Cindy Walsh for Mayor of Baltimore
- Mayoral Election violations
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WALSH FOR GOVERNOR - CANDIDATE INFORMATION AND PLATFORM
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Cindy Walsh vs Maryland Board of Elections
- Leniency from court for self-representing plaintiffs
- Amended Complaint
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- Response to Motion to Dismiss--Brown, Gansler, Mackie, and Lamone
- Injunction and Mandamus
DECISION/APPEAL TO SPECIAL COURT OF APPEALS---Baltimore City Circuit Court response to Cindy Walsh complaint
Brief for Maryland Court of Special Appeals
- Cover Page ---yellow
- Table of Contents
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- Brief for Maryland Court of Special Appeals >
- General Election fraud and recount complaints
Cindy Walsh goes to Federal Court for Maryland election violations
- Complaints filed with the FCC, the IRS, and the FBI
- Zapple Doctrine---Media Time for Major Party candidates
- Complaint filed with the US Justice Department for election fraud and court irregularities.
- US Attorney General, Maryland Attorney General, and Maryland Board of Elections are charged with enforcing election law
- Private media has a responsibility to allow access to all candidates in an election race. >
- Polling should not determine a candidate's viability especially if the polling is arbitrary
- Viability of a candidate
- Public media violates election law regarding do no damage to candidate's campaign
- 501c3 Organizations violate election law in doing no damage to a candidate in a race >
- Voter apathy increases when elections are not free and fair
- Maryland Board of Elections certifies election on July 10, 2014
- Maryland Elections ---2016
First, MoveOn is a neo-liberal organization, not progressive. It came to be for Clinton's campaign and worked for Obama ----two of the most raging global corporate tribunal pols ever. Neo-liberals cannot be progressive as neo-liberalism is repressive. So, when they throw progressive bones and then ignore them when elected it is because they never intended to press them...they work for wealth and profit just like the neo-cons. Neo-cons/neo-liberals are what media call the moderate center but they are really global corporate politicians supporting the same thing. So, MoveOn opening to all simply reflects this fact.
Pat Johnstone, 415-847-1940, firstname.lastname@example.org
Guy Johnson, 714-824-9656, email@example.com
Deeply concerned about a recently revealed "Open Platform" policy on the MoveOn.org petition site, lead volunteer organizers from around the country are speaking out in an effort to inform MoveOn members and the progressive community about this issue.
"I joined MoveOn because I found an organization that espoused my own core progressive values", said Guy Johnson, a Regional Organizer from Orange, California. "Events in 2013 have shaken that relationship with the discovery that MoveOn Petitions has adopted an "Open Platform" policy that allows non-progressive groups and individuals to post petitions on the site, so that even the KKK can post a petition as long as the language used is not 'offensive'."
The policy came to light this past October when MoveOn Council leaders in Hawaii were alerted by their state legislators that they were receiving petitions from MoveOn opposing marriage equality. MoveOn members throughout Hawaii had been working diligently, with state legislators and coalition partners, to pass a marriage equality act. As a special session was about to begin to debate the issue and recommend passage of the bill, proponents of the marriage equality bill were devastated to find that a right wing church group had used MoveOn's petition tools to create last minute uncertainty in the minds of legislators about MoveOn's position. While the bill ultimately passed, much damage was done to the coalition effort, the safety of MoveOn members in Hawaii and the credibility of MoveOn as a reliable partner in the progressive community.
Response was swift from MoveOn volunteer leadership. A letter to the MoveOn Board and staff, signed by 18 top volunteer leaders from around the country, stated, "The undersigned Regional Organizers are calling on you to immediately stop the misguided practice of hosting petitions on MoveOnPetitions.org that are clearly in violation of the core progressive values of MoveOn members."""
The letter went on to quote a Huffington Post article saying, "We ask that you stand by the statement made by Steven Biel (Director of SignOn as the petition site was then known) to the Huffington Post on 10/23/12:
"We don't answer to shareholders; we answer to our members -- seven million Americans who share a commitment to making our country better through collective action. We will never, ever, ever give right-wing front groups a channel for co-opting our members' organizing." ( http://www.huffingtonpost.com/steven-biel/you-cant-be-neutral-on-a-_b_2007264.html )
"MoveOn has no moral or civic obligation to host information or petitions antithetical to our stated progressive values," the letter continued. "We quote from Steven Biel again:
"In short, we take sides, and we're proud of it. We're for economic justice, equality for women and LGBT individuals, ending poverty, racial justice, quality education for all, a clean environment, and peace. Because like Howard Zinn said, you can't be neutral on a moving train." ( http://www.huffingtonpost.com/steven-biel/you-cant-be-neutral-on-a-_b_2007264.html )
The letter concluded , "Stand by Steven Biel's stated commitment, enforce the Terms of Service for the MoveOn Petition site that explicitly prohibits this content and stay true to the progressive values we all joined MoveOn to support." ( http://petitions.moveon.org/terms.html )
"During the long course of negotiations on this issue, MoveOn has refused to change the "Open Platform" policy, and has also refused to put this issue up for a vote from MoveOn's membership despite MoveOn's claim to be a grassroots, bottom-up organization," added Maria Schafer, a Regional Organizer from the New York metropolitan area. "That's why I am joining in this effort to educate the progressive community about MoveOn's stance on this issue."
