June 27, 2002
Friends of the Fired, Banned
and Future Plaintiffs
Pacifica National Board
2390 Champlain St. NW
Washington DC 20009
I am writing on behalf of a number of banned and fired producers and
staffers who believe the current Board and station management actions
have not only been arbitrary, capricious and illegal but also undermine
Lew Hills pacifist mission. We would appreciate for the benefit
of all supporters of Pacifica your addressing the following questions
- The following individuals have been fired summarily with no opportunity
for response since Judge Sabraws order prohibiting such firings
Edgar BoldarWPFW Jazz Show cancelled w/out notice
JC CalderonWBAI Latino Journal co-host cancelled w/out notice
Marc CooperKPFK programmer AFTRA Shop Steward.
Robert DaughtryGeneral Manager WBAI
Armand DiMeleWBAI Positive Mind host cut back 25% w/out notice
Paul DeRienzoWBAI news reporter, talk show host--Shop Steward
Djabel FayeWBAI Program Director, AFTRA activist
Ken GaleWBAI host cancelled without prior notice, fired and banned
Garland GantnerKPFT General manager resigned
Joe GillChief Engineer PNN, Satellite Service Supervisor
Shannon GilsonPacifica Network News
Russell GreeneWPFW engineer forced to resign
Patricia GuadalupePacifica Network News
Louis HankinsWPFW General Manager fired
Noelle Hanrahan--KPFA co-host of Flashpoints, CWA Shop Steward.
Bob Hennelly-- Pacifica Network News
Roman HuntWPFW engineer forced to resign
Laura Iiyama-- Pacifica Network News
Kim JacksonWBAI music show host cancelled without prior notice
Saul Landau--Pacifica National News commentator silenced
Utrice LeidExec Dir PNN forced to resign
Michael LevineExpert Witness show preempted without notice.
Marjorie MooreWBAI Morning Show host\
Santiago NievesWBAI Morning Show host cancelled and fired
Sally OBrienWBAI host programs cut back and threatened
Josephine Reid-- Pacifica Network News
Clayton RileySaturday host fired and banned by Valerie Van Isler
Don RushSr. Correspondent Pacifica National News Shop Steward
Ralph SchoenmanWBAI producer harassed and banned
Mark SchubbKPFK General Manager forced to resign
Habte SelassieWBAI producer show time changed to 3am w/out notice
Miriam SherrodPacifica Finance Office
George StonefishWBAI Red Nations Host cancelled w/out notice
April WattsWPFW Program Assistant fired w/out notice
Edwina WilliamsWPFW Wednesday Talk cancelled w/out notice
Paul WilliamsWBAI Operations Director forced to resign
Andy YorkWPFW engineer forced to resign
We demand immediate reinstatement of all these individuals who were
improperly dropped. We also request an investigation into the question
of whether any station Program Director offered on air jobs as payback
to those who fought as dissidents for removal of the former Board.
- The Pacifica Foundation is currently the subject of at least three
Unfair Labor Practices complaints brought by the American Federation
of Television and Radio Artists. AFTRA has taken the position that Paul
DeRienzo, Djabel Fay and Marjorie Moore, all WBAI employees were wrongfully
terminated because of their staunch pro-union activism. Considering
that the dissidents and current Board majority have invoked labor terminology
throughout their struggle and that the dissidents have claimed widespread
union support, what are you doing to amicably settle this dispute?
- Is the interim Board in violation of Article 3 Section G of Judge
Sabraws order when it violates existing Pacifica policy by taking
personnel actions (e.g. the firing of Bob Daughtry) that it did not
have the authority to execute?
- In an email from you dated June 24, 2002 to programmer Armand DiMele
(The Positive Mind) you stated, "Let me be clear as chair of the
Interim Pacifica National Board I do not have any involvement in programming
decisions at WBAI or any of the other four stations." How do you
square this representation with your statements at the January 2002
National Board meeting where you directly spearheaded the public firing
and humiliation of WBAI General Manager Bob Daughtry?
- Can you supply a copy of the Board approved budget for fiscal year
- Is the current Board functioning as an operating board or a governance
- Are the advisory boards involved in the day-to-day operations of the
- We have direct evidence that Pacifica National Board members have
been attending LAB meetings in Washington DC. Are current Board members
also serving and voting on local advisory boards?
