Alliance for Democracy radio:
"Corporations and Democracy"

"Corporations and Democracy" is a radio show hosted by AfD'ers in Mendocino County, California, on  KZYX&Z-FM, Mendocino County Public Broadcasting in the town of Philo. The shows feature interviews with local and nationally-known activists and authors. "Corporations and Democracy" focuses on how corporate rule stands at odds with good public policy on a range of issues, and looks at what individuals and communities are doing at the grassroots to build better and more sustainable alternatives.

The crew includes Tom Wodetzki and Toni Rizzo (right), and Annie Esposito and AfD council member Steve Scalmanini (below). Steve re-engineers the broadcasts to share on the Alliance for Democracy website.

"Corporations and Democracy" is broadcast on the second and fourth Tuesday of the month from 1 to 2 p.m. Pacific, and is streamed live from the KZYX&Z-FM website.

We welcome you to share these files non-commercially! For information on rebroadcasting "Corporations and Democracy" on your own local community station, please contact the Alliance office at afd (at) thealliancefordemocracy (dot) org. Please also email us if you have suggestions for future topics, or have a question about the show. Thanks, and enjoy!

Looking for more pro-democracy media?

"Populist Dialogues" is produced by the Alliance's Portland (OR) Chapter for Portland Community Media and is shared on community access stations across the country. Hosted by AfD co-chair David Delk, the show features national and regional activists and focuses on a broad variety of issues. See past shows and learn more about rebroadcasting here.

Justice Rising is the Alliance's quarterly journal, featuring a wide spectrum of voices on building grassroots democracy. Check out past issues here; they can be downloaded as single page articles as well as complete issues.

Current Show:
 September 23, 2014Listen here!  (right-click to download)
After Georgia Pacific closed their Fort Bragg facility in 2002, the city acquired the site for recreation, conservation, and ecological education. But onsite contamination led to a lawsuit and delays in implementing plans. On today's show, Dave Turner, Mayor of Fort Bragg, and George Reinhardt, of the Noyo Headlands Unified Design Group, or NHUDG, talk about cleanup issues and plans for the site

Past Shows:

August 26, 2014   Listen here!  (right-click to download)
Toni Rizzo and Tom Wodetzki talk with media analyst and professor Peter Mathews, author of the new book Dollar Democracy: With Liberty & Justice for Some, about how big money has captured our government and steps to recover it for all of us.

August 12  Listen here!  (right-click to download)
Annie Esposito and Steve Scalmanini will discuss who is profiting from the war on Gaza and the occupation of Palestine with Dalit Baum with the American Friends Service Committee. In the second half of the show, they'll talk with Alice Speri of VICE News about fast-food workers' fight for a living wage.

July 29, 2014
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Toni Rizzo discusses recent Supreme Court decisions that make access to birth control & abortion more difficult, with David Trujillo & Susanna Delano of the Planned Parenthood Shasta Pacific Action Fund.

July 8, 2014Listen here!  (right-click to download)
Annie Esposito and Steve Scalmanini discuss the privatization of specialized police services and subsequent evasion of public oversight with Kade Crockford of the American Civil Liberties Union of Massachusetts, which has brought suit against one police organization on this issue.  In the second half they talk with Mary Grant, a researcher for Food & Water Watch, about efforts to privatize City of Detroit’s water.

June 24, 2014Listen here!  (right-click to download)
Tom Wodetzki and Jim Tarbell discuss national NGO Public Citizen's attempts to reduce corporate money in elections and improve international trade agreements, with Craig Holman and Lacey Kohlmoos, respectively.

June 10, 2014Listen here!  (right-click to download)
Steve & Annie talk with Jim Campana and Dana Duggins of the American Federation of Government Employees about why the Social Security Administration is closing field offices all over the country.  And in the second half they will discuss how a tax on high-speed trading could moderate Wall Street excesses, with Jim Lardner, Communications Director of Americans for Financial Reform.

May 13, 2014
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The first half of the show features an interview with Nomi Prins, former Wall Street executive turned journalist, speaker, TV and radio commentator, about her new book All the Presidents' Bankers: The Hidden Alliances that Drive American Power, a history of the relationships between presidents and Wall Street, from Teddy Roosevelt through Barack Obama. The second half of the show discusses the aftermath of a raid in March on a local medical marijuana dispensary, the Love In It Cooperative with Sherry Glaser Love, its executive director.