"I believe, no matter what we do at this stage will change MoveOn's strategy allowing anyone to use MoveOn petitions for any issue, even when the petition is in direct opposite of the organization's core values and mission," added Deborah Curtis of Phoenix, Arizona. "I cannot in good conscious continue to use my energies to support an organization that has drifted so far from it's own core values." Curtis has resigned her position as Regional Organizer for Arizona.
PLEASE WATCH FOR GROUPS THAT FOCUS ONLY ON THE KOCH BROTHERS AS THE BAD GUYS. THEY ARE NEO-LIBERAL GROUPS PROTECTING THE FACT THAT IT IS THE CORPORATE DEMOCRATS CREATING THE WORST OF THESE PROBLEMS. BOTH ARE BAD.
The biggest enemy of progress are neo-liberals, then Koch. Neo-liberalism heading towards totalitarianism is not progress. Koch Brothers are with the party of big, repressive rich people. Neo-liberals are making the people's party the party of big, repressive rich people. See how neo-liberals are worse than Kochs. They are deliberately taking the voice of the people. So, we do want to get money out of politics, but using only the threat of Kochs and not the gorilla in the room....neo-liberals means Public Citizen is neo-liberal.
I am from the State of Maryland where elections are as captured and crony with Wall Street neo-liberals....all money going to them...and Maryland is touted as a democratic state. So, please educate as to the corporate takeover of the democratic party as a way to get money out of politics.
EVERY TIME I MENTION NEO-LIBERALS AND CLINTONS AS THE PROBLEM, PUBLIC CITIZEN RUNS.
Here’s something rather alarming to consider.
Forbes recently updated its list of billionaires.
Each of the notorious Koch Brothers — Charles and David, the 6th and 7th richest men alive — are now estimated to be worth $40 billion.
That’s up $6 billion each from just a year earlier, which was up $9 billion each from just a year before that.
I guess it really does take money to make money. If you have billions to begin with.
But wait, there’s more.
Total spending in the 2012 federal election — for the White House and every open seat in Congress — was $6.3 billion.
It was the most expensive election ever.
Yet the Koch Brothers could have easily covered that record-smashing tab all by themselves just with the amount their already vast wealth increased in a single year.
Let me say that again: The Koch Brothers alone could pretty much fund every candidate for federal office without even eating into their unimaginable fortunes.
Then there’s casino magnate and funder of the far-right, Sheldon Adelson.
And Karl Rove’s dark money Crossroads outfits.
And the U.S. Chamber of Commerce.
And Exxon Mobil, Goldman Sachs, Comcast and all the other mega-corporations that “are people too.”
We face this basic choice: democracy or plutocracy.
I know where I come down, and where you do, too.
It’s time to roll up our sleeves.
Nobody is doing more than Public Citizen — that’s YOU — to defend democracy from billionaires and Big Business.
We ARE the front lines in the battle for the very heart and soul of this country.
I’d be a fool if I thought we could match wallets with the Koch Brothers.
Heck, their actual wallets probably cost more than what it takes to run this organization for a day.
But what we do together as Public Citizen — the victories we amass even though the odds are against us at every turn — demands a baseline level of financial resources.
That’s why offers like the $100,000 Matching Gift Challenge on the table right now are so critical to our shared success.
By leveraging your support with that of thousands of other Public Citizens, our collective strength is orders of magnitude more than any of us would ever have individually.
So please — if you haven’t yet, or if you can give a bit more — contribute right now while your donation will qualify for the $100,000 dollar-for-dollar match.
With the virtually infinite stockpiles of cash the Koch Brothers and other enemies of progress have at their disposal, we simply cannot afford to leave money unclaimed as we gear up for the fight of our lives.
Thank you for your support.
President, Public Citizen
Bill and Hillary Clinton are the face of Monsanto/ANTIBIOTICS IN FOOD, Trans Pacific Trade Pact, the environmental disaster in China caused by NAFTA.....why do you mention the Koch Brothers and not the Clintons.......far more damaging to the world?
YET ANOTHER NEO-LIBERAL ORGANIZATION. DO YOU KNOW HOW MUCH MORE DAMAGE TO THE WORLD THE CLINTONS HAVE DONE? NATION OF CHANGE WILL NOT TELL YOU.
