016]  Tune in to 94.1 FM or hear it  live on kpfa.org or listen later on the archives.  Listeners may call in 510-848-4425, or 800-958-9008 with questions.

Learn more at KPFA.


[Working draft transcript of actual radio broadcast by Messina for Lumpenproletariat and KPFA Radio.]

KPFA—[6 SEP 2016]  [KPFA announcements, then station ID by Mike Biggs]

LEON SYKES:  “Good evening.  I am your host, Leon Sykes.  And you are now tuned in to the pair-, uh, the KPFA Local Station Board elections.  We are holding two separate parallel elections for delegates to the KPFA Local Station Board.  Listener-members will vote for listener candidates.  Staff members will vote for staff candidates.  There are nine vacant listener and three vacant staff seats on the KPFA Local Station Board.  For more information, please log on, on the web, to http://www.elections.pacifica.org.  Ballots must be received by the ballot company, TrueBallot, must be received no later than September 30th.

“It cannot be postmarked; but it must be received by September 30th.  Online voting will end at 8:59pm Pacific Standard Time on September 30th.

“If you need to receive a ballot, or if you need a replacement ballot, if you have not received your ballot, please email les-kpfa2016@pacifica.org or call 510.848-6767 extension 605.

“If you have lost, damaged, or misplaced your ballot and need a replacement, please email les-kpfa2016@pacifica.org or call 510.848-6767 extension 605.  Please let us know whether you would like a paper ballot printed and mailed to you, or if you are fine with receiving an email with your secure PIN for voting online.

“Candidate statements:  Candidates were asked to submit up to 500 words when turning in their candidate nomination paperwork.  They were also invited to submit up to 200 words as well as a complete candidate questionnaire, which was optional.  [clears throat]

“We all were also invited to submit—they were also—excuse me—those answers can be found online at Elections.Pacifica.org.  In particular, please click on the KPFA candidates’ statements link, Elections.Pacifica.org/wordpress/kpfa-candidates.

“Now, we will introduce our candidates and get an opening remark up to two minutes from each candidate.

“I will like to invite [SaveKPFA partisan] Carole Travis to talk.  And I will give you notice when you are at 30 seconds.  Welcome, Carole.  And please let us, uh, introduce yourself.”  (c. 4:47)

CAROLE TRAVIS [SaveKPFA Slate]:  “Thank you.  I’m not a radio professional.  And I didn’t really prepare for this.  I thought that we’d have a bigger group and that I would have to talk less.  But I’ll give it a shot.

“Who I am:  I’m currently the chair of the KPFA Local Station Board.  And, as chair, I’m very proud of participating with others on the board in creating a much less fractious board than has historically been the case here in Berkeley. [3]  I think that, at this point, the KPFA LSB is a genuinely deliberative body that deals with problems.  And the problems are immense, that face us.

“Right now, I’m 74 years old.  So, I have a lot of chapters to my life.  Currently, I have been working with the Center for Constitutional Rights with a prison lawsuit challenging California’s long-term use of solitary confinement in the California prisons.  We won a settlement.  And we are now monitoring the prisons.

“Before that, I was a union person.  I’m an attorney, but in Illinois, not in California.  So, there’s only certain kinds of work I can do around law cases in California.

“But I was president of the United Auto Workers Local 719, which had 10,000 members.  We built locomotives for General Motors.  I worked there for 20 years in the factory.  And, then, I was a state council director of the SEIU in Illinois.

“Um, uh, I guess that’ll about take my two minutes.  And, then, I can talk the other stuff later.”  (c. 6:45)

LEON SYKES:  “Thank you very much.  Up next, we have Marilla Argüelles.”

MARILLA ARGUELLES:  “Greetings, listeners.  Two minutes is a short time to sum up a life or a philosophy.  Like Carol, I’m 74 also.  So, hopefully, you’ve read our candidate statements online.  [microphone difficulties]

“I do have relevant experience serving for 32 years as unpaid director and founder of a non-profit for brain-injured and learning-disabled individuals.  I honed my skills for grant-writing and collaboration and creative, inclusive programming.  Providing home care for 38 years taught me why and how workers must organise.  I joined KPFA’s Labor Collective and produced several shows on pesticides, farmworkers, on organised labour, and union collaboratives.

