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Judge to decide Tuesday whether he'll serve prison time for fake bids at BLM auction

Published: Monday, July 25 2011 1:46 p.m. MDT

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PGVikingDad
Pleasant Grove, UT

"We think he has made a huge sacrifice and we are incredibly grateful,"...
++++++++++++++++++++++++++++
Huge sacrifice? Yes. Huge difference? Not at all. For once, Rocky was right.

pharmacist
South Jordan, UT

He did the crime, let him do the time. Their are legal means at his disposal. He should also have to pay for all court costs in this case.

Not So Good
Farmington, UT

Is this guy's 15 minutes up yet? His civil disobedience is not an aim to foster climate change, like he claims it is, but to make a name for himself. The fact that he didn't even attempt the legal means to stop the auction, as illustrated in the article, only help prove that. I bet if you look into his personal life, you'll find little in the way he tries to reduce his carbon footprint. An Al Gore wannabe.

Steven Harper
Salt Lake City, UT

Real change comes at a price; it's incremental and involves unlikely alliances amongst diverse stakeholders. That's the reality of authentic change. Not street theater, not monkey-wrenching illegal actions, not self-promotion to raise funds in Malibu, Telluride, or New York City. Our former mayor is being very kind to Tim DeChristopher. I concur with Mayor Anderson's position that "Bogus Bidder 70" changed no minds in any way that furthers climate change solutions. I also agree that Tim should NOT go to prison. My recommendation to Judge Benson is that he spare the taxpayers the expense of paying for Tim's "writing workshop" and his "letters from a federal prison." Give Tim parole, but make HIM pay, not the taxpayers. Fine him the full amount of the leases he bid on. Fine him for court costs. Confine him to Utah until his fines are paid. Make part of his APP that he is prohibited from associating with other known lawbreakers, like those of his followers arrested in Washington, D.C. or here after hijacking a busload of school children. Make Tim pay court costs with money he has earned. Not with donations, but community service and HIS paycheck.

AlanSutton
Salt Lake City, UT

My impression of DeChristopher is that of a young man who is not particularly bright and is easily influenced by others.

With all the publicity he has garnered, he has an unrealistic view of himself, truly believing he is a martyr for a great cause.

The sad thing is that those closest to him and encouraging him on, his close associates and church members, are not themselves willing to go to jail but are happy to have him go if his doing so gives them some limelight through protest marches, etc.

He needs time for a good dose of reality.

Rifleman
Salt Lake City, Utah

"former Salt Lake Mayor Rocky Anderson ... insists jailing the man would be wrong". Considering the fact that Ross Anderson was an attorney for the ACLU he wouldn't object to giving this convicted criminal a medal.

TJ
Eagle Mountain, UT

Have him pay the 1.8 million he owes. Then have him pay all the legal fees the taxpayers have been stuck with. Then put him in jail for 6 months or a year to deter other idiots from doing this in the future.
It won't surprise me a bit to see him end up working for one of these groups that are commending him. Maybe that's why he did it.

Happy Valley Heretic
Orem, UT

Steven Harper: Real change comes at a price; it's incremental and involves unlikely alliances amongst diverse stakeholders.

Well said the alliance between oil companies and bribes (lobbying) paid to politicians is not accessible to the average citizen (they have their own special entrance on the hill) or diverse anything, it is greed by politicians and corporations to hold as many leases as they can whether they drill or not. The oil they suck from UT does nothing to lower prices or stop terrorism. It lines the pockets of the very few while selling our children's inheritance. One need's only look at the bust and boom of digging for riches that is the Uinta basin. Vernals paper mache dinosaur with christmas lights illuminates what the oil industry has done for Utah.

...and yes I use oil and will continue to, until something different is found.
I just say if it's gunna cost me the same, no mater where it comes from, then let them put their derricks in someone else's parks and wild places

Utah Republicans: "Leave nothing but scorched Earth, Someone else will clean it up."

Gr8Dane
Tremonton, UT

I really don't appreciate the previous broadside against Republicans, when they said they supported "leaving nothing but scorched Earth." The comment was in quotes.. so who supposedly said that? Isn't that just jeuvenile, Jr. High type hyperbole that just undermines the credibility of the poster? It's really ridiculous.

