City pulls the plug on Kandi Rapper show due to rules violations
WILLMAR — The city of Willmar has decided to suspend Bob Skor, the host of the Kandi Rapper show which aired on the Willmar Regional Access Channels, for at least three years, for violating the city's rules and procedures for the use of the WRAC facilities, services, equipment and channels.
"Based on the City's review of the numerous rules violations you have incurred for prior episodes of the Kandi Rapper, including the most recent complaint, the city has determined that you are hereby immediately suspended for a minimum period of three years," City Administrator Ike Holland wrote to Skor in a letter dated Aug. 30. The West Central Tribune obtained the documents through a Minnesota Data Practices Act request.
The most recent complaint regarding Skor's show was filed on Aug. 17 and came from Willmar Mayor Marv Calvin. The complaint alleged the Aug. 17 episode of the Kandi Rapper violated the rules by airing content that was "libel, slander, incitement or invasion of privacy."
Brian Grogan, an attorney at the law firm of Moss & Barnett in Minneapolis, reviewed the complaint for the city and found Skor had violated the city's rules for WRAC use.Grogan specializes in cable communications law.
In Grogan's letter to Holland about the issue, he said after reviewing the episode he found several statements made by Skor about Calvin were of a negative and slanderous nature.
Grogan also agreed the city had the right to suspend Skor.
"As a result of those prior complaints and rules violations and the violations of rules set forth in this letter, the city has the discretion to suspend Mr. Skor's right to use the city's access equipment, studio facilities, or airtime of the Willmar Regional Access Facilities," Grogan said.
While the initial suspension is for three years, Holland said in the letter to Skor that the city reserves the right to "impose additional restrictions on your use of the city's local programming facilities and airtime to avoid any further violation of the rules," Holland said.
The mission and philosophy of WRAC is to allow individuals, educational, government, civic and charitable groups to produce and broadcast programs that "promote open expression, bilingual education, economic growth, public forums and enrichment of the multi-cultural, artistic and civic aspects of life" in Willmar and the surrounding regional area.
"Programming such as the Kandi Wrapper episodes, which repeatedly violate the rules and generate numerous complaints to the city, clearly are counter to the city's mission statement," Holland said in the letter to Skor.
When called for comment, Bob Skor said nothing in his show was slanderous and instead Calvin and the city are trying to take away his, and others, freedom of speech.
"It's not right and it's not fair. They're taking away residents' freedom of speech," Skor said.
Skor said the real reason behind the city's push to suspend him is to quiet his commentary on what is going on in the city of Willmar.
"They've been trying to get my show canceled. They don't like what I have to say," Skor said.
While he won't be appealing the city's decision to suspend him from WRAC, Skor said he would continue to speak out.
"They've opened Pandora's Box, I'm not going to be quiet," Skor said.