April 22, 2014
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Tom Wodetzki and Jim Tarbell talk to two local activists working on a ballot question that would assert Mendocino county's right to protect local water by banning fracking. In the second hour, the guest is Ron Reotsi, one of the contributors to the new book, "Imagine: Living in a Socialist USA."

March 12, 2014
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Annie Esposito and Steve Scalmanini talk with labor writer Samantha Winslow, one of several authors of Labor Notes' new book, "How to Jumpstart Your Union: Lessons from the Chicago Teachers", about how their 2012 strike has become a model for labor organizing across the country. Samantha details how the union encouraged rank and file leadership and built community support.

February 25, 2014Listen here!  (right-click to download)
Affluenza—the disease of materialism and acquisition—is sweeping the nation. On this show, author John De Graaf discusses his book, Affluenza: How Overconsumption Is Killing Us, and How to Fight Back, and gives some ideas for getting off the "too much stuff/too little time" treadmill.

February 11, 2014Listen here!  (right-click to download)
Is Staples the new Post Office? Annie Esposito and Steve Scalmanini talk with Omar Gonzalez, Western Region Coordinator of the American Postal Workers Union, about a new step in the direction of privatization. In the first part of the show, guest Kendra Shanley, co-founder of Bay Bucks, talks about San Francisco's new alternative currency and how it can help the regional economy.

January 28, 2014
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Under the Affordable Care Act, low-income Californians will be getting health care coverage through Medi-Cal, the California state version of Medicaid. Medi-Cal can make claims against the estates of beneficiaries to recoup long-term care coverage, so with more individuals covered, Tom and Toni invite Patricia McGinnis, executive director of California Advocates for Nursing Home Reform, to explain the estate recovery program, and how it disproportionately affects low-income families.

January 14, 2014
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Annie Esposito and Steve Scalmanini discuss shared workspaces and what advantages they bring to communities with John Kuhry, Executive Director of EDFC, the Economic Development and Finance Corporation, a local non-profit organization and developer of a new co-working facility in downtown Ukiah, CA, and with Kelley Rajalla, co-founder of ShareExchange in Santa Rosa, CA.

December 24, 2013
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Tom Wodetzki and Toni Rizzo discuss the Trans-Pacific Partnership trade deal and alternative global trade proposals with Melinda St. Louis of Public Citizen’s Global Trade Watch, and then with Nancy Neamtan, of Quebec's Task Force on the Social Economy.

December 10, 2013
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Host Annie Esposito talks with Andy Lee Roth, Associate Director of Project Censored, about the most important stories the mainstream media didn't cover in 2013. Hear about some of the stories on this year's "Top 25" list. Project Censored draws public attention to investigative journalism and the connections between media literacy, democracy, and the limitations of corporate media.

November 26, 2013
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Host Tom Wodetzki welcomes Thom Hartmann, best-selling author and America's most popular liberal talk show host. Thom's latest book is The Crash of 2016: The Plot to Destroy America and What We Can Do to Stop It, and he discusses where the US is headed, how current challenges compare to those faced by past movements, and the importance of ending corporate personhood as key to how progressives can reverse economic inequality and build a more sustainable future.

November 12, 2013Listen here!  (right-click to download)
Hosts Steve and Annie discuss corporate influence in two recent elections in Washington State. Whatcom County faced secretive money from Big Coal, and a statewide initiative to label food containing GMOs was opposed by tens of millions of dollars donated by Big Food. Their guest is Alex Ramel, Chairman of the Whatcom County Chapter of Washington Conservation Voters.

October 8, 2013
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Annie Esposito and Steve Scalmanini update the status of the Willits Bypass (under construction near Willits, CA) and discuss “Caltrans: Judicious or Juggernaut,” with Richard Estabrook, the local engineer who debunked Caltans’ traffic study on the Bypass, and with Will Parrish, the local historian and journalist who is being prosecuted by the Mendocino County District Attorney for his active direct resistance to bypass construction.

