Not all environmentalists like DeChristopher's brand of activism

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

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  • Eddie T Baton Rouge, LA
    July 26, 2011 10:02 p.m.

    Well Rational, I agree with you. Fanaticism is bad in almost every case, but when you look at what he did 1) he stopped the sale permanently (or at least for 4 years), 2) nobody was hurt, and 3) he accepted the penalty alone, I stand by my statement. I do admire his conviction and his passion. It may have been extreme by some measures, but it wasn't irrational. It was a carefully-chosen action.

  • Gr8Dane Tremonton, UT
    July 26, 2011 4:30 p.m.

    I see I'm compelled to give a remedial US history lesson in response to byronbca's comments about the Founding Fathers. Yes, they were revolutionaries, but their rights as colonists were not being respected (confiscation of property, criminal procedures not followed).

    the comparison is not apt. Today's "civil disobedience" is just an excuse for anarchy and "the mob." We live in a representative democracy under a constitution and bill of rights. We have a process (albeit slow, and sometimes messy) for dealing with making or changing laws. That's how civilized societies do things; not by the sword.

    Men are justified taking up the sword in defense of their lives and liberties if threatened in like manner, which was the case in American revolution.

    To compare DeChristopher to Rosa Parks or a Founding Father is offensive, and a complete joke.

    Hopefully the judge will fairly weigh all circumstances (first time offense, etc.) in the sentencing. But at the end of the day, he intentionally broke the law and must answer to society for that.

  • Not So Good Farmington, UT
    July 26, 2011 3:15 p.m.

    Re: bryonbca

    Way to completely miss the boat on rational's comparison. Misdirected passion was the comparison and was very well put. Try no to read to much into things next time since no comparison was made to the gravity of the two crimes, which of course would be apples and oranges.

  • coltakashi Richland, WA
    July 26, 2011 2:12 p.m.

    Mr. DeChristopher has established in a court of law, through his strenuous actions, and the publicity he has sought for them, that advocates of the global warming myth are ready, willing and able to LIE in order to achieve their obejectives.

    He has also demonstrated in court that advocates of the global warming myth are stupid.

    So would an intelligent citizen rely on Mr. DeChristopher when he tells us that global warming is causing increasing numbers of stronger hurricanes? When he reassures us that the fact that average global temperatures have not risen for 15 years, even though CO2 and other greenhouse gases have continued to climb, does not somehow demolish the theoretical models that all predicted a straight line correlation between CO2 and temperature? That Utah is not supposed to have any snow in its mountains (instead of skiing on the 4th of July)?

    This just adds to the confessions of fraud in the University of East Anglia emails, and the gross exaggerations by hypocrite energy hog Al Gore, to show the bogus nature of the alleged "crisis" of global warming.

  • byronbca Salt Lake City, UT
    July 26, 2011 2:02 p.m.

    Re rational:

    Did you really just compare disrupting a government auction to mass murder? Do you actually believe that not going through proper channels is comparable to murdering over 70 people? That's not a very rational comparison.

    People are calling for this guys head, but what did he really do? Answer: he misrepresented himself, that's it, the only law he broke was that he claimed to be in the oil business when he was not. If we held our politicians to the same standards as DeChristopher most of congress would get locked up for life.

  • John44 DALLAS, TX
    July 26, 2011 1:50 p.m.

    "Not all environmentalists like DeChristopher's brand of activism"
    This has to be the most "no duh" headline I have ever read. I recycle, contact my legislators, and conserve energy, but wouldn't dream of committing fraud at a land auction. Headline should be
    "Vast majority of environmentalists disapprove of DeChristopher's action"

  • brightness Taylorsville, UT
    July 26, 2011 1:28 p.m.

    We have had individuals committing serious crimes, including robbing Indian graves, arsonists, etc who have been put on probation or slapped on their hands. This guy should not "serve" time for what he had done.

  • byronbca Salt Lake City, UT
    July 26, 2011 11:57 a.m.

    Re gr8dane:
    Any government not afraid of anarchy will do whatever it wants. I hope that there will always be Americans brave enough to fight governmental corruption, even if it means breaking unjust and tyrannical laws.

    Our founding fathers were the biggest anarchists this continent has ever seen. The civil rights movement was full of anarchists and "criminals" who broke the law in order to gain freedoms.

    DeChristopher broke the rules because he was playing against cheaters.

    Yes he should face consequences for his actions, but do we really need to give someone jail time for a simple act of civil disobedience? I think 3 months probation and a $10,000 fine would be fair.

  • Rational Salt Lake City, UT
    July 26, 2011 11:52 a.m.

    eddie: Even if you disagree with him, you have to admire his passion.
    No you don't.

    Misdirect passion isn't admirable. Just ask the Norwegians.

  • Rational Salt Lake City, UT
    July 26, 2011 11:49 a.m.

    ...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


    Wow. You truly care about Mother Earth and the environment. Are you instilling those values in your children: "Its OK to do something wrong, as long as it doesn't hurt us?"

