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Nation Co-Owner Sagner Funds Democrats

by bob feldman Monday, Aug. 14, 2000 at 4:18 PM
bob_jan@xensei.com

Co-Owner of magazine KPFK-LA's Radio Nation show promotes gave over 0,000 to Democrats during last three years.

One reason most grassroots radical left anti-corporate Movement activists are generally excluded from KPFK-Los Angeles Producer Marc Cooper's Radio Nation show may be because one of The Nation magazine's co-owners, former Corporation for Public Broadcasting Board Chair Alan Sagner, is a heavy contributor to the Democratic Party.

Since March 3, 1997 Nation magazine Co-Owner Sagner has contributed over 0,000 to various Democratic Party campaign committees, according to the Center for Responsive Politics' web site. On March 31, 2000, for instance, Sagner made a ,000 soft money campaign contribution to the Democratic National Committee--whose present chair, former Philadelphia District Attorney and former Philadelphia Mayor Ed Rendell, apparently supports the continued incarceration of Mumia Abu-Jamal on Death Row. Nation Co-Owner Sagner also gave a ,000 campaign contribution on April 4, 2000 to Al Gore's campaign committee.

KPFK-Los Angeles' Radio Nation host also has apparently refused to allow Los Angeles area listener-sponsors of Pacifica Radio to appear on his show to discuss the 15 demands of the Pacifica Listeners Union that many grassroots Los Angeles area Movement activists have endorsed during the last few years. The Pacifica Foundation's Democracy Now show also has apparently refused to allow any discussion of the Pacifica Listeners Union's 15 demands to take place on that alternative media show. One result of Radio Nation and Democracy Now's policy of censoring any on-air references to the Pacifica Listeners Union's 15 demands is that no Democratic Party platform plank regarding a democratic resolution of the Pacifica Radio Censorship Crisis is likely to be adopted by the Democratic National Convention during the next few days.

Following is the text of the Pacifica Listeners Union's 15 demands:

"1. We demand the abolition of the `Gag Rule.' We demand the abolition of the `dirty laundry' or gag rule and the initiation of a process of unscreened and uncensored discussion regarding these demands concerning Pacifica on the Pacifica airwaves and through other appropriate means that may be at Pacifica's disposal or under its control, including access to all past and present lists of Pacifica subscribers.

2. We demand the rehiring of any Pacifica staff person fired for violating the `Gag Rule.' We demand the re-employment of any staff members fired for violating the gag rule and the replacement of any program removed from the air for violation of that rule. We demand the re-employment of any staff removed by Pacifica in retaliation for their opposition to the Pacifica policies under discussion in these demands. We demand that layoffs resulting from anticipated revenue shortfalls due to this strike begin in and remain concentrated among staff at Pacifica's National Offices.

3. We demand an end to political censorship.

4. We demand the end of racist and sexist programming policies. We demand the redistribution of air time to the oppressed peoples and communities Pacifica radio was meant to serve. We demand the cessation of attacks on and an end to the removal of programs devoted to Women, the Black and Latino communities and many other minority groups and a reversal of the wholesale removal of programs that Pacifica initiated against almost all programs with radical leftist content.

5. We demand that Pacifica's so-called `Five Year Strategic Plan' be rescinded.

6. We demand the firing of all outside programming consultants and ratings analysts, along with the termination of Pacifica's contracts with the Arbitron ratings service.

7. We demand the immediate cessation of all union busting activities and the withdrawal of all legal action against unions associated with Pacifica.

8. We demand the re-unionization of all Pacifica stations on the basis of new contracts that include non-paid staff in the bargaining process.

9. We demand the cessation of all CPB funding at Pacifica. This funding source threatens to compromise Pacifica's integrity in a way the founders believed they had made impossible. The CPB interference in Pacifica's internal affairs is no different than that of any other corporate or governmental sponsor, and accepting such funds viiolates the funademental premises of the foundation.

10. We demand that Pacifica refuse grants from all foundations and other corporate entities and that it place complete reliance on its listener sponsors as the only safeguard of the foundation's integrity.

11. We demand that no Pacifica station shall be sold and that all plans for the sale of WBAI and/or KPFA and other stations be immediately abandoned.

12. We demand roll back of National Office management positions and of the National Office's level of centralized control to 1977 levels (as outlined in the Bensky proposal); the return of decision making power to local stations; and the sharp curtailment of the power of the executive director.

13. We demand the dissolution of all 5 Local Area Boards and the Pacifica Governing Board and their reconstitution based on democratic elections.

14. We demand the creation of a governance system for Pacifica that includes meaningful participation and binding decision making powers for Pacifica's listener-sponsors and its paid and unpaid workers.

15. We demand the popularization of the process of selecting general managers and program directors at all Pacifica stations and the emplacement of mechanisms of accountability to the staffs and listeners for those who hold those positions."

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