Senator Larry Craig (R-Idaho) arrested, pleads guilty to lewd conduct (plus video!)

Stunningly, today we're hearing the first reports of two bombshell stories -- the arrest on June 11 and guilty plea on August 8 of Senator Larry Craig. Apparently, the charges related to misdemeanor disorderly conduct of a sexual nature in the men's restroom of the Minneapolis Airport.

Roll Call broke the story. We'll reprint a big chunk for you here, since their site has crashed due to traffic volume:

Sen. Larry Craig (R-Idaho) was arrested in June at a Minnesota airport by a plainclothes police officer investigating lewd conduct complaints in a men’s public restroom, according to an arrest report obtained by Roll Call Monday afternoon.

Craig’s arrest occurred just after noon on June 11 at Minneapolis-St. Paul International Airport. On Aug. 8, he pleaded guilty to misdemeanor disorderly conduct in the Hennepin County District Court. He paid more than $500 in fines and fees, and a 10-day jail sentence was stayed. He also was given one year of probation with the court that began on Aug. 8. ...

After he was arrested, Craig, who is married, was taken to the Airport Police Operations Center to be interviewed about the lewd conduct incident, according to the police report. At one point during the interview, Craig handed the plainclothes sergeant who arrested him a business card that identified him as a U.S. Senator and said, “What do you think about that?” the report states. ...

Airport police previously had made numerous arrests in the men’s restroom of the Northstar Crossing in the Lindbergh Terminal in connection with sexual activity.

[Sgt. Dave] Karsnia entered the bathroom at noon that day and about 13 minutes after taking a seat in a stall, he stated he could see “an older white male with grey hair standing outside my stall.”

The man, who lingered in front of the stall for two minutes, was later identified as Craig.

More details on the jump, including video.

Craig then entered the stall next to Karsnia’s and placed his roller bag against the front of the stall door. ...

“At 1216 hours, Craig tapped his right foot. I recognized this as a signal used by persons wishing to engage in lewd conduct. Craig tapped his toes several times and moves his foot closer to my foot. I moved my foot up and down slowly. While this was occurring, the male in the stall to my right was still present. I could hear several unknown persons in the restroom that appeared to use the restroom for its intended use. The presence of others did not seem to deter Craig as he moved his right foot so that it touched the side of my left foot which was within my stall area,” the report states.

Craig then proceeded to swipe his hand under the stall divider several times, and Karsnia noted in his report that “I could ... see Craig had a gold ring on his ring finger as his hand was on my side of the stall divider.”

Karsnia then held his police identification down by the floor so that Craig could see it.

“With my left hand near the floor, I pointed towards the exit. Craig responded, ‘No!’ I again pointed towards the exit. Craig exited the stall with his roller bags without flushing the toilet. ... Craig said he would not go. I told Craig that he was under arrest, he had to go, and that I didn’t want to make a scene. Craig then left the restroom.”

One more thing. Back in October, BlogActive.com called out Senator Larry Craig for "gay bashing" while allegedly being a closeted gay man. From Roll Call:

In October 2006, Craig’s office publicly denied allegations that he was a homosexual made on a gay activist Web site — blogactive.com. Craig’s office told the Spokane Spokesman-Review that the charge was “completely ridiculous,” saying that the allegations had “no basis in fact.”

As far back as 1982, then-Congressman Craig denied sexual activity with male congressional pages - despite the lack of any public charges. Here's the video, per BlogActive.

Discuss.

Comments

  • jim (unverified)
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    There's got to be a police report. FOIA?

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    what IS it with those guys, anyway?

  • LiberalIncarnate (unverified)
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    I sense a weekend in luxury rehab someplace in the backwoods of Montana and some serious praying to get the gay out for the Senator.

    This brings new meaning to the phrase, "Trolls in the bathroom."

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    I make a prediction: Suddenly, Larry's going to discover that's he had an alcohol problem.

