Don't sell out to the Koch Brothers

Charles and David Koch don’t need an introduction -- they’re the billionaire brothers that tried to buy last year’s election for right-wing Republicans.

Well, they’re at it again. This time, though, they have a different target: the Tribune Company.

Apparently they’ve realized that they can’t buy an election with ads alone, so they’re trying to take over the news media -- the Tribune Company owns The LA Times, The Chicago Tribune, The Baltimore Sun, and a host of other papers across the country.

That’s why DFA and Sen. Bernie Sanders are joining forces today. We’re calling on the Tribune Company to not sell out to the Koch Brothers.

Peter Liguori, Chief Executive Officer
Tribune Company
435 North Michigan Avenue
Chicago, IL 60611

Dear Mr. Liguori,

Earlier this year, media outlets announced the exploration of the sale of several of the Tribune Company’s daily newspapers including The Los Angeles Times, The Chicago Tribune, The Baltimore Sun, The Orlando Sentinel, The Sun Sentinel, and Hoy, amongst others.

Given your large readership (The Los Angeles Times, fourth-largest circulation in the country; The Chicago Tribune, ninth-largest circulation; Hoy, second-largest Spanish-language daily newspaper in the country), it concerns us that one of the potential buyers, Koch Industries, is interested in the purchase of your print media outlets.

As you no doubt know, Charles and David Koch, owners of Koch Industries, 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.

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.

We are writing, therefore, to voice our opposition to the Tribune Company selling any of its media outlets to Koch Industries. As you begin to narrow down potential buyers, we urge you to reject any offer from Koch Industries.

Thank you,

U.S. Senator Bernie Sanders (I-VT)                        Jim Dean, Chair, Democracy for America

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