2021 Fair Campaign Provisions – Pacifica ByLaws Referendum
Article 4 Section 4 of the Bylaws, the Fair Campaign section, is not referenced in Article 17 Section B (4) and is not applicable to the Bylaws vote. Nevertheless, in order to have an orderly, good faith, fair and reasonable vote, the Referendum will be run by a set of “Fair Campaign” rules.
The situation here is not the same as during the election of delegates. Local Station Boards have had noticed, democratic votes on the proposed Bylaw proposal, and unlike in a delegate election, the LSBs have a right to make its views known. What we have developed is a hybrid between the Delegate Election Fair Election Code, and the various prohibitions which exist when stations and producers have to address legislation or competing candidates for electoral office.
These provisions are being distributed to all staff and management at all five stations via e-campaign. Receipt of the email will be considered as an official notice. The election supervisor trusts that management at each station will take necessary steps to post these in station main control rooms and around the station to make sure all staff are aware and abide by these few rules.
Rule #1 – Station Air time
- NES has created and will continue to create a series of one-minute CARTs presenting each the basic proposed changes. The NES will request arguments for and against to be submitted prior to the creation of these CARTs. As soon as these are created, they will be given to each station to be played at least two times per day times per day.
- Individual producers of shows on Pacifica stations may have programs where the Bylaw proposal is discussed. Such discussion will be allowed so long as the host does not urge a vote one way or another (like the rules concerning endorsement of a public election candidate.) A producer who decides to present such a program must make good faith efforts to have spokespeople for and against the proposal. The NES shall ask proponents of a “yes” vote, and proponents of a “no” vote for a list of spokespeople who can be contacted by producers. General Managers are directed to monitor programs to make sure that this rule is being followed.
- Other than the provisions set forth above no Foundation or radio station management or staff (paid or unpaid) may themselves use or permit the use of radio station air time by other staff or listener members to endorse, campaign or recommend in favor of, or against the proposed bylaws.
Rule #2 – Off Air Promotion
- All staff (paid and unpaid), management and listener members that maintain a website with station logos, call letters and/or references to station programs or that make reference the proposed bylaws are subject to, and shall be bound by these rules:
- Official Pacifica websites or Pacifica station websites are not permitted, either explicitly or via hyperlink to another webpage to recommend, in favor of, or against, the proposed bylaws. Station web sites may state that the Local Station Board has recommended a “Yes” or “No” vote, and may include the text of the LSB resolution, if any. The Local websites are also directed to carry the material which is posted on the National Website (Pacifica.org) or contain a link to that web site so that material posted on that web site may be viewed by local members.
- Any website not linked from an official web site, which any station or Foundation staff or management maintain or contribute to, bearing the logo, names or partial names of an official Pacifica website but which is, in fact, independent of any Pacifica station, can recommend, in favor of, or against the proposed bylaws but must include the following disclaimer prominently and on all pages.
“DISCLAIMER: This is not an official Pacifica Foundation website nor an official website of any of the five Pacifica Foundation radio stations (KPFA Radio, KPFK Radio, KPFT Radio, WBAI Radio, WPFW Radio). Opinions and facts alleged on this site belong to the author(s) of the website only and should NOT be assumed to be true or to reflect the editorial stance or policy of the Pacifica Foundation, or any of the five stations (KPFA Radio, KPFK Radio, KPFT Radio, WBAI Radio, WPFW Radio), or the opinions of its management, Pacifica National Board, station staff or other listener members.”
- Endorsement emails (web-based & list-serve) are permitted only if the email addresses were not gathered by the use of any station resources or web site. Endorsement emails must contain the disclaimer statement.
“DISCLAIMER: “This communication has not been paid for by the (your station’s) LSB or the Pacifica Foundation. Please note that you are receiving this email because you are on the (your station’s) membership list.”
Rule #3 Station resources
- Except as provided above, station resources, including, but not limited to equipment, and meeting spaces should not be used except to promote voter turnout.
- No producer or staff member may be forced to espouse a position which he or she does not support
Rule #4 Off site meetings
Staff and listeners may organize community meetings to bring together staff and listener members for the purpose of learning about the proposed bylaws and hearing arguments on both sides. Any such events may be announced on-air provided they have been approved by the NES and are open to proponents and opponents of the proposed bylaws, are in a handicap-accessible location, do not endorse, raise money or promote events for one side or the other.
Rule #5 Respect
The Foundation and stations will not allow the expression of libelous or slanderous statements about any staff or listener member in favor of or against the proposed bylaws, through any of its resources, whether on-air, websites, or otherwise.
When Fair Campaign Provisions Begin
These provisions take effect March 8th. 2021. They will be in effect until the day after the balloting period (July 8th, 2021).
How To Report a Perceived Violation
A worker, volunteer, voter, board member or member of the public may report a perceived violation using the Fair Campaign Violations form. Random emails to the National Election Supervisor does not constitute a formal complaint and filling out this form is required in order to receive an official response.
Complaints must include the following information:
The name and contact information (telephone and email address) of the person making the complaint.
If a complainant wishes to remain anonymous, indicate that on the form and the response to the complaint will be posted on the website at elections.pacifica.org/
- The name of the persons alleged to have violated the rules
- The approximate date and time of the violation as precisely as possible.
- The number of the rule or rules alleged to have been violated
- A brief description of what happened.
- Evidence, which can include, a recording, a video, an eyewitness account, or a document.
- Please do not submit hearsay complaints for which the complainant has no direct evidence available.
The goal of these provisions is to ensure fair elections. Part of their purpose is to prevent staff, who have access to station resources, from having undue influence on listener elections. In the event of any violation of these provisions for fair campaigning, the National Election Supervisor (NES) will determine, in good faith and at her sole discretion, an appropriate remedy.