Readers offer comments on Sen. Craig arrest

August 28, 2007 

U.S. Sen. Larry Craig was arrested in June and pleaded guilty to disorderly conduct after an undercover police officer said Craig made a sexual advance toward him in an airport men's room.

What do you think of the allegations? What do you think Craig should do next? How do you think the media has handled this information?

E-mail your comments to onlinenews@idahostatesman.com to be posted at IdahoStatesman.com. Include your first and last name for publication and your phone number for verification.

• • •

"It seems curious to me that thus far only Senator Arlen Specter of Pennsylvania has made the important distinction between resigning and "intending" to resign. In fact in the story carried by the Statesman Monday morning the Senator noted that Senator Craig has left himself some "daylight" with his carefully chosen words. I'm not sure how Governor Otter can make an appointment to fill a seat that has yet to be resigned."

Jack Rucker, Boise

• • •

"There was a journalistic web site that charged fees for reading its stories, but made an exception if they felt a story was so important that nothing should impede its being read. I put your story about ex-Senator-to-be Craig in that category.

Why? Because while I never believed that Craig pled guilty and kept quiet "just to make the case go away," your story is the real reason why he did it. Even if Craig could have succeeded in being acquitted at trial, having any part of your story becoming evidence would have proved fatal to his political future. Thanks for confirming my instincts!"

Adrienne Collier, Irvington, NJ

• • •

"After his harsh and ill-informed comments about what should be done in our state as a result of Katrina and the failure of the federal levees, Senator Craig is among the least popular of national politicians with Louisianans. So it is difficult for us not to take a certain pleasure in his downfall.

To give him his due, however, doesn't anybody remember The Boys of Boise, the 1966 account of a 1955 gay scandal in which the Statesman had a major role in the hysteria which gripped the city upon reports of homosexual activity.

The Statesman seems to have had a certain fixation on this issue for at least 50 years."

Bill Middleton, New Orleans, Louisiana

• • •

"I'm against the practice of entrapment, but when an elected official, against human rights for gay men and women, engages in homosexual sexual acts, he should step down. The hypocrisy and dishonesty astound, but what I find particularly appalling is the harm he has caused homosexuals as a senator through his own intolerance. "

John Ceballos, Oakland, CA

• • •

"Senator Craig's sexual orientation isn't important. The fact that he solicited sex in a men's room might be pathetic but it doesn't reflect on his job as a senator.

Mr. Craig has been a senator for many years and has been re-elected many times. He's been homosexual, or bisexual, since birth so nothing in him has changed. If you liked him as a senator before there's no reason not to re-elect him.

I don't understand the woman who said that this incident was between the Senator, God, and his family and THEN she recommended that he resign. If its between God and family why does he need to resign?

Senator Craig should have been turned out of office years ago for voting against Gay rights, against health care, against global warming, etc, etc."

Bill Scott

• • •

"There is one detail in the taped conversation between the arresting officer and Craig that makes me really question Craig's honesty. In the interview he said that he saw a piece of toilet paper on the floor and reached over to pick it up. Come on! For one thing, he is a rather large man. He was sitting on the toilet with his legs sprawling to keep his pants up (by his admission), and he expects us to believe that he then twisted around and reached to pick up a piece of toilet paper?! Secondly, who in their right mind (ok, big assumption there, I realize) would pick up toilet paper from a public restroom? Give me a break. He must think we're all idiots."

Susan Ponsolle

• • •

"I think this paper and many others have already sealed the fate on Sen. Craig. He was convicted in the public eye as soon as the news of his arrest was made public. The rumors of him being gay only further agitated the situation and led people to quickly convict and discard him. It is unfortunate as I believe that he is being honest.

The senator was in a no win situation as he was arrested in a men's bathroom. He pleaded guilty, as he said, in hopes of avoiding a scandal. Should he have fought the charge (as everyone seems to believe) and gone to court, the situation would have been just as worse and dragged out longer. Had that been the case, he would be facing the same issues of today and would not have been given the benefit of the doubt in the public eye. Think about it - how does one explain being arrested in a public restroom soliciting sex? In today's world where one is tried and convicted by the public before their day in court?? The senator realized the situation very quickly. He took a calculated risk and lost.

I feel for him and his wife Suzanne. Both are honest and welcoming people and deserve a better fate. The tape released by the police yesterday only served to add to my belief that the senator has been speaking the truth. In listening to the tape, I heard a police officer who clearly was agitated while the senator spoke clearly and consistently. As I said earlier in this message, the Senator was caught in a position with no way out. He didn't deserve to be arrested nor does he deserve his current fate."

Dennis Quinn, Ashburn, VA

• • •

"Sen. Larry Craig has shown by his actions and misjudgements in the Minneapolis Airport incident that under pressure (NOT from the Idaho Statesman) that he lacks the judgement to exercise good judgement in this matter, and calls into question his continuing ability to make good judgements as a member of the United States Senate. This incident is not the first "cloud" that has rolled over his reputation or aroused his constituents suspicions about many other areas that touch on the matters of ethics. The electorate in the State of Idaho deserve to get from their representitives mature and responsible representation that truly reflects their values, and not a shell game of personal duplicity motivated by a distorted understanding of honor, personal responsibility, and integrity."

Bob Muenchausen

• • •

"This man should resign post haste. Yesterday. His behavior, his hypocrisy is appalling. That a person who would solicit sex in a public restroom is a United States senator is past appalling. It's reprehensible, unbelievably stupid and plain wrong. I have a seven-year old grandson, who is just now wanting to use the men's rooms when we are out in public and I must say I have been nervous about it. Just a couple weeks ago in a nice restaurant near my home, I stood right outside the door and actually pushed the door open a crack twice and called his name to make sure he was okay in there. I was so nervous. And after all this, it will be doubly difficult to wait outside while he's in a men's restroom. I may just have to hold the door open till he comes out.

