Politics Blog

The jury has it


The Guardian's case against the SF Weekly finally went to the jury yesterday.

A little after 1 pm, Judge Marla Miller called in a bailiff, explained the verdict form to the jurors, and dismissed the panel to begin deliberations.

The move came after both sides presented detailed closing arguments, seeking to tie together weeks of testimony, reams of exhibits and contradictory opinions from a total of five expert witnesses.

Judge Miller started the day by describing the applicable law to the jurors and explaining how they should interpret the facts. Read more »

The hit man's big duck


Andy Van De Voorde, the Denver-based hit man for the Village Voice Media chain who is out here to cover the Guardian’s trial against the SF Weekly, rambles on at great length in print, using nasty personal attacks to fuel his vitriolic blogs.

But when you try to ask him a question in person, he’s not quite as forthcoming.

I tried to engage him outside of the courtroom yesterday. Read more »

Newsom to clubs: Curb it!


Bad partiers! Go to your room!

Today our former pAArtying mayor (bitter?), himself a nightlife magnate, proposed some rather sketchy "Nightlife Reform Legislation" aimed at, he says, curbing all the violence going on in the vicinity of clubs. Because nightclubs are really the ground zero of violence in this city, of course. Read more »

Gonzalez joins Nader's pursuit of infamy


Our Nov. 19, 2003 cover story
It’s bad enough that Ralph Nader is running for president yet again, but whatever. He’s already ruined his once stellar reputation and nobody was going to take another sequel that seriously. Read more »

Newsom's beds keep burning


Beds Are Burning by Midnight Oil

Poor Gavin Newsom. Even when he finally finds a seemingly noncontroversial, competent, normal guy to hire as planning director, John Rahaim, he turns out to have a whack job boyfriend. Read more »

The case closes


I’ll start with a correction: I wrote last week that Cleveland and San Francisco were the only two cities where the chain that owns the SF Weekly faces direct competition from another alternative paper.

Actually, Village Voice Media, which used to be called New Times, owns the Seattle Weekly. Read more »

SF Weekly witnesses make the Guardian's case


An expert witness for the SF Weekly put a bunch of charts before the jury Friday, trying to undermine the Guardian’s predatory pricing case – but every one of the charts seemed to prove exactly what we’ve been trying to say.

The Guardian is suing the Weekly and its corporate parent, Village Voice Media, for predatory pricing. The claim is that the 16-paper chain poured millions into propping up the San Francisco paper, which for 12 years has lost money while it sold ads below the cost of producing them. Read more »

Our expert, their expert


Lawyers for the SF Weekly and its corporate parent tried mightily today to discredit the testimony of the Guardian’s expert on the damages caused by the chain’s predatory pricing in San Francisco.

It was a classic legal strategy: The Weekly lawyers tried to find flaws in Clifford Kupperberg’s detailed damage report, then brought in their own expert to argue that our expert was wrong.

But in the end, I didn't see anything presented that undermined the Guardian's basic argument: The Weekly's below-cost sales damaged the local paper, and those damages were in the millions of dollars.

The crux Read more »

Ryan Brooks plays Musical Chairs


Yesterday, Mayor Gavin Newsom announced he was appointing Ryan Brooks to the Planning Commission.
That announcement necessarily meant that someone else on the Planning Commission was about to get bumped.

And today, the Planning Commission announced that the Mayor had accepted the resignation of Planning Commission President Dwight Alexander.

The latter move wasn’t entirely unexpected, given the shenanigans that occurred behind the scenes at the Planning Commission earlier this year.
And nor was the f Read more »

The damages: $5 - $11 million


An accountant with more than 30 years experience analyzing damage claims in lawsuits testified today that the SF Weekly’s practice of selling ads below cost damaged the Bay Guardian badly – and he put the financial toll at between $5 million and $11 million.

Clifford Kupperberg took the stand in the Guardian’s predatory-pricing suit against the SF Weekly and its corporate owner. Read more »