Reporter's Notebook

The art and science of the interview

Oregon2020 – Alex Krupkin

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These transcripts are presented to help users quickly find information they are searching for within the interview. Keywords may be searched using the CTL-F function. The software used provides a very rough but phonetically accurate transcription and for the most part, punctuation is omitted. Human speech patterns, being unique, make reading the interview transcript more difficult than listening to the interview audio file. It is recommended that users use the transcript and audio file together. For more information, visit the Candidate Interview Project at http://Oregon2020.business.site.

This transcript is of the Alex Krupkin interview.

DM – Don Merrill
AK – Alex Krupkin

00:00 DM – I’m don merrill I’m talking with Mr. Alex Krupkin Mr. Krupkin is running for president of the United States Mr Krupkin welcome

00:07 AK – thank you thank you

00:09 DM – so I’m talking to you because you filed as a candidate for the presidency on the federal election commission’s website why do you want to be president

00:20 AK – I want to be president to affect positive change as quickly as possible and at its core as a molecular biologist I see trouble on the horizon as far as human development is concerned like how we are basically put together and the issue for me at least is seeing the growth and environmental contaminants and were just starting to see the effects of these environmental contaminants and so my goal really is basically to clean up the environment and to switch into a economy that isn’t necessarily different on the face of it but the structure of it is a lot more sustainable basically I want create a birth of an explosion in cleantech changing all of the unit of disposable bags to rehab for potato chips to ones that perform same function but are 100% compostable of 100% made from materials like the cornstalks or anything like that very adaptable economy

01:24 DM – your party logos a triceratops and you say on your website that the three horns represent the unity of the three branches of government and now the three political parties working together

01:35 AK – right

01:38 DM – how would you get there considering last night after the state of the Union speech the speaker the house ripped up the president’s speech on national TV

01:43 AK – now is the time for America to have that third wheel as it worry you know of maybe a balance the way he took to have things change is that the third energy in the equation and that energy is at least as far as I’m concerned I think most people wanted to be a very positive direction and it was out of the core of why I think there needs to be a third-party even if it’s the kind of person like me who only ends up with all this publicity as lets just say the secretary of commerce okay is like the best case scenario is just a token to have people understand that the government is listening and the government understands the people want change but the structure of government currently isn’t able to help meet that function that desire rather so I think the arguments and embed this the level of animosity between the two parties requires there to be a third mediating party to exist and to do nothing else to be a referee

02:50 DM – shouldn’t be the job of the people to be the mediator mean that’s what that’s sort of how the Constitution is set up the House of Representatives the congress is first because it’s closest people and then you have the presidency and then you have the judiciary

03:04 AK – yeah if you mean constitutionally I think ideally but I think that the way that the government operates in the modern society is that it’s kind of out of touch and I don’t know thats the I don’t think that our government the way that it currently operates a least on the outside I know on the insider there are millions of really great employees but this was your latest thing that the powers being affected between the two parties doesn’t serve America well I I talk annexing more more more people who are disconnected because they just don’t think that it matters because it’s not really addressing the issues that the people want to change

03:41 DM – your field molecular ecology looks at populations of species relationships in space within the context of biodiversity things like that that’s looking at life and behavior on a cellular level the United States could be seen as a body with 325 million cells so using your experiences that lens how do you see our country right now

04:04 AK – our countries in the state where it’s about to have a growth explosion okay were a if you were a where we can either choose to split off and become two different beings or three different beings you know were at that kind of amorphous state in American history where much like when it was founded theres an opportunity for tremendous growth and for everybody to at least be happy in that there working towards a common goal and I think that one of the issues I have with the current body of America’s I think that it it’s it is not as well as it could be no other wellness the health of our American people the health of the rivers all of that sort of stuff is were sick is just that we could be better and I think that everybody wants the nation the body of the nation as were the bones that you know the soil that air the way that we talk to each other everything they want the body to be more well than it is now and that’s that’s has how I view it as a molecular biologist in each of the cells basically is crying out for cleaner water for better food everybody wants that organic perfect food that works in an economy where everybody’s paid 20 to 25 bucks an hour everybody wants that we have to really work towards that as a group and I think it’s time for the cells to ask the question now do we want to be contained by the by the definition of of of what we have been rudely wanted define who we are new and become a new life form new America

