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I read with great interest the latest piece by Mr. Ted Rall (L.A. Police Union Bought Newspaper Stock, Used Leverage to Try to Fire Editorial Staffers It Accused of Being Anti-Police) in which he discusses the Los Angeles Police Protective League (LAPPL) and a letter that I authored when I was President of the LAPPL.
While the Los Angeles Times addressed many of his claims in a piece published on August 19th, (Times reaffirms decision that Ted Rall’s blog post did not meet its standards) I wanted to address two specific issues that involve me and Mr. Rall’s latest false accusations.
Mr. Rall is clearly unable to differentiate the Los Angeles Fire and Police Pension system from the LAPPL. He also claims that in 2009, the LAPPL represented firefighters. That is certainly news to United Firefighters of Los Angeles City (UFLAC) who began representing firefighters in 1973.
In 2009, as President of the LAPPL, I wrote a letter to the Chairman of Platinum Equity, a private Beverly Hills firm. At the time, Platinum relied 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 my letter made clear, I was not demanding changes in the paper’s news coverage or in its staff of reporters, but rather I challenged writers of the opinion page who were not attempting to be even-handed and were one step away from saying that public employees are parasites. You can read the letter here to understand the proper context of the request.