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, election staff shall determine, in good faith and at their sole discretion, an appropriate remedy, up to and including disqualification of the candidates and/or suspension from the air of the offending staff persons (paid or unpaid) for the remainder of the elections period. All candidates, programmers and staff members (paid or unpaid, management or non-management) shall certify that they have read and understood these fair campaign provisions.
- The Bylaws require every Staff member (paid and unpaid, including management) to sign the statement that they have read and understand these Fair Campaign Provisions.
- Candidates must submit signed copies of the Fair Campaign Rules document no later than 9:00 PM local time on June 30, 2021.
There are two types of Fair Campaign Rules: those mandated by the Bylaws, and those proposed by the National Election Supervisor and adopted by the management of the Foundation as a matter of policy. Fair Campaign Provisions mandated by the Bylaws:
Rule #1 No Foundation or radio station management or staff (paid or unpaid) may use or permit the use of radio station air time to endorse, campaign or recommend in favor of, or against any candidates for election as a Listener Delegate, nor may air time be made available to some Listener Delegate candidates but not to others, in any capacity, whether as host, guest, caller, or other, whether live or recorded, including to discuss matters not directly related to station elections.
Rule #2 No foundation or radio station management or staff (paid or unpaid) may give any on-air endorsements to any candidates for Listener Delegate. The Board of Directors may not, nor may the LSB, nor any committee of the Board or of an LSB, as a body, endorse any candidates for election as a Delegate. However, an individual Director or Delegate who is a Member in good standing may endorse or sign petitions for candidates in his/her individual capacity.
Additional Fair Campaign Provisions proposed by the National Election Supervisor and adopted by the Foundation Executive Director.
Rule #3 All staff , management and candidate or candidate groups, or candidate supporters that maintain a website with station logos, call letters and/or references to station programs or candidates for election to Pacifica boards, are subject to, and shall be bound by these rules: Endorsements of candidates or prospective candidates on any official Pacifica web site or Pacifica station website are not permitted, either explicitly or via hyperlink to another web-page. 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 endorse candidates 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 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 Pacifica Radio 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 is not an official Pacifica Foundation mailing nor an official mailing of any of the five Pacifica Radio Stations (KPFA Radio, KPFK Radio, KPFT Radio, WBAI Radio, WPFW Radio). Opinions and facts alleged on this site belong to the author(s) 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 Pacifica Radio 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.”
Rule #4 No station resources, including, but not limited to staff services, equipment, and meeting space may be provided unequally to some candidates but not others.
Rule #5 Any listeners may organize community meetings to bring together listeners and prospective candidates for the purpose of learning about prospective candidates and collecting petition signatures. Any such events may be announced on-air provided they have been approved by the Election Supervisor, are open to all nominated candidates, are open to any listener, are in a handicap-accessible location, do not endorse any candidates, raise money for any candidates, or promote events to raise money for any candidates.
Rule #6 The Foundation and stations will not allow the expression of libelous or slanderous statements about candidates through any of its resources, whether on-air, web sites, or otherwise.
Rule #7 Listener Candidates are not permitted to call in to shows, or otherwise allow their voices to be heard on-air, even if they do not use their names.
When Fair Campaign Provisions Begin A listener member will be deemed a candidate, and thus subject to all Fair Campaign Rules, once the individual has registered as a potential candidate on this website. Election staff will post on the elections web site a list of all ListenerDelegate Candidates. Staff will be expected to check this list before scheduling any guests, playing any pre-recorded piece, or recording any announcements in order to assure compliance with the Fair Campaign rules. For all Foundation and station staff and management, the Fair Campaign Provisions commence on June 1, 2019 with the opening of the nomination period, and apply to all prospective candidates.
How To Report a Perceived Violation Once the election period begins, a worker, volunteer, voter, candidate, board member or member of the public may report a perceived violation using the form. Random emails to election staff do not constitute a formal complaint and filling out the 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.
Disciplinary Protocol 2021 Rules aren’t rules if there are no consequences for breaking them, so election staff takes violations of the fair campaign rules seriously. While election staff maintains the discretion to respond uniquely to special circumstances, in general the following penalties will be applied.
First violation – If inadvertent, ie by mistake, omission, or lack of clarity about the fair campaign rules, a candidate or a supporter of a candidate who has broken a rule will lose their participation in, and election staff posting of, their candidate forums and promotional video carts.
Second violation – A second violation by a candidate or on behalf of a candidate, or a first violation that is objectively purposeful or malicious, will result in candidate disqualification.