Larsen: a cold political operator
Ellen still goes to trial on March 20 for the first trespassing charge - as noted in the Feb 23 post below. What is strange is the office was still open and doing business when Ellen was arrested. This is not secret information - although the Herald article ignored this. Contrary to the presumption of most people I've talked with, Ellen was not in the office after hours. Larsen simply did not want her in the office - period. She was arrested during normal hours.
Rick Larsen is doing a slow-motion version of calling Ellen "Macaca" - a public insult and harassment of her. He is belittling her and running her through a gauntlet of legal processes in order to intimidate her and stop her from questioning his stance on the Iraq war. He is trying to criminalize her - and this continues with his attempt to have her convicted of trespass - when all she did was sit in his office during office hours. Count on Larsen or his staff to come up with some weird testimony in court to explain his actions. He is a slippery operator.
Rick and his staff continue to not respond to questions about what and why. At the City Club - from reports I have - he ducked the question, saying only that anyone staying past 5 pm will be arrested. Rick, for all his soft smile and casual manner, is a cold political operator. I have it on first-hand account from inside his office that he spends much of his time studying polls and acting accordingly. He must feel threatened by Ellen's actions and is taking steps to stop her and scare other anti-war protesters into silence.
The Bellingham Herald finally reported information about the trespass on Saturday. After ignoring the issue for weeks, the Herald followed their many years' habit of writing one story about a controversial and important local issue. Now the Herald will try and ignore this again and hope the public forgets it. Today the Herald praised Rick for his position on Iraq - while ignoring how he is silencing those who dare question him. And the Herald found it convenient to insult those who ask Rick to answer their questions.
The point of all this is that Rick Larsen - with the help of the Bellingham Herald - is discrediting and intimidating local war protesters. Part of this process is to criminalize an innocent person so as to cause other more-cautious persons to not protest. It works.