05:35 DM – where on the political spectrum would you say you are

05:39 AK – I’ve said this early I think I’m still dead center absolute dead center because I think that you know, looking at politics aside as I can’t like I keep going back to the kind of what the core to be a healthy America you know and I don’t think anybody on either side would say no I want a unhealthy America and how you define real health and all that sort of thing you know is up to the individual but I think that you know I I feel that I have an understanding of at least is a general basis of what the middle-of-the-road is because I think I’ve been the middle of the road of somewhat reasonable thought

06:19 DM – we know moderates are an endangered species right now

06:22 AK – I don’t think so I think politically they are

06:26 DM – you’re running for president

06:28 AK – yeah I know I i give you that moderates are a rare commodity

06:32 DM – on your website you call yourself the fun presidential candidate you also say your a real presidential candidate fun people aren’t always seen as serious and real or serious people aren’t always thought to have a sense of humor so how combined into a competent but good-humored candidate the people can like and follow

06:54 AK – well you know I think that early the early I just I think I just have to be me know I think that that’s what it is not not kind of creating a brand I am kind of the brand you know I think it if you listen to what I say in the way they approach things that’s I kind of am for lack of a better term I tried trying to be know from a Buddhist or trying to be the embodiment of those two things of being a real person and having fun because you know you can you can do a difficult project that causes you strain mental difficulty in figuring out that you can have fun by doing you know you can have fun trying to build a barn together and have fun trying to figure out complex physics equations is not it’s not that work is difficult work or painful it’s the attitude that you know that that you have it to make it fun I think I think you know when I separate myself from the previous party I was associated with all my life it was because they weren’t fun

07:57 DM – what was the previous party

07:58 AK – I know I’m a lifelong moderate Democrat okay and and I had been for you know for a long time my mom know came to this country and I don’t want to go and all of it but the bottom line is that in oh women’s rights people’s rights in general were always important to us and the kind of the Democratic side of view at that time when I was growing up in a really reflected that at least as far as I could tell maybe maybe I was blinded I don’t know but it just seems that up until I think you know 2012 things started to get contentious and end a little you know Testier and by the time 2016 was over it was just a full on fistfight between you know basically the Bernie people and and the Clinton people in and fighting within a party is not fun and I just was like you know how I got silly arguments with people that I thought I was close to and I was like I am done being a Democrat

09:01 DM – do you have a campaign

09:02 AK – well yes I do

09:06 DM – between October 15 and December 31, 2019 your campaign raised $4100 is that from a lot of smaller donors are from a few major donors

09:16 AK – me that’s in my wife said you know don’t go crazy with this right and so you know originally 5000 but it just like I whatever 4100 seems like a decent number so I pulled it out and my plan basically is to use it to have as much fun campaigning as I can and the first only be doing is making T-shirts actually the design on my website is not the same as the ones can be the final is a

09:50 DM – you have you have something in mind for final designs not the Triceratops

09:55 AK – no it’s the triceratops but instead of the it’s can have fun on it instead of something else that I had before the Triceratops is is is I have to go check my paperwork but year the Triceratops is is it that’s there’s no question that that’s going to be my symbol in the symbol of the fun party because like I was saying before his release smiles we see the Triceratops like it is just a fun thing played with as a kid you know

10:22 DM – do you have any endorsements

10:25 AK – know not at moment no

10:26 DM – do you have any public events planned

10:27 AL – well I think I think I do a lot of public events but they’re mostly Internet-based and the issue with public events is part of this campaign will be a low-budget affair is I feel that as as as and as a nation are as a society were Past the point of having to meet the person you know all you don’t necessarily have like a lot of events like that in a rallies and things like that and I just can’t want this to be a common natural growth campaign and yes I will eventually have some things going on but you know for the most part at least in Oregon from what I’ve seen is that you know the political rallies you very rarely get back what you invest in if you know what I mean like the amount of money and time you pour into creating an event in a live event because people don’t go out as much people are on their phones and stuff like that so