  • Trollbot9000 (unverified)
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    The Craigster caught doing lord knows what in an airport mens room. Another member of the current Republican herd bites the dust. Sure, this type of behavior wouldn't be a big issue among progressives were it one of their own (see Barney Frank), but some of us expect better from our elected leaders. Don't let the door hit you in the ass on the way out, Larry. The Trollbot won't shed many tears for you and knowing Idaho, your replacement will not be a Democrat. I just hope it's a good classic liberal type rather than some bat shit crazy religious right goon.

  • LiberalIncarnate (unverified)
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    Trollbot,

    Let's please divide sexual orientation from a crime here.

    Barney Frank has not, to my knowledge, committed a crime here.

    Larry Craig committed a crime. Ironically, he also committed this crime in the light of his highly anti-gay stances (talk about self-loathing!). This fact is nothing new in Republican circles. Although, it is sad, "outings" such as these are highly entertaining.

    Both are gay, but it has nothing to do with committing crimes.

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    I'm sure Senator Craig isn't really, you know, GAY. He's just a troubled straight guy who has a weakness for anonymous sex with men in public restrooms.

  • Miles (unverified)
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    Didn't Barney Frank solicit a male prostitute?

  • Trollbot9000 (unverified)
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    Solicited, shacked up with and had a prostitution racket running in his home, but why split hairs? Barney Frank is a progressive hero and Larry Craig will burn for whatever it is he did.

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    "Didn't Barney Frank solicit a male prostitute?"

    Not that I know of. He had a relationship with someone who ran one, but to my knowledge he was never found soliciting for sex.

  • East Bank Thom (unverified)
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    Jeepers, peeps. Discover the Wiki.

    In 1990, the House voted to reprimand Frank when it was revealed that Steve Gobie, a male escort whom Frank had befriended after hiring him through a personal advertisement, claimed to have conducted an escort service from Frank's apartment when he was not at home. Frank had dismissed Gobie earlier that year and reported the incident to the House Ethics Committee after learning of Gobie's activities. After an investigation, the House Ethics Committee found no evidence that Frank had known of or been involved in the alleged illegal activity.[1] Gobie disputes Frank's account.

    Idaho's Craig was found guilty of a crime.

  • backbeat12 (unverified)
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    Miles really takes the cake.

  • barryr (unverified)
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    Wasn't BrokeBack Mountain filmed in Idaho?

  • Thomas Ware (unverified)
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    While everyone is fascinated with Idaho Republican Senator Larry Craig jerking off in Minnesota airport men's room and Alberto I Wipe My Ass with the Constitution Gonzales desertion of the ship of state, the markets are tanking for the third week in a row.

    Not only is the Multi-Millionaire Media wall to wall with this bullshit, but I had to drill down to a fourth-tier conspiracy nutjob blog to find ANY news about the markets. "Blogtopia" (yesssssss, skippy said it) is pathetic.

  • BlueNote (unverified)
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    After all these years of getting caught in restrooms and parks, would you not think that the GOP bigwigs could arrange for some sort of an "in call" service to satisfy their kinky cravings? Perhaps that guy with the fake press credentials (Jeff somebody???) is again offering his male-escort services now that the White House does not use him as a shill at press conferences.

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    Jeff Gannon!

    (I hate myself for remembering that so quickly.)

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    Posted by: Miles | Aug 27, 2007 4:38:09 PM Didn't Barney Frank solicit a male prostitute?

    No. But don't let facts get in your way.

  • Trollbot9000 (unverified)
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    Jerking off in a mens room? Was that all it was? I'd tell Larry to get a room, but you know what they say about men and masturbation. There are those that do and those who lie about it.

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    No, Trollbot. He solicited a plainclothes police officer.

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    I make a prediction: Suddenly, Larry's going to discover that's he had an alcohol problem.

    Or retire in order to spend less time with his family.

  • Trollbot9000 (unverified)
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    "Not that I know of."

    Kudos torridjoe (aka Mark Bunster)! That's one of the more intelligent things I have seen from you thus far.

