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Just For The Record

I am writing with respect to your story, “Who Is the Union-Tribune’s New Owner?” (Cover Story, May 14), which does not fairly reflect or accurately characterize myself or my firm.

To be clear:

(1) Neither my firm nor any of its principals, including me, have any editorial agenda for the San Diego Union-Tribune. We invested in the newspaper because we believe in the business, and we believe long-term the U-T will be a good investment. We are confident in the strength of the city of San Diego and the eventual resurgence of the newspaper industry. We have every intent of making a positive impact on the city.

(2) While I have a great deal of respect for others’ perspectives, my extended family’s political views as reported are their own, not mine. My views are based around what is best for the United States in all circumstances.

(3) I was four years old when my family moved to America from Israel. I was an Israeli citizen, and that is how I view my heritage. Since I immigrated, I have considered myself an American, as do Alec and all my siblings. Like so many Americans, my family came here in search of a better life, and I am truly grateful for all the opportunity this country has afforded me.

(4) For the record, my mother is of Lebanese descent, and my father was of Greek descent. We were raised and are still practicing Catholics.

(5) My brother Alec and I sometimes compete for business deals and take a great deal of pride in that fact, but we do not consider ourselves rivals. In conversation we have sometimes likened ourselves to athletes on the playing field — we battle hard during the game but always shake hands afterward. Above all, we both feel very fortunate to have had business success in our lives. Alec and I are very close personal friends. We live near each other and we socialize regularly, both among ourselves and with our families. The so-called “rift” that has been reported does not exist.

(6) I did work for my Uncle Tom, but briefly. I also worked for two other uncles at different times. However, most of the work I did growing up was at my father’s grocery store. I was fortunate to start working when I was about ten years old, and I learned a lot of lessons working at such a young age.

(7) Many people have influenced my life, including my uncles, but it’s important to note that my father was my mentor.

Although this letter’s primary purpose is to clear up confusion, I also want to state that I am very excited for my firm to be joining the city of San Diego through its ownership of the San Diego Union-Tribune, and I look forward to positively impacting the community for years to come.

Tom Gores
via email

This Is America

Regarding your story, “Who Is the Union-Tribune’s New Owner” (Cover Story, May 14), I felt it was important to set the record straight on a number of points:

As my representative informed your reporter, neither my brother Tom nor I consider ourselves rivals. Yes, we compete in business, but we are extremely close as are our families. And while I cannot and will not comment on the Pellicano matter, I can and will say that certain aspects of what has been reported are inaccurate and that these inaccuracies have led to unfair characterizations of my brother and me.

With respect to our heritage, our father was of Greek descent and our mother is of Lebanese descent. We were born in Israel and raised Catholic. We have always considered ourselves Israeli natives, although having come to America as young children, my siblings and I consider ourselves American.

You seem to devote a fair amount of space to our cousin Hala’s political views. Hala is certainly entitled to her opinions — after all, this is America — but her opinions — at least as they have been reported — are inconsistent with mine and Tom’s. Having said that, I am not sure what relevance her views had to your story or Tom’s ownership of the Union-Tribune.

With respect to the characterization of the dispute between the estate of Frank Joubran and me, while what you wrote may accurately reflect what was in court papers at the time, had you checked with the parties involved you would have found that it is not consistent with the facts of the situation. Frank Joubran and his family did very well investing with me. The lawsuit was brought after Frank’s death and was based on a misunderstanding of the facts.

I must admit that I was more than a bit surprised that while you devoted significant space to many of my other family members — cousins, uncles, and the like — so little space was devoted to the person both Tom and I considered our role model and our mentor: our father.

Alec Gores
via email

Matt Potter responds: Except for the fact that we reported that Tom Gores emigrated when five years old, these letters do not seem inconsistent with what we reported in the story.

Piles Of Flaming Doo-Doo

Ken Leighton is a lying piece of crap and needs to be stopped!

In his article “Tick Tick Tick…” (“Blurt,” May 14), Mr. Leighton blatantly lies about recent happenings at the Jumping Turtle in an attempt to completely destroy their business and have them shut down by both the City of San Marcos as well as the sheriff’s department.

I cannot believe that anyone who writes and publishes such falsities would still have a job! Mr. Leighton has been trying for months to shut down the Jumping Turtle, going as far as making false calls to the sheriff’s department just to cause trouble.

I do not condone nor do I support anything Mr. Ken Leighton has done or said over the past few months, and I feel as though he should be terminated from his position with the Reader, as well as fined for spreading such slander and causing the unbelievable amounts of trouble that he is causing. If Joe Troutman and Matt Hall lose their club because of Ken, I hope they sue not just him but the Reader as well for allowing Mr. Leighton to continue on their staff.

Please fire Ken Leighton immediately!!!!!!!!! Any more controversy because of him may become very costly to you!

via email

Ken Leighton responds: I read this article back to the San Marcos official who issued the new entertainment permit. That official confirmed the article as factual. I also confirmed the facts with the sheriff’s department. I have never called the sheriff’s department to report any problems at the Jumping Turtle.

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