11:26 DM – I’m not sure return on investment is really what politicians are thinking about when trying to get public office I think they want they want to get elected and thats return on investment isn’t it

11:35 AK – they want return on investment money there’s no question about that that they they wan’t return on investment that’s one of the key things that’s different about modern politics I think it’s because you know you have a budget bernies got a $27 million whatever handing over to the DNC but you want to win your investment is to win

11:54 DM – right write that’s the goal

11:58 AK – right that’s what I’m saying the return on investment is for me is awareness and so you know if I spend $1000 putting out of event that only like 15 people show up and get like seven tweets out of it than that’s a very poor impact looking for maximum amount of impact per dollar and you know you doing this interview with me is absolutely fantastic I love that you’re doing this project that you know it’s it was interesting to me to find out how many people are really running for president in America and so you taken on Oregon by itself which you know is is I’m sure going to be a bit of a chore so and I wish you well in the project

12:47 DM – do you have campaign machinery that lets you operate in other states other states

12:53 AK – not at the moment no into my original idea while the original ideas I had was to have a lot of awareness mostly in the Northwest the hope was that it would go at a greater rate you I thought I get a lot more help we’ll get into that later but what was question again sorry

13:10 DM – do you have campaign machinery that lets you operate in other states

13:13 AK – no only thing have done other than filing in Oregon to file a have the ability to file to create a party is also did that New Mexico so basically it’s a you file an intent to file and I did that in Oregon and New Mexico but I don’t have boots on the ground anywhere no

13:32 DM – you mentioned the other Oregon presidential candidates how you different from those 14 other challengers

13:39 AK – I haven’t looked at all the myself but I I are all of the ones that you look at registered on the FEC okay the other thing is when you run for president you don’t always have to be registered with the FEC you can just declare run for president and you don’t have to do anything other than do that to be officially I got president presidential candidate because how many of us have heard some Israeli somebody say I’m running for president so technically that person is running for president I think the difference between me is that I’m the best one

14:14 DM – so then that leads me to my next question how are you different from the major national candidates

14:20 AL – I because I listen to the people more accurately because I have real-world experience you know that sort of thing on I like to think I’m much closer to the reality of your everyday person then a career politician and while their good being politicians I think that another ability to communicate really get things done is limited by who they are by the constraints that they put themselves on within these political parties and being a Democrat or Republican itself you know what makes me a better candidate is having the freedom you know that’s part of the fun is that I’m don’t necessarily want to have to define what it is what the process is part of this is is that the interested parties define what the fun party is what the new way to govern how is it twitter is it is in some secure online site that the State Department puts out that you have to have a code for you know that associated with drivers license you know and just trying to get people to be engaged in shaping their own world and I think that because of the negative discourse between the two parties there’s that this is that time were third-party could actually be viable in at least push the front runner into a much more stable situation than otherwise

15:45 DM – candidates often make promises while there campaigning that they know they can’t fulfill once again to the office what you think of what’s often seen as the conflict between promises and reality

16:00 AK – I think of it people have understand that that’s part of the game and that the promises are just that they’re just their promises are not oaths you know that you know that that’s that’s that’s more of a fundamental issue that the I think that the voting public has to deal with

16:21 DM – your platform is pretty simple you basically it’s a shorter work week and raise our hourly wage using the budget to jumpstart a huge infusion of technology which could result more jobs to fix some of are the problems and working together oh and a lot of weed and beer

