Monday, August 27, 2007

Senator Craig Pleads Guilty To Airport Bathroom Solicitation Incident

There have been rumors as long as he's served in Congress that Sen. Larry Craig (R-ID) is a closeted gay man, and those rumors are only going to grow in the wake of his guilty plea in connection with an undercover police sting in a bathroom at the Minneapolis-St. Paul International Airport. The NY Times reports on this latest case of GOP hypocrisy:

Senator Larry E. Craig, Republican of Idaho, pleaded guilty to a disorderly conduct charge earlier this month after his arrest in June by an undercover police officer in a men’s bathroom at the Minneapolis-St. Paul International Airport.

A second charge of interference with privacy against the 62-year-old senator was dismissed. Mr. Craig was fined more than $500 at the Aug. 8 proceedings and was placed on unsupervised probation for one year. His 10-day jail sentence was suspended, according to a copy of a court document in the case.

According to a police report obtained by Roll Call, the Capitol Hill newspaper that disclosed the episode and guilty plea today, a plainclothes police officer investigating complaints of sexual activity in the bathroom arrested the senator on June 11 after hat the officer described as sexual advances made by Mr. Craig from an adjoining tall.

Roll Call reported that the officer said Mr. Craig tapped his foot as a signal to engage in lewd conduct, brushed his foot against the investigator’s and waved his hand under the stall divider several times before the officer showed him his badge. After his arrest, the senator denied any sexual intent and in a statement issued this afternoon he attributed the matter to a misunderstanding.

“At the time of this incident, I complained to the police that they were misconstruing my actions,” Mr. Craig said in a statement. “I was not involved in any inappropriate conduct. “I should have had the advice of counsel in resolving this matter. In hindsight, I should not have pled guilty. I was trying to handle this matter myself quickly and expeditiously.”

Mr. Craig, whose seat is up for election next year, is the second Republican senator in recent weeks to find his personal behavior under scrutiny. Senator David Vitter of Louisiana was implicated in a separate case in the Washington area when his phone number turned up in the records of an escort service. He made a public apology for what he described as “a very serious sin in my past,” but he has not been charged with any crime.

In the Senate, Mr. Craig, who is married and has three children, is known for his advocacy for the rights of gun owners and has a close association with the National
Rifle Association
. When Republicans controlled the Senate in the last Congress, Mr. Craig was chairman of the Veterans Affairs Committee. He is a former member of the party’s Senate leadership. He represented Idaho in the House before first winning election to an open Senate seat in 1990 and he was easily re-elected in 1996 and 2002.

In 2006, Mr. Craig publicly rejected allegations by a gay rights advocate that he had engaged in a homosexual behavior, calling them “completely ridiculous.”
He's a U.S. Senator, married and has three children and he's looking for sex in airport bathrooms? Ironically, Craig publicly denied allegations of having sex with male pages and using cocaine during an earlier congressional scandal back in the early 1980s, which resulted in two congressmen being censured for having sex with House pages, including my own congressman in Illinois at that time, U.S. Rep. Dan Crane (R). Mike Rogers at has previously reported that he has spoken to men in the D.C. area who have engaged in sex with Craig in public bathrooms, including Union Station. Craig, of course, votes against gays down the line on issues which come before Congress.


Anonymous said...

Hypocrites are falling like flies.

There is a God.

Anonymous said...

I see from an Idaho blogsite that Larry Craig was once president of the Young Republicans at the University of Idaho. Hmmmm. Clark County, I detect a pattern emerging here?

Anonymous said...

The individual hypocrisy of Sen. Craig aside, I find this story to be quite sad. From what I have understood of this story, Sen. Craig attempted to engage in consensual sex in the bathroom. It doesn't appear that he was seeking to pay for sex or that the officer was portraying an underage person. This is very different from the Clark County situation.

If you look at this same situation in a typical "hetero" scenario, I don't think it would be a story at all.

Sen. Craig may be a closeted homosexual, he may be a jerk and he may deserve to be dragged through the coals for his ridiculous LGBT stances (regardless of his own orientation), but "tapping his foot" is solicitation? Those cruising the Broadripple meat markets might want to take note then.

Anonymous said...

Can't the original judge now hold Craig in contempt for apparently perjuring himself in court when he admitted to the facts of the case?

Anonymous said...

Republicans are the party of both moral an ORAL values.

Anonymous said...

It is societal judgement that causes most of these problems. I have a lot of experience with people who are petrified to come out of their closets of fear and shame because of the harsh and unfair judgement of others.

There are medical studies now that show that being gay is based in a person's physiology and is not a choice as the homo-hating christian right would have you believe.