What a sorry thing this is. Republicans - most of them - are homophobic to the max and this just makes those who are homosexual or bisexual wierder yet. I wish they would grow up and allow their brains to mature so they could accept themselves for who they are. "

Diane Noland, Capitola, CA

• • •

"First, I want to praise the Idaho Statesman reporters and editors for having the courage and dedication to the truth in deciding to investigate the Larry Craig case in which he was arrested and plead guilty to lewd behavior in a public men's bathroom at the Minneapolis airport. Second, I travel a great deal and am unaware of such gay behaviors, but after reading the transcript of the officer's tape recorded interview with Craig and considering that Craig decided to plead guilty rather than go to court and risk his arrest being made public, I feel that the officer was just doing his job and that others have been arrested apparently for similar acts of lewd public behavior. It matters not whether a US Senator is Democrat, Republican or other, he/she should resign for such acts of behavior in public places like an airport. Now more outrageous than his arrest is that Craig appears to be lying as the officer alleged.

Craig has probably gotten away with such lewd behavior for too long.

Thanks for covering this story!"

Neil Carman

• • •

"I personally feel that gaiety (or religion for that matter) are non-political issues. However, since the senator obviously tried to win political gain for his party in previous issues about "ethics" - especially the ones that concerned political opponents (Clinton/Lewinski) , I smile and wish him a painless political death and some fun in the closet - if only for his contribution to the definition of a "screwed-up" society - as if gays don't belong in the US. What again were his true political issues?"

Francois Mugie

• • •

"How dare you make such a terrible mockory of someone who has done so much for your

State and the United States. You are holding a double standard to Republicans and Democrats

You never did a full page add calling for Clinton to resign.

Your paper is an embarrassment to the media of this country and you should uphold your elected officials."

Bill Curd, Leitchfield, KY

• • •

"I think Senator Craig should come out and admit that he's gay, talk about why he pretended otherwise all these years, and become an advocate for gays in Congress.

If he cannot do that, he should resign.

The issue is not that he's gay, but that he's been dishonest."

Paul Heckbert, Edgewood, PA

• • •

"It seems clear Senator Craig did not speak to the undercover officer until after he was arrested, therefore the state of Minnesota can not make out a case for direct solicitation. Perhaps Senator Craig's shoes touched those of the undercover cop, but this does not rise to the level of sexual battery, otherwise thousands of people who daily trip over each other on public conveyances would be guilty of solicitation. As to the hand gesture, what its supposed to mean is very open to any number of interpretations including it simply being meaningless. While this constellation of activities may constitute invitational signaling in the homosexual community, the over zealous arresting officer should have waited for a more overt act (if indeed one were to come). Senator Craig should sue to re-open the case and amend the plea to not guilty because the arresting officer hasn't met reasonable suspicion (threshold to detain) much less probable cause (threshold to charge). With a zealous defense the state would not have been able to meet its burden. The case most likely would have been tossed. On these facts, to have pled guilty to misdemeanor disorderly conduct was a mistake on the Senator's part.

Regardless of the Senator's guilt or innocence based on the above analysis; that he withheld information from his constituents about his arrest and his plea constitutes a breach of his fiduciary duty to his constituents, it is also a breach of trust constituting an ethical lapse that disqualifies him from further public service. Clearly Senator Craig allowed embarrassment to dictate an unwise course of action in pleading guilty to disorderly conduct. His poor judgment in handling this matter further disqualifies him from further public service.

Senator Craig's own personal honor and moral standards should militate that he resign immediately (especially given his moral stance regarding President Clinton's impeachment). If and when he vindicates himself in the courts of Minnesota, he could run for whatever political office the citizens of Idaho feel he is suited for."

K. S. "Steve" Wheelock, Ph.D., Pittsfield, MA

• • •

"Sen Craig is a disgrace, not because he enjoys illicit homosexual sex, but because of his lies; he who lives by the sword, etc. Hope the Ethics committee acts ethically and impeaches him- (can they?)"

Dot Luce

• • •

"Sadly, this issue has become one about Craig's sexual preferences, not about lewd public conduct. His idea of a good time is his own business, just as it is for all other Americans. What is at issue here is his unacceptable public behavior. Let's keep the public's eye on the right ball, so to speak."

Veronica Egan

• • •

"The Republican party is supposed to be a party of FAMILY VALUES.....Sen. Craig obviously doesn't get that part of it...You don't admit to an allegation, pay a fine ,etc. hoping it will go away, then when it resurfaces months later, blames the media for doing their job in bringing this story to our attention....The man is a disgrace to Idaho , the US Senate and should be replaced immediately... Props to the Statesman for doing its job of reporting......."

Chuck Johnson

• • •

"While I certainly don't condone Senator Larry Craig's (apparently) ongoing denial of his sexual urges, nor his resulting hypocrisy in voting against gay rights, I am appalled by the extreme reaction of his own party members in Washington, D.C. and in Idaho. Instead of a "hate the sin, love the sinner‚" or even the expected response of "let's give him the benefit of the doubt‚" the so-called superior morality of his fellow Republicans reminds me of a pack of rabid wolves devouring fresh prey. Or a mob of hypocrites, hurling stones.

I believe that Craig needs to give serious, prayerful consideration to resigning, and I invite him to do so. At the same time, I must acknowledge his lifelong public service, his wealth of experience, and his best efforts for the people of Idaho. I say this as a former Idaho voter who is NOT a Republican, never voted for him, and disagreed with many of his public stances. I hope none of his fellow party members ever stumble."