Nation of Change
Why we exist
Since our launch we have won victories on behalf of the people, whether it is abolishing over half of a million dollars of distressed debt of working families or organizing nationwide campaigns to fight MONSANTO and KOCH INDUSTRIES, we're there on the frontlines and we're really just getting started.
Our drive has been slower than usual and we aren't yet on track to meet our minimum operational budget.
If you rely on our newsletter to keep you informed and engaged, then please take this opportunity to support us with a $5 donation.
With your qualifying donation, we'll send you Jason Louv's book, Monsanto vs. the World: The Monsanto Protection Act, GMOs and Our Genetically Modified Future, as our thank-you gift.
Donate to NationofChange
Thank you for all that you do.
Donna Luca, Board President, and the NationofChange Team
Here is why Americans do not know anything about TPP from mainstream media.....
Outrageous! Media Companies lobbying on the Trans-Pacific
It is outrageous that major news outlets refuse to inform the American public
about the Trans-Pacific Partnership while their parent companies dispatch
high-paid lobbyists to influence this proposed trade deal. News outlets
should be a trusted source of information for the American people, not
another corporate interest trying to profit from a major trade deal. It's
time that the parent companies of major news outlets stop trying to profit
from a flawed trade deal and start informing the American public.
Comcast, Disney, and Time Warner are all part of
Politicusa.com is a neo-liberal outlet and this
is pure propaganda.
Unemployment in America is now between 35-45% per
the Economic Policy Institute. There has not been job creation of over 175,000
for most of Obama's terms in office....th...e amount of
jobs needed to just break even. This has happened because all 'job stimulus'
was spent on expanding US corporations globally. Obama's Bernanke uses
manipulation at the FED to give free money (0% interest) that allows
corporations to expand overseas rather than work (hire) domestically for
profits. NEVER HAS A MONTH UNDER 175,000 BEEN TERMED JOB GROWTH.See
Republican Lie Dies as the Obama Economy Hits 48
Straight Months of Job Growth
For Bush's entire 8 years, job growth was just 1.1 million. Yet under Obama, the private sector has
had 48th straight months of job...
It is clear that all of the mainstream media outlets are filled with corporate and global commentators from conservative to corporate liberal political pundits. They are making sure there is no political talk against free market and global growth, the two things that are killing the middle-class, unions, and fueling wealth inequity. Even public media at NPR and APM are all third way think tank. That is why it is so important to shout loudly to friends, co-workers, and community members where they need to go to get real news and views!!!! Democracy Now does a good job as does PRI and World News....Bill Moyers tries to be as direct as he can on mainstream media.
MSNBC boldly moves to plug its one remaining hole By hiring long-time Obama spokesmen Robert Gibbs and David Axelrod, the cable news network clarifies its function
MSNBC today hired long-time Obama political adviser David Axelrod, right. Photograph: Jason Reed/Reuters Last month, MSNBC's Al Sharpton conducted a spirited debate about whether Obama belongs on Mount Rushmore or instead deserves a separate monument to his greatness (just weeks before replacing frequent Obama critic Cenk Uygur as MSNBC host, Sharpton publicly vowed never to criticize Barack Obama under any circumstances: a vow he has faithfully maintained). Earlier that day on the same network, a solemn discussion was held, in response to complaints from MSNBC viewers, about whether it is permissible to ever allow Barack Obama's name to pass through one's lips without prefacing it with an honorific such as "President" or "the Honorable" or perhaps "His Excellency" (that really did happen).
Yesterday, Chris Matthews - who infamously confessed that listening to Obama (sorry: President Obama) gives him a "thrill going up his leg" - hosted another discussion, this one involving former Obama campaign aide and MSNBC contributor Joy Reid, about whether the Honorable President should be mounted on Mount Rushmore (Matthews restrained himself by explaining that "I'm not talking about Mt. Rushmore but perhaps the level right below it", but then shared this fantasy: "If [Obama] were hearing us talking about him maybe mounting Mount Rushmore, getting up there with the great presidents...what would he be thinking? 'That's exactly what I'm doing?'"). A Pew poll found that in the week leading up to the 2012 election, MSNBC did not air a single story critical of the President or a single positive story about Romney - not a single one - even as Fox aired a few negative ones about Romney and a few positive ones about Obama. Meanwhile, Obama campaign aides who appeared on MSNBC were typically treated with greater deference than that shown to the British Queen when one of her most adoring subjects is in her presence for the first time.
Surveying this assembled data, one does not need to be a veteran cable news executive to see what MSNBC has been so sorely lacking: people who loyally defend President Obama. Thankfully, MSNBC is now boldly fixing that glaring problem; they began two weeks ago with this:
"Former White House press secretary Robert Gibbs has become a contributor for MSNBC. Rachel Maddow introduced Gibbs as a new member of her network's stable in the final minutes before President Obama's State of the Union address on Tuesday night. . . . Gibbs was White House press secretary from 2009 to early 2011, when he left to become a senior campaign adviser for Obama's re-election."