  • M.W. (unverified)
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    Craig is charged with something that probably should never have been a crime in the first place. Granted the guy is as two faced as the come and questions about his sexual orientation have been floating arond for years. But should this really be a crime?

    MW

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    you know, given how easy it is to look things up on google or wikipedia, why ask a silly question about Barney Frank? are you trying to break the news that Frank, gasp, is gay?

    here's what wikipedia says about the Frank episode:

    In 1990, the House voted to reprimand Frank when it was revealed that Steve Gobie, a male escort whom Frank had befriended after hiring him through a personal advertisement, claimed to have conducted an escort service from Frank's apartment when he was not at home. Frank had dismissed Gobie earlier that year and reported the incident to the House Ethics Committee after learning of Gobie's activities. After an investigation, the House Ethics Committee found no evidence that Frank had known of or been involved in the alleged illegal activity.[1] Gobie disputes Frank's account.

    not even close to the same thing, especially since Frank turned himself in. Barney Frank is one of the good guys.

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    Hypocrisy, hypocrisy, hypocrisy.

    What a joy it will be when we as a nation can fully and completely accept all GLBT -- see what happens when you persecute people? They needlessly and stupidly run to the other side just to avoid said persecution....

  • Tom Civiletti (unverified)
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    So, Craig solicited sex from someone he never saw [besides his shoes], talked with, or knew the name of. Gay or straight, that's pretty darn creepy.

  • Kento Azegami, College Democrats (unverified)
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    Dude - I always joked that anti-gay activists were all gay, but who knew it'd actually be the truth?

  • King Rod (unverified)
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    Barney Frank was had an ongoing relationship with a prostitute. Whether he was paying for it or not (beyond their initial consultation?) seems like splitting hairs to me. Just because O.J. was found "not guilty" doesn't mean he's innocent. Back in the day, a U.S. Senator didn't get investigated or prosecuted for these kinds of (ahem) oversights.

    If closeted Republican Senators looking for a quickie in the twin cities airport lavatory doesn't qualify for sexual minority status, I don't know who will. We're supposed to be tolerant of sexual minorities, remember?

    Goose. Gander.

  • Chuck Butcher (unverified)
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    I don't have any problem with Craig's alleged sexual preferences, I do find his behavior "tacky" but the part that gets my "goose" is the hypocricy. The vote pandering lying hypocricy. Gander

  • Peter Bray (unverified)
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    It's been an open secret that Craig is gay since at least 1983. A great place to follow the continued outing of closeted GOPers is http://www.blogactive.com/

  • Jerry (unverified)
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    The anti-gay laws have been on the books for a while, and they were/ are embraced by the likes of Craig, Foley, and others. I have no big problem with these people, altho I would like to know if they prefer to give or to receive. A wet mouth is a wet mouth, where as a dry ass is another story. Being a politician who's job seems to be giving it to the public anus, I wonder if he is a giver or a taker. "Stripped of ethical rationalizations and philosophical pretensions, a crime is anything that a group in power chooses to prohibit". Freda Adler

  • miles (unverified)
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    Of course Barney Frank is one of the good guys. I only asked about him because Liberal Incarnate said: Barney Frank has not, to my knowledge, committed a crime here.

    In fact, Frank did commit a crime, as recounted in a Washington Post story from 1989: Frank, one of two openly gay members of Congress, confirmed Friday that he paid Gobie for sex. . . . So Backbeat, Lestatdelc, and T.A., are you telling me that Barney Frank falsely confessed, or was prostitution legal in 1989? Perhaps you're not as good at Google as you think you are.

    M.W.'s right, this shouldn't even be a crime. Probably 100 feet away, a straight guy was picking up a girl at the airport bar, hoping for sex. But two men picking one another up in the bathroom is a crime? Whatever. You can take joy in that. I find it sad that Craig grew up so repressed that this is how he expresses his sexuality.

  • Peter Bray (unverified)
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    I don't actually understand how the sex act was going to occur... craig was reaching under the stall... what exactly was going to happen?? They were just going to play footsie?