Catherine Anderson, Athol, Massachusetts

• • •

"The good citizens of Idaho need to know how LAME outsiders are viewing their senator's so-called "defense" of his actions. If Senator Craig is so "innocent," I'm sure the people of Idaho, as well as the rest of the country, would love to hear the senator answer the following questions:

1. Why was he staring into a men's room stall at another man?

2. Why did the senator tap his foot and slide his leg over into the other man's stall in order to rub up against the other man's foot?

3. Why did the senator try to attract the attention of the man in the next stall by reaching his hand UNDERNEATH the wall separating the two stalls in an obvious signal to the other man?

4. Why did he plead guilty to these acts, a "lesser charge" than what apparently actually took place?

Is this normal men's room behavior for your senior senator? Do men who are not gay or bisexual do these kinds of things in a men's room? Anyone with an iota of intelligence will recognize how weak Senator Craig's "I am not gay" speech sounds in light of his behavior. Rather like Clinton's famous "I did not have sex with that woman" protest, or Nixon's comical "I am not a crook" pronouncement, and we all know how those two statements were received. "I am not gay" rings just as hollow as the words of Clinton and Nixon. Craig needs to resign and simply go away. He is an embarrassment to your fine state, it's citizens, and the Republican Party...."

Bob Dumon, New Bern, NC

• • •

"The Republicans are running scared and have asked the Ethics Committee to look into the story. We all love good sexual stories. Bill Clinton's actions will never let him live his one down. Gary Hart was one of the first politician leaders "asking for it" and I am afraid Larry Craig, after his news statement, may have made the same mistake when he said he wasn't gay. That statement will result in more investigative reporting. I really feel sorry for his wife and family. Some Republican lady who was on Larry King the other night said she joined the Republican Party back when Goldwater ran for president. She said, during that period of time, Republicans stood for "balanced budgets," less government and a strong military. Now, it appears their main emphasis is "strong moral family values" and, when they run on such issues, their hypocrisy shows through when characters such as Craig, David Vitter, Mark Foley and others our "outed." She said the party needs to change directions. I don't think that will happen. If they didn't have the "Religious Right" on their side, they wouldn't win over the votes of average, hard working people. It is hard for me to understand why so many people continue to support them."

Rod Kegley, Mableton, GA

• • •

"Keep the Craig background coverage coming. Craig is not my senator, but as a US senator, his actions affect my liberties and those of my family and friends, including those who are gay. His opposition to equal rights for gays even while seducing a male stranger himself is shades of Jim West. Sordid as that situation was, West's span of influence was Spokane. Craig's is the nation. He's got to go. "

Victoria Veh

• • •

"I thank the Idaho Statesman for their investigation and coverage of the sad case of Sen. Larry Craig.

I don't particularly care if Sen. Craig has had or wants to have sex with other men. That's his business as far as I'm concerned except when he lies about his own; he deserves to be outed for that.

What's important here is his hypocrisy in denouncing gay rights, his stupidity in thinking that if he say's he's not gay he's not and that he could bully the legal system to keep his secrets. We need honest people and thoughtful people as lawmakers; their sexual orientation isn't important."

Nancy L. Craig, Baltimore, MD

• • •

"I have to say Senator Craig gave one of the strangest news conferences I have ever heard. Anyone who has two months to think about his plea can not state he made a mistake. I believe Craig was trying to remain under the news radar and almost succeeded. He was betting no one would find out. Craig is simply a closet homosexual and a hypocrite to boot."

Don Luke, Florida

• • •

"I applaud your investigative efforts in uncovering the truth in reference to Senator Larry Craig. This individual is as corrupt as the day is long and is hypocrisy is only overshadowed by his complete disservice to the good citizens of Idaho. Keep up the FANTASTIC work and as a fellow Idahoan now residing in Seattle, I will be renewing my subscription to the Idaho Statesman."

Dr. Mike Taylor

• • •

"Don't know if Craig is guilty or not and don't know or care about his sexual escapades or orientation. What I do care about is his credibility and he has blown it. That he would get arrested and make every attempt to cover it up speaks volumes on his integrity, accountability, and honesty. He obviously is a coward and a hypocrite. Owning up to one's mistakes is a virtue as we are all human. Not owning up is the mark of deceit.

Craig needs to go just as Clinton should have gone. Both display the same degree of cowardice.

Please don't allow him to teach."

Steve Beineke

• • •

"Sadly, Senator Craig has been terribly traumatized by the incident at the Minneapolis airport where he was accused of lewd behavior and is now seemingly unable to articulate what may have really happened. Based on what I have heard and read, it seems that Senator Craig's activity in the men's room may have been, as the senator insists, misinterpreted.

Quite possibly, as the senator sat down on his toilet, he discovered there was no toilet paper in his stall. He then politely asked the person in the stall next to him to provide some of his toilet paper. Because the senator received no response from the adjacent stall, he assumed that the occupant of the neighboring stall was a deaf mute. With that realization, Senator Craig then began tapping his foot on the floor and then moved his foot alongside the foot of the person in the adjacent stall in an effort to get the deaf man's attention. In final desperation to communicate his need for toilet paper, the senator, as cited, placed his hand under the stall divider and began to wave his fingers. Perhaps the manner in which the senator wiggled his fingers at the occupant of the adjacent stall was, indeed, sign language for "toilet paper needed."

Accordingly, let's not rush to judgment about Senator Craig's actions in the men's room at the Minneapolis airport. A careful and thoughtful investigation should begin to determine if Senator Craig's stall had no toilet paper and if concurrently the senator believed that the man in the adjacent stall was a deaf mute who did possess toilet paper."

