Friday, March 16, 2012

KCBX General Manager, Lanzone: "We Broke an FCC Rule," "Owe" Candidate, Debbie Arnold, "Air Time"

If you have any interest in political science/local government, there will (will!) be a GREAT civics lesson this Saturday (tomorrow!) at noon, in the form of (of all things) a jazz radio program.

In my previous post, I show how I caught KCBX Host, Rick Mathews, broadcasting, on his public radio show, an advertisement for a concert that will benefit Parks Commissioner Rick Mathews (and his boss') chance at keeping his official, SLO County position.

Well, there's an excellent update to that post.

Turns out, I was right, of course, and as usual.

In a recent email to SewerWatch, Frank Lanzone, General Manager of KCBX, wrote, "We do publicize local music as part of our music programming, but in this instance (where KCBX Host Rick Mathews publicized a political fundraiser that will benefit Parks Commissioner Rick Mathews' chances at keeping his official, SLO County government position), it was inappropriate to include information regarding this concert."

Lanzone added, "The bottom line is Rick and KCBX made a mistake. We broke an FCC rule. We will announce a fundraiser for Debbie’s campaign on one of Rick’s upcoming shows. We owe her that air time. By law."

So, this could get very interesting tomorrow, for a couple of reasons.

1) That concert isn't until the 23rd, which means, will Mathews even mention it on tomorrow's show, like he did over and over and over again on last week's show?


2) Will he apologize on tomorrow's show for violating FCC rules, by using the public radio airwaves to advance his own political/private business agenda?

Tune in, and find out.

KCBX, 90.1 FM, Saturday, noon.

And, just because I don't feel like retyping, and rewording all of this, what follows is my (smart-ass, of course) response to Lanzone, after, in his email, he also wrote, "(SewerWatch) is using this so his blog is more 'colorful.' I guess looking for more 'garbage' and plots to make his blog more interesting. I guess."

- - -
- - -

Hello Frank...

You write:

"The implication that Ron is making, that Rick did this to somehow thank Jim or “pay back” Jim for his appointment..."

I apologize that you got confused on that.

I'm actually not implying that, at all.

What I show in my piece, using nothing but primary sources (as usual), is that Rick is a SLO County government official, appointed to his seat by Jim Patterson, and if you go to this link:

it reads:

- - -

5. San Luis Obispo Botanical Gardens - Request $300,000 Grant from Public Facility Fund.

Thereafter, on motion of  Rick Mathews... the following roll call vote:
AYES: Rick Mathews...


- - -

So, according to official SLO County documents, we have Parks Commissioner Mathews voting to approve giving the SLO Botanical Garden $300,000 of public, SLO County money, and then, if you Google "Madrone Landscapes" "Botanical Garden":

... it comes back with all kinds of results that shows a professional business tie to Rick's, Madrone Landscapes, and the SLO Botanical Garden:

["Madrone Landscapes recently concluded a three week exhibit at the San Luis Obispo Botanical Garden...]

... that Commissioner Mathews voted to give $300,000 of public money.

THEN, KCBX host, Rick Mathews, goes on his show last week, and without ever disclosing that he IS a SLO County Parks Commissioner (appointed by Jim Patterson), promotes a fundraiser for Jim Patterson... for the entire two-hour show.

That's not me implying that Rick is "thanking" Supervisor Patterson "for his appointment," that's me showing that Rick is deliberately not disclosing his official government position, and then conducting political fundraising on his show for the person that appointed him to his seat, so Rick can keep his official SLO County government position, where he's also a client of (Chief County Counsel) Warren Jensen, and where he votes to hand public money over to an agency that he has professional business ties to.

That's not Rick "thanking" Jim. That's Commissioner Mathews using (in a most unethical [if not illegal] fashion) the local public radio station in an effort to keep HIS official government position, where he advances HIS business interests.

BIIIIIG difference.

That's what I show. I don't "imply" anything... except, for maybe THIS implication: If Debbie Arnold is elected (and the race is VERY close), Rick Mathews will lose his SLO County government position, and that wouldn't be so good for that Madrone Landscape/SLO Botanical Garden arrangement.

Here's another fun link:

... where it reads things like:

"Commissioner Mathews also spoke favorably on the Botanical Gardens concert series,"


"Commissioner Mathews requests regular updates on the Botanical Gardens."