  • Mr. Crock (unverified)
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    Google is now able to determine sexual intent? Wow.

    I knew they had glory holes at the Twin Cities airport but do you have a map of where the XXX video screens are located. It'll make my next layover something to look forward to.

    I'll have to see a doc about my restless leg syndrome first: no wonder Mom kept telling me to quit tapping my foot at the dinner table. How did she know?

  • Tom Civiletti (unverified)
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    Thanks for the informative link, Kari. So, I wonder, do folks go into these stalls with a cordless drill and carbide tipped bit to drill penis-size holes? Has anyone ever studied the difference in the average diameter of penis-sized holes in various parts of the world? Also, is sticking one's penis through a hole in a wall, condom clad or not, ever really "safe"?

  • Bert Lowry (unverified)
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    I think it's pretty funny that every time a prominent Republican does something wrong (and that seems to be every other week), Republcians respond that a Democrat something similar 15 or 20 years ago. That's pre-school logic: two wrongs make a right.

    Also, Republicans seem confused about what Larry did that was wrong. It doesn't bother me that he's gay (that's his business). It doesn't particularly bother me that he solicited sex (though I would expect more from a U.S. Senator). What bothers me is he's a hypocrit.

  • Jim (unverified)
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    "THOU SHALT NOT COVET THY NEIGHBOR"S MEMBER LEST THOU FEELEST THE SHORT ARM OF THE LAW!"

  • pterodactyl (unverified)
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    Larry Craig pleaded guilty to lewd conduct in an airport men's room. He said "In hindsight...". Isn't that what the problem was?

  • Unrepentant Liberal (unverified)
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    Too sweet. Homophobic republicans are so gay. Let us pray. Thank you Lord for your destruction of the sinful, prideful, morally bankrupt republican party so that all of your children; red, white, brown, yellow, straight or gay can live in a country where they will be respected and valued for the content of their character. Amen.

  • spudchick (unverified)
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    Many people may be outraged about this story for many reasons, but imo the hypcrisy is the primary issue. I don't care that he's gay. I do care that he's a closeted gay public servant who promotes anti-gay legislation, that he is a US congressman soliciting anonymous sex in public restrooms, and that he has almost certainly either diddled or tried to diddle minors working in the page program.

    That's a long way from having an affair (straight or gay, married or single), or even a one-night stand, with someone able to consent and under private circumstances.

    I certainly don't expect superior character from politicians anymore, but really... this is well below even the very modest standards of personal behavior I have come to expect. Whether public restroom solicitation is "OK" or not for a private citizen can be debated elsewhere. He's a freakin congressman, and worse, one who has sought to legislate what he thinks is "OK" for other people as if he had the moral authority to do so, which he would not have even if his character were beyond reproach.

    And if I'm reading this correctly, he tried to intimidate the arresting officer with the fact that he's a congressman.

    And he continues to avoid responsibility for his actions.

    Comparing him or his situation to anyone/anything else is gratuitious. He's a sleazebag unworthy of the office he occupies.

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    Yes! It seems so retro to point out the simple fact that he's married, but that's central. So much for the sanctity and defense of marriage, huh?

    And I'd like to add my own thanks for that link, Kari. After reading it I feel very naive and sheltered.

  • Grant Schott (unverified)
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    First of all. I feel bad for Craig's family and pity him for being one of many closeted gay/gay-bashing Republicans.

    This isn't a total surprise. In 1983 two Congressmen were reprimanded (I'm not sure if it was a censure or what) for having sex with pages, Gerry Studds, D-MA with a male page (He was re-elected) and Dan Crane R-IL with a female page (He was defeated). Then Congressman Larry Craig promptly took the the House press gallery to assure the world that he was not involved. Trouble is, no one had accused him. It made Craig something of an inside the beltway joke... and raised eyebrows.

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    I definitely shouldn't have clicked that link at work. Ewww! Hopefully the corporate internet monitors didn't catch it.

