Thursday, February 12, 2015

Alaska Dispatch Misses Owner's Conflict of Interest

State owned Alaska Aerospace Corporation is exploring privatization, according to the Alaska Dispatch News.  Minutes of the Alaska Aerospace Corporation show dwindling state funds in coming years.  They also show potential federal funding:

The FAA recently selected six national test sites for unmanned aircraft systems (UAS) thirty-seven states competed with over fifty applications. Six were selected and one was the Tri State Pan-Pacific Proposal led by the University of Alaska Fairbanks, involving Alaska, Oregon and Hawaii, to develop a total of 13 launch sites to test and validate technologies.
Private investors want to buy valuable public assets on the cheap.  Board minutes show a possible future partnership with PT Enterprises.  PT Enterprise's is held by PT Holdings.  Investors in PT Holdings include Alaska Dispatch Majority Owner Alice Rogoff Rubenstein, wife of Carlyle Group co-founder David Rubenstein. 

Alice Rogoff Rubenstein is also on the Advisory Board for PT Capital, an investment firm founded by Hugh Short, a 27% owner of PT Holdings.

At what point does a news source report on its owner's ties to a firm advising a public entity on privatization options?  It fits given the U.S. dropped to 49th in World Press Freedoms and Brian Williams is on a six month sabbatical for misremembering and conflating. 

Update 8-15-19:  It turns out daughter Gabrielle Rubenstein is also a co-founder of Pt Capital in 2013.  Add another layer of conflict for when Rogoff was publisher