by Chad Groening
(AgapePress) – An Internet news agency has started a legal defense fund in response to a $165 million libel lawsuit filed against it by an Al Gore fundraiser and crony.
WorldNetDaily calls the suit “baseless.” It came about after two investigative reporters during the 2000 election campaign published an 18-part series on political corruption by Gore supporters in Tennessee. Specifically, the Internet news service reported that Gore supporter Clark Jones was being investigated for alleged drug trafficking.
Rebecca Hagelin is vice president of WordNetDaily. She believes the suit is an act of vengeance for Al Gore's defeat.
“There's no question that our series exposing Al Gore's corrupt friends and the corruption of the Democratic Party in Tennessee among his friends … cost him a lot of votes in Tennessee in crucial areas,” Hagelin says. “Some have even credited the fact that he lost Tennessee due to this series by WorldNetDaily. So … we're not surprised they're coming after us. We do believe it's going to be thrown out, but we're taking it seriously.”
Hagelin says defending the suit could be expensive. “It could be extremely expensive. Anybody that's ever fought any kind of civil lawsuit knows, and this suit is for $165 million. [The suit was brought] by the former head of the Democratic Party in the State of Tennessee, one of Al Gore's former close associates, who was investigated for illegal drug trafficking. We wrote that story, and now he is suing us and is making an effort to put WorldNetDaily out of business and to silence us.”
Hagelin says her company does not think it can get a fair trial in the Tennessee county where the suit was filed. That is why she says WorldNetDaily is going to file for a change of venue.
(This update courtesy of Agape Press.)
City of Atlanta Loses Affirmative Action Case
by Fred Jackson
(AgapePress) – The Southeastern Legal Foundation is praising a federal court ruling dealing with a controversial contracting policy in the city of Atlanta.
Late last week, a federal district court judge ordered the City of Atlanta to pay damages and attorney’s fees for wrongly setting aside 34% of all state contracts for businesses owned by minorities and women.
Todd Young is the communications director for the Southeastern Legal Foundation, a public interest legal firm which represented a construction company that challenged the city’s policy. He tells CNSNews it is wrong for governments to ever use race as a primary criteria for determining qualifications for bidding on government contracts, attending universities, or getting a job.
As a result of last week’s ruling, the City of Atlanta has been ordered to pay more than $500,000 in damages and attorney’s fees. That’s in addition to the estimated $2 million the city spent defending the case.