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Pope Tom Melcher

The name Tom Melcher rang a bell. So I did a little research. Isn't this the same Tom Melcher who ran for the KYX Board in the last elections cycle? Indeed it is! Melcher was recruited by KZYX management to split the vote against Doug McKenty.

What a guy!

Long story short, Melcher got 19% of the vote. Not enough, but just enough. Just enough to cause the front running candidate, Doug McKenty, to lose. Doug McKenty, the former KZYX Board member and popular host of “Open Lines.” Mission accomplished. He lost. A Coate-Aigner loyalist and card carrying blowhard named Paul Lambert got elected over Doug McKenty. So who is Tom Melcher? Besides being a shill for KZYX General Manager and Executive Director, John Coate, and KZYX Program Director, Mary Aigner, who is this Tom Melcher, a.k.a., Tom Pope, as he likes to call himself? According to his bio, Melcher, a.k.a., Pope, is a “seed collector” and “food blogger.”

Dear Lord! Only in Mendocino County can person say they make a living being a seed collector or a food blogger. Sounds like the guy is sponging off his wife or living on public assistance.

And what's with the Pope name? Is it Tom Pope? Or Pope Tom? Pope Thomas Aquinas? Or Pope Thomas Beckett? I'll just call this dude, Pope Tom Melcher.

I thought we heard the last of Pope Tom Melcher after the last KZYX Board elections, but here comes this guy again, in the February 25 edition of the Anderson Valley Advertiser. Accusing me of megalomania. Comparing me to Joseph Goebbels, Joseph Stalin, Bill O'Reilly, and Sean Hannity.

Oy vey!

Calm down, Pope Tom. Get a grip. Let me answer a few of your concerns. In your February 25 hit piece, you do a lot of hysterical ranting and raving. Calm down, man. Here are the facts. I've been vetted every which way by the feds, the state, and the county. I've been vetted by the military. I've been vetted by law enforcement. And I've been vetted by underwriters.

A “snapshot” of my FINRA file, which can be located at the County CEO's Office, documents much of my career on Wall Street. Additionally, I received training as a public trustee at Stanford Law School, and advanced training in the management of public pension systems at both UC Berkeley's Haas School of Business and UCLA's Anderson School of Management. I'm a bonded fiduciary.

I was also a recipient of commendations for community service from both the Massachusetts Senate and House of Representatives.

What else? I earned an MA and BA from the Johns Hopkins University.

And I've had the clearance that got me into General Bob Kehler's 2012 Christmas party at the Air Force Space Command (AFSPC) at Peterson AFB. The cyber mission, or AFCYBER, was also under General Kehler's command at Peterson, as was NORAD. The Christmas Party was a going away party for General Kehler. He had just been promoted to assume command of our country's strategic nuclear forces at USSTRATCOM at Offutt AFB.

Additionally, I've appeared many times as a guest on national and international media, including on Al Jazeera, opposite President Obama, on November 13, 2010, in Yokohama, Japan, at the APEC Conference. Check it out, Pope Tom: http://www.aljazeera.com/news/asia-pacific/2010/11/20101113431621378.html

I'm sorry if I don't have any seed collecting or food blogging credentials.

Another thing, Pope Tom. Much of what you read online about me, and what you take as gospel truth, is disinformation. Disinformation. Google has as much disinformation on it, as it has information. Did you know that, Pope Tom? Did you know I could create a few blogs, write you up as someone who is into kiddie porn, create hyperlinks among those blogs, and when I'm finished your name and kiddie porn would be my first hit on you in a Google search?

Did you know that? That why firms like reputation.com are making a killing right now. Billions. Reputational harm is easy peasey in the digital age. You can't un-Google yourself. You can only bury the disinformation way down in the search results.

Another thing you should have fact checked, Pope Tom. It's about my being getting kicked off the air for “dropping the f-bomb,” as you say.

The incident occurred about seven months ago at KZYX when I had retired CIA senior analyst, Ray McGovern, on my show. My call with him dropped several times. The fourth time, Mary Aigner — who I've made no secret about wanting to see fired — stepped into the studio. She ordered me off the engineering board. She took control of the show, as she attempted to get Ray McGovern back on the air.

