For Ellen Murphy, now convicted trespasser, the advertising costs are $43 and 40 hours of community service. For that price she got media coverage and a whole bunch of sound bites, CD of trial and hearing will be available at the Whatcom Peace and Justice Center. Will we see her picking up street side litter? If we do it will sure to be covered and will be a value added item for her cause.
For the taxpayers the cost is two fold, hard physical costs and the soft erosion of our nation and our democracy. At one time I wished Rick Larsen had just dropped the charges both to avoid publicity for the anti-US cause and the cost to the taxpayers. I have since thought that perhaps he needed to prosecute to reduce the severity and frequency of trespasses in the future. In a manner, an investment in his ability to do his job. So the taxpayers are paying the hard costs. And we as Americans are also footing the soft costs of encouraging anti-US actions and condoning illegal actions rather than fair citizen participation in our democracy.
We paid for Ellen Murphy and Whatcom Peace and Justice Centers advertising materials that will be used against us.