September 10, 2013
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Fast food workers deserve and are demanding better-than-starvation wages and the right to organize. The first half of the show features interviews taped at a New York walkout and rally by Ken Nash of WBAI. In the second half, author and energy expert Antonia Juhasz talks to Steve and Annie about Exxon, and whether energy companies want a second "war for oil" with Syria. With headlines from California, Texas, and Walmarts and fast-food restaurants everywhere.

August 27, 2013Listen here!  (right-click to download)
Can we have real democracy when the mass media is owned by giant corporations? Media experts Robert McChesney, professor of communications, co-founder of Free Press, and author of 17 books, and Lisa Graves, executive director of the Center for Media and Democracy and publisher of,, and, will discuss with hosts Tom and Toni the costs of relying on a corporate dominated media, and what an ideal mass media would look like.

July 23, 2013
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(right-click to download)
Two Fort Bragg, CA, community institutions
Mendocino Coast Community Television and the Footlighters theater grouphave spent the last three years facing off over which organization owns a building that has housed them both. The fight ended last week, with a judge ruling for the Footlighters, and the decision has meant closure for the community tv station. Toni Rizzo speaks to Elizabeth Swenson, director of Mendocino Coast Community TV,  Junice Gleason, board president of the Footlighters, and George Sabato, of Placerville's Sierra Community Access TV about the controversy and the challenges of presenting community media on a lower-than-low budget.

July 9, 2013
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Steve Scalmanini and Annie Esposito talk about nuclear disarmament with Jacqueline Cabasso, executive director of the Western States Legal Foundation in Oakland, and an internationally-known expert on nuclear disarmament. Jacqueline deconstructs Obama's recent statements on nuclear weapons, highlights the corporatization of nukes and warns that while progress has been made on reducing numbers of weapons, there are still more than enough of them out there to destroy civilization.

June 25, 2013Listen here! 
(right-click to download) 
Dan Hamburg, Mendocino County Supervisor, and John Avalos, of the San Francisco County Board of Supervisors, talk about the campaign to bring public banking to Mendocino County, San Francisco and elsewhere in California, including broader discussions on how government and civic-minded entities should invest their money, democratic control of banking, and the ins and outs of charter government. Tom Wodetzki hosts from the KZYX Philo studio.

June 11
, 2013
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Darwin BondGraham sociology and journalist (and occasional "Corporations and Democracy" listener) who now covers political economy for print and web publications, explains some of the history and thinking behind his recent talk at the 2013 Public Banking Conference, titled "Public-Private Partnerships
Highway to Ruin." He's joined by chief of staff of the National Association of Letter Carriers, Jim Sauber. There are lots of privatization pressures on the US Postal Service, but Jim discusses ways that the post office could add services that would benefit workers and the public alike.

May 28, 2013Listen here!  (right-click to download) 
Annie and Steve discuss local water news, corporate rule in the headlines, a local election that might impact global coal export and climate change, and the latest trade agreement negotiations, including the Trans-Pacific Partnership. Their guest for the trade discussion is Melinda St. Louis, International Campaigns Director with Public Citizen’s Global Trade Watch. Callers share their concerns and views too.

April 23, 2013Listen here!  (right-click to download) 
Citizens for Tax Justice's Bob McIntyre talks with Tom and Toni about the  politicking behind the US tax system. Who pays to play, who benefits, and how can we establish a fairer tax code? In the second half of the show, Kaitlin Sopoci-Belknap of Move to Amend brings listeners up to date on amending the Constitution to end corporate access to constitutional rights and to establish that money isn't speech.

February 3, 2012
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Thomas Hanna, senior researcher at The Democracy Collaborative at the University of Maryland, College Park, discusses institutions for the next economic system with Annie and Steve.

November 7, 2011Listen here!  (right-click to download) 
Toni and Tom discuss the budding Occupy Wall Street movement with David Swanson (pre-recorded), and then David reports live from Occupy Wall Street.

September 16, 2011Listen here!  (right-click to download) 
Nomi Prins discusses the endless national banking and financial disaster and what listeners can do about it with hosts Tom Wodetzki and Toni Rizzo. Nomi is a journalist and senior fellow at Demos. Her latest book is It Takes a Pillage: Behind the Bonuses, Bailouts, and Backroom Deals from Washington to Wall Street (Wiley, September, 2009). Her 2004 book, Other People’s Money: The Corporate Mugging of America (The New Press, October 2004) was chosen as a Best Book of the year by The Economist, Barron's and The Library Journal.