I wonder: does someone who goes from being an Obama White House spokesman and Obama campaign official to being an MSNBC contributor even notice that they changed jobs?
But MSNBC wasn't content merely to hire Obama's former Press Secretary; today they did this:
"David Axelrod, the former White House senior advisor and senior strategist for President Obama's 2008 and 2012 campaigns, has joined NBC News and MSNBC as a senior political analyst, the networks announced today. . . . Like Gibbs, Axelrod will appear across the networks' programming."
Impressively, David Axelrod left the White House and actually managed to find the only place on earth arguably more devoted to Barack Obama. Finally, American citizens will now be able to hear what journalism has for too long so vindictively denied them: a vibrant debate between Gibbs and Axelrod on how great Obama really is.
All the usual and substantial caveats apply when discussing the generalized attributes of MSNBC or comparing it to Fox News (just today, my former Salon colleague Joan Walsh, an MSNBC contributor, wrote about a study that "finds 'liberals' [are] more likely to favor targeted killings once they know it's Obama's policy", and on the weekends, Chris Hayes regularly criticizes Obama from the left while, post-election, Rachel Maddow sometimes does the same). Still, there's still something disturbing, even dangerous, about media outlets, even those overtly ideological ones, that are generally designed for the mission of defending those in power: a critique that Media Matters once compellingly voiced about Fox News, in part by quoting me expressing that same concern about Fox.
MSNBC is far from aberrational. The overriding attribute defining the relationship of the US media to those in power is servitude (recall how even George Bush's own Press Secretary wrote a book mocking the media for extreme deference to the Bush White House). Politico today has a long article voicing the complaints of the White House press corps about a lack of access to the president. Revealingly, these complaints exploded into public view this weekend when Obama played golf with Tiger Woods and didn't let the angry journalists even see the match or take pictures of Tiger!
The golf grievances were led by White House Correspondents Association President Ed Henry of Fox, who a couple of years ago demonstrated exactly what kind of "access" he craves when he publicly celebrated in the most giddy way imaginable how he got to play water sports with Rahm Emanuel at Joe Biden's official Vice President house (yes, that also really happened). In response to the ensuing criticism over how strangely happy he obviously became at being squirted in the face by Obama's then-Chief of Staff, Henry appeared on NPR where the following irony-free exchange, one of my favorite ever, actually occurred:
"NPR's BROOKE GLADSTONE: 'If these events don't influence coverage, why do you think the White House throws them? Do they just want to shoot you with a super-soaker?'
"ED HENRY: 'Maybe they wanna actually get to know us as people sometimes.'"
"Maybe they wanna actually get to know us as people sometimes": that's why Obama officials throw parties for White House journalists, said Ed Henry. That is easily one the funniest sentences ever. Did I mention that Ed Henry is the head of the White House Correspondents Association?
Notably, these "frustrated" White House journalists now complaining about a lack of "transparency" aren't objecting to Obama's concealment of multiple legal documents which purport to authorize radical powers he claims or to his war on whistleblowers. Instead, they're objecting that the White House doesn't "cooperate" with them enough (Obama officials release official photos and quotes through social media rather than to reporters) and they don't get to see the president enough or sit with him for interviews.
That you can cover what political officials do more effectively when you act adversarially and without their "cooperation" doesn't seem to occur to them. Moreover, getting to sit for personal interviews with the president usually produces anything but adversarial questioning. As even Politico admits: "some reporters inevitably worry access or the chance of a presidential interview will decrease if they get in the face of this White House." And indeed, see what happened in 2008 when Politico's own Mike Allen interviewed George Bush with questions so vapid and reverent that it would have shamed his profession if it were capable of that. Or just review the questions asked of Obama the last time he sat for an "interview", this one with the founder of My.BarackObama.com Chris Hughes, who just purchased the New Republic.
Still, MSNBC is going a few steps further. Most shows there are suffused with former DNC spokespeople, Obama aides and other types whose overarching political mission is a defense of the president. I suppose there's some commendable candor in hiring Obama's two most recognizably loyal aides in less than two weeks: any lingering doubt about its primary purpose as a network is dispelled, so that, I suppose, is good on some level (just as Fox's heavy reliance on long-time GOP operative Karl Rove had the same clarifying effect). As the Atlantic's Connor Simpson asked today about what he called "the most White House-friendly network": "How Much Is Obama Controlling the Message on MSNBC?" His answer: the administration knows there is a "fading need for a White House press corps when it has guys like Axe and Gibbs to unofficially lean the right way on a left-leaning network."
But whatever one wants to call this, "journalism" is the wrong label. Even ideologically-friendly media outlets which claim that mantle should be devoted to accountability and treating those who wield power adversarially, not flattering the preexisting beliefs of their audience and relentlessly glorifying political leaders. Presidents have actual press secretaries and Party spokespeople for that.
