Union Tribune’s owner is big Schwarzenegger donor
Friday, September 18, 2009
Before he began buying newspaper companies, Beverly Hills billionaire Tom Gores friended Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger by giving him hefty campaign donations.
Gores’ Platinum Equity bought the San Diego Union Tribune in a deal that became final in May.
By August, the San Diego newspaper’s new owners had slashed 30% of the jobs, pushing more than 300 individuals onto the jobless rolls, including many of the paper’s brightest and toughest journalists, the Sacramento bureau’s Jim Sweeney among them.
Gores donated $150,000 to Schwarzenegger’s campaign committee in November 2005, supporting the governor’s special election debacle in which all four of his ballot measures failed. His brother, Alec Gores, who is chairman of his own private equity firm, also donated $150,000.
Since 2004, the Gores brothers and others in their clan have given $557,000 to Schwarzenegger campaign committees and the California Republican Party. Schwarzenegger appointed Alec Gores’ son, Eric, to the state council on development disabilities and appeared in a movie with Eric.
Schwarzenegger’s 2005 defeat prompted him to scrap many of original governmental and political advisors, and replace them with a more moderate crew including Susan Kennedy, his chief of staff who was a top advisor to Gov. Gray Davis.
The U-T recently lauded the governor in an editorial for calling a special session to consider changes to education law. The editorial called it “one more welcome sign that the old blow-up-the-boxes Arnold is back – the one who get elected in 2003 and worked hard to address the state’s many problems before his ballot reform measures were rejected by voters in the November 2005 special election.”