The SF Weekly and its parent company, Village Voice Media, is lashing out at the “the political left” for the $21 million judgment it has been ordered to pay the Bay Guardian for anti-competitive business practices.
Andy VanDeVoorde, a Village Voice Media executive and spokesman, wrote in the SF Weekly: “The California courts have held fast to a dubious principle: That endorsing politically correct ‘anti-chain’ sentiment is a more important judicial goal than protecting free-market competition.”
The problem with that claim, according to the Chron’s Bob Egelko, is that: “the judge who presided over the trial in San Francisco Superior Court, and more than doubled the jury’s damage award against the Weekly, was Marla Miller — appointed by Republican Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger. The appeals court justice who wrote the ruling upholding the verdict was Robert Dondero — first appointed to the bench by Republican Gov. Pete Wilson, and named to the appeals court by Schwarzenegger. And of the six Supreme Court justices who voted to deny a hearing on the Weekly’s appeal, five were appointed by Republican governors.”
Meanwhile, negotiations between the two sides continue as the Guardian attempts to get its $21 million. A judge earlier ordered that the SF Weekly share its ad revenues with its competitor, though that is a drop in the bucket compared to what the Guardian is owed.