16:39 AK – a lot of weed and beer

16:43 DM – is that a viable platform

16:45 AK – yes yes I the platform is realistic I think in that if you look at it a lot of what I talk about is the long long-term and I think that one of the things that we need to do I know it’s not like we are the world sort of situation where everybody holding hands but I think we need to recognize that we need to work together towards 2030 you know and I think that in order to do that we need to bootstrap ourselves basically it’s like it’s one of those things where we get up and start working towards the future that we want every thing else will follow you know of how you how do you start a new business venture right so the answers you think it’s a viable think it’s of a I think it’s viable I think that I think the promise of a new sort of world slowly opening up over the next 30 years gives us the possibilities of having shorter work weeks with higher pay a lot a lot of the work that I envision I think this is important for people understand a lot of the work that I envision is going to be highly adaptable skilled work you basically going to be you know everybody’s going to need to learn a trade of some sort that they really want have a decent job and have to do a good job at it because I and you said how many 325 million Americans I think you’re underestimating I think its closer for 450 and I think that in 30 years that numbers can be closer 800 and so we have to realize that were at this point where we can grow grow grow in a beautiful way right absolutely magnificent beautiful semi-harmonious way and that being the case is there’s more people and there is roughly to be the same amount of work that happens over time even though obviously corresponds mathematically the ideas that the more people there are in you know the less you have to work but if everybody there is a very well skilled trades person and is worth the money that paying them then everybody can earn 30 bucks an hour or is it is a plumber carpenter or special chef or whatever it is there’s going to be a lot of work to be done that can be well compensated for

19:02 DM – talk about some of the issues you’d certainly facing you were elected president going to go through a few random ones abortion is a national issue conservatives are bringing many cases before the supreme court in hopes that it will hear one of them and possibly re-examine Roe versus Wade some presidents have openly said they are against abortion what’s your view

19:27 AK – excellent question and I have given us a bit of thought I wanted take abortion and have it regulated on the county level overseen by the states and what that allows for his allows for the territories for state like lets just look at Georgia okay Ima guess that Atlanta would be pro-abortion where the rest of the state or much of the rest of the state would be antiabortion it allows this understanding of and separation of ideals it’s like you I know that you’re not going to change oh I know you’re not in a change if you don’t like the fact that we don’t allow abortion here go move to Atlanta oh you don’t like to be have abortion, the thing is that in so I think in a way it would just calm that conversation down and allow people to express their desires very strongly and be able to govern and take care of that issue on a on a local level and because and I’m in it seems a little bit of an oversimplification but ideally I think that the it makes sense to me

20:36 DM – okay a few years ago the Civil Rights Act some say was gutted and paved the way for states to begin rolling back protections for minorities especially in southern states but LGBTQ proponents also say they need protection in the workplace and housing and schools the ERA now has enough votes for ratification although Congress says it missed its deadline by decades so do you feel the nation is where it needs to be in the area of civil rights

21:07 AK – its close probably just talk about this on a molecular level okay if you think about who we are as far as genetics is concerned that we are born with whole set of predispositions and its possible that you know maybe because of a pheromone that I excrete that you hate me right there’s just a receptor in your brain that says for some reason they could be completely genetic drift but for some reason you hate me right and when you tell people that oh you can’t hate me fundamentally on the brain it’s like that that’s just their wiring right I mean you sure you can overcome that with education but I think that its more of a live and let live sort of situation here where you again the, stratification of America rather than a regulation of America and you know we can go on it but as many laws it in in in order to protect people but my comes right down to it it’s not going to force people to do what they don’t want so we the hope is that if you want to discriminate against people who wear blue and have tattoos of kittens then fine you know than that’s just the way its going to be can of be supporters of people who are blue and have tattoos of kittens want to boycott you then fine you know I think that having this regulated rather than have become it’s more of an economic issue you know stratified economically and of course of there’s violence harm that’s a law-enforcement issue that not to be tolerated but otherwise when I grew up as a kid you know there were just some places you didn’t shop because they didn’t like you okay you weren’t welcome there you just didn’t put your money in there till and I think that we need to go back to that so if know they don’t if people just don’t like you than allow them to just not like you and move on with your life

23:03 DM – so what you’re saying is you sound like you’re saying it’s okay for people to self segregate

23:07 AK – yes absolutely people want to self segregating

23:13 DM – even if collectivism I think has been shown in sociobiology as one the best ways for societies to move forward

23:22 AK – well collectivism only occurs with interbreeding and interbreeding always occurs when two populations border each other so this is a matter of this is why social change has the ability change so quickly in America right now we’re at that point were that mixing pot is going to just make lots of like another 250 million new babies in the next 30 years least so I think you just have to let the process occur when people talk about the process you have to let the biological process flow

