I am glad that Edith Knight (86) does not have to go to jail for illegally electioneering. We send too many people to jail for too many crimes in this country, and a fine is an appropriate penalty.
I am appalled that the maximum possible fine is only $500. At this rate, the 30 or 40 probable Debbie Arnold voters whom Ms. Knight called from within the Atascadero Elks Lodge, where she was a poll watcher, cost less than $20 a piece to turn out.
As to the “political assassination,” charged by Ms. Knight’s attorney Ilan Funke-Bilu: The state Attorney General’s Office offered to drop the case with no fine if Ms. Knight would just admit her guilt and apologize.
Instead, Ms. Knight put the county to the expense of a jury trial, apparently feeling that she could scoff at the law with the aid of a skillful and politically sympathetic lawyer paid for by donations. But the evidence, as cited by The Tribune, was clear and the jury made the proper decision.
Max Riedlsperger, San Luis Obispo