Sen. Larry Craig to Announce Resignation. Craig Reconsiders Resignation. Craig Essentially Drops Efforts to Finish Senate Term.
Idaho’s senior Republican congressman called on Craig on Thursday to make it clear he will leave his seat by Sept. 30, as GOP leaders sought to remove any doubt that the embattled senator will resign within weeks.
Two of Sen. Larry Craig's children said they were angry with the way Republican leaders distanced themselves from their father so quickly. They chalked it up to politics, but said it was disappointing to see such a reaction.
What do you think of the reaction from GOP leaders in the past week? What do you think of Craig's decision?
Premium content for only $0.99
For the most comprehensive local coverage, subscribe today.
E-mail your comments to email@example.com to be posted at IdahoStatesman.com. Include your first and last name for publication and your phone number for verification.
• • •
"There must be a huge amount of money passed under the table in Congress because elected Congressional figures never want to leave their jobs. They mortgage their homes and borrow to the hilt to keep a job they always remark underpays them.
Senator Craig would rather stay in the Senate and the public spot light and be mocked than to quietly resign and live a private life. The humiliation is not that he appears to be gay. The humiliation is that he chose to seek sex in a lowly public restroom. Where has he sought it before, in public park restrooms?
He no longer has stature. He no longer has respectability."
• • •
"How many restrooms did Sen. Larry Craig pass up before he reached the restroom in question? Sen. Craig stated he used this same restroom each time he traveled through the city which he stated was weekly."
• • •
"Who does Larry think he’s fooling? Does he think we were all born yesterday? Does he think fighting the lesser charge he pled guilty to will clear his name? He is such a hypocrite and needs to quit embarrassing himself and Idaho by opening his mouth. He needs to just go away. No-one wants to hear any more of his lies. Thank you for being so thorough in your investigation."
• • •
"I am a liberal Democrat and supporter of equal rights for homosexuals, who rejoiced at the news of Sen. Craig's arrest simply because it seemed yet another incident in a long list of right-wing religious and political hypocrisies being exposed.
"Your Sept. 9 article was very thorough, but one thing in it has caused me to pull back a bit from my self-righteous condemnation: the remarks of Craig's liberal-Democrat (and gay man) Ed Johnson, who said he does not believe the rumors about his neighbor and acquaintance.
"In my view, that statement deserved to be much higher in the story, in the interest of fairness. It seems to me that Johnson, if he is indeed known to be both gay and liberal, would be a natural critic of Craig. Because of that, his disbelief of the rumors sounds authentic.
"When politicians get caught indulging in behaviors they've ranted and voted against, I am a cheerful member of the torch-carrying mob (metaphorically speaking), but if there are credible sources with no personal stake denying the charges, their voices should be heard just as loudly as any accuser's."
Dianne Felder, Leesburg, FL.
• • •
"I sincerely hope Senator Craig would seriously reconsider his suggestion to resignand have offered to provide any possible assistance for his defense. As have thousands of others,I too, have observed, traveling from or through the Minneapolis airport waiting areasthe suggestive activities of individuals obviously seeking illicet sexual activity.
"The Senator's guilty plea was made during a state of extraordinary stress under the assumption that simply pleading guilty and paying a small fine the matter would beresolved and forgot. He had not learned the lessons of others involving the insatiable pirana-like quest for fabricated allegations by implication from a bottom-feedingmedia solely for sensationalism.
"Senator Craig was condemned not by a legitimate court of law but rather by thecourt of irrational, irresponsible, sensationalized public opinion.
"For over thirty years I served on the executive board of a Minnesota-based, non-profit,public interest research organization focused on exposing consumer, medical, insurance andother fraudulent activities as well as employee abuse by employers.
"Many of these cases were made available to appropriate Minnesota law enforcement authoritywith no cooperation what-so-ever. Indeed, criminal prosecution in cases of alleged inappropriate sexual activity, spousal or child abuse, identity theft, fraudulent business billing are invariablycontingent upon the financial ability or political influence of the accused to defend themselves.In Minnesota you are generally guilty until you prove yourself innocent in such almost impossible cases.
"Intensive research conducted by one or Idaho's most respected newspapers, the Idaho Statesman failed to come up with a single verifiable individual willing to come forth under oath or willing to undergo a lie-detector test to verify any possible affair with the Senator.
"How does a person condemned by a frenzied media focused on sensationalism defend himself?In well over one hundred such cases I defended, my policy was to make fully public all aspects of thematter by the accused. I am not a lawyer but have served as a union executive board member and inother areas where individuals were illegitimately accused by fabricated implication.