- Given the facts is the advisory board involved in programming decisions
does this threaten Pacificas eligibility for CPB funding?
- Is all employee compensations reported and taxed according to the
- What is your policy in regards to compensation of some radio hosts
and not to others?
- What is your policy for providing transportation, day care, health
insurance and other benefits to some hosts and staffers and not others
- There were strong allegations that the previous Board was trying to
amend the Foundations by-laws for purposes that were not acceptable
to the current Boards philosophies. Its now being argued
that the current Board is also engaged in efforts to redo the by-laws
in ways that also undermine the principles of the Foundation. How will
you insure that Pacificas by-law revisions will not become a vehicle
for one faction or anothers continuing domination of the broadcast
- Many people have suggested they can no longer listen to Pacifica stations
including some of your own dissident supporters. Their argument is that
Pacifica and its stations are beginning to sound like a Soviet era propaganda
machine. They are using autocratic and undemocratic means to maintain
power within small cliques. They have systematically purged longtime
professional and popular producers. Lew Hill was not an advocate of
a radical, leftist, communalist, Socialist, anarchistic or messianic
philosophy for broadcasting. People feel that this kind of frequently
violent rhetoric from un-professional, non-accountable individuals who
engage in personality bashing has led the stations to offering the worst
type of anti-Semitism, vilification of Israel and Zionism and racism
thats ever been broadcast on WBAI. This type of violent rhetoric
with non-accountability offers only half-truths and substitutes for
accuracy, objectivity and fairness.
Also, has there been an overt emphasis on supporting a radical leftist
agenda? If so please explain how this reconciles with Lew Hill and the
founders who believed that no political ideology should supercede another?
Hill firmly stood for the view that both moderate and conservative voices
should also be represented and that Pacifica was the foundation upon
which all ideological decisions should begin.
Pacifica at its best built unity against the Vietnam War by using its
commitment to pacifism to bring together all people against the war
who could be confident that their activity would not be turned towards
supporting extremist positions of the day. What is your administration
doing to insure that todays activists drawn to Pacifica will not
be misled into believing they are involved with a non-violent movement,
which is in fact violent or pro-violence?
- We also question the accountability of this Board and station personnel
who have committed acts that must now be addressed. Are you aware that
credible individuals have come forward with evidence documenting acts
of violence including shootings, physical assaults, hate crimes, sabotage,
vandalism, verbal abuse, hacking, placing viruses in computers and stealing
personal files? Have you discussed with your attorneys that these may
constitute acts of terrorism under the current definition of terrorism
provided by the USA Patriot Act? Its not only those who commit
the crime but those who set it into motion. That includes those who
inspired, motivated or turned a blind eye to their followers. Virtually
every incendiary article and broadcast made by the dissidents has been
documented. Should you not now bring in the authorities to investigate
Surely Pacifica and its broadcasters would not hold a double standard,
where they have railed and championed for crimes committed against others
to be exposed and prosecuted? Is not the failure to come forth and testify
sending the wrong message that violent, terroristic acts can be committed
in the name of a cause provided its your cause and not other peoples
cause? Its not merely that you have power thats in question
but whether you have the standards and ethics to honor that power. Until
this is addressed there cannot be full closure and healing.
- What is being done concerning the numerous charges of sexual and other
forms of harassment filed against a certain senior producer? There are
a number of women, managers and other staffers and volunteers who are
waiting for an honest hearing. A large number are willing to come forward.
We have interviewed former co-workers of this producer, who although
they share a common political ideology are outraged that he was allowed
to treat them in a manner that had this been done by the previous regime
they would have been pilloried or worse. Is this Board afraid to act?
Would it not be in everyones best interest to bring in special
investigators to determine if the allegations are accurate or not? If
he is innocent he deserves to be cleared. If hes guilty of these
violations the Board must act according to its own rule
- There have been reports of financial irregularities at KPFA and WBAI
including unauthorized bank accounts, people receiving money from fundraisers
in the name of Pacifica and its stations while not giving either the
funds, receipts or a detailed accounting to managers. Why havent
they been turned over to the IRS Special Investigation Division?
- The FCC requires formal notification when more than 50% of the Board
has changed in a given year. When the former majority of the Board was
forced to resign so that the new Board could convene was this properly
documented and reported to the FCC?
