Mimsy Were the Borogoves

Editorials: Where I rant to the wall about politics. And sometimes the wall rants back.

Los Angeles police try to shut down newspaper

Jerry Stratton, May 23, 2009

In our May 19 special election, government unions spent millions of dollars lobbying in favor of the state legislature’s proposals to increase taxes. Those dollars came directly from the taxpayers who overwhelmingly didn’t want the state to increase taxes. The unions were playing their traditional role as a money-laundering system, using tax money to lobby in favor of government programs.

Now the Los Angeles police are taking this a step further. The Los Angeles Police Protection League is the official union of the LAPD: all police officers must have their pay reduced to fund them. The police also have a monolithic government pension, rather than a retirement plan that lets them choose their retirement investments. The Los Angeles Fire and Police Pension Board handles investments for police pensions. Five of the nine members are appointed by the city government. For all practical purposes, the government controls that investment money.

One of those investments is with the parent company of the San Diego Union-Tribune. The LAPPL has decided that this investment makes the police “owners” of the newspaper. They are throwing their weight around to silence the editorial board on the Union-Tribune, because the Union-Tribune editors are calling for saving money by reducing the power of the union and the pension board.

There’s nothing wrong with a private entity pressuring a company that they hold an ownership stake in. There’s a whole lot wrong with laundering taxes through a public organization and using that money to lobby against a newspaper’s editorial board.

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