Letters to the Editor

Electioneering verdict was the right call, but the fine should have been higher

Deputy Attorney General Abtin Amir holds a polling place sign, with small writing that says "electioneering is not permitted within 100 feet of voting place" and asks witness Alvah Hicks if these were posted at the Elks Lodge in Atascadero, during the Edith Meta Knight trial for misdemeanor electioneering at a polling place. Hicks said they were.
Deputy Attorney General Abtin Amir holds a polling place sign, with small writing that says "electioneering is not permitted within 100 feet of voting place" and asks witness Alvah Hicks if these were posted at the Elks Lodge in Atascadero, during the Edith Meta Knight trial for misdemeanor electioneering at a polling place. Hicks said they were. jjohnston@thetribunenews.com

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

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