"Before taking on such matters I would insist upon a sworn, notarized statementdetailing in full the victims defense. The final line of that statement always read "This statement is true and correct to the best of my ability and further, I agree to undergo any non-drug induced lie detector test on the condition that my accuser agree to the same." I never lost a case with this technique.
"In the Senator Craig case we have a highly respected man dedicated for decades to serving otherswith a fine family. To allow himself to be vilified will condemn him and his loved ones for a life time.It is therefore absolutely essential for him to take this matter to the public court that has condemned him and in that court exonerate himself.
"Many of the cases I worked with are archived and are being offered in defense of the Senator.
"I am neither homosexual nor homo-phobic, however, as a former resident of Minnesota I am wellaware of the fact that it is one of the most homosexually tolerant states in the nation, second perhapsonly to California. Such is readily apparent from newspaper archives readily available on the Internet.
"Others who have been victims under similar circumstances as Senator Craig should utilize this opportunity to come forward to illustrate the extent to which condemnation by fabrication, distortion of fact and misconstrued conduct is so incredibly prevalent in this country."
Kenneth J. Benner, Tucson, Arizona
• • •
"I believe that it is time for the Governer to step in and end the discussion. Gov. Otter needs to replace Sen. Craig at once, we as a state deserve representation in Washington, and Sen. Craig is to much of a distraction. We appreciate his years of service to this great state, but it is time to move aside."
• • •
"Most of the opinions I hear with regard to Larry Craig have to do with whether he is gay or not. There’s a lot of opinion out there that points out a contradiction in persecuting Larry Craig for his bathroom arrest while letting off other public officials for their wrong doings. The way I see it, there are two points here that have nothing to do with Craig’s sexuality or for that matter his infidelity. The first point is that he was in a public place trying to engage in sex. Not only was he in a public place, but he wanted to have sex in a toilet stall in a public restroom. Anyone who thinks they have the right to have sex in public deserves to be arrested - especially a U.S. Senator who people have placed their trust in to have more integrity than that. The second point is that he has stood high on a platform of so called family values, lashing out against others for what he considers immoral. He has stood in the way of gay rights legislation and has openly criticized others for their sexual escapades. And now that he’s been caught neck deep in bald-faced hypocrisy, he is really showing what’s even more disturbing and that is his immaturity by running around in circles, laying blame on others, wishing it to all go away. Senator Craig, I don’t think you’re in Kansas anymore.
"I applaud the gay community for the level of compassion they have given Larry Craig during this time. I applaud the police officer who has spent countless hours sitting in a public bathroom stall, having sex perverts hit on him, so that we and our children can use a restroom without being subjected to public acts of sex. Not only do our law enforcement officials do these kinds of things for us, this police officer even had the compassion to let the people he arrested retain some level of dignity. Something Larry Craig could never show those he considered immoral. And now it’s obvious that Larry Craig has become too drunk with power to show compassion and fess up."
Kathy Kernan, Clarkston, Wash.
• • •
"If Larry Craig wants to clear his name or stay in politics why don't he change over to the Democratic Party.... They will accept him, they have no morals or ethics, either, and he's acting like a Democrat. I'm so tired of our "Great" leaders shaming their office and this Great Country."
Keith Dolar, Oroville, Ca.
• • •
"With each passing day and every new twist and turn in the sad continuing Larry Craig saga I am increasingly gaining cause to doubt Mr Craig's trustworthiness, veracity, sanity and fitness to govern the American people from the Senate. His every action from his behavior in the airport mensroom and subsequent conflicting statements to law enforcement and explanations to the public, his carefully parsed promise of "resignation" speech and his accidentally revelation of a very calculating private communique to his laywer (whoops! wrong telephone number!!), his recent reversal of that resignation, his insistence that he wants nothing more than to return to his post in the Senate and then being a continuing no show there and saying he has no future plans to return to his job, his stated intent to start fundraising for his legal defense while his lawyer issues a statement that they intend to use his campaign contribution kitty for that purpose and further contradictions too numerous to name here, are all leading me to the inescapable conclusion that Mr Craig may in fact be mentally unwell. In all honesty, considering all that has been revealed and has transpired recently coupled with his 30 year history of possible questionable sexual conduct, my faith in him to faithfullly and competently execute his job and represent the good interests of the people of Idaho and the US had been utterly destroyed. As far as I am concerned it is impossible for him to ever regain any credibility or trust and so must permanently set down. If he is smart and sane he will gladlly take the nearly $100,000 per year retirement pension for which he is currently eligible for his years already served in the Senate and retire a very happy man at age 62."
• • •
"If Senator Larry Craig actually was soliciting sex in a Minnesota men’s room he has no business being in public office but it would be a major tragedy if his career, reputation and life were destroyed over a misinterpretation of innocent actions. There are three things that are disturbing about the way this matter has unfolded.