New books on Obama and the pressTwo very good new books detail the way the press relates to Obama. Panic 2012, by journalist Michael Hastings, describes how his media colleagues "fawn" over Obama when he graces them with his presence (even extreme cynics will be shocked by how extreme some of the behavior is). The other, Spin Masters, by conservative David Freddoso, is a comprehensive account of how the Adversarial Press Corps in general has treated with Obama with great love and support.
MOST OF WHAT I HEAR ON TALK RADIO AND TV IS THIRD WAY CLINTON LIBERALISM NOT REAL FISCAL PROGRESSIVE POLICY. DO YOU EVER HEAR THEM ONCE DECRY GLOBALISM? THEN YOU KNOW THE ARE THIRD WAY TALK SHOWS.
An Insider's View of the Progressive Talk Radio Devolution Sunday, 10 February 2013 07:39 By Peter B Collins, Truthout | Op-Ed
)As an independent progressive and 40-year radio veteran, I'm sorry to report that heroic efforts over the past ten years to build a national radio presence for progressives and Democrats seem to have reached a critical turning point. With the recent loss of key AM outlets in Portland, Seattle and Detroit, the progressive talk format no longer enjoys national coverage, which in turn threatens the financial viability of the syndicated programs hosted by Stephanie Miller, Thom Hartmann, Ed Schultz, Randi Rhodes, Mike Malloy, Bill Press and Norman Goldman.
Since the rise of Rush Limbaugh and the shift of hundreds of radio stations to wall-to-wall conservative talk in the 1990s, progressives have faced a decidedly uphill battle. In my experience, most station owners and managers have a strong bias to the right, and with a few exceptions, the rest just look for the easiest way to make maximum profit.
It's no accident that Limbaugh was recruited for the heavily market-researched model that was labelled "non-guested confrontation talk radio" after Reagan's Federal Communications Commission (FCC) lifted the Fairness Doctrine in 1987. Clinton's 1996 Telecommunications Act removed ownership limits that led to rapid consolidation and the troublesome concentration of control by national operators we see today. Three companies control almost all of the talk radio stations with competitive signals in the major markets: Clear Channel, CBS and Cumulus.
In my view, we have reached a major crisis due to right-wing bias in talk radio. This right-wing tilt has an obvious impact on our politics and culture. But President Obama, his FCC appointees and most members of Congress - including all but a handful of Democrats - are indifferent. Sadly, it seems that most listeners are indifferent, too.
Having walked some miles in similar shoes, I know the difficult decisions facing my radio friends and colleagues and their business operations. With affiliates, audiences and revenues all declining and the muscular expansion of sports-talk by CBS, FOX, NBC SportsRadio and ESPN, the future looks pretty bleak for lib-talk. You might ask, as David Byrne once sang, "How did we get here?"
Some history: I started yakking in Chicago when Nixon was president and Watergate helped my late-night talk show on WLS-FM (then WDAI) reach the top of the ratings. Moving west, I talked on San Franciso's AM powerhouse KGO from 79 to 81. By 1989, I was the house liberal at the Bay Area's KNBR - where I followed Rush Limbaugh every day. (Yes, right-wing talk and not-right-wing talk once both lived on the very same station!) Then I moved to afternoon drive in the same town on KSFO in a mixed lineup that included G. Gordon Liddy and Larry King.
In 2003, I was recruited by a spunky startup called Icicle, run by Ken Dennis and funded by Dorothy Bullitt, whose millions came from the sale of the KING Broadcasting empire that had been based in Seattle. With twin goals of developing online and satellite radio content with a progressive bent, we forged an alliance with the struggling United Auto Workers' (UAW) radio network (with the dumbest name I ever heard, IE America). We were homesteaders on the new satellite territory at Sirius, and my All American Talk Radio ("for ALL Americans, not just right-wing nuts") joined a daily lineup with Thom Hartmann, Mike Malloy and Peter Werbe on Sirius Left, the web, and a handful of AM stations.
As the UAW was winding down its money-losing effort to add some balance to talk radio, we heard the first rumblings from Sheldon and Anita Drobny, who were described as wealthy liberals from Chicago and fans of the fiery Malloy. They managed to get some ink in The New York Times around New Year's 2003, sketching a plan for a national progressive radio network in the darkest days of the first Bush-Cheney term.
The machinations of the startup, operation and demise of Air America are too complicated to recount here, but it launched, inauspiciously, on April Fool's Day 2004. In the meantime, Hartmann and his savvy wife Louise had formed their own syndication effort, and Schultz launched his show in January 2004 - with capital raised at a fundraiser hosted by Senate leader Tom Daschle and funneled through Democracy Radio, which was run by Tom Athans, the husband of Michigan's Democratic senator, Debbie Stabenow.