Charles G. Olbricht, New York, N.Y.

• • •

"Something tells me Larry's Mulligan is not likely to help him shoot par, if for no other reason than it appears his stance throughout the round appears to be too wide. Seriously, though: Were it not for his blatant hypocrisy, his total lack of candor, his appalling judgment, and his guilty plea to all of the above, this would be a non-issue, much like the rest of the so-called "non-issues" within the so-called "Conservative" realm."

Bob Merle

• • •

"It is despicable that the Statesman would piggy-back off of the story by a blogger with a grudge who uses anonymous sources and whose biases and intentions have been clear since 2004. Why isn't anyone asking questions about Mike Rogers and his connections to the undercover cop in Minneapolis? Why hasn't the statesman interviewed Mike Rogers to publicize his intent to destroy politicians who disagree with him about gay rights? I cannot believe he's getting a free pass on this."

Kevin W. Blier

• • •

"When Senator Craig’s children and grandchildren were caught in naughty situations as they were growing up, was his advise them to lie, lie, lie and deny, deny, deny in order to get the situation to resolved quickly? Or did he advise them to stand-up, admit wrong doing and teach them to learn from their mistakes? Which is the correct course of action now for Sen. Craig? I don’t care about his sexual practices- Idahoans can be forgiving on that. I do care that he has been dogged his whole career about what could be hypocritical actions. And I do care that he has practiced these private actions in public places where, yes, children could have been exposed to them."

Jackie Atkinson

• • •

"Hurrah for the power of the press! You guys show real guts going after this elected hypocrite. I'm not sure how I'd deal with unidentified sources connected with an "activist blog."

John H. Orr, San Bernardino, CA

• • •

"I want to know who the senator is lying to. Was he lying to police when he, according to police files, went to the police a week after the incident demanding a contact to give to his lawyer? Or was he lying to the public when he said he never consulted with a lawyer? Frankly, either is reprehensible conduct for a U.S. senator. And does he have so little faith in the U.S. justice system that he would plead guilty to such charges if he was truly innocent?

Frankly, I don’t buy it senator, and you should be ashamed of yourself for being on the down low. I doubt you have practiced safe sex, because, of course you don’t engage in extramarital sex, so why should you carry around condoms! This means you put your family and your partners at risk for disease. Shame on you."

Cheryl Kohout, Tucson, AZ

• • •

"Your paper was so honorable not to print allegations sooner. The one good thing that Sen. Craigs' bashing of your paper has accomplished is more interested readers from all over the internet, as I have just registered. Sen, Craig is a hedious hypocrite that needs to be punished to the max for the rest of his life. Since it is obivious, he is gay. The other Gay society should also disgrace him and ruin him. Keep the good work up 'Stateman'. This monster needs to come down a few pegs and wallow in hell."

Gloria Hardesty, Westlake, La.

• • •

"These are not allegations. This is an admitted fact by the senator and a judicial finding of guilty. All are innocent until proven guilty. He plead guilty and was found guilty."

Paul Gossens, Milwaukee, Wis.

• • •

"A question I have about his actions is whether or not the bathroom in question at the MSP airport is off the beaten track for him in his regular commute from Idaho to Washington, D.C. , i.e. how much effort did the Senator make to use this particular bathroom. My comment re his press conference is that it's kind of ironic that his 1st words were 'Thanks for coming out'. I'm not suggesting that he 'come out' but am suggesting that he tell the truth. It's unfortunate that he's casting the police officer as either incompetent or a liar or both."

Doug Bauer

• • •

"How could he survive all years of denial when there were those who knew he was a closeted gay? Never trust what a politican says - that is the lesson from all the Republicans who have fallen? But until they were caught their favorite sinner was Bill Clinton!!"

Rose Stamper Schisler

• • •

"Assuming that Senator Craig has told the truth in his recent news conference, it seems that the citizens of Idaho are being shortchanged by having a representative with an astounding lack of judgment. The incident occurred on June 11. What did Sen. Craig do for the next 57 days before he entered a guilty plea to the charges against him? What kind of relationship does he have with his family (trust/confidence/honesty?) if he couldn't or wouldn't confide in those who are most likely to be helpful and understanding during a crisis? If he was wrongly accused,was it reasonable for him to think that by admitting to the false charges, knowledge of the incident would disappear? Is it logical for a legislator - especially one with the many years of experience that Sen. Craig has - to believe that a person should represent himself in ANY important court proceeding? Is Sen. Craig's version of events believable in light of the facts that show that for at least the past 25 years he has had similar clouds of accusations hovering over him? If Sen. Craig's behavior in this matter is indicative of his thinking in this most intimate situation, how can his reasoning be trusted regarding matters that do not personally touch him? I truly believe that here in Wisconsin, we would not accept this intolerably low level of judgment from Senator Kohl, Senator Feingold, or any of our other elected representatives. Idahoans deserve better."

Craig E. Miller, Milwaukee, WI

• • •

"What is the question? It is not whether Senator Larry Craig is guilty of lewd and mischievous conduct in a place of public accommodation. He had already pleaded guilty and paid a fine. The question is "If a person with apparently repeated similar offenses who admittedly 'panicked' when caught is sufficiently competent to represent the State of Idaho in the United States Senate.?". The answer is obviously "No". Senator Craig should perform a final act of service to the people of the State of Idaho by resigning his position."

Ira Plonsker, Santa Monica, CA

• • •

"Just want to thank the Idaho Statesman for doggedly pursuing this abhorrent story and not backing down to a corrupt US Senator. Being from Oregon and having seen the equally disgusting Bob Packwood go down shows how important it is that we have watchdog news organizations to bring the hypocrisy of powerful people to light. I will forevermore hold the Idaho Statesman in high regard and appreciate your service to our country and our now much safer wild lands!"

