So? If I understand correctly, the state was required to come up with an estimate in the context of the court proceeding about access to the Capitol. There was a sudden demand for a dollar figure, the activities threatening the building were in progress and escalating, and the state was focused — at least, in part — on protecting the historical building.
The MJS, revealing bias or ignorance, writes:
Much of the concern about possible damage centered on possible effects on the marble walls from residues left by tape used to hang protest signs. But most of those signs were hung with painter's tape, and so far few if any effects can be seen from it in the Capitol.I know, from personal observation, that a great deal of masking and duct tape was used. Some vigilant protesters were very active in spotting that tape and replacing it with the blue painter's tape so anyone looking around might think it's all painter's tape, but underneath that better tape was the damage done by the worse tape, and, moreover, even the painter's tape was damaging. The risk to that marble was real, and the high estimate of the restoration cost was understandable, even if it was exaggerated.
$145 million was spent restoring the Capitol in 2001, much of it on the old stone that was suffering ongoing damage when that court proceeding took place.
Now, using the high-end number in court had a political downside, because it was used by the protesters to mock and discredit the government, but the need to protect the building was real, and their mockery irritated me because of the way they put their own interests above the care for the public property. Think of something analogous. For example, imagine a factory polluting a river, and environmentalists who are making a big deal about what is a modest amount of pollution after the factory owner had taken some precautions to minimize the pollution. Picture the factory owner preening about the precautions and laughing at the environmentalists for getting all hysterical. The environmentalists would be enraged. That's how I feel about the Capitol building and the "we used painter's tape" argument.