The union representing Los Angeles police officers is pressuring the owner of San Diego’s main newspaper to change the paper’s editorial stance on labor issues or to fire its editorial writers.
The feud is rooted in the recent purchase of the San Diego Union-Tribune by Platinum Equity, a private Beverly Hills firm.
Platinum relies on a $30-million investment from the pension fund of Los Angeles police officers and fire fighters, along with large sums from other public-employee pension systems around the state, to help fund its acquisitions of companies. As League President Paul M. Weber views it, that makes the League part owner in the flagging Tribune and League officials are none to happy with the paper’s consistent position that San Diego lawmakers should cut back on salaries and benefits for public employees in order to help close gaping budget deficits.
“Since the very public employees they continually criticize are now their owners, we strongly believe that those who currently run the editorial pages should be replaced,” Weber wrote in a March 26 letter to Platinum CEO Tom Gores.
Weber, in an interview, emphasized that the League is not demanding changes in the paper’s news coverage of the issue or in its staff of reporters. “It’s just these people on the opinion side. There is not even an attempt to be even-handed. They’re one step away from saying, ‘these public employees are parasites,’ ” Weber said.