23:57 DM – I’m thinking about historical corollaries to that

24:03 AK – okay

24:04 DM – like redlining and forced school busing and an instance involving Melissa and the Supreme Court case where she and her husband’s business went out of business because they refused to make a cake for LGBT couple yet they were making a decision they were self segregating so you’re saying that those kind of examples are they represent of what you’re talking about are you saying those are examples of letting the natural process proceed as it does

24:38 AK – if you don’t want to sell cakes to the homosexuals then fine but the other side the coin is go somewhere else or learn to make your own cake don’t give them your money don’t get upset about it don’t make this into a rage just don’t make this into an injustice alright dude I’m going to order one off of Amazon you know it’s just that easy you know is it’s like if people don’t like you it’s a turn the other cheek sort of thing I guess but you I grew up with it and it worked fine as far as we’re concerned you know the just people self segregating they do that automatically based on just their biorhythms I guess you know if it’s in its if you just let the natural process occur in a relaxed setting that I think we’d be a lot further ahead of other nations I think that’s can make America incredible is to just let us be who we are and be awesome

24:39 DM – okay so this is a lightning round I’m going to mention an issue and and you give me maybe a quick one sentence policy shall do my best to fire away healthcare

25:50 AK – healthcare we need to change the overall wellness… not going to be able to fix the current healthcare so everybody just get healthier

26:00 DM – Social Security

26:03 AK – Oy just oy

26:06 DM – terrorism

26:07 AK – that’s a problem I think that we just need to really pursue and we need to find out what the core problems is that’s causing the hate at that level in fix it

26:18 DM – immigration

26:20 AK – immigration is going to be something that we’re good have to deal with and I want to include immigrants as long as they provide a long-term economic benefit

26:31 DM – climate change

26:33 AK – well you I’d love to as a scientist I would love to have just a little bit more data and understand it that way but the fact that I have seen a lot of change in the short time leads me to believe that we need to make some action level

26:50 DM – national infrastructure

26:52 AK – that’s good to be a overhaul that’s a lot of them monies can be used by that cleantech monies can be used to find new ways to create roads or power or all that stuff you that’s that’s major overhaul major overhaul

27:10 DM – the military and VA

27:13 AK – I’d love to change the VA to actually work from what I understand it never really has and I don’t know why you know what you know would be great for the VA Hulk Hogan I want the Hulk Hogan in charge the VA as far as armed forces are concerned I I need more data on you that’s something I need to know more before anything

27:32 DM – technology transfers of

27:36 AK – technology transfer I think that the key on you mean patents

27:42 DM – and also the protection of technology from hostile states like China

27:46 AL – yeah well don’t know if I’d say hostile states but opportunist states we need to protect that that is an absolute critical portion of of my vision is that as we create this cleantech you can be darn sure were gonna protect it

28:03 DM – what do your friends and family think about your campaign to be Pres. you mentioned that your wife said you know don’t go crazy this

28:14 AK – its funny that you say it that way because everybody else that I know thinks I literally have gone crazy with this like all of my friends all of my family have abandoned me like you wouldn’t believe they won’t even talk to be me now the just like they couldn’t believe that I could go oppose them at least myself as a lifelong Democrat could possibly go in the face of of what the wise DNC wanted to serve me you know theyre appalled that I would oppose the DNC I think that’s really the bottom line

28:42 DM – is this a stunt or are you as serious as you can be

28:46 AK – no I’m this is me and so you know if you as a country want us they are I you know what this looks like it could be a fun idea and so if you want to get me to Washington I will do the job

29:00 DM – this my last question why should Americans vote for you

29:04 AK – because it’s fun because if you’re just tired of politics as usual a third-party fun party the way go

29:15 DM – okay Mr. Krupkin thank you very much for talking I really appreciate it

29:19 AK – I really appreciate you having here don

29:21 DM – my name don merrill and I’ve been talking with Alex krupkin mr krupkin has registered on the federal election commission’s website for Pres. of the United States mr Krupkin, thank you again

29:32 AK – all right thank you can I mention my website

29:35 DM – sure go ahead

29:36 AK – if you wanting more information go to http://www.krupkin2020.com thank you

