Mercury Rising 鳯女

Politics, life, and other things that matter

Posts Tagged ‘SLAPP suits’

SLAPP-Happy Sheldon Adelson Sues NJDC For Mentioning His Macau Scandal

Posted by Phoenix Woman on August 9, 2012

Speaking of Sheldon Adelson, in case you were wondering whether discussion of the burgeoning Macau scandal was starting to hurt him, here’s your answer:

Sheldon Adelson is suing the National Jewish Democratic Council for defamation.
Lawyers for Adelson, the casino magnate and major Republican donor, had sent a warning letter to the NJDC and to the Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee last week after each body had quoted news reports alleging that Adelson had approved of prostitution at his properties in Macau, China. The allegation appeared in a lawsuit file by a former Adelson employee, Steven Jacobs, who had managed Adelson’s Macau business until being fired in 2010.

The cowards at the D-Trip knuckled under, of course. But the NJDC is made of sterner stuff, and so Adelson is suing them. Here is the NJDC’s response:

We will not be bullied into submission, and we will not be silenced by power. This is not Putin’s Russia, and in America, political speech regarding one of the most well-known public figures in our country is a fundamental right. One would think the person making greatest use of the Citizens United ruling would understand this. To be sure, referencing mainstream press accounts examining the conduct of a public figure and his business ventures—as we did—is wholly appropriate. Indeed, it is both an American and a Jewish obligation to ask hard questions of powerful individuals like Mr. Adelson, just as it is incumbent upon us to praise his wonderful philanthropic endeavors.

We know that we were well within our rights, and we will defend ourselves against this SLAPP suit as far and as long as necessary. We simply will not be bullied, and we will not be silenced.

I’m not sure how wonderful Adelson’s alleged philanthropy really is, but as for the rest of the NJDC statement, I wholeheartedly agree.

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Bradlee Dean Ordered To Pay Court Costs Of His Maddow/MnIndy Silencing Suit

Posted by Phoenix Woman on July 8, 2012

Looks like Bradley Dean “Bradlee Dean” Smith, Minnesota hate preacher, radio show host, and Republican ally, forgot the first rule of SLAPPers — never sue anyone who can afford to fight you in court:

Via Ken Avidor’s Bradlee Dean Info, an interesting development in the defamation lawsuit Bradlee Dean and You Can Run International filed against MSNBC, Rachel Maddow, The Minnesota Independent and Andy Birkey:

from the D.C. Courts, dated June 25th:

Memorandum and Order Granting in Part Defendants’ Motion for Attorneys’ Fees and Denying Plaintiffs’ Combined Motions for Reconsideration and Sanctions Entered on the Docket 6/25/12. Signed in chambers 6/25/12. Electronically filed via CaseFileXPress on counsel for the parties 6/25/12. Plaintiffs shall pay to Defendants fees and costs in the amount of $24,625.23 within thirty days.

Now, Smith will likely not have much trouble ponying up the dough — preaching hate to exurban white-flighters and their descendants is quite a profitable gig:

The Minnesota Independent examined some of Smith’s financial dealings in 2009 when new IRS 990 forms showed that he and his band mates were taking a ministerial housing allowance despite his organization being a religious non-profit as opposed to a church. Those housing allowances are meant only for “duly ordained” members of the clergy. Smith has refused to answer questions related to his ordination or which church his organization belongs to.

In 2008, Smith and his sidekick MacAuley, greatly increased their compensation and housing allowance. According to the group’s most recent 990 filing, Smith was paid $51,303 salary and $45,887 for the housing allowance, raking in $97,190. MacAuley’s compensation was a bit less coming in at $66,897 in 2008.

Still, this news has got to sting Smith in his pride, if not his pocketbook — at least, it would if the local establishment media deigned to notice it. Instead, as usual, it’s the local bloggers like Ken Avidor and Sally Jo Sorensen that are breaking the scoops the local big-media outlets won’t touch.

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Chicago Tribune “Too Broke” To Keep Reporters, But Not To Keep Fatcats’ Bonuses – Or Harass Occupied Chicago Tribune

Posted by Phoenix Woman on June 11, 2012

The ChiTrib allegedly doesn’t have money to keep its reporters, but God help anyone who touches their top execs’ sacred bonuses — or dares to satirize the ChiTrib, as the Occupied Chicago Tribune does.

Kevin Gosztola has the deets:

For Nick Burt, a journalist who helped start the [Occupied Chicago Tribune]newspaper, this action isn’t entirely surprising. The [Chicago Tribune’s parent] company has been in Chapter 11 bankruptcy proceedings since September of 2008. It has laid off hundreds of members of its news rooms “claiming there is not enough money to pay for the work they sell.” Somehow the company can find the money for a lawyer and file a claim with the WIPO that cost $1500. This is “how they operate as a paper of the 1%”

Miles Kampf-Lassin, a journalist who has also been involved in the newspaper from the beginning, notes the Tribune has gone to court to fight to give millions of dollars in bonuses to four hundred people in top management positions, even as the company is in bankruptcy proceedings. They truly represent a model of news that values profit over public service.

The Occupied Chicago Tribune was started to challenge this kind of news operation. It was launched to “criticize the role of corporate media.” Inspired by the Occupied Wall Street Journal published by the Occupy Wall Street group in New York, Lassin says, “One of the things we kind of saw as the most salient and engaging part of the argument that the Occupy movement made is this critique of corporate power in our society and in everyday facets of our lives. And we thought that the media is a very important part of that.”

The thing for us to do is to spread the word and ridicule the silly persons controlling the Chicago Tribune:

“The ChiTrib says it’s too broke to pay its reporters, but it’s not too broke to pay lawyers to protect the bigwigs’ sacred bonuses — or to harass people whose right to satirize the pompous dorks running the ChiTrib is protected under law.”

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