Skip to comments.U.S. Senator Larry Craig: Whose Waterloo?
Posted on 09/24/2007 1:34:09 PM PDT by shrinkermd
U.S. Sen. Larry Craig's (R-Idaho) motion to withdraw his guilty plea will be heard in a Hennepin County District court room this week.
You read it here first: Contrary to conventional wisdom, Craig will win this motion.
I was out of the country and completely unplugged when the Larry Craig story broke. The only U.S. news I saw while I was in Egypt and Jordan were the mimeographed news sheets printed from an international Internet news service that were hung on hotel room doors each morning. Certainly it was amusing to see the men's room at the Minneapolis St. Paul International Airport achieve international importance. And, certainly the only rational conclusion from these news sheets was that Craig was, of course, guilty of soliciting gay sex in the men's room.
When I returned to Minneapolis, rather than reading the news stories first, I pulled up the motion Craig's lawyers had filed to withdraw the guilty plea. And, rather than read the motion, I first read the original source documents (the exhibits):
1. From the report filed by Minneapolis Airport Police Investigative Sergeant Dave Karsnia, we learn that putting your carry on bag in front of you in a bathroom stall is, in and of itself, lewd coduct. Writes Karsnia in his report, "My experience has shown that individuals engaged in lewd conduct use their bags to block the view from the front of their stall." [Remember that next time you're in a stall in a bathroom airport...and never mind that there's no other place to put the bag in the stall.]
2. From the transcript of Karsnia's interview with Craig, we learn that Craig was patently offering that if Craig signed a guilty plea, that would be the end of the matter. Said Karsnia, "There'll be a fine. You won't have to explain anything." Further, "[Y]ou're going to have to pay a fine and that will be it. Okay. I don't call the media. I don't do any of that type of crap."
3. From the mailed form Craig used to enter a guilty plea of misdemeanor to a disorderly conduct charge, we learn that Craig circled the "I am not" represented by an attorney choice.
These documents also included discussions of eye contact, hand waving under the stall divider and foot tapping. Maybe all that is a gay code of conduct about which I know nothing. But the acts, themselves, would easily meet Disney's standards for a G-rated movie.
This is the stuff that can derail a U.S. Senate career? You've got to be kidding me.
Then I read the motion written by Craig's lawyers. Turns out that in 2006, Idaho's hometown newspaper, the Idaho Stateman, had been investigating allegations relating to Craig's homosexual activity, "The Stateman's investigation included such tactics as contacting scores of the Senator's friends and family, demanding the Senator's FBI file and patrolling bars and restrooms with the Senator's picture." [Emphasis mine.]
Classy. When all was said and done in the paper's investigation, the best the Statesman could deliver was a story "based on a [gay activist] blogger and three anonymous sources." The paper did not run the story at that time (it ran after the Minneapolis airport story broke). [Of note to Minnesotans, the Idaho Statesman editor is Vicki Gowler, who used to have the same job at the St. Paul Pioneer Press.]
The applicable Minnesota legal standards on entering a guilty plea are that it must be "accurate, voluntary and intelligent," and that a defendant may withdraw a guilty plea if the withdrawal is "necessary to correct a manifest injustice."
Strikes me there was nothing "voluntary" about agreeing to sign a guilty plea in exchange for Karsnia not calling the media. That's coercion, plain and simple.
As for "manifest injustice," Craig has already manifoldly suffered that. First, from the Idaho Statesman. Writes Gowler, "In a conservative state like ours, whether our senior senator had has sex with other men was something I believed our readers had a right to know." I, for one, could care less, what the good Senator does in his personal life. Second, the rest of the media. All the late night talk show jokes cannot be retracted.
Finally, there's the manifest injustice delivered by Craig's peers. Senate Minority Leader U.S. Sen. Mitch McConnell (R-Kentucky) called Craig's conduct "unforgiveable" and forced him to announce his resignation (which Craig has retracted). U.S. Sens. Norm Coleman (R-Minnesota) and John McCain (R-Arizona) called for Craig to resign. That call speaks not to Craig's conduct and court proceedings, but rather to Coleman's and McCain's political expediency needs. Coleman faces a tough reelection battle in 2008, and McCain, of course is running for President.
The Boise Weekly wondered whether this whole matter was "Larry Craig's Waterloo?" I don't. This should be a waterloo for mainstream media, its collective rush to judgment and its eagerness to hang a conservative Senator. As well it should be a waterloo for pols like Coleman and McCain, who care only about their own electoral prospects. But, it won't be.
About the only justice Craig can expect is from one Hennepin County District Judge Charles A. Porter, Jr . Appointed by then-GOP Gov. Al Quie in 1982, Porter enjoys the reputation of being a straight shooter.
This waterloo is full of losers. The straight shooter will rule for Larry Craig.
Just like a rumor. This guy won’t go away.
Larry Craig is not a straight shooter.
He is as bent as a paperclip.
He represents my district and I would have given him the benefit of the doubt until HE claimed he was touching the cop’s foot because, “I have a wide stance”. BS!! And when he went on to explain the hand stuff as the result of picking up a piece of toilet paper...I mean, everyone picks up toilet paper off the floor in public restrooms...well that did it for me.
Larry, just go away...in Idaho we expect our congress critters to get a motel!
Ha ha. He said “loo”.
In the context of an earlier allegation about such things just a year ago, and he was fresh out of benefit of the doubt the minute he was arrested.
Wouldn't you be doing everything in your power to bait someone if all you had to do for your job was sit on the john all day?
Craig's going to get this guilty plea retracted...and rightly so.
Yeh, right I am.
he could move to and run for governor of new jersey...
Innocent United States Senators don’t plead guilt to Disorderly Conduct because they are inncent.
Craig got caught and tried to make it all go away without revealing that he is gay, or solicited gay sex in a bathroom.
If he thinks he can hide that, he is too stupid to serve. If he solicited, he is too perverted to serve.
Then vote against him. You do live in Idaho. I don’t.
Thanks for posting. The “wide stance” elitist would make a good center on a gay football team. /sarcasm
Do I know who you are, Larry? Yeah, you’re the poster boy for arrogance & stupidity.
male of female = male or female
“Dump in a primary” is about the only thing Republican voters will NOT do. They dumped Bob Smith in NH in 2002, Jacob K. Javits in NY in 1980, and Clifford P. Case in 1978, but there are precious few dumpings by uninformed GOP voters. GOP voters just stamp the “friendly” incumbents as their “leadership” instructs them to do.
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