Air America raised the expectations of many of us - and consistently disappointed. Recruiting comedian and author Al Franken as their marquee star, his radio show was flat and not very funny. For some reason, he was paired with NPR veteran Katherine Lanpher, who was not permitted to say much. Topics and guests were safely anti-Bush and pro-Kerry, but real liberal, anti-war voices were not invited; Franken talked up his United Services Organization (USO) tours in Iraq as evidence that he supported the troops.
In its initial business model, Air America made two major blunders: bundling and brokering. Embracing antiquated practices from the 1950s, they tried to force affiliate stations to carry all of their programs; when most station owners rejected this "bundling," they were forced to lease time on stations, which was costly and disastrous. Within weeks of launching, Air America was dumped from the fringe stations they had leased in Chicago and LA, reportedly due to bounced checks. In politically driven Ponzi style, checkbook Democrats bailed them out, and they were able to lease some big (and many weak) signals from Clear Channel in Boston, Portland, San Francisco, San Diego, LA, Miami, Detroit and other markets. In San Francisco, insiders told me that Clear Channel was collecting $100,000 a month for running Air America 24/7 on a 5,000-watt station that did not cover the whole market. Along the way, Air America burned major liberal funders from George Soros to the millionaire club called the Democracy Alliance.
The desirable model for radio syndication is called barter: the syndicator covers the costs of the production and distribution of the show and delivers it to affiliate stations, via satellite, in exchange for a split of the advertising minutes, or "inventory." Typically, the syndicator gets five minutes to sell to national advertisers, and the local station gets nine or ten minutes to sell to local, regional or national sponsors. As you can imagine, the local station needs to be persuaded that a new show will generate adequate ratings to justify decent ad rates. Some of the highly rated right-wing shows can demand a cash license fee from stations - in addition to minutes on the hourly clock - but I'm not aware of any liberal or progressive shows that ever achieved barter-plus-cash status.
The less desirable model is called time brokerage, or leasing. Like a laundromat, you can only use the machine as long as you keep putting in coins - lots of them. Since Air America's shows were unproven and they insisted on bundling Al Franken with all their other programs, and because they were desperate to have a national reach before the November 2004 elections, they used this pay-to-play model.
Air America was betting that it could generate big enough ratings to taper off or eliminate their payments to stations, but that never happened. Pay-to-play was a major reason the network went into bankruptcy in 2006. Another was that they never mounted a serious internal ad sales effort to tap advertisers or allied groups that would pay a premium to reach progressive listeners. They relied on bulk sales, first through Jones Radio Networks and then Premiere Networks, which were based on the relatively low audience levels of Air America.
In addition to my radio jobs, I've owned a production and consulting firm since 1977 which has exposed me to every facet of our media industries. In early 2005, I was retained by Washington DC attorney Hal Ginsberg, who was interested in buying an AM station inside the Beltway to carry Air America. We did not find a suitable station there, but ended up buying AM 540 in Monterey, California; in July 2005, we signed on progressive talk KRXA without any of Air America's programs. I was the initial program director who set up the station and host of the 3 PM-6 PM show; my company, Collins Media Services, put my show into syndication.
Despite Air America's mostly self-inflicted problems, progressive talk expanded, and by 2006 there were more than 60 stations nationwide airing at least one lib talk show each weekday. In some markets, including Monterey and Sacramento, there were even two progressive stations. My syndication plan was based on the hope that, like "conservative talk," we would see healthy competition in many markets, supporting Air America and independents like me, Miller, Schultz, Hartmann and local shows, as well.
Looking back, the format peaked in terms of outlets and audience at the end of 2006, not coincidental to the Air America bankruptcy. Some Clear Channel stations dropped the format as payments ended; others dropped Franken and tried to expand their appeal - like Clear Channel's AM 960 in San Francisco, which changed its name from "The Quake" to the more progressive sounding "Green 960" and launched an unsuccessful local morning show co-hosted by former San Francisco Mayor Willie Brown and comedian Will Durst.
In March, 2007, Air America jettisoned the expensive Franken show. Not too long after that, they bounced Rhodes, purportedly because of an off-air, crude rant against Hillary Clinton, but more likely to unload her salary. A dizzying sequence of management shuffles and program changes - notably the addition of TV schlockster Jerry Springer - led more affiliates to drop the format: Miami, San Diego, Cincinnati and more.
Air America's failures left permanent damage. The biases of many station managers and owners were confirmed - listeners just weren't interested in liberal views and personalities. Wealthy progressives refused to invest in other radio shows and more stations changed to other formats.
And because Air America was always reliably "in the tank" for the Democratic Party, many early listeners developed the perception that left-leaning talk was just as partisan as the right. This was still the case in 2012, when most of the progressive hosts muted or downplayed their differences with Obama. And the hosts didn't just voluntarily censor themselves: one told me how a top-five market station threatened to drop the program after too many comments that were critical of Obama.
