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Katy Grimes

Liberal hysteria over Koch brothers’ interest in L.A. Times

Last week, “community groups” protested in Los Angeles to stop the sale of the Tribune Company’s newspapers to the billionaire Koch brothers, known for their support of libertarian and conservative causes.

“In Los Angeles, members of CourageCampaign.org, Common Cause, SEIU, The Newspaper Guild (CWA – Communication Workers of America) and other groups will be attending the Los Angeles County Employee Retirement Association board meeting,” a protest flyer said.

The SEIU, and Newspaper Guild are hardly “community groups.” And neither is Courage Campaign.
The “community groups” were specifically asking that “pension funds, (1) communicate concern to their investment managers regarding the long- term implications of a sale of the LA Times and other papers to the Koch Brothers; (2) recognize that a good return on the funds investment does not depend on a quick sale to the Koch Brothers, and that (3) these funds not act as “passive” investors. At the meetings, community leaders will present a list of top ten reasons not to sell the Tribune Company’s papers to the Koch Brothers,” the flyer said.

“The investment funds, specifically, Oaktree Capital (23.5%), Angelo Gordon (9.4%) and JPMorgan Chase (9.1%) are key owners of the Tribune Company.”

Who are the Koch brothers and why the liberal hysteria?

Charles and David Koch are billionaire philanthropist brothers, who donate great sums of money to charity and political efforts rooted in upholding liberty, as well as to conservative, libertarian and free-market policy groups. The Koch brothers, industrialists and businessmen, are owners of Koch Industries, the second largest privately owned company in the United States.

The Koch family foundations are a group of non-profit organizations that began in 1953 with the establishment of the Fred and Mary Koch Foundation, and now includes the Charles Koch Foundation, the David H. Koch Charitable Foundation and the Koch Cultural Trust. The organizations collectively have a stated goal of “advancing liberty and freedom” through the support of various causes which further social progress and sustainable prosperity.

Doesn’t advancing liberty and freedom sound positively evil?

Mention the Koch name and liberals have a visceral reaction similar to conservatives’ reaction to George Soros’ name.
Liberals claim the Koch’s are to the right of Atilla the Hun. But they are more Libertarian than conservative. Soros however, is connected to hundreds of liberal non-rofit organizations through his Open Society Institute.

The hysteria of the newspaper buy

The Kochs announced earlier in the year their interest in purchasing the Los Angeles Times and the Chicago Tribune, to the dismay of the newspaper employees and management.

But the dismay went far beyond newspaper staff — labor unions and the SEIU joined in the anti-Koch protest of the newspaper purchase, as did former Federal Communications Commission Chairman Reed Hundt.

Three Los Angeles city council members have joined in protesting the possible sale of the LA Times.

“Three Los Angeles City Council members — including a candidate for mayor — asked their colleagues Tuesday to consider pulling city pension money from the investment firms that own the Los Angeles Times if they sell the publication to buyers who do not support ‘professional and objective journalism,’” the L.A. Times reports.

Since when did city council members’ jurisdiction include journalism?

“Councilman Bill Rosendahl, who called for the council to act, said he was motivated by recent news reports that billionaire brothers Charles and David Koch are among those interested in buying the newspapers,” the L.A. Times reported.

“Frankly what I hear about the Koch brothers, if it’s true, it’s the end of journalism,’’ said Rosendahl, a former broadcaster. “I don’t want to see Los Angeles, the second-largest city and the biggest region in the nation, not to have a quality newspaper.”
Rosendahl sounds as if he’s more concerned with saving his own butt and winning the Mayor’s race with the help of perceived lapdog reporters.

Only in Los Angeles would a city council think it is charged with deciding what constitutes journalism. As long as the journalism is supportive of Democrats, apparently it’s journalism.

A Duke University student has also threatened “student action” if the billionaire brothers purchase the Tribune newspapers, according to the Daily Caller.

The insanity is, well, insane. The reaction and attempt to halt the Koch’s interest in purchasing newspapers sounds dangerously like Venezuela’s President Hugo Chavez, or Cuba’s Fidel Castro.

