Dear WBAI Listener-Member,

The ballots flutter in like moths to the flame of our electoral candle .... They began arriving last week. If you'd paid $25 or more to WBAI in the past year, you should receive your ballot any day now. If you don't receive it within a week, please call the Local Election Supervisor Dale Ratner at 212-209-2828.

This year, the elections are VERY important toward the future of WBAI, and whether the station will continue to exist and be strengthened, or whether it will be bankrupted by a bunch of fools and COINTELPRO agents in the mis-named "Justice & Unity" faction who are doing the dirty work of the warmongers and race-baiters in Washington, whether they are aware of it or not.

Whew! That's a heavy way to start a letter, but it's true. WBAI is on the cusp. Which way it will go depends on what you do and whom you vote for. It's that simple, and that important.

I am recommending that we all vote for the following INDEPENDENT (and ONLY independent) candidates for the WBAI Local Station Board, and in the following order (the order is very important in this election):

1. Jennifer Jager

2. James Ross

3. Patricia Logan

4. Ken Laufer

5. Carla Cubit

6. Robert Gold

7. ???? See ( * ) below

8 Lee McClure-Come

9 Bernardo Palombo

10 Stefan Neustadter

11 Seth Goldberg

12 Don Mathisen


We happen to have an abundance of good independent candidates this year.

I know the first 6 candidates personally (plus Albert Solomon); they are all active in the antiwar movement and in fights for social and environmental justice. Same with Bernardo Palombo. Since I don't know the other 3 candidates personally, I can only determine their credentials from their candidate statements. So let me talk here about a few of those I know.

JENNIFER JAGER is the Treasurer of the No Spray Coalition, which as you know has been fighting for the last 8 years against the indiscriminate spraying of toxic pesticides in New York. She knows finances, and she knows politics. She was a founding member of the Manhattan Greens / Green Party, and is a stalwart antiwar and freedom for political prisoners activist. Jennifer is also one of three people who actually saved my life in January 2001, when I had a heart attack at a statewide Green Party meeting, racing me on the gurney through the emergency room at St. Luke's screaming at the staff to put down their magazines and to "get moving!" Very Hollywood, but this was real life, and it made all the difference. If you're interested, I'll tell you that story another time, but I think the world of Jennifer Jager's sense, her skills, and her politics; she'll be a tremendous asset on the WBAI Local Station Board -- vote for her!

ROBERT GOLD and PATRICIA LOGAN are also terrific green activists (Robert from Brooklyn, Pat from Manhattan). Their main work recently has been in support of progressive movements in Latin America. Robert is leaving in the next few days to help shut down the School of the Americas at Fort Benning Georgia, and then for Colombia, South America once again, to assist the indigenous community he is working with there. He will likely visit Venezuela as well, but be back in time to take his seat on the new Local Station Board. They are dedicated and thoughtful people who know the score at WBAI. You can read about Robert's trips to Colombia and Venezuela over the last few years in the Green Party newspapers. And Patricia, who is blind -- what can I say, she is everywhere, at every radical activity and has even come to every Local Station Board meeting as a concerned "audience member".

And JAMIE ROSS -- he is currently a member of the Local Station Board and is seeking re-election based on his very strong financial acumen. Jamie has been a leader of the independent Board members (which includes me, Patty Heffley, Berthold Reimers, Shawn Rhodes, Kathy Davis, R. Paul Martin, Alex Steinberg, Steve Brown, and Andrea Fishman -- none of the listener reps are running this year, so there's an excellent chance that a one or two-vote difference on the Board will change its direction in a positive way), and has invested a great deal of time reviewing the budget and trying to help WBAI regain solvency. Please Vote for James Ross and Jennifer Jager as your top two votes.

You can learn more about the other candidates in the booklet that accompanies your ballot.

We have fine independent candidates running this year, and each one of them would make an excellent board member. There are 9 listener seats up for election. With Single Transfer Voting, while it is not possible for any one group to win all the seats a shift of one or two votes on the Board will make a huge difference.

That said, the record of the JUC (mis-named Justice and Unity) faction, which is the current majority on the Board, has been utterly abysmal. They remain in control only as long as listener-members continue to believe their lies, race-baiting, and sabotage. Hopefully a new infusion of independistas will gain a majority on the Board, which will enable us to save the station as the strong anti-fascist, pro-ecology, non-commercial voice it needs to be, especially in these desperate times.

Mitchel Cohen
Listener member of the WBAI Local Station Board
and Brooklyn Greens / Green Party


NOTE

* Some had been planning to also endorse Albert Solomon for #7. Albert is a gadfly -- that's the best way to describe him, and a peace person -- a typical WBAI "character," who has been filming the meetings of the Local Station Board and doing a great public service at his own expense. But Albert's poorly thought-out candidate statement -- which he intended as a parody of the vicious racialized atmosphere at WBAI but which itself fuels racial tensions -- has led a number of independent candidates to disaffiliate themselves from him.

So should you vote for him at #7? Would Albert be a constructive member of the Local Station Board?

We have differences of opinion among ourselves on this. To his credit, Albert did send in a revised version of his statement 3 weeks ago -- by the way, every single factual instance he points out in his statement is indeed true, that's how horrible things have gotten at WBAI! -- but the Election officials claimed that they hadn't received it, and then said it was too late and unfair to allow him to change anything. Now there is a move to disqualify him as a candidate and to EXPEL him from WBAI altogether -- which should make an interesting First Amendment lawsuit and Albert an unlikely martyr. (Just what we need, right?)

Insert Albert at #7 at your own risk -- or if you don't vote for him, just slide everyone else up a notch.

Regardless of how you vote, please be sure NOT to vote for any candidate running with the Justice & Unity faction, which has been in control of the station for the last 3 years and has sent it to the edge of bankruptcy, voted to cut staff salaries, supported the firing of WBAI's best reporter, Robert Knight, as well as Gary Null, and refused to investigate $60,000 in missing equipment, or do the minimal things needed to preserve the station and expand its outreach.

It's time for a change at WBAI. Please vote for ONLY Independent candidates:


1. Jennifer Jager

2. James Ross

3. Patricia Logan

4. Ken Laufer

5. Carla Cubit

6. Robert Gold

7. ???? (Albert Solomon, or No Albert Solomon?)

8 Lee McClure-Come

9 Bernardo Palombo

10 Stefan Neustadter

11 Seth Goldberg

12 Don Mathisen