Thursday, October 04, 2007

Judge Tells Craig No Dice

Just-barely-still Senator Larry Craig (Republican, of course – Idaho) should have remembered that many in the middle of this country don't particularly like liars and word tricksters. Hennepin County (Minneapolis) District Judge Charles Porter apparently had little sympathy for loose-lipped Larry. He rejected his appeal to withdraw his guilty plea in an airport men's room sex sting.

Of course, Craig didn't immediately quit the Senate, any more than he kept his pledge to resign if he couldn't withdraw the plea by the end of last month. The actual plea bargain was not for having or even soliciting public sex. Among the other original chargers was invading privacy by repeatedly staring at a man in a toilet stall through the dividers and door. Instead he paid $575 for disorderly conduct.

On the surface, that's a misdemeanor and does not require resignation from Congress. However, Santa Craig keeps giving to the Democrats with his words and actions. He constantly reminds the public of the preponderance of sexual shenanigans and illegal or immoral actions by members of his party. They make the Democrats look like abstinent aesthetes.

Judge Porter noted that Craig considered the plea bargain for six weeks before sending in the check and agreeing to it. He stated, "The defendant argues he pled in haste to prevent the allegation in this case from being publicized, thus doing damage to his political reputation. This pressure was entirely perceived by the defendant and was not a result of any action by the police, the prosecutor, or the court."

Porter concluded that there was no new evidence or any reason at all to permit the withdrawal of the plea. For the Democrats, that's kind of a pity. It seemed that Craig would be stupid enough to fight the original sheet of sex charges, keeping all the sleaze on view. I guess it's December 26th and there's won't be any more presents from this Santa.

Republicans in party HQ and Congress seem eager for Craig to move his dishonorable butt back to Boise. His governor, Butch Otter, has a short list of similarly reactionary replacement candidates. This surely was Larry's last lick. Even someone in the super-privileged role of U.S. Senator must be able to read the writing on this (bathroom) wall.

Wet the Pants Funny Follow-up: The WaPo reports this afternoon that Craig will continue to play Dem operative and fling his poo. As the Capital Briefing blog puts it, he changed his mind yet again after Judge Porter's ruling and will stay in the Senate, even though stripped of his Committee leader roles and with GOP Congressional leaders calling for a full, very public ethics hearing.

Larry says:

I am extremely disappointed with the ruling issued today. I am innocent of the charges against me. I continue to work with my legal team to explore my additional legal options.

I will continue to serve Idaho in the United States Senate, and there are several reasons for that. As I continued to work for Idaho over the past three weeks here in the Senate, I have seen that it is possible for me to work here effectively.

Over the course of my three terms in the Senate and five terms in the House, I have accumulated seniority and important committee assignments that are valuable to Idaho, not the least of which are my seats on the Appropriations Committee, the Energy and Natural Resources Committee and the Veterans' Affairs Committee. A replacement would be highly unlikely to obtain these posts.

In addition, I will continue my effort to clear my name in the Senate Ethics Committee - something that is not possible if I am not serving in the Senate.

When my term has expired, I will retire and not seek reelection. I hope this provides the certainty Idaho needs and deserves.

What does he know that makes him hate the GOP so much?

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Bill Baar said...

I want him out of the Senate.

But as a civil liberties case, I gotta agree with the Minn ACLU. This was bad stuff on the part of the cops...

"The real motive behind secret sting operations like the one that resulted in Senator Craig's arrest is not to stop people from inappropriate activity.

"It is to make as many arrests as possible – arrests that sometimes unconstitutionally trap innocent people," said Anthony Romero, Executive Director of the ACLU.

"If the police really want to stop people from having sex in public bathrooms, they should put up a sign banning sex in the restroom and send in a uniformed officer to patrol periodically. That works."

Mass Marrier said...

I do agree that the sting stank. Larry and his new friend to be were not having sex in the stall, although he didn't help by repeatedly peering through the cracks and violating the privacy of the guy.

His dishonesty is the real issue here. A misdemeanor is not grounds for forcing a Senator out, but his inability to do anything other than lie about and wordsmith his situation combine with his hypocrisy on gay-rights legislation.

Again, another sad, strange little man...