“Our son’s visits in critical care units staffed by over-specialised physicians and technicians dangerously ignorant about nutrition and health alternatives.  We are forced to tread lightly when challenging privilege and authority and to navigate carefully between genuinely-held beliefs, arbitrary decisions, and assumptions.

“So, I am honored to be campaigning tonight with candidates, who share my background in labour and management and prisoner rights and hope that tonight we can begin to consider a question left out of most elections.  It’s the one W.E.B. Dubois asked in 1953: What’s the fundamental problem, that faces us today?

“Whereas in the 18th century, the world thought that progress and emancipation were coming from popular education and universal suffrage, we know now that more fundamental than these fundamental rights is economic organisation of the world, that is, the way in which the labour of human beings is organised to satisfy human needs.  Many people today would answer: It’s climate change.  But that’s the direct result of poor, faulty organisation.  KPFA is the perfect place I know to begin such analysis.”

LEON SYKES:  “Thank you very much.  [ahem; clears throat]  (c. 8:43)


[SNIP]  (c. 59:59)”

Learn more at KPFA.

[This transcript will be expanded as time constraints, and/or demand or resources, allow.]


[1]  The more authoritarian types, such as the SaveKPFA partisans, attempt to curtail the scope and authority of the LSB.  And you hear this in the rhetoric of the SaveKPFA candidates, as during this evening’s broadcast.  And the more sincere types, virtually all of the non-SaveKPFA candidates and partisans, understand the important role the LSB plays in the cyclical operations of KPFA.  Such candidates do not wish to shrink it down to a size, which can be flushed down a toilet bowl.

One non-SaveKPFA candidate pointed out that much of the “financial crisis”, which KPFA and Pacifica currently find themselves in is due to certain people at KPFA simply not filing the necessary documents needed to stay in good standing with their Corporation for Public Broadcasting (CPB) funding stipulations.  This apparent sabotage of KPFA sounds typical of the SaveKPFA partisans at KPFA and on KPFA’s Local Station Board.

Factional struggles aside, KPFA, and its spin-off Pacifica Radio Network, provides probably the world’s only example of democratic free speech radio with democratic governance.  This democratic governance structure was hard won through listener resistance in the late 1990s to the top-down management style of the Pacifica National Board executives, who were bent on, either, NPR-ising KPFA/Pacifica or selling it off.  But, instead, that all-powerful form of governance, where elite executives could unilaterally decide the fate of KPFA/Pacifica Radio, was replaced by a National Pacifica Board comprised of representatives from each Pacifica station’s Local Station Board.  But some within KPFA didn’t like that.  So, the struggle between opposing viewpoints continues.  And you could see it in this LSB Candidate Forum.  The SaveKPFA faction, including the accountant-type candidate, promote austerity politics being imposed on KPFA and view the Pacifica Radio Network of stations throughout the country as a drag and dead weight to be cut off, rather than an invaluable asset, which needs to be saved and expanded.

[2]  Terrestrial radio broadcast, 94.1 FM (KPFA, Berkeley, CA) with online simulcast and digital archiving:  Special Programming, this one-hour broadcast hosted by Leon Sykes, Tuesday, 6 SEP 2016, 19:00 PDT.

[3]  Right away, problems abound during this broadcast because these KPFA Local Station Board elections only occur once every three years, if I’m not mistaken.  And many people have no reference or context or background on the whole thing.  So, when SaveKPFA partisan Carole Travis claims she has helped reduce fractiousness at KPFA listeners have no real way of fact-checking that.  And the host Leon Sykes and the people in charge with promoting the KPFA elections do not give listeners this background information with contending perspectives all given equal time.


[7 SEP 2016]

[Last modified  10:27 PDT  8 SEP 2016]