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March 2, 2020 at 08:07

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Sounds Familiar

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Rural Radio ImageRural radio stations are disappearing.  I talk about this in my new book, PLEDGE: The Public Radio Fund Drive, at pledgethebook.com. Little stations, unable to meet impossible matching requirements for federal money, slowly dying while their frequencies get gobbled up by big radio corporations. If you think this doesn’t affect you, you’re wrong. Read more about it here.

https://www.theguardian.com/tv-and-radio/2019/jun/06/radio-silence-how-the-disappearance-of-rural-stations-takes-americas-soul-with-them?fbclid=IwAR0oYeHS5eujXeGxBWinz3EAqwWqqGnfKIIUGzr6-DxotVgaCOq67lrLPM0

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August 31, 2019 at 02:22

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Great Interview

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Rhetor

Had a good talk with Nicholas Erickson of Rhetor News about PLEDGE: The Public Radio Fund Drive at pledgethebook.com.  Here it here: https://bit.ly/2PrkXag

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August 31, 2019 at 02:15

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KBOO interviews me.

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Newsies Lisa Loving and Annette Newell talk with me about my book, PLEDGE: The Public Radio Fund Drive during an episode of KBOO’s “News from the Boo.” It was the fastest 9 minutes ever.  Find it here: https://www.kboo.fm/media/74561-pledge-book

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July 29, 2019 at 06:57

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(Overcoming) The Fear

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Whenever I see or hear of someone that inspires me with what they’ve done, it reminds me of how scary it can be to put yourself out there. I’ve been feeling that especially as my book filters it way out to more people. I found somebody else who gets exactly how I’ve been feeling recently. It’s a part of a blogpost by Carol Lynch Williams on her blog, “Throwing up Words.” It was republished by Chris Crowe on his blog, “Writing is an Act of Faith.”

“It is an act of faith to plop down in a chair—on a good, bad, or indifferent day—and to face the blank page or computer screen with a subconscious voice drowning out all your thoughts and inspiration with head-splitting shrieks of high expectations, self-criticism and self-doubt. To put that first letter on the great unknown of the blank page is an act of faith comparable to anything the boldest dreamers and explorers have done: to go boldly where no one has gone before. Faith is what turns that first letter into the first word, the first word into the first sentence, the first sentence into the first paragraph, the first paragraph into the first page. Moving that pen or striking that keyboard is like planting a tiny mustard seed with the hope, the faith, that it will, eventually, with time and effort, turn into something much grander than the original speck of organic material.

It is an audacious act of faith to keep stringing words and sentences together for an extended period of time, hoping that with enough effort, they will eventually add up to a book that is much greater than the sum of its parts. You hope that, even in the face of self-doubt, rejection, and failure, your faith will give you the courage to write that first letter, to plant a tiny speck on the blank page and to hope, no, to know, that if you keep going, sooner or later it will begin to add up to something. It’s a leap of faith, really, but you have learned that if you take that leap into the great blank unknown, you can write. Believe it or not, you can write. Really, you can write.”

Yeah, that about sums it up.

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July 22, 2019 at 03:51

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Branding Music for PLEDGEtheBook

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I comissioned two pieces of music to coincide with the book’s release. I’ll be including them in marketing pieces for the book later in the month. The composers and I worked hard to find that public radio feel. I think we got it.

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July 9, 2019 at 06:45

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PLEDGE is ready for Capitalism

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To paraphrase Ira Glass, the PLEDGE website wants to offer a little swag of its own.  After years of being steeped in the public radio pledge drive, I realized that one of its most annoying aspects is the overwhelming emphasis on sustainers to the not so subtle exclusion of everyone who isn’t a sustainer.  I talk about it at length in the book.

So I’ve created a suite of teez that address that exclusivity.  Bless the sustainers; the princes and princesses of public radio.  But they aren’t the only ones in the Kingdom.  These eight shirts look at public radio’s devotion to sustainers from the perspective of people who might not have their resources but still love public radio and give as they can.

P.S. And please visit the website at https://lnkd.in/giyyHxP and sign up for emails and information about the publication date for PLEDGE. 

