Pacifica financial info 9-11-01
Andy Norris is a member of the WBAI local advisory board and one of the plaintiffs in the LAB suit against Pacifica. He has come up with some disturbing, though not exactly surprising financial information contained in the last fiscal years 990. The latter below says 1999, but I believe 2000 is meant. The fiscal year is a bit confusing as the 2000 fiscal year would actually have begun in Oct 1999. Therefore, this material would not cover the post X-mas coup expenses at WBAI..
Sources insude WBAI say that only 30K was raised in the recent WBAI pledge drive.
From: Andrew Norris
Dear Leslie, I received a copy of Pacifica Foundation's IRS FORM 990 for the 1999 tax year on September 4 after first requesting it of Bessie Wash (by telephone message) in mid June. A letter was sent to her on June 21 with the same request. As you know, I emailed you and members of the national board in July and August, cc-ed to Ms. Wash. The Form 990 was eventually provided by a member of the national board, Ms. Chambers, to whom I am grateful.
At no time have I ever had a response from Ms. Wash. This concerns me particularly now that I learn from the Form 990 that Bessie Wash is identified as the person in charge of Pacifica's books (it had been the controller/CFO Sandra Rosas for many years).
Listeners and supporters of WBAI have asked me how they too can obtain copies of the Form 990 (I will not provide copies, for reasons I do not need to state). Could you please let me know how I should respond to WBAI supporters as I am at a loss how to answer them? I am forced to ask you and your colleagues for this information, despite the fact that Ms. Wash is the person responsible for making it available, because of her total lack of response to my requests (not only on this but on potential FCC violations). As far as I understand it, the IRS requires non-profits to make the Form 990 available to any member of the public requesting it within thirty days. The form is public information, and Pacifica should be concerned about fulfilling this requirement. I have several questions about the Form 990 itself:
a) Schedule A lists total compensation of $524,373 for three contractors providing legal services (see Note below). The legal expenses reported to the IRS on line 32 of the Form 990 are $501,305. Why is the latter figure smaller?
b) A figure of $1,523,318 if given on line 43 of Form 990, Other Expenses. The only explanation offered by Pacifica is the single word "Miscellaneous", and no itemized list is provided. Why is this expense, 15% of the total expenses of the Foundation, not itemized as required by the IRS?
c) The Form 990 was filed two months late on 5/15/01. Was an extension for filing requested, and was it granted?
d) SCA income, as reported on line 22 of Schedule A, and Statement 9, was $604,500. This compares with $855,292 in 1997 and $1,283,844 in 1996. That is, SCA income is 47% what it was two years before, or $680,000 less. While there were reports from Pacifica several years ago of impending expiration on some subcarrier leases, the steady decline in SCA income suggests that proper fiscal management and planning is lacking at Pacifica. There is no reason for unfilled leases in the market of the past few years. Can you please explain why Pacifica has apparently failed to take advantage of this most fundamental income stream in radio operation? Finally, while on the subject of finances, I contacted Utrice Leid this past week and she told me that she will not share any quantitative information on the recent 10-day drive on WBAI.
Note: From Schedule A, three independent contractors received more than $50K each: Epstein Becker and Green, Washington DC, $271,904; Mitchell, Silverberg and Knupp, Los Angeles CA, $189,435; Garvey Schubert and Barer, Washington DC, received $63,034. The type of service listed for all three is "legal"
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