Avista Capital Partners is the devil

The Star Tribune should be run as a caring and sharing, employee-owned and controlled cooperative.

by John Hoff

There was a time when I loved the Star Tribune, and reading its news stories was the highlight of my day. Now, I’m convinced that if I buy a copy I will be putting money directly into the hands of Satan.

The Star Tribune is now owned by Avista Capital Partners. But who are these people? Well, they’re called a “private equity firm” with offices in New York City and Houston. If you look up their Web site and articles about Avista, you can’t exactly get

inside their boardroom to eavesdrop, but you can find out enough to be quite alarmed about what drives this shadowy entity which now controls much of the news in the Twin Cities.

on the web

Avista Capital Partners Web site: http://www.avistacapitalpartners.net/

Avista is big into offshore oil drilling, which in my book pretty much means they do festive picnics in Hades with Lucifer and President George W. Bush. In fact, if Bush has ties to Avista Capital Partners, it wouldn’t surprise me a bit, considering their massive investment portfolio in Texas-based oil companies and, as it turns out, Pinnacle Gas Resources, Inc., in Sheridan, Wyo.

Yes, Wyoming. You know, like Dick Cheney’s Wyoming.

One of the companies in Avista’s portfolio is Manti Exploration, based in Corpus

Christi, Texas. This company is “focused on the exploration, development and production of oil and gas in the Gulf Coast region.”

But Avista doesn’t just invest in companies seeking oil beneath the ocean floor. They also have Laramie Energy II in their portfolio, a limited liability corporation “focused on the acquisition and exploration of unconventional natural gas resources in the Rocky Mountain Region.”

And then there’s Caledonia Oil and Gas, Ltd., based in London, which seeks oil in the “Southern Gas Basin of the North Sea.” Also, let’s not neglect to mention a company called Celtique, also based in London, which seeks “oil and natural gas prospects in onshore basins in Europe and Africa.”

Avista just adores black, gooey, evil petroleum and the money it can make. Reading about all the oil and oil-related

investments controlled by Avista is mind-boggling. The purchases, sales, acquisitions and mergers are an impossible pile of noodles, but a lot of it comes right back to Texas.

Avista’s Web site shows stuff in its current portfolio as well as “representative investments,” including Charles River Laboratories.

This company provides “immunocompromised mice” for live testing, and has an animal research facility, along with a Web site which appears to support the notion that Charles River is your one-stop shop for all your lab animal test ‘n torture needs.

So Avista helps to degrade the earth with oil drilling and they’ve been involved, through investment, with the painful deaths of perhaps millions of lab animals. Now they own the Star Tribune. Lovely.

Gee, I thought it was bad when the ultra-conservative Unification Church started the Washington Times. But at least everybody knows who is behind the Washington Times. With Avista, you don’t know precisely who they are or what their goal is. I am inclined to believe it’s not a coincidence the Star Tribune has fallen under Avista’s control right before the 2008 Republican National Convention.

The world will be seeking information about protests and demonstrations surrounding the convention. And who will provide that information? As it turns out, a newspaper owned by a company that gets in bed night after night with some of the most right-wing businesses in America, like Texas oil companies.

The Star Tribune falling into Avista’s hands and being more or less disassembled right before the Republican National Convention hardly seems like a coincidence.

I refuse to buy copies of the Star Tribune until Avista is out of the picture, and I urge you to join me in this boycott. Hopefully, Avista will dump the Star Tribune as a turkey of an investment. Ideally, the Star Tribune should be run as a caring and sharing, groovy employee-owned and controlled cooperative.

You can call me a dreamer, but I’m not the only one.

Yes, I will still read the Star Tribune, especially online since it’s free. I’ll peruse free paper copies, too, if I can find them lying around. Nick Coleman’s columns alone are enough to keep me a loyal reader.

But I plan to avoid putting so much as a sweaty handful of coins into the brimstone-smelling paws of the devil, and all the evidence I’ve seen points to the inescapable conclusion that Avista Capital Partners is in league with Satan.

John Hoff welcomes comments at [email protected].