September 9, 2011Listen here!  (right-click to download) 
Annie Esposito and Steve Scalmanini discuss product safety and the right of individuals to sue for redress with Christine Hines, consumer and civil justice counsel at Congress Watch, an arm of Public Citizen, founded by Ralph Nader. Learn how recent court cases are helping corporations evade accountability and responsibility to their employers and clients, and actions you can take to push legislation to help level the playing field. Good comments from callers!

August 19, 2011Listen here!  (right-click to download) 
Ben Manski, executive director of Liberty Tree Foundation for the Democratic Revolution and spokesperson for the Wisconsin Wave, talks to Steve Scalmanini and Annie Esposito about heartland progressive populism, from attacks on local government in Benton Harbor and other Michigan towns to the results of the recent Wisconsin recall elections, including allegations of pro-GOP election fraud in a well-to-do county (not the first time this has happened!). Ben reviews the history of home rule provisions and the need to strengthen them today to provide a democratic bulwark against corporate personhood and corporate rule.

July 15, 2011  (right-click to download) 
In part 1, Michael Ruppert, author of "Confronting Collapse" and "Crossing the Rubicon," and internationally known whistle-blower from the Bush era talks about building sustainable, resilient communities in these times of economic and environmental collapse. Hosted by Tom Wodetzki and Toni Rizzo. Listen here!

In part 2,
Toni talks with Martin Keogh, editor of the anthology Hope Beneath Our Feet: Restoring Our Place in the Natural World. Martin talks about the contributors' responses to the question: "In a time of environmental crisis, how can we live right now?" Anthology authors include Paul Hawken, Barbara Kingsolver, Frances Moore Lappé, Michael Pollan, local Fort Bragg resident Thais Mazur, and several other well-known authors involved in sustainability issues. The second half is an interview with Liz Haapanen about the Mendocino Coast Transition Towns. Listen here!   (right-click to download) 

September 18, 2009 Listen here!   (right-click to download) 
What's the status of health care reform? Dr. John Geyman, past president of Physicians for a National Healthcare Program (PNHP), offers an assessment. Dr. Geyman is professor emeritus of family medicine at the University of Washington School of Medicine in Seattle and author of several books, including "Do Not Resuscitate: Why the Health Insurance Industry is Dying and How We Must Replace It," and "The Corrosion of Medicine: Can the Profession Reclaim its Moral Legacy?" Toni Rizzo conducts the interviews, with call-ins from listeners.

August 21, 2009Listen here!   (right-click to download) 
Tom Wodetzski and Toni Rizzo talk with Pulitzer Prize winning journalist and author Chris Hedges, author of Empire of Illusion: The End of Literacy and the Triumph of Spectacle. Hedges examines commodity culture and the "cult of the self" and sees in it the roots of an illogical, unreflective society which is without compassion and ill-equipped to deal with environmental and economic challenges. Compounding the problem: liberal moral bankruptcy, a corporate media, the fading of print-based society, growing de facto and functional illiteracy. Terrific comments by the audience! (note--the sound quality of the first third of the show is a little rough due to some technical difficulties)

August 7, 2009 Listen here!   (right-click to download) 
Steve Scalmanini and Annie Esposito interview John Foster of the Ballot Initiative Strategy Center, an educational non-profit focusing on progressive ballot initiative campaigns nationwide. He discusses the center's project on ballot initiative integrity, especially in relation to a petition for a major mall development in Mendocino County. You can learn more about how the ballot initiative process is being mis-used at

Also on the air and the web:
Other AfD members and supporters are involved with the following radio projects:
  • In Massachusetts: Truth and Justice Radio is hosted by North Bridge Alliance chapter member Stan Robinson
  • In Oklahoma: Voices of Oklahoma is online and hopes to be on the air as a non-commercial source for information and culture serving McClain, Garvin, and southern Cleveland counties
  • In California: The Alliance's Tapestry of the Commons project has two-minute audio explorations of the concept of the commons for free use on the air.