"First Sen. Craig was busted for “signals” not actual sexual behavior. The meaning of most of the alleged signals was pretty obscure. Before last Tuesday most of us would have had absolutely no idea that foot tapping had any deviant or nefarious significance. Senator Craig might well not have known either.
"Second a guilty plea does not necessarily mean that a person is guilty of anything. People who have done nothing wrong enter into agreements settling both criminal and civil cases all the time. Either the cost of fighting may be too high or the risks of going to trial may be too great. In Senator Craig’s case, however the plea agreement appears to have been a very bad bargain. It was very unwise of him not to have consulted with an attorney at the very least and possibly a PR expert as well, before entering into any plea agreement. Such bad judgment however, does not necessarily mean that he engaged in any wrongdoing.
"Finally much of the motivation behind the calls for his resignation appears to be for ideological and/or political reasons rather than because of the weight of the evidence. Senator Craig should be judged on what actually happened rather than what we might (either way) wish had happened."
Steven H. Warrick, Salt Lake City, Utah
• • •
"I think Senator Craig should resign immediately. His oratorical sleight of hand Saturday perpetuated a deceit on his constituency. I don't particularly care what he did or didn't do in the Minneapolis airport bathroom. His actions since that date call his judgment into question, and his intentionally obfuscating language in his Saturday public address did him no credit and violated trust with his constituents. That wayward phone message clearly indicated his INTENT on Saturday was to MISLEAD IDAHO VOTERS into believing he was resigning so that Idaho voters would get a Senator who could devote full-time to governing. Shame on Senator Craig for engaging in trick rhetoric. He should immediately stop representing the voters of Idaho, who deserve a Senator who conducts him or herself above reproach and without trick language."
• • •
"It appears that the mens room in Minnesota did what term limits could not do. After 27 years in office it's time for someone new. There are too many Democratic and Republican career politicians and maybe we now have one less."
John A. Onda, Indianapolis
• • •
"I have just heard news that Senator Craig is now "reconsidering" his decision to step down. A big show he put out for us then. He seems nothing more than a typical, sordid politician-- the kind that discredit themselves through their hypocrisy and then add insult to injury by refusing to be held accountable. It is not the Senator's preferences that we judge, but rather his lack of transparency and outright effrontery that we find despicable."
Moo-jae Koh, Cupertino, CA
• • •
"I am a none native southeastern Idahoan on extended educational leave in NYC. While the news of Senator Craig's situation is distressing, as a minority American I am aware of the effectiveness ofpolice interrogation tactics, especially for intimidating people unfamiliar with them. Tactics, I believe, that have in the past elicited false confessions from persons later proved innocent. I feel a modicum of privacy is necessary for public figures. Senator Craig should fight to overturn the confession and retain his congressional seat. And, who released the tapes? Was the senator's congressional seniority and committee assignments targeted by this situation? I just wanted to throw my two cents in. Thanks for listening."
• • •
"I am very surprised and taken aback by everyone's assumption of Senator Craig's guilt. During my legislative service from 1975-1981 I knew Larry to be an upstanding individual. His outstanding political record should speak for itself. This is a good man who has been set up and, in my view, railroaded. Other than his arrest, which sounded like entrapment to me, every other accusation has been from "anonymous sources". Isn't that interesting. Even the phone call about his arrest to Roll Call was anonymous. Why isn't there anybody who will put their name on the line if any of these rumors are true? Could it be that none of it is true? Have we come to a point where ghosts whispering in the shadows is enough to bring a good man down? Why is everyone so quick to think guilt. The news is replete with stories of people who have been setup or falsely arrested. Is it so far out there to think that there are those who don't want him in office any longer and this is a quick way to get the job done?
"And even if he were guilty, is there anyone among us who hasn't made a mistake. Those holding up nasty signs and spouting condemnations and guilt might ask themselves if they would like their names and all the good they had ever done erased by a smear campaign or a wrong choice.
"I, for one, feel he is not guilty. My heart goes out to the Craig family. I hope he is aggressive and successful in clearing his good name."
Wendy Ungricht Cicchetti
• • •
"The Craig kids are kidding right? Mr. Craig has distanced himself from his GOP brothers in the past, so why would he expect anything different when the shoe is on the other foot? All politicians have one agenda, their own, yet are always so surprised when the games they play backfire."
• • •
"I was disappointed in the treatment of Craig by the GOP. I didn’t even hear generic praise such as “Senator Craig was a fine public servant and served Idaho well but made an unfortunate mistake.” I voted for the man four times and though I, too, am disappointed in his behavior in this matter, it shouldn’t take away his 27 years of dedicated public service."