Despite the sharp decline in the progressive radio business, we all hoped that the end of the Bush presidency and the 2008 elections would produce new growth in lib talk. With the protracted primary battle between Obama and Clinton, and Obama's inspiring campaign against McCain, we expected to see a spike in ratings and affiliates and hoped the Obama campaign and other Democrats would spend money to reach our listeners, their voters. There was no measurable audience growth and only a precious few campaign dollars were spent on our programs and our affiliate stations.
In August of 2008, all of the progressive shows converged on the Obama coronation in Denver, but we were ignored by the Obama campaign. We were assigned a radio row in the basement of the convention hall, under an escalator. All the delegates and dignitaries whisked past us on the escalator, and when they reached the main floor, the first radio booth they saw was FOX News. Team Obama mostly declined our requests for interviews and we ended up mostly talking with Team Hillary. Schultz was so pissed that he pulled out after the second day and returned to his base in Fargo.
By March, 2009, I had to make the difficult choice to end my syndicated show. There was no path to profitability and the Bush recession didn't help. Indeed, it lowered the tide for all radio boats, and it also sharply cut the revenues to my personal business that had helped subsidize my radio show. After several years of financial losses, I signed off and launched my net-only podcast in June 2009 which now attracts more listeners than I was reaching with ten AM affiliates.
The roster of surviving liberal and progressive talk radio shows is facing a similar set of dynamics, even more dire. With Monterey and Eureka as the only remaining full-time progressive outlets on the West Coast, progressive talk does not have national distribution and can't compete for most national ad buys.
A year ago, Clear Channel renamed the San Francisco station KNEW and bumped Stephanie Miller in favor of Glenn Beck, Thom Hartmann in favor of money-talker Dave Ramsey. At about the same time, the company dropped Hartmann in Los Angeles for a local show that was intended to defuse community protests of racist comments by "John and Ken" on co-owned KFI.
Ratings range from flat to flat-lined: in 2012, Clear Channel-owned KPOJ in Portland and CBS-owned KPTK in Seattle showed audience numbers so low that they were not listed by Arbitron; Clear Channel's WDTW in Detroit barely showed a pulse at .1 percent, and the once-powerhouse, now-struggling media conglomerate recently agreed to donate WDTW to a local community group. In his second attempt at WVKO in Columbus, Ohio, Gary Richards was forced to sign off just before Christmas 2012. Progressive talker Jeff Santos waged a valiant four-year struggle in Boston, and I was a consultant in his effort last year to add eight new markets in battleground states; we had no choice but to lease air time, and once again the Democrats who had the most to gain failed to support the effort.
The only exception I've found is Madison, Wisconsin, market #100, where Clear Channel's WXXM-FM, "The Mic" jumped a full share point to a respectable 3.3 this fall. Back in 2006, a local group led by activist Aldous Tyler rallied support, and a planned format change was halted. Similar efforts are underway in Seattle and in Portland, where longtime KPOJ morning host Carl Wolfson has just launched a live webstream show weekday mornings 7-9 AM Pacific. It's worth noting that Arbitron has switched to a "people meter" system that has produced lower numbers for talk programming in general and progressive talk in particular.
Al Franken is in the Senate, Ed Schultz appears to be doing well on MSNBC, Thom Hartmann has a nightly TV show on the RT network, Bill Press and Stephanie Miller are simulcast on Current TV (which has just been sold to Al Jazeera). But their radio shows face tough sledding and possible elimination in 2013.
Dial Global, the company that syndicates these programs (along with NFL football and a variety of music formats), is in deep financial trouble, and its stock was recently voluntarily delisted from the NASDAQ when the share price dropped below $1. Ironically, the company blames the progressive-driven advertiser boycott in 2012 aimed at Rush Limbaugh for his misogynist comments about attorney and birth-control advocate Sandra Fluke, which appears to have caused many national advertisers to stop advertising on all talk radio programs - both right and left - to avoid controversy.
Some observers see the long arm of Mitt Romney's Bain Capital (which took Clear Channel private in 2008) and other right-wing forces as the causes of lib talk's travails. While it's true that progressive programs were consigned to weaker stations in many markets - often programmed by conservatives who didn't believe in the product - and never got the kind of advertising support needed to develop the brand properly, it's clear that the progressive community and its political leaders have simply not supported the format in the same way that the right has. This includes listeners, (who seem to prefer the measured tone of NPR to the rough and tumble of AM talk, in markets where they are able to hear both) advertisers owned by progressives, and the leadership of the Democratic Party. Some labor unions have advertised on progressive shows, but their financial support is no match for the profits of conservative stations and programs.
