Union Leaders, Ex-Obama Adviser To Rally Against LA Times ‘Takeover’

LOS ANGELES (CBSLA.com) — Hundreds of protesters were expected to join a rally Tuesday to protest the proposed sale of the Los Angeles Times to businessmen David and Charles Koch.

Executive Secretary-Treasurer of the Los Angeles County Federation of Labor Maria Elena Durazo, activist and former Obama Administration adviser Van Jones, and others were scheduled to be on hand for the protest outside the offices of Oaktree Capital in downtown Los Angeles.

Oaktree is the single largest shareholder in the Tribune Company, the parent corporation of the Los Angeles Times.

Durazo says the Koch brothers will bring “radical, right-wing extremism” to the news outlet.

“The news media is extremely influential in shaping public opinion,” Durazo said in a statement. “A Koch Brothers-owned Los Angeles Times would mean the spreading of hateful ideology that has no place in public discourse in L.A.”

A petition that circulated in April warned the impending sale would transform the venerable Times into “another Fox News,” a reference to the generally conservative-leaning cable news outlet.

Mahlon Mitchell, the statewide head of the Wisconsin Firefighters, was also expected to participate in the rally.

Mitchell was a central figure in the fight against an effort, which union leaders believe was backed by the Koch brothers, to eliminate collective bargaining for public employees in Wisconsin. The effort sparked massive protests and an attempted recall of Wisconsin’s governor last June.

Tuesday’s protest was scheduled to begin at 12 p.m. at 333 South Grand Avenue in downtown.

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