I uttered the f-word once while standing a foot or two behind Aigner, which was three or four feet from the engineering board. I had every reason to believe she had potted down the board. In any case, the f-word was ambient sound. The bottom line is Aigner ordered me off the board and had control of the show. I repeat: Aigner had control of the show. And there were witnesses to the incident. Also, the FCC received no complaints about the incident following the show.

Aigner should have apologized to our guest, me, and the audience. But nope. Apologies aren't in Aigner's job description. When I attempted to appeal my suspension to John Coate — who I'd also like to see fired — I requested that an objective third-party, who is external to KZYX's office politics, hear my appeal. But no dice. My request was denied, which is absurd. A clear conflict of interest exists between myself and the two-headed hydra of Coate-Aigner (sort of like Melcher-Pope, but different — more sinister).

Any questions, Pope Tom?

Final thing. I worked my ass off when I was with KZYX. The last show when I hosted a pledge drive show — Fall Pledge Drive, 2013 — I raised $2,500. One hour. $2,500. In my six years of hosting a show on KZYX, I raised thousands of dollars. I never didn't meet the pledge drive goals set for me.

I also got great guests — A-listers — for the entire time of going on seven years that I had a show on KZYX. Who you may ask? Members of Congress. C-level executives. Nobel Prize winners. Pulitzer Prize winners. Top guys from the military, national security, and intelligence. Top law professors, bankers, traders, leaders in any number of fields. Even an FCC commissioner. No. Actually, two FCC commissioners.

It was a gift, Pope Tom. My gift. My gift to KZYX and its listeners. Twice a month. For going on seven years. And not once did Coate or Aigner help me schedule a guest, help me prepare, help me archive my shows, or even thank me.

Not once.

All I got was to have my youngest daughter read in the Anderson Valley Advertiser of how Coate didn't “approve” of me. Didn't approve of me? Didn't approve of me? In a feature article. Coate made my daughter cry with his asinine comment. She knew how hard I worked for KZYX. For years I put in good work.

I'm still working for KZYX, Pope Tom. I've moved my show to KMEC, but I'm working as a KZYX Board member. I'm working to change KZYX. To save the station. Coate and Aigner simply have to go. The reservation mentality has to go.

If you don't agree with my tactics, that's okay. I can live with that. I take my inspiration from Geronimo. He and his band of Apache refused to live on the reservation. They fought hard. Attacks and counter-attacks were common. The war with the feds lasted for years. It was bitter, terrible fighting. In the end, Geronimo lost. The pursuit of Geronimo and his little band of Apache by the feds wore them down. They had no time to rest or stay in one place. The feds were tenacious and in constant pursuit. Geronimo surrendered. He was subdued, but his spirit was never dominated. He wouldn't shut up. He wouldn't stay on the reservation. Geronimo traveled the country, even visiting the St. Louis Worlds Fair. He brought attention to the plight of Native Americans. How the white man betrayed Native Americans. Massacred them. Broke treaties. Stole land. History remembers Geronimo kindly. When Geronimo surrendered he had in his possession a Winchester Model 1876 lever-action rifle, with a silver-washed barrel, and receiver bearing Serial Number 109450. It is on display at the United States Military Academy, West Point, New York.

Finally, I continue to do good shows on public radio. At KMEC. Sid Cooperrider and I just interviewed NSA whistle blowers Bill Binney and Kirk Wiebe. That's pretty damn good for a low-power station, all-volunteer, radio station. Here's the link to the show: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=P3tG_yJIrW0 We hope to have Tom Drake on KMEC soon. We're even hoping that we can connect with Edward Snowden. Also, Laura Poitras, who just won the Academy Award for Best Documentary Feature at the 2015 Oscars for Citizenfour.

So, what should the good people of Mendocino County do, Pope Tom Melcher?

They should support KMEC, KNYO, KYBU, the low-power, all-volunteer, radio stations in Mendocino County. That's what we need to do. Support them until real and meaningful change comes to KZYX. Starve the beast. Coate and Aigner don't deserve your money.

John Sakowicz

MCPB Board of Directors (2013-2016), Board Treasurer (2014), Ukiah

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