    Craig can like ducks, for all I care. It's the hypocrisy, baby. Just be who you are and quite telling others what to be.

  • Captain Obvious (unverified)
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    Craig can like ducks, for all I care.

    Well, apparently, he is no beaver fan...

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    I stand corrected. I knew Frank had hired Gorbie, but was not aware that he had paid him for sex.

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    I have to wonder how this will effect Craig's re-election bid if he runs for office. If my recollection serves me right, I have a distant relative (I believe a cousin) that worked for Craig (although I have no idea if they still do because I don't talk to that side of my family).

    The whole thing is strange. What makes it even more strange is the fact that he has such an anti-gay agenda.

  • Zarathustra (unverified)
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    Why it took two months, and how the story was broken, are much more compelling issues, IMHO.

    Is attempted bribery accepted as endemic? What about his "anti-enforcement attitude", as he would put it?

    The police said the sting was based on reports. Used to be you didn't get the airport police without a lot of complaints. Is this another added bonus of the post-9/11 airport?

    Doesn't just being in an US airport mean you're inflexible and stupid? A love all the folks that preach that they'd defend their most insignificant right with the last drop of their blood, and then voluntarily relinquish most all of them to save a couple of hours.

  • Sallie Parker (unverified)
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    A few points... 1) This was a police sting, plain and simple. 2) It's not inconceivable that Craig was being targeted. Possibly he'd been seen loitering at this restroom before (changing planes). Funny how the plainclothesman got there just a short time before Craig. Did he have a heads-up? 3) Getting tempted by danger is not the same thing as being Gay. 4) Nothing happened, did it?

  • spudchick (unverified)
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    Sallie Parker says:

    1) This was a police sting, plain and simple.

    You mean, mean a police operation designed to catch people doing illegal things with the use of undercover officers pretending to be ordinary citizens? Well... yes, that's exactly what it was. You say it as if the way he was caught somehow invalidates the arrest.

    2) It's not inconceivable that Craig was being targeted. Possibly he'd been seen loitering at this restroom before (changing planes). Funny how the plainclothesman got there just a short time before Craig. Did he have a heads-up?

    The report says:

    " Airport police previously had made numerous arrests in the men’s restroom of the Northstar Crossing in the Lindbergh Terminal in connection with sexual activity. "

    This was not the first or only arrest, and sounds like an ongoing operation. The suggestion that the police were out to get him specifically looks pretty weak.

    3) Getting tempted by danger is not the same thing as being Gay.

    Anonymous, risky sex in public restrooms isn't the same thing as being gay either. As I say, I'm disappointed by what he was doing here, not the fact that he was trying to do it with another man. 'Tempted by danger'? What does that even mean, and is it meant to excuse him? Even if that were somehow the root motivation of his reaching under a bathroom stall to connect with a strange man, do you think that's acceptable behavior for a US congressman? This sounds like nothing more than an empty rationalization to avoid the sexual content of this episode, and by extension the hypocrisy.

    4) Nothing happened, did it?

    If you mean to say that Craig was unable to consummate his relationship with the undercover police officer, then sure, "nothing" happened. I doubt even the most generous hazard pay would cover going through with a decoy flirtation like this outside of, say, missions involving national security. The officer's job was to catch sleazebags trying to get off in a public restroom. I suggest to you that if they were trying to 'get' Craig in particular they would have gone a lot farther with the ploy in order to obtain more explicit and visually damning evidence, but the arrest appears from the report to have been pretty routine for what the operation was trying to address.

    He was in the wrong place at the wrong time DOING THE WRONG THING, and he is a US congressman. It is what it is, and lipstick won't help.

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    au contraire! Lipstick ALWAYS helps! %^>

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    The only problem with lipstick is after certain activities, you definitely have to reapply. But I'm sure that these are the kinds of activities that US Senators from Idaho (for example) would NEVER engage in.

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    "The only problem with lipstick is after certain activities, you definitely have to reapply."

    Filibustering?

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