Tertius Rivers

• • •

"Its not whether he is gay or not; the point is whether he is a liar and a hypocrite, someone who has constantly fought against any kind of gay rights, while himself being in the closet. Surely that must upset people from the great state of Idaho, no matter which party they are in."

David Bowles, Austin, TX

• • •

"Here we go again… Another politician lying to get out of a mess he brought upon himself. Why do they think they won’t get ‘caught’? Somehow, someway, we always find out. It’s pretty hard to keep those skeletons closeted these days. Witch hunt? I think not. The citizens of this state (& country) have the right to know what our elected officials are doing. Especially, when they are breaking laws. As a voting citizen of this great state of Idaho, I thank the Idaho Statesman for bring this to our attention."

Donna Conrad

• • •

"Enough is enough, Sen. Craig is right, the media needs to move on. It seems like the second there might be something juicy to print you smear the whole paper to where nothing else can be visible. So Sen. Craig made a bad mistake trying to make something go away without help. How dare you, and all of us to jump on the witch hunt wagon and burn him at the stake. This a man that has done wonderful things for Idaho, its funny how all that goes out the window the second something happens. Sen. Craig is not gay, I had the honor of meeting him ywo years ago, he is the nicest person in politics I have ever met."

Claire Owen

• • •

"Regarding the Craig incident, it is not that Senator Craig has gay feelings that is the problem, it is his inability to accept them and be honest with himself, his family and his constituents that is the true tragedy. In fact, he is involved in what is called in psychological terms the defense mechanism called a "reaction formation" whereby he goes out of his way to pretend he is the opposite of what he is. This is manifested in his voting against gay rights and being antagonistic to gay issues in his voting record as well as his repeated denials. One doesn't go into a stall in a men's room and run one's fingers along the OTHER side of the stall and try to tap the person's foot without wanting to engage in sexual activity. Let's not be coy. I wish that Senator Craig could do himself and us sexual minorities a favor and come clean, acknowledge his sexuality and deal with whatever implications that has for himself and his family and accordingly vote for legislation would relieve the oppression of people whose sexual orientation is other than heterosexual. The American people like to pretend that sexuality is a simple matter when in reality it is complex, ambiguous and confusing at times. It is time for us and Senator Craig to grow up and face the realities responsibilities of adulthood head on."

DAVID WESLEY PERKINS, New York, NY

• • •

"What angers me about Craig's behavior is that he handed over his business card, saying to the officer, "What do you think of that?" How contemptuous and loathsome that the Senator believes he is too powerful to submit to the law. If that is true, then he should resign and join the Bush Administration, where he would be welcomed warmly."

Thomas Chupein, Washington DC

• • •

"Senator Craig is another example of the “do as I say, not as I do” or “holier than thou” mentality of many in the conservative wing of the GOP. Like the great Oz, Senator Craig is not who he pretends to be. He owes Idaho, the Senate and all the gays he’s disparaged over the years with his anti-gay voting record a big apology. Shame on him!"

David Payne, Hillsborough, NC

• • •

"I just read the transcript of the Statesman interview with Craig and his beard, Suzanne, which I thought was screamingly funny ... I hope Saturday Night Live turns it into a sketch ..."

Lynne Sharman HBSW, Thunder Bay, Ontario

• • •

"While I tend to believe the Senator was up to something at the Mpls-St. Paul airport, I can't help but wonder exactly how this 40-year-old unnamed man can be described as "credible". He obviously has a chip on his shoulder and has no evidence whatsoever. The fact that he can tell the same short story the same way over and over hardly makes him credible!"

R. Paul, Orlando, FL

• • •

"I just wanted to thank The Idaho Statesman for keeping the TRUTH alive in America. I respect your reporting on Senator Larry Craig's "coming out" at the Minneapolis Airport in June 2007. We Americans have left out in the cold; as far as knowing the truth about our government officials in the Bush Administration. Thanks to you and other media outlets, America is coming clean and reporting the TRUTH. With Liberty and Justice For All,"

David Walters, Fort Lauderdale, FL

• • •

"The Senior Senator from Idaho is in denial, has insulted the intelligence of the vast majority of the American public; is a lawmaker who somehow believes that he could appear in a court of law, plead guilty for a crime he now claims he never committed; is a person who should be removed from the Senate of the United States of America. Thank you for exposing this man."

Tony Irvin, Indianapolis, Indiana

• • •

"I for one do not think there should be a rush to Judgement. Lets not MAKE UP THE NEWS lets research for the truth then make our conclusions without bias I say this as a believer in Romans 1 ( its in the Bible)"

Anne Kucklick

• • •

"My problem with this whole mess is not the fact that Craig is, or might be gay. He is not trustworthy. If the events that occurred in the bathroom stall combined with the article in the Statesman are caused him so much grief that he started making poor decisions how can we expect to him to keep his cool in matters of government. I certainly do not want someone like this in public office. How many so called "poor decisions" has he made due to pressure or grief. Larry you are a shameful person. You mark the face of our beautiful state with your wonderful ability to pass a buck, your deceitful lies, and your hypocrisy. STEP DOWN!!!!"

