Earlier this year, it was announced that the Tribune Company was exploring the possible sale of some of its major newspapers including The Los Angeles Times, The Chicago Tribune, and Hoy, amongst others.
More recently, it has been rumored that one of the strongest potential buyers is Koch Industries, owned by the billionaire Koch brothers.
As you no doubt know, Charles and David Koch are right-wing extremists who already exercise enormous economic and political power in our country. As a family worth some $50 billion dollars they have reportedly spent at least $400 million attempting to influence the 2012 national elections. They have also established and funded dozens of organizations that actively support the privatization of Social Security, massive cuts in programs for working families, attacks on workers' rights, more tax breaks for billionaires and large corporations and other causes benefitting the rich and powerful.
As the owners of a major fossil fuel company, they have also been leaders in providing substantial funding for organizations that spread misinformation about the reality of global warming -- a growing crisis which threatens our entire planet.
Part of what makes this potential purchase appealing to the Koch brothers is the large readership of the Tribune Company’s papers. The Los Angeles Times has the fourth-largest circulation in the country; The Chicago Tribune has the ninth-largest circulation; Hoy is the second-largest Spanish-language daily newspaper in the country, not to mention that The Orlando Sentinel and The Sun Sentinel are both in the battleground state of Florida.
Too much power resting in too few hands is not what America is supposed to be about. We remain deeply concerned that one extremely wealthy family, because of an absurd Supreme Court decision, is able to have enormous influence over our political life and elections. We are unalterably opposed to that same family expanding its power by controlling the news and information that millions of Americans receive.
Thank you for your support.
U.S. Senator Bernie Sanders