“Community groups from around the country are mobilizing at public pension fund meetings nationwide, urging the groups to submit public comments resolutions to their investment managers calling on them not to sell the papers, including the Los Angeles Times, to the Koch Brothers,” the protest flyer said.

There’s nothing grassroots or community about these protests.

The new ACORN

CourageCampaign.org claims it is “an online organizing network that empowers more than 750,000 grassroots and netroots activists to push for progressive change and full equality in California and across the country.”
Their IRS form 990 states, “Courage Campaign is a one-day workshop focused on preparing a new generation of organizers to build a movement of progressive reform in California.”

Courage Campaign Institute is nothing more than a new form of ACORN, the former the Association of Community Organizations for Reform Now. While ACORN appeared to have been dismantled after the 2008 election of President Barack Obama, the groups top organizers merely created three other organizations, according to a story published by Alternate: National People’s Action, New York Communities for Change, and The New Bottom Line. Keep your eye on Maine People’s Alliance as well.

Alternet is a left-of-left news website which claims it provides journalism to offset “the vitriol and disinformation of right wing media, especially ‘hate talk’ media.”

”AlterNet believes that media must have a higher purpose beyond the essential goal of keeping people informed. We insist on playing an active role in helping our community funnel its energy into change,” the website says.

If there is any question about the intent of Courage Campaign, their website provides a listing of campaigns they are pursuing including: “Close the Walmart Loophole,” Improve the accountability and transparency of California’s elections, military rape, Tell Controller Chiang: CalPERS must act to save the LA Times, End Big Oil’s free pass in California, Los Angeles Progressive Voter Guide, Stop Big Oil from fracking up California, Bring Some Sanity to the “War on Drugs”, Save the L.A. Times from the Koch brothers, Tell Senate Dems: No background checks, no donations, and protesting a Capitol NRA rally.

Here is the flyer I received via email from Courage Campaign:
MEDIA ADVISORY FOR:
Wednesday, 12 June 2013 CONTACT:
Brett Abrams : 516-841-1105 : brett@fitzgibbonmedia.com
Community Groups Mobilize at Pension Fund Meetings Nationwide Urging Funds to Oppose the Sale of Tribune Co. Papers to the Koch Brothers
CALIFORNIA – In the latest step to “Save the News” and stop the sale of the Tribune Company’s papers to the Koch Brothers, community groups from around the country are mobilizing at public pension fund meetings nationwide, urging the groups to submit public comments resolutions to their investment managers calling on them not to sell the papers, including the Los Angeles Times, to the Koch Brothers.
In Los Angeles, members of CourageCampaign.org, Common Cause, SEIU, The Newspaper Guild (CWA – Communication Workers of America) and other groups will be attending the Los Angeles County Employee Retirement Association board meeting, where a public comment on the issue is the first thing on the agenda:
WHAT: LACERA – Los Angeles County Employee Retirement Association Board Meeting
WHEN: Wednesday, June 12th. 9:00am LOCAL TIME
 WHERE: 300 N. Lake, Pasadena, CA
The community groups are specifically asking that pension funds, (1) communicate concern to their investment managers regarding the long- term implications of a sale of the LA Times and other papers to the Koch

Brothers; (2) recognize that a good return on the funds investment does not depend on a quick sale to the Koch Brothers, and that (3) these funds not act as “passive” investors. At the meetings, community leaders will present a list of top ten reasons not to sell the Tribune Company’s papers to the Koch Brothers.
The investment funds, specifically, Oaktree Capital (23.5%), Angelo Gordon (9.4%) and JPMorgan Chase (9.1%) are key owners of the Tribune Company.
Additional actions will be held across the country this summer at pension fund meetings in San Francisco (CA), Madison (WI), Hartford (CT), Albany (NY), Springfield (IL), Providence (RI), Boston (MA), Tigard (OR), Tallahassee (FL) and Olympia (WA).
For a full list of events and information, or for interviews, please contact Brett Abrams at 516-841-1105 or by email at brett@fitzgibbonmedia.com.
#### #
CourageCampaign.org is an online organizing network that empowers more than 750,000 grassroots and netroots activists to push for progressive change and full equality in California and across the country. As a leading multi-issue advocacy organization, Courage Campaign’s work is supported by thousands of small donations from our diverse community.


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