Shaun Perez

• • •

"So what the Senator Craig would have us believe is that he was accused of soliticing sex from an undercover policeman and that he pleaded guilty because he was easier and he wanted it to go away. I don't think so. If someone falsely accused me of this, I sure as hell would not plead guilty but would fight it. His comments are not credible and makes him look even worse. We deserve better than to have people with such poor judgement making rules for the rest of us. "

Walter Hazzard

• • •

"The issue is not whether the Senator is "GAY", I don't care, he wasn't arrested for being "GAY". He was arrested for his behavior in a public restroom. To claim that he did not seek legal advise and was so upset because of an investigation by a newspaper he plead guilty by mistake, is beyond contempt. I really do not particularly care about his actions in the men's room, as long as he was not hitting on "children". This was theoretically just a consenting adult male. Unfortunately for Craig it was not an anonymous stranger, but was a an undercover (no pun intended) police officer. In his statement he did not deny his actions, all he was concerned with was proclaiming three times and denying that he was "GAY". He doesn't get it, I don't care about that. That is his private personal life. I do care about his hypocrisy, and mean spirited actions toward his fellow human beings. A man like that doesn't deserve a vote in the Senate. "

Gwen Hoff, Boston, MA

• • •

"Why is it almost always Conservative Republicans (or Christian Ministers) who get caught? They wave a banner against GAY’s because they are in total denial! What a sham. "

Jeff Russo (a GAY person in San Francisco CA)

• • •

"I read the police report and why is the placement of Craig's roller bag against the door of the bathroom stall important? No one was in the stall with Craig. Did the officer think Craig expected him to crawl under the divider into his stall? I believe Craig must have been guilty of wanting to do lewd acts if he pleaded guilty to a lesser crime. Otherwise, he would have said the officer was off base. Also, being gay is nothing to be ashamed of. Craig is guilty of not being honest and not honoring his marriage. He is a hypocrite and need to seek psychological counselling. "

Stanley Horwitz

• • •

"I think that you handled the Craig matter in an open, ethical and fair manner. In fact, by sitting on the story for so long, you actually cut him a break that ordinary people might not have gotten. That was a little disturbing but the story itself was factual and well documented. The Statesman seemed careful not to draw any personal conclusion. You just set out all the facts. I thought it was despicable that Sen. Craig would blame the Statesman for causing him stress and leading him to confess to a crime he says he did not commit. Everyone at the Statesman needs to stand up and answer that accusation. You ought to listen to CNN 's Legal Analyst, Jeffrey Tubin, explain this whole circus. Sen Craig is a man in denial from his own lewd behavior and his lifestyle. He would try to destroy the reputation of the Policeman who arrested him and the Statesman reporters in order to continue hiding whatever he is. I find that more reprehensible than his possible or alleged gay leanings."

Pat Chitty, Boise

• • •

"Being from south Texas I might be accused of not having a dog in the fight commenting on Senator Craig. That said, I would argue that Craig's senate votes on legislation very often do affect my life here very directly. I think the senator has laid bare any notion that family values is an issue owned by the Republican party. Sadly, we have repeatedly seen the hypocrisy of these wedge issues. "

Mike Green, Victoria, Texas

• • •

"I think after reading the article online and listening to the interview on FOX that the Statesman has been more than fair to Larry Craig. Senator Craig has not been in tune with Joe Idaho for awhile and I find his arrest funny in that he sees himself above the rest of us in conduct. I do not care if he is homosexual or not but to solicit in a restroom whether male or female is a low blow to the integrity Idaho deserves. Larry Craig should not point fingers at anyone. He put in a guilty plea and accepted that verdict, now he needs to accept that Idaho does not need this type of a Senate representation and step down."

Judith Stockham, Gooding Idaho

• • •

"What exactly is the issue here. That the Senator might be gay, or because he is a Senator. Move on please……….."

RM Duncan

• • •

"Where there is smoke there is fire. I would not plead guilty to something I did not do. Senator Craig tried to hide it and thought it would go away. It is simple He got caught and should admit to it. "

Danny Dannels

• • •

"If Senator Ted Kennedy is not forced to resign for killing a girl while driving drunk, why should Senator Craig have to resign for tapping his foot in a men’s bathroom?"

Molly Vaughn

• • •

"If Senator Ted Kennedy is not forced to resign for killing a girl while driving drunk, why should Senator Craig have to resign for tapping his foot in a men’s bathroom?"

Molly Vaughn

• • •

"I am appalled but not at all surprised at the accusations towards Sen. Craig. I at this time choose to give Sen. Craig the benefit of the doubt. Anyone with half a brain surly knows how easy it is for those in the public eye to have mud slung at them and especially our public officials. And surely I don't need to say anything about how the media can completely destroy any hope of a person being innocent until proven guilty. Seek and destroy the medias favorite pass time."

Tracy Krekeler

• • •

"He should resign at once, and stop bringing shame to a great state."

Dan Belford, Weiser

• • •

"What makes absolutely no sense to me is Senator Craig's explanation of his guilty plea. Characterizing it as a poor decision based on a desire to handle the situation expeditiously, then saying nothing about the incident to his staff, seems totally at odds with his assertion that the incident in the airport bathroom was simply a misunderstanding. I don't know about anyone else, but if I was arrested for something of which I was innocent, I would sure as hell not plead guilty. I would immediately hire a lawyer, call public attention to the error made by the police, rally my friends and associates...and if I was a public servant, I would let my constituents know what was happening, rather than risk them finding out through the media. In short, I would defend my integrity to my dying breath. I think that most of us learned from an early age that when someone reacts to an accusation by simply trying to hush it up, it is usually because they have something to hide. Senator Craig's sexual orientation is immaterial to me. His integrity isn't."

Michael Boss, Boise

• • •

"I love it when a right wing anti gay conservative literally " gets caught with his pants down" There is certainly a lot of smoke and facts surrounding the homosexual behavior and poor judgment of Senator Craig. I feel sorry for his wife, family, staff and citizens of Idaho and I feel grateful that a great newspaper such as the Idaho Statesman had the guts to follow up on this story. The Senators needs to resign not because of his apparently gay tendencies but because but because of his poor judgment. Unfortunately in the closet men with gay tendencies try to remain anonymous by hooking up with men in a park or rest room rather than an open safe relationship with a man similar as between a man and a woman."

