By Patrick McGreevy and Chris Megerian
May 8, 2013, 8:21 p.m.
SACRAMENTO — California legislative leaders and 10 public employee unions announced opposition Wednesday to any sale of the Los Angeles Times and other Tribune Co. newspapers to a pair of wealthy brothers who fund conservative causes throughout the country.
In a letter dated Tuesday to Bruce Karsh, president of Oaktree Capital Management, the largest shareholder in Tribune Co., and chairman of its Board of Directors, the unions said David and Charles Koch are “anti-labor, anti-environment, anti-public education and anti-immigrant.”
The unions noted that some Oaktree assets come from public pension funds and warned that a sale to the Koch brothers “would be adverse to the retirement security of public employees whose pension funds you are responsible for managing and investing.”
The California Public Employee Retirement System is among the funds that invests with Oaktree. It has at least $200 million committed to the firm, according to pension fund records.
Senate President Pro Tem Darrell Steinberg (D-Sacramento) and Assembly Speaker John Pérez (D-Los Angeles) added their opposition to that of the unions. The legislative leaders and unions have considerable sway over the investment of California’s public pension money.
“I oppose it,” Steinberg said of a possible sale. “ I believe newspapers are a public trust. The Los Angeles Times has a long and respected tradition of community leadership and impartiality. The Koch brothers have a long and demonstrated history of a rigid political ideology.”
A Tribune spokesman declined to comment.
To read entire story, click here.