    Heretic, indeed.

  • Ernest T. Bass Bountiful, UT
    July 26, 2011 11:17 a.m.

    He should get the same sentence as Mike Noel did when I illegally operated his ATV.

  • Gr8Dane Tremonton, UT
    July 26, 2011 10:25 a.m.

    It is a slippery slope when members of our society think themselves above the law, or that their particular view (no matter how deeply felt) is so much more enlightened than others, that it justifies them taking criminal actions.

    That's a recipe for anarchy. It undermines the rule of law that is the foundation for a civilized and stable society.

    It really is arrogant to think that my views, no matter how deeply I feel that I am right, are more enlightened so that I can just go out and be a rabble rouser in support of my cause and against the law.

    If you disagree with the law, then advocate within the law to have it changed. If you lose on that score, then keep at it until you do win within the law. To go outside the law makes you a CRIMINAL.

    'Nuff Said.

  • RShackleford Saint George, UT
    July 26, 2011 8:14 a.m.

    Drilling on American Soil is actually the best thing that could happen to reduce the so called, Carbon footprint of the US. Yet this man, with his illegal actions make us burn more oil.

    Just think of all the oil we could save by not having to defend Mideastern oil. Think of all the oil burned by our military just to see that the Arab word can sell their dirty, over priced oil to the rest of the world. Think of all the oil burned by the tankers to ship the oil around the world.

    Drill Here Drill Now! Open up this country to oil production (you want to see us get out of this financial depression?) It is the responsible thing to do both financially and environmentally. The problem with environmentalist, they don't think things through.

  • Flashback Kearns, UT
    July 26, 2011 7:43 a.m.

    Tim DeChristopher is the new face of the Democratic party in Utah. The new progressive/libereral/activist face. And Dabakis wants more Mormons to join the Democrats. Good luck to that.

    Send DeChristopher to prison for a couple of years (SuperMax in Colorado Springs would be good), fine him millions, after that give him about a 20 year parole, make him pay back all costs for court, and incarceration. All while working as a fry cook at McDonalds.

  • procuradorfiscal Tooele, UT
    July 26, 2011 6:06 a.m.

    Thanks, DN, for reminding us of how grateful we are to be rid of Rocky as the personification of Utah to the world!

  • Eddie T Baton Rouge, LA
    July 25, 2011 10:23 p.m.

    To answer your question, Joy, he did so because the Bush administration was trying to auction off these land rights to their friends quickly before the Obama administration took office. Obama had made it clear that he would NOT auction off a portion of these lands, and if these people were going to get the rights to them, they had to do it before Obama was sworn in. I'm not saying I agree with him, but he made the choice that potential jail time was worth saving these particular lands. Even if you disagree with him, you have to admire his passion.

  • Tekakaromatagi Dammam, Saudi Arabia
    July 25, 2011 10:17 p.m.

    I think that he should go to prison. Having said that, I would hope that he could share cell space with the frauds who tanked the economy by trading in a hedge funds and by making mortgage loans to people who couldn't pay them back. There has to be some fraud in their somewhere.

  • joy Logan, UT
    July 25, 2011 10:12 p.m.

    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.

  • P Central, Utah
    July 25, 2011 9:30 p.m.

    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.

  • Larryc206 Santa Cruz, CA
    July 25, 2011 9:26 p.m.

    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.

  • md Cache, UT
    July 25, 2011 9:26 p.m.

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

  • Pragmatist Salt Lake City, UT
    July 25, 2011 8:51 p.m.

    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?

  • Schwa South Jordan, UT
    July 25, 2011 7:46 p.m.

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

  • NeilT Clearfield, UT
    July 25, 2011 7:22 p.m.

    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.

  • byronbca Salt Lake City, UT
    July 25, 2011 6:59 p.m.

    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.

  • Gerrie McLean, VA
    July 25, 2011 5:57 p.m.

    > 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.

  • Justmythoughts Richfield, UT
    July 25, 2011 5:15 p.m.

    He is a criminal. Lock him up.

  • Shaun Sandy, UT
    July 25, 2011 5:02 p.m.

    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.

  • Gr8Dane Tremonton, UT
    July 25, 2011 4:05 p.m.

    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.

  • Happy Valley Heretic Orem, UT
    July 25, 2011 3:39 p.m.

    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."

  • TJ Eagle Mountain, UT
    July 25, 2011 3:37 p.m.

    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.

  • Rifleman Salt Lake City, Utah
    July 25, 2011 3:18 p.m.

    "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.

  • AlanSutton Salt Lake City, UT
    July 25, 2011 3:06 p.m.

    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.

  • Steven Harper Salt Lake City, UT
    July 25, 2011 2:59 p.m.

    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.

  • Not So Good Farmington, UT
    July 25, 2011 2:52 p.m.

    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.

  • pharmacist South Jordan, UT
    July 25, 2011 2:33 p.m.

    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.

  • PGVikingDad Pleasant Grove, UT
    July 25, 2011 1:58 p.m.

    "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.