Arthur Porter

• • •

"You guys did a great job with this. Extremely professional, well-documented, and thorough piece of journalism."

Nora McAlvanah

• • •

"Where there is smoke repeatedly, there is fire. It sounds like Congressman Foley exploits and look how long that was covered up by the leaders in Congress."

Janice Luscher, Steubenville, Ohio

• • •

"I can only remind Sen. Craig of the old adage to never get into a fight with someone who buys ink by the barrel. Good work Idaho Statesman."

Gilbert Foster, Nashville, TN

• • •

"What I find troubling is not the question of Senator Craig’s sexual orientation or even his seemingly contradictory political position. What concerns me are Mr. Craig’s blatant attempts to deceive his constituents and the public as a whole after displaying what was at best defective judgment and at worst reprehensible personal conduct. His weak, ill-conceived excuses, terse politically-motivated apologies, and placing of blame on others are insulting and disappointing. Mr. Craig himself, not law enforcement or the media, has provided ample evidence that he is not an honorable individual nor an appropriate representative of our state; not because he is gay or straight, liberal or conservative, but because he chooses not to be honest."

Megan Heath

• • •

" I think he should step down. I also would like to know if the second trip to Minnesota was paid for by the Idaho taxpayers."

Jack Giuliani, Bonners Ferry

• • •

"Re Sen. Craig's he-nanigans in a Minneapolis, MN, airport men's room -- the Minneapolis police officer's description of Sen. Craig's use of (gay) 'cruising etiquette' is entirely accurate, and Sen. Craig's "I am not gay," etc., denials this Tuesday afternoon are entirely laughable (and sad).

Sen. Craig needs to do one of two things -- resign his seat, immediately, or announce, immediately, that he will not seek re-election next year. Sen. Craig lives in a Hell of his own making, and there is no reason that the rest of Idaho should have to suffer due to his lack of good judgment or self-restraint.

Good riddance to (hypocritical) rubbish."

Kory Diaz

• • •

"I think Larry Craig should resign from the Senate immediately, not because he's a homosexual, but because he's a liar and a hypocrite."

Trudy Gruenhagen, Boise

• • •

"I find Sen. Craigs statements to reflect a self-loathing and self hate which I think the Senator needs mental health treatment. Obviously, he is a gay man that is in total self-denial and has been for many, many years. Once he was in the Senate he felt trapped and in order to get along, he had to go along. Now he must pay the piper. He is such a pathetic man who has voted continuously against his own best self interests and for what he knows is right. I hope he will get treatment and help. How sad that this is the best that Idaho can do."

Kenneth M Koehn

• • •

"I am presently a licensed private investigator in the State of Michigan. Formerly, I was an undercover vice/narcotics investigator in Florida and well aware of these type of civilian complaints related to restrooms. One particular problem was a department store in a large Altamonte Springs, Florida shopping mall. Mothers while shopping with children would have their sons go into the rest rooms and some were accosted. It is not a pleasant police assignment, but a necessary one.

I am well aware of the procedures and especially the requirements needed for these type of arrests. In reading the police-officer's report it would appear to me that Senator Craig engaged in criminal conduct and the arrest was lawful.

Unfortunately, in these same type of undercover operations it is common that lawyers, doctors, clergy and the average man in our community are apprehended in these actions. Now it is again sad to see a United States Senator added to a list that not only includes those arrested for this conduct in Idaho, but throughout America.

He should admit his mistake, resign and move on."

Jim Carlin, Battle Creek, Michigan

• • •

"Senator Craig stated he made a mistake. He stated that he should not have pled guilty. Did Craig make a mistake in voting for the resolution to go to war in Iraq?"

Edward J Ball Jr.

• • •

"If this wasn't a particularly shameful and deceitful fraud on the citizens of Idaho, for 25 years no less, it would be a joke. How any man can stand before the public, whine about 'stress' caused by a newspaper, infer that, under the circumstances, he was panicked and pled guilty, forgetting to mention that his court appearance was several weeks after his arrest and plenty of time to 'collect' himself and hire counsel, then tacitly attempt to elicit sympathy from the audience is beyond credulity. This guy should be run out of the United States Senate, not so much for his sexual propensities but for his hypocrisy and blatant lies. Further, the citizens of Idaho, through their legislature, should enact an proclamation pronouncing this creep bastard as an official State of Idaho Pariah, 'SIP'."

MARTIN A. SCANLAN, Arcadia, CA

• • •

"We all know that the liberal Dems are hypocrites when it comes to their moral conduct versus the moral conduct of conservatives. However, if Senator Craig was involved in disorderly conduct with an undercover police officer, then by all means he needs to resign. We simply cannot tolerate our elected officials whose personal lives are contemptuous. President Grover Cleveland said, "Those who manage the affairs of government are by this means reminded that the law of God demands that they should be courageously true to the interests of the people, and that the Ruler of the Universe will require of them a strict account of their stewardship."

And President Ronald Reagan said, “The truth is, politics and morality are inseparable."

America needs to pay attention to our candidates, stay informed and clean house of sleazy, corrupt government officials. We have lost confidence in those whom we have elected and who disappoint us repeatedly with their behavior and crimes. We deserve better."

Sunny Stapelman, Glenwood Springs, CO

• • •

"A lavender cloud is hovering over Boise and a few other places in Idaho and the traffic lights are maroon and lime. Maybe the Senator, to show he's not gay, will shut down the state's Truckstops."