"Commissioner Mathews spoke on a grant funded Fire-safe Demonstration Garden at the Botanical Garden..."

Just on and on and on.

You (Lanzone) write:

"Rick’s connection to Parks and Patterson is superfluous to all this."

That doesn't sound like the case, at all.

... But, good news!

You, and Rick, and Parks Commissioner/SLO Botanical Garden Director, Pandora Nash-Karner, won't have to worry about this story, because, due to the fact that I got to this interesting, local story first, that means that The Tribune, New Times, (local radio talk show host) Dave Congalton, and are now forced to pretend it doesn't exist, and, therefore it won't get any traction, and nothing will ever come of it.

Which also means that Rick won't even have to do this:

"We will announce a fundraiser for Debbie’s campaign on one of Rick’s upcoming shows."

See what I mean, there? Since I got to this story first, that means the rest of the local "media" now has to completely ignore it, so, Rick can just keep using his public radio show as a way to ensure that he keeps his SLO County government position, and that "KCBX host/Parks Commissioner/SLO Botanical Garden/Madrone Landscapes" arrangement will stay intact.

Considering this is now a dead story (because now the other local media CAN'T report on it), Rick can just keep doing his political fundraising on his show, and no one will say another word.

You're welcome.

Thank you for the quotes,

- - -
- - -

Finally, just a quick question:

Considering that I can show business ties to the SLO County Botanical Garden and SLO County Parks Commissioners, Nash-Karner and Mathews, AND the fact that I can go to the official SLO County Parks Commission web site, where their meetings are archived, and type the word "botanical" into the search bar, and it returns about a bazillion results like this:

"Commissioner Nash-Karner spoke on upcoming Botanical Gardens events and thanked staff for an excellent annual retreat and their assistance with promotions for the Gardens."


"Commissioner Mathews spoke on a grant funded Fire-safe Demonstration Garden at the Botanical Gardens..."


"Commissioner Mathews spoke in support of the Botanical Gardens concert programs."


"Commissioner Pandora Nash-Karner spoke on... the Botanical Garden’s Executive Director recruitment."

and, of course;

"5. San Luis Obispo Botanical Gardens - Request $300,000 Grant from Public Facility Fund."

... how are Commissioners Nash-Karner and Mathews STILL official SLO County government, uh, officials?

I mean, it just seems so in-your-face unethical: I've exposed over and over and over again, and even submitted OFFICIAL public comment to the entire Board of Supervisors, regarding that arrangement, and not only do the Supes do absolutely nothing to remedy that highly unethical (if not illegal [and if it's not, it SHOULD be]) arrangement, they actually APPROVE things like that $300,000 of public, SLO County money for the SLO Botanical Garden, where Commissioners Nash-Karner and Mathews also have professional business ties.

Well, I guess that's the bottom-line civics lesson here: When ALL of the local media (and by "ALL," I mean three small outlets) play that silly, little game, where they have to pretend that an important story involving local government, public money, and public airwaves, doesn't exist, simply because some smart-ass blogger got to it first, that local government GETS to be in-your-face unethical.

Why not? What's stopping them?

Clearly, nothing.



  • BooYah to you Ron.
    Or "cool", if "BooYah" doesn't mean what I think it does.

    By Blogger Alon Perlman, at 1:39 AM, March 18, 2012  

  • Alon writes:

    "... if "BooYah" doesn't mean what I think it does."

    It does mean what you think it means, and your context is correct.

    Did you listen to Rick's show yesterday?

    It was great! Even better than usual... you know, because of that whole "FCC Violation/Equal Time" thing.

    (Oh, and the music was great, too, as usual. That version of The Eurythmics, "Sweet Dreams are Made of These," by a New Orleans jazz band, was baaaad aaassss! Amazing drumming and horn arrangement, and the only place I'll hear something like that, is on Rick's excellent show. [So, thank you, Rick.])

    However, I'm not so sure that what he did during that show, technically qualified as "Equal Time," which has now led to another fun blog post topic, which should be up by tomorrow morning.

    Stay tuned! (Ooooo, a "teaser.")

    By Blogger Ron, at 11:12 AM, March 18, 2012  

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