- The Green party has supported the dissidents and the former Board
minority in their campaign to control the Pacifica Foundation. If there
is a financial relationship between the Green Party and Pacifica or
a relationship based on granting air time and political support for
the aims of the Greens this could put the licenses for all five Pacifica
stations in jeopardy? Is there any relationship that according to the
FCC, may violate elections laws with the Green party?
- Have any of the stations accepted contributions from any political
- Have donor names and/or addresses been shared with political parties?
- There have been statements on air of the success of fundraising at
each of the stations. We request a detailed accounting as we have heard
from high level, reliable station sources that these figures are fraudulent.
Is it legal to report falsified figures? Is Pacifica using generally
accepted accounting principles? What government agencies have been invited
in to examine these issues?
- We also have questions concerning disturbing reports of funding improprieties,
particularly at WBAI and WPFW. The dissident groups and the current
Board majority have made numerous references to charges that the previous
Board ran up huge legal bills while fighting the dissidents attacks.
Is it true that the current Board has hired lawyers to deal with the
legal problems stemming from the Foundations debts by itself hiring
lawyers who are billing the Foundation at the rate of $450 an hour?
- Consistent reports from WBAI staff members allege that monies raised
at WBAI are being siphoned off to support the dissidents Internet
radio station named WBIX. If funds are being used for purposes other
than those advertised during fundraisers this could open Pacifica to
criminal and civil liability. Are you investigating these allegations?
- WBIX is running many hours of WBAI programming and WBAI facilities
are being used to produce programs for WBIX. But when listeners give
money, they are funding WBAI, not WBIX. Do contributors know that they
are also aiding WBIX when they donate money? Is there any relationship
between Pacifica and WBIX?
- Has there been an accounting of funds raised during events sponsored
by or in the name of WBAI? Who is doing the accounting? Are there any
possible tax law violations that may subject the Foundation to liability
with the IRS?
- In mid June WBAI host Gary Byrd promoted an event on reparations for
African Americans. Afterwards WBAI received many calls from listeners
concerned that Fleet Bank had sponsored the event. Is WBAI now promoting
events with corporate, commercial ties?
- Is there any move by the Foundation to replace resources siphoned
away to fund Democracy Now? Have promises of in perpetuity contracts
with built in increases been made to other employees? If not could this
be construed as a form of discrimination and open up the Foundation
to lawsuits? Who owns Democracy Now? Our research shows that Pacifica
owns it. How could Amy Goodman own Democracy Now if she didnt
buy it and its nor for sale?
- High-level sources inform us that Pacifica may be in violation of
Article 3 of Judge Sabraws order by giving money to Amy Goodman
for refusing to report to work. Ms. Goodman chose not to report in opposition
to the direction of her union (AFTRA) and in violation with her contract
with Pacifica. The current Board, under your direction, reportedly gave
her $59,000 plus an additional $40,000. Please explain how this decision
was warranted in light of the current financial instability of the Foundation?
- Does Pacifica plan to provide a living wage with benefits to its employees
as the previous management had promised and began the process of delivering?
- Whats the Foundations grant policy with independent producers
and is the policy consistent across the Foundation?
- Is WBAI program director Bernard White and some of his close associates
threatening staffers with dismissal for lack of "loyalty"
to him during last years crisis at WBAI? Are reports true that
there is a disorganized and hostile work environment at WBAI?
- Is it accurate that WBAI staffers close to PD White are being given
carte blanche access to technical facilities at WBAI?
- Is it true that at least one candidate for General Manager at WBAI
withdrew their resume after charging that a member of the search committee
had stated on air that "Blacks and Latinos shouldnt be allowed
to manage WBAI?"
- Do you plan to allow the WBAI search process for GM to continue or
will she appoint an interim manager, thereby circumventing the process?
- Is the current Board abiding by the by-laws of the foundations?
- Is the governing board involved in programming decisions?
- Have the stations made misstatements when raising funds on-air and
- Are promised premiums sent out when pledges are fulfilled?
- Have donor names and addresses been shared without their permission?
- Are employee disputes handled fairly in accordance with existing policies
We believe that its time for all these questions to be addressed
honestly and openly, otherwise the Foundation and stations future
may be put in jeopardy. We will be following developments closely and
waiting for your detailed responses. We wish you well in your efforts.
Gary Nulls Natural Living