Johnny Northside wants to enlist Courtney Love in free speech fight

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Johnny Northside is hoping to get some Love in his First Amendment fight.

Blogger John Hoff says he’ll try to enlist rocker Courtney Love in his appeal against last week’s jury decision ordering him to pay up $60,000 in a defamation suit against him.

Love ran into her own free-speech troubles after ranting on Twitter against a clothing designer, who sued Love for defamation. The same week Hoff’s case went to trial, news broke that Love was settling out of court for $430,000.

Hoff apparently sees a kindred spirit in the Hole frontwoman, and plans to ask Love to help support his defense fund.

“She found it more expedient to settle,” Hoff tells me today. “If she threw some money our way, we’ll fight the battle for free speech.”

I ran into the boisterous blogger at Hennepin County Government Center while digging around for some unrelated court documents. Turns out Hoff was doing his own digging, searching for more evidence to bolster his claims against former Jordan neighborhood leader Jerry Moore. Moore sued Hoff after the blogger accused him of being involved in a major mortgage-fraud case in an online posting.

While Moore was never charged, the jury believed Hoff’s statement against Moore was true. But the jury still decided he should pay damages to Moore, who was fired from his job after the blog item ran.

Hoff says it’s not like he has $60,000 lying around.

“You can’t get blood out of a turnip,” he says.

The jury’s decision, Hoff says, has energized a half-dozen organizations that are lining up to write amicus briefs out of concerns about free speech.

The attention is coming from coast to coast, Hoff says. A California attorney is weighing the possibility of becoming a co-counsel in his case.

“The more, the merrier,” he says.