That's the problem with our country now. The sides are so polarized, and too many people now think that it's just normal and acceptable to just attack each other with tihs type of over the top verbiage. We're all the lesser for it.

I say, please grow up. The world is more nuanced than you state. Yes, extracting energy here at home is necessary, because like food, we all rely on it to survive.

Shaun
Sandy, UT

The lesson is, if you totally tank and rob the economy like Wall street and the bankers did you will be shielded from the law and even given bonuses. If someone who has no influence on the elite does it then they are swiftly brought to justice.

Dave Chapelle was right about two justice systems. One for the elite and the one for the rest of us.

Justmythoughts
Richfield, UT

He is a criminal. Lock him up.

Gerrie
McLean, VA

> Gr8Dane : it is not that the sides are polarized as much as the fact that many in the 'green' movemnet are miserably mis-&un-informed which results in the polarization. This is quite unfortunate because it is demeaning and does not advance constructive solutions or understanding.

Fingers crossed that this juvenile behavior will soon dissipate and we can solve many of the challenges that we face as a nation.

byronbca
Salt Lake City, UT

What DeChristopher did was illegal and he should pay the price, but anything more than probation would be a huge injustice. All he did was disrupt an oil auction, he didn't hurt anyone, he didn't damage anything.

What he did do was bring attention to the fact that the way these parcels of land are being auctioned off exclusively to oil companies should be illegal. Why should oil companies have a monopoly on these Utah lands? Shouldn't Utahn's have some say in how our land is used?

The United States has a long and storied history of injustice, but it also has a history of people willing to stand up and fight government corruption. Rosa Parks was a criminal too, but I don't think anyone would argue today that what she did was wrong.

Any American who believes in justice must also believe in fighting injustice, even if it means breaking the law.

NeilT
Clearfield, UT

My opinion is he is very juvenile and very foolish. This is not a cause to go to prison for. Most people have issues they are passionate about. That does not justify civil disobedience and most do not pursue that route. I concur, he has done nothing to further the cause. I hope he enjoys his notoriety while in prison. I suspect he will eventually regret his actions.

Schwa
South Jordan, UT

This man is a hero, and I will write the President urging him to pardon Mr. DeChristopher.

Pragmatist
Salt Lake City, UT

Three pages of Rocky Anderson's opinion and no updates about the case or legal analysis of the issues involved? Thanks for the "news," DN. If there's so little going on that you have to write a story about Anderson ankle-biting another activist, why write it?

md
Cache, UT

I wonder if Rocky would allow me to avoid prison if I failed to pay my taxes? Doubtful.
Rocky is a has-been.

Larryc206
Santa Cruz, CA

When persons resort to civil disobedience, it usually means that some law is being broken by that civil disobedience. A person would not do that, I think, if he/she thought the law in question was good law. Fair enough.

However, when a person deliberately breaks the law, he/she should be willing to accept the penalty imposed by the law, without calling for exceptional treatment in his/her case.

P
Central, Utah

Several have suggested that his punishment include him being required to pay the $1.8 that he bid. He didn't get what he bid for(cause he can't pay but if he has to pay for the lease he should be allowed to sell it(as other companies do)to raise money. Who knows, with the high prices at the first of the year he might have made a profit.

That aside or legalities of interfering with a Federal Action which others have done over the years)it does point out that someone, up to the last amount WAS willing to pay the price bid, to gamble that they could somehow make a profit from that lease. I have even heard though I don't know of companies agreeing in advance not to bid ahainst each other on certain parcels to keep the overall price down.IF that is true, then it is then that is stealing from YOU and from me.

What I think would be a fair fine would be to pay the difference between the 2nd highest and his bid. Give the bid to the 2nd highest for what they bid & the Government wouldn't be out but bidcosts.

joy
Logan, UT

How can you go to an auction knowing full well you don't have the money to purchase anything but intentionally bid to stop anyone else from getting the bid?
Wouldn't that alone be illegal and a form of perjury. Sen him to prison and make him pay the court cost. Enough with the slap on the hand. He'll think twice before he does it again.

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