The infamous Koch Brothers have had an undeniably major impact on national politics for many years.
The billionaire brothers have dumped an untold number of millions of dollars into political campaigns and “think tanks” pushing a very right-wing agenda of lowering taxes for the rich, gutting environmental protections so that their corporations can pollute with impunity, and otherwise working to control the political process at every level.
Now, they want to go even further, by buying The Tribune Company, which owns eight newspapers including the Los Angeles Times, The Chicago Tribune, and the Baltimore Sun. The media company has also started purchasing numerous TV stations—which would give the Koch brothers a built-in media empire to spread their conservative agenda.
The potential move has drawn big protests around the country, and activists are busy telling the owners of the Tribune Company to reject any offer from the Kochs. Those protests have now come to Oregon.
A coalition of organizations (Oregon Education Association, American Federation of Teachers – Oregon, SEIU Local 503, Oregon League of Conservation Voters) has officially called on the Oregon Investment Council to urge Oaktree Capital, the largest investor in the Tribune Company, to send the Koch brothers packing. Oaktree Capital owns 23.5% of the newspaper company, making it the largest shareholder. Oregon, through the Oregon Investment Council, has invested $300 million with Oaktree since 2009.
Last Wednesday, the groups delivered a letter to the OIC and testified in person against the proposed deal. They didn’t mince words:
The Kochs have spent hundreds of millions of dollars to undermine our democracy and environment. They spend millions on campaigns undermining the work of public employees whose pensions the OIC is charged with investing. They have even denied settled scientific facts to pursue their own economic gain. The Kochs are not people who can be trusted to practice responsible journalism.
Read the whole thing here.