William Parker, New York, NY

• • •

"What a wonderful example of Yellow Journalism Dan Popkey's article on Larry Craig has turned out to be. Popkey should be ashamed of himself for printing all of that horrible speculation. There is no definitive proof, of wrong doing, even with the arrest. Not to mention the fact, that the arrest has nothing to do with horrible accusations that are completely unsubstantiated. I will not be reading any Popkey articles again. If this is the kind of people that get paid to work at the Statesman then I am not sure that I wlll be reading the Statesman again anytime soon either!"

Sara Westbrook

• • •

"Senator Craig’s version of damage control only makes him appear silly as well as venal. He should resign and go away quietly. I’m not sure his ego will permit a rational approach, however."

Linda Cook

• • •

"I must agree with TK's comments. I would also like to add the reason for the outrage is TOTAL hypocrisy this man and others have shown towards gay citizens of Idaho and the United States."

Tracy Burris

• • •

"I find Senator Craig's situation appropriately ironic. His party's Christian, conservative, prejudiced, bigoted, and intolerant values - which are accepted and even celebrated by millions of American's and, sadly, a majority of Idahoans - have come back to haunt the senator. If Senator Craig is, in fact, gay (which appears almost certain) then bigotry and hate have quite obviously forced the repression of his sexual orientation, causing it to come out in strange ways (anonymously) and in strange places (men's rooms).

The guilty here is not the Senator, but the people who continue to oppress gays, lesbians, bisexuals, and transexuals (like the Idaho Values Alliance); the people who oppress those who are different and, in turn, cause the repression of perfectly natural feelings (homosexual attraction) in perfectly normal individuals (such as the Senator). I feel sorry for Senator Craig, his family, and all those who are oppressed because they are different. Unfortunately our society is remarkably slow to learn, tolerate, and accept."

Bryan Frost

• • •

"What sickens me is, Sen Craig has voted against all Gay political issues therefore they have to suffer his consequences. The fact is, he didn't want to vote for gay rights, because he was afraid the public would assume what is actually true - the possibility that he is gay. The majority of Idaho's public could care less if he is gay or not, what we do care about is he can't stand up and be proud of the man he actually is. He has to lie, then try to do a "quick and easy cover-up"."

Trisha Elrod

• • •

"Sen. Craig needs to come out of the closet, admit that gays are ok, legalize gay marriage, and then change the world. He could really make a great deal of difference, and earn my respect, by admitting that he has problems, and that he can deal with his problems. God knows we've all been through hard times, and it seems hard times have now fallen on him. He could make a great example to his people! Other fellow Idahoans having a hard time should see the value in his admission of guilt, and they should also seek the path of truth. It's ok to be gay. It's ok to have sex with people of the same sex as you.

Of course, I'd also rather him ride a bike to work, or something. But hey, I can live in a dream world for a few minutes."

Amy Vecchione

• • •

"Republican or Democrat it really doesn’t matter. The cover up and deceitful behavior after the arrest is a pattern followed by Michael Vick of recent dog fighting fame. Both are role models and should hold high standards of integrity and honesty. The fault is not that they fell the fault is they didn’t get up, admit they were human, ask for forgiveness from the public and try to put the pieces back together. It appears Senator Craig will follow the same pattern of only admitting obvious guilt and asking for forgiveness when there is nothing else left. This is not being sorrow for the crime this is being sorry he got caught. I remember the example of the U.S. Navy captain of a submarine that inadvertently surfaced under a Japanese vessel several years ago. The Japanese boat sank and many young people were killed. The Navy captain took full responsibility for the accident as the safety of his boat and crew were ultimately his responsibility. This man of integrity knew this would end his career but he took the responsiblity for his actions. These are the type men we need in office."

Chip Denton

• • •

"The phrase "fallen from grace" seems apt after scanning today's headlines regarding Mr. Craig. ...however...it would also seem to imply that one must be in a 'state of grace' from which to fall! Nowhere in the definition of 'grace' will you find words like self-righteous, hypocritical, evasive, or dishonest. The erosion of integrity among elected 'public servants' is at a disheartening, all-time high. I wish Larry, and all those who seek to serve the public in our political process, the courage to be grace-full."

Ms. Cecil R. Jones

• • •

"Im thinking his mentality was by pleading guilty and thinking, so nobody will find out, I better get this over with quickly. He thought he wouldnt be exposed and it would all be brushed under the rug. Sorry Larry these are, just the facts.."Dum, dum dum dum..."

Sylvia Garcia

• • •

"Although I think Sen. Craig has acted badly, I'm a bit curious as to why the gay activist bloggers and outers are treated in such a mild mannered way. During the Lewinski scandal and Paula Jones scandal, it was the women who came forward who were savaged. The media aided James Carville and Lanny Davis when they referred to these women as trashed. Ken Bacon broke the law by releasing Linda Tripp's personal file. And yet, it was the women who dared come forward who were vilified. Now, there seems to be no major background search on these people who bring charges. There are rumors and apparently knowledge about Bill Clinton's continued affairs but I doubt the MSM will bother with that."

Liz MacDougald

• • •

"While Sen Craig's sexual orientation may be his business, his lying about it to the press and the public establishes him as a man who cannot be trusted. His blatantly lame suggestion that he did not get legal advice in the three weeks that elapsed between his arrest and his guilty plea is an insult to the intelligence of Idaho voters. He is another in the long line of corrupt Republican politicians who knowingly and hyproctically exploit so called family values to allow them to support pro business and anti family policies that hurt the hard working men and women of Idaho. It is not enough to drive him into the retirement that will be well funded from your tax dollars. Replace him with a progressive voice that focuses on the hard economic choices facing our nation."

Tom Kennedy

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