I'll start with the manifestation of authority that she's in contact with the most often: the sort of front line people manning cash registers, cashier's desks and call centres. What they see when they look at Elly Patterson is a condescending, disorganized, petulant, ill-informed, opinionated and pig-ignorant woman who demands special treatment and doesn't mind making an ugly spectacle of herself in the process. As you know, I had a lot of fun contrasting her charming tendency to be the Customer From Hell with her childish over-reaction to perceived slights when she was behind the counter.
She doesn't interact with the police that often but when she does, she comes away with the idea that the police are arrayed against her because they don't want her and her friends to stand up for themselves. The police, on the other hand, see a blustering loudmouth who needs to be warned to not give into revenge fantasies that would probably only backfire on her. The sort of call that police officers seem to hate the most is a domestic dispute that escalated into a bloody mess so, well, if some blank-eyed soccer mom comes away with the idea that there's one law for criminals and one for decent citizens, that's something that they can live with.
They can also live with her being a fairly piss-poor eyewitness whose claims about what happened to her in a traffic accident make no sense because what she said happened isn't actually physically possible; they can also live with her not noticing what really did happen or leaving out details that would probably make them tear up her ticket on the spot. That, you see, is because once they're done collecting evidence, she can either pay the ticket and bore the crap out of the poor sap dealing with yet another entitled nitwit who thinks that the law doesn't really apply to her or let some judge deal with her bullshit.
This is where she fought the law and the law tied. Elly clearly seems to have thought of herself as an innocent about to be run over the wheels of justice; the crown attorney and judge saw her as a lucky ignoramus that got to skate on paying a ticket despite her concept of the law coming from watching American television shows.
Finally, we come to the category of authority figure that Elly has only encountered once: an elected official. What she saw was a man who talked in circles when she needed help saving the old town hall and who ended up stealing her idea. What he saw was a dimwitted old crank whose unpopular crusade could be used as a club to beat political rivals with.
To summarize things, what the average authority figure sees when he or she looks at Elly Patterson is not a busy mother who needs help because her life is hard but a screechingly bossy, smugly ignorant, hatefully entitled irritant who thinks that she deserves special treatment. They no doubt say that they wish that there were a thousand like her...but only because there are a million like her.