As someone who took substantial personal risk in syndication and station ownership, I can tell you that progressive talk has not panned out as a viable business. Clinton's 1996 deregulation of broadcasting and the end of the Fairness Doctrine in 1987 didn't help. I do think the FCC should require some balance of viewpoints on the stations it regulates, through the license renewal process, but there is simply no interest on the part of Obama and his appointees in regulatory reform - even as the president is pilloried by right-wing radio on a daily basis. Air America's parade of management blunders produced the downward spiral that brought us to this tipping point for progressive talk radio, and most station owners, rightly or wrongly, see that failure as an indication that audiences won't support liberal talk radio.
In radio, we always like to end on an upbeat note. Here's the best I can muster: if you want to help keep the surviving progressive talk shows alive, subscribe to the podcasts of your favorite progressive hosts - it's a critical stream of revenue as these programs fight for survival.
THIS IS ABOUT THE MOST SINISTER OF THE THIRD WAY MEDIA ORGANIZATIONS YET!!!!
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We all know that financial analysts and every other professional in the field of oversight and economy gave a figure of $600-800 billion as a settlement amount that would simply cover the amount of fraud that was passed on to the taxpayer through AIG and Freddie/Fannie. That doesn't address the trillions we know the fraud actually amassed.
Wells Fargo represents the companies most involved in the mortgage fraud as these companies were folded into Wells Fargo. Ergo, this settlement would represent one of the largest of the big bank settlements. Now, if you are looking at the $600-800 billion number.....that means each state should be receiving billions from these settlements......Wells Fargo and all of these big banks would pay at least $100 billion a piece.
So, it is big news when the largest entity involved in the fraud sends home a few tens of millions. Again, we are seeing pennies on the dollar for massive fraud.
The fact that you placed this under lock and allowed no comment tells me that the Maryland Daily Record is aiding and abetting a criminal climate in America. We expect more from you.
Citizens Oversight Maryland
Wells Fargo’s deal with Justice Dept. grows after review Posted: 10:37 pm Wed, December 19, 2012
By Beth Moszkowicz
Daily Record Legal Affairs Writer
Residents of Baltimore and seven other cities will share an extra $60 million in compensation from Wells Fargo Bank N.A., according to a document filed Wednesday in the Justice Department’s civil lawsuit against the lender. The money stems from an internal review Wells Fargo agreed to undertake as part of the historic $125 million settlement it ...
I HAVE ASKED THE CENTER FOR MEDIA AND DEMOCRACY HOW IT CAN REPORT ON ALEC ISSUES AND NOT INCLUDE THE OBAMA EDUCATION REFORM. THIS REFORM IS WRITTEN BY WALL STREET AND BILL GATES WITH THE HELP OF EDUCATION TECH COMPANIES AND AIMS TO PRIVATIZE PUBLIC EDUCATION. WHAT CAN BE MORE IMPORTANT THAN THAT???? SO, I QUESTION WHY THEY DO NOT OUT A THIRD WAY CORPORATE DEMOCRATIC SCHEME AND ONLY REPUBLICAN.
Your Support Helped Us Kick ALEC in the Pants December 13, 2012
With your help, we've accomplished some amazing things this year!
We connected the dots between corporations, politicians, and controversial legislation pouring out of the American Legislative Exchange Council (ALEC) -- like the “Right to Work” (for less) law that was just passed in Michigan by the ALEC/Koch cabal, and the “Shoot to Kill” law cited in Florida to protect Trayvon Martin's killer which was crafted by the NRA and pushed out nationally by ALEC.
Together with our allies, we convinced 42 major corporations to dump ALEC (including Wal-Mart!). Plus, at least 70 state legislators quit the organization and another 117 others lost their seats in the last election.
We sued ALEC legislators who were trying to hide public access to lobbying communications from ALEC in their private emails and won! And time and time again, the courts rejected key parts of the ALEC agenda on voter suppression, immigration, school privatization and more.
We won five major awards for our investigative journalism and leadership of the public campaigns to expose corporate influence and corruption of our democracy, including an "Izzy" named for the great investigative journalist I.F. Stone, a “Sidney” from the Hillman Foundation, a “Bennie” from the Business Ethics Network, and more.
We picked these fights because playing defense is just not good enough. We did it because corporations are undermining essential American institutions, manipulating opinions, and diverting your taxes from the public good to private profit through "privatization" schemes.
Will you help us continue our work to expose the bad guys by donating today? Every dollar you contribute helps us hit harder with the facts!
Executive Director of the Center for Media and Democracy
About the Center for Media and Democracy The Center for Media and Democracy is a non-profit investigative reporting group whose work aids public awareness about the people, companies, and groups attempting to shape the media and our democracy. Founded in 1993, our national reporting and analysis focus on exposing corporate spin. We accept no funding from for-profit corporations or the government. The Center for Media and Democracy's websites are PR Watch, SourceWatch, BanksterUSA, ALECexposed and Food Rights Network.