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January 3, 2019 at 14:14

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PLEDGE The Book Excerpt: Kumbaya

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Owners, or the people running a place, can have a big effect on its character, or the feel of the place they’re running. Many times, that comes down to the relationship between employees and supervisors, or management and the board. Public radio is no different. But public radio listeners probably don’t put public radio stations and say, unions together in their minds much since, because public radio is so cerebral, reasonable, progressive and intelligent, why they might wonder, would there ever be any need for anything so impersonal as labor agreements. Everybody is always moving in the same direction, aren’t they? Not according to this 2014 statement from the WYPR Organizing Committee in response to station management efforts to kill a union vote.  “In These Times” writer Bruce Vail reported on the issue.  “We are disheartened by management’s decision to spend significant station resources to undermine our democratic effort. We hope they will commit as fully to making measurable improvements to the workplace and supporting the production staff.”

An author conducted survey of people in and associated with public radio found that nearly 40% of public radio stations are unionized. A little more than one in three are not. And 25% of respondents didn’t know either way.  For a lot of listeners, that might be a surprise. But staff in stations, like miners, teachers, pilots, nurses and longshoremen tend to unionize after labor disputes make them see that management doesn’t always work in their best interests. That’s not good for pledge drives, since strikes tell listeners all is not well in public radioland. And development officers like their givers copacetic. Labor unrest can have secondary effects on station character and ownership that goes way beyond whose name is on the building. The work can suffer. Morale can plummet and old, familiar voices can vanish without so much as a whisper in the thick of palace intrigue.

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May 5, 2018 at 05:02

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PLEDGE Excerpt: It’s pledging season!

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Defenders of drives often say people continue to listen even though they don’t like drives. But there is plenty of support for the idea that drives actually push listeners away.  While the networks don’t host pledge drives, they pull out all of the stops to support them, ranging from playing up how they can be hilariously fun times to sicking network luminaries like Ira Glass on non-givers.  And though goodies haven’t been conclusively proved to spur giving, because there can be so many pledge drives in any give year, and because when stations ask their asks, they may encounter donors suffering from donor fatigue, they continue to sweeten pots with giveaways .

They do it by stirring up friendly competition with matches and challenge grants in which some members of the community practically dare other members of the community to give as much as they’ve given for the cause. Or, pitchers do it with swag, also known as “premiums”, aka concert seats, wine tastings, wireless speakers, iPads and plane tickets. In other words, promotional items given in exchange for “valuable consideration” like an underwriting credit, or maybe, a bunch of underwriting credits.  This is what academia calls, “transactional giving” and stations don’t like it very much because the idea that someone only gives when they get implies they aren’t really committed to the “cause” of public radio.

Written by Interviewer

May 4, 2018 at 11:37

Posted in Scratchpad

PLEDGE Excerpt” Anger Translation

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Pitchers are quick to say that the drive will be noticeably shorter if givers give a lot, quickly and often. But one of the oldest complaints listeners have against pledge drives is that even after they’ve done as they’re asked, the drive continues because so many others have not. “Pledge-driving me nuts” was what Sarah Bunting titled her blog post at Tomatonation.com in 2007. While lost in an enjoyable interview from her beloved WNYC, a pitcher interrupted to, she says, “tell me some shit about how everyone listening to him right now who doesn’t cough up some money is basically going to hell, like, 1) don’t mess up the flow of a perfectly good segment, and 2) I GAVE YOU THE MONEY ALREADY.” (28) Kelly Williams Brown, writing for the Daily Beast in 2014, talked to Paul Maassen, General Manager of WWNO in New Orleans. She asked, “whether there would be a time when those of us who are already members could magically skip the membership drive; it does feel unfair that those of us that dutifully pony up our $12.50 a month have to suffer with all the shirkers.”

Near the top of the hour of a 2015 pitch break, in this comparison between a cold virus and some of station KCLU’s listeners, news director Lance Orozco sneezed, and then said he was “allergic to slackers.” He was obviously talking to people who had not yet contributed to the station. Should pitchers and the managers that support them get the occasional pass to be outright mean considering how often they are attacked with outright meanness? Who knows? But public radio stations are staffed with people who love and believe in what they do. Occasionally, they hit back whether they should or not.

 

Written by Interviewer

May 3, 2018 at 06:51

Posted in Scratchpad