NewsGuild-CWA President Bernie Lunzer submitted written testimony to the House Financial Services Committee for a hearing Tuesday on private equity. The testimony exposes the destructive role of vulture fund Alden Global Capital, which controls Digital First Media.
"The hollowing out of local news is no mere inconvenience," Lunzer notes. "Recent research from the University of Illinois–Chicago and the University of Notre Dame found that communities that have become 'news deserts' pay higher taxes and bond rates and are at greater risk of political corruption. Other studies show lower voter turnout and increased partisanship. In other words, when the watchdogs are gone, democracy dies. Private equity has helped kill the watchdogs."
A panelist at the hearing, Eileen Appelbaum, Ph.D., Co-Director of the Center for Economic and Policy Research, shared in her testimony how Paul Singer's Elliott Management has taken a 1% stake in AT&T and is using it to demand short run profits from the company, putting 30,000 jobs at risk.