As far as cross dressers, MRI studies have been done looking at the brains of cross dressers, women, and 'normal' men and the MRI's of the cross dressers look more like the brains of women than men.

Rather than judging and attacking people for who they are, we should be encouraging them to express their own unique natures, as long as what they are doing does not hurt another.

Perhaps if this poor guy wasn't repressed and could live who he was without judgement, he wouldn't act out. Most people don't act out when they are free to be who they are inside as an individual without judgement.

I sure hope society evolves because none of us can self-actualize while cowering in closets of fear and shame.

I had great success working with clients in helping them have a place to express themselves without fear of judgement. Christ commands us not to judge. And as for Christ, he hung out with the freaks and wierdos of his day.

It is through love and acceptance that we all find our way and freedom to self-actualize.

Anonymous said...

Erin, dear heart...there are few gay men among us who does NOT know the foot-tapping signal. Not that we indulge, but we know it. It's been universal for years. And there are websites that promote this cruising activity and its locations.

And Melyssa...if I hear the MRI trans/drag study story one more time I'm gonna vomit. IT IS URBAN MYTH.

The plain truth here is, Larry Craig is a hypocrite. He got into office espousing hateful and self-loathing rhetoric. He stayed in office, and rose in the power structure, pandering to the far Christian right of his party. His male sexual preference, like that of Rep. Foley, has been known on the Hill for 20 years. There are strong accusations of him doing this in bathrooms just off Cap Hill.

He taps his foot, and whether the sex was conseusual or paid, it was in a public bathroom, for crying out loud. Get a room, pal.

I think all Members of Congress arrested for anything, should report same to their respective Ethics Committee and Sgt.-at-Arms within 24 hours. And it wouold be public, of course.

The real tragedy is, this hypocrite pleaded guilty and is on probation from a public courtroom...and dodged scrutiny on this arrest for four months.

He needs to go. Now.
And I'm prediciting when he does go, and has time to privately reflect, his personal healing can begin.

Now, he's denying everything. Because power is intoxicating, and he is in the most exclusive club in the world.

Nobody opens doors or fawns over gay men who have sex in bathrooms.

Anonymous said...

If Osama Bin Ladin were a 12 yaer old boy, you know those republicans would have caught him by now.

Anonymous said...

Anon- your points as to Sen. Craig are obviously on point. That however was not at all the point of my comment.

Here is what I meant:
1. It is not illegal for two adult, consenting gay men (or two any type of people as long as adult and consenting) in a public place to discuss having sex. It is illegal for two people to have sex IN A PUBLIC PLACE. These are two distinct things. Whether you "know" that Sen. Craig was intending to have sex in the bathroom, as opposed to attempting to pick up a man to take somewhere private to have sex is nothing more than speculation. You don't "know" any such thing and I would strongly object to such a legal inference being drawn from the actual facts of foot-tapping and wide spread legs in an adjoining stall as a basis for disorderly conduct. If that is the required "proof" then that standard comes perilously close to criminalizing any gay sexual expression in public. Again, it is not illegal or "lewd" to pick someone up in public even with the express statement that you want to go somewhere private to have sex.

The officer should have waited until the encounter advanced to the point where he could objectively be convinced that Sen. Craig actually wanted to engage in sex IN THE BATHROOM or an offer of money (which are both criminal) and not simply trying to pick up another gay man (which is not).

2. Keep in mind that the targets of this police raid were by no means anti-gay Republicans, but rather gay men. It seems to me that the level of evidence required to arrest a homosexual man is incredibly subjective and discimatorily harrassing. Simply because they netted Sen. Craig does not mean that anyone should be cheering that type of police action, particularly the gay community itself.

Again, such a "standard of proof" would absolutely not be applied heterosexual public advances.

People are innocent until proven guilty and to be guilty you have to actually commit a crime. No gay man, even if it is Sen. Craig, should be convicted of disorderly conduct for the described behavior.

Anonymous said...

Does anyone hear Eric Miller's foot tapping?

Anonymous said...

I think the restroom thing hits close to home for one of your frequent commenters.
I won't mention any names, but he's not here yet!!!!!

Anonymous said...

Republican judge Edward Nottingham said he is sorry that he was to drunk to remember how he spent $3,000 at a strip club. AP quoted the manager of the strip club in Denver, the Diamond Cabaret, as saying the judge went there multiple times. His wife only saw one bill and there is no info as to who paid for the other visits to the strip club. His wife said he spent over $500 to visit a porno site from his federal chambers. The site offers introductions to local women wanting sex tonight.

Anonymous said...

Erin, in my opinion, is the only one that made a comment worthy of being read and had context of valueable meaning. If you are a thinker, you'll know what is related, to be the true and nothing but.