News Media

Kudos To Statesman, Craig Should Go

Under the managing editorship of Bill Manny, the Idaho Statesman–affectionately known at the GUARDIAN as “The Daily Paper” has acted with restraint and decorum throughout the Larry Craig ordeal.

Manny and veteran reporter Dan Popkey appeared on ABC News NIGHTLINE show last night. Both conducted themselves well and made no comments beyond what they had published. Let’s hope the Daily Paper is on the road to salvation despite multiple owners and many staff changes over the past few years.

We can’t say the same for Senator Larry Craig. His actions–actions he has admitted in a court of law–have brought shame and scandal on himself, his family, and the state of Idaho.

The GUARDIAN feels the decent thing for him to do is simply resign from office, do it with a simple written statement to the governor and forget about blaming anyone but himself–no explanation needed.

Craig–like any politician–thrives on the limelight. In Idaho we like to know all our politicians by their first name. They forget the necktie, leave the top shirt button open, roll up the sleeves and become “one of us.” Nothing could be further from the truth.

Big business doles out cash by the buckets full to anyone in office, especially a U.S. senator with seniority. They are granted special parking places at the airport. The airlines give them first class seats. They have their own gym, post office, dining room, health plan, retirement plan and a host of other perks. In short, these 100 members of the worlds most exclusive club have a pretty high opinion of themselves.

A local cop in a Minneapolis toilet treated Larry Craig like a common criminal hanging around where he shouldn’t –despite being presented with Craig’s embossed U.S. Senate business card. That’s hard to take for anyone–especially a member of the “exclusive club.”

We would like to offer a cautionary note to Craig family and staffers: Urge your man to QUIETLY resign and remain out of the public light. Love him, get some medical and mental treatment before he does further harm to himself. Be pro active and forget about a “wait and see” strategy. The Statesman is not responsible for the situation and there is no action Craig can do to punish The Daily Paper.

Comments & Discussion

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  1. I could not agree more and sent an e-mail communication directly to Senator Craig yesterday respectfully requesting he resign. He needs to know his constituents no longer support him.

    And, neither should we support anyone who blindly “takes him at his word.” Are you listening Senator Crapo? You should resign as well if you continue to support this blatant disrespect for our intelligence.

  2. I don’t know if Larry Craig is homosexual or just on the ‘down low’. It really doesn’t matter.

    I post only to make the point that the next time someone feels compelled to swear that they don’t know any homosexuals nor would they ever associate with then, that person should take pause and perhaps a deep breath. Apparently, unless you’ve had a sexual relationship with all of your acquaintances – and maybe even if you have – you really aren’t sure about ANYONE’s orientation.

  3. Mike Murphy, Bulll Moose Tenor
    Aug 30, 2007, 10:34 am

    Kudos to The Guardian (affectionately known in Bull Moose circles as “That E-Rag” ;) ) for a truly eloquent, humane and gracious article.

  4. Ten years ago it was Clinton: “I did not have sex with that woman.”

    Now it’s Craig: “I did not have sex with that man.”

    I think we all know how this is going to end, except Larry Craig.

  5. A couple things: First of all, I heard somebody say that with all the miles that the good Senator flies he must be a member of the airlines clubs, you know where you can go and relax behind closed doors, snack on the treats etc., while the others try and find a seat at the gate. So why would he even be seen in a common man bathroom?

    Then I would encourage the return of the ole’ bumber sticker, the ones that said “I’M Voting for _________, the Statesman made me do it!”

    But this sticker would say “The Statesman made me do it…..’What about that!’”

  6. ‘Elected officials have an obligation to be open and honest with those who have elected them. Sen. Craig has unfortunately violated the trust he held with Idahoans. There is no doubt that our US Senator served Idaho well for many years. In many ways he was a wonderful advocate for the people of Idaho. It is very sad that all of his hard work and accomplishments will now be tainted. As the Senator openly admitted he has put a ‘dark cloud over Idaho’.

    I have been asked what I think Sen. Craig should do. My response is very simple. Sen. Craig should do what he was elected to do. That is, he should do what is best for Idaho. Just as he admitted that he would be a distraction for Mitt Romney and resigned from the campaign, the same may be true for his work representing Idahoans.”

    - Brandi Swindell

  7. I almost felt sadness for this graying man after listening to
    Representative Nicole Lafavor(sp) in an interview. She showed compassion and class….more than Craig has shown when others were “down”. Looking at interviews from the past….he actually looked like he took great enjoyment kicking others when
    they were already down. Even when it related to their own personal issues. I tell my children.., “you don’t have to TELL A LIE for it to be a lie.” Too many people excuse lying by playing the “I just didn’t say anything” card. To me, they are equal No one is perfect. We all stumble. However this is a Statesman. He is very intelligent. Craig has voted on legislation that impacts homosexuals in what I assume they would say is unfair. Yet…he has no problem doing these things. The very things he tells his constituents go against family values?

    I could care less if he is gay, bi, straight or a polka dot! I strongly believe the ROOT of the problems in government includes two main factors. One, Special Interests(BIG MONEY)
    at the expense of the majority of Americans. TWO, CORRUPTION.

    My opinion, part of corruption is hypocrisy and failure to be accountable to American’s best interests. Craig engaged publicly when it was someone else’s personal affairs . He went on the record publicly asking for them to resign… shouldn’t he take his own advise?

    However I’m kind of torn. Hoping he doesn’t. Believing if he does…we might end up with an APPOINTED nightmare! Perhaps another very polished Liar. Something Washington has way too many of! Keeping Craig in Washington until the next election
    might be wiser?

  8. I feel sorry for the guy.

    If his “spin” is truthful – and he’s an innocent victim in the current scandal (and the many other indiscretions that are rumored to have taken place over the years), it would be HELL to be dogged by such accusations. (That’s possible, but seems unlikely to this observer.)

    If he’s guilty – and he’s spent a career playing the part of the conservative, family-values politician in the limelight while living a far different life when out of the public eye – that would be equally horrible.

    I’m no psychologist… but could there be something compelling about the prospect of “getting caught” that draws him and others? There’s probably a fancy name for that sort of thing. Having a secret, discreet gay relationship would be a whole different thing from prowling public restrooms looking for casual, anonymous sex partners. (Yuk!)

    Regardless… I believe Craig is the New Poster Boy for term limits. Even the very best, most well-intentioned representatives seem to get detached from reality after years and years back there on Capitol Hill.

    Excellent post, Mr. Guardian.

  9. shealyisnottheantichrist
    Aug 30, 2007, 4:57 pm

    Sen. Craig’ deserves to get the benefit of the doubt; two many have rushed to judge him before the facts were in. If I were him, I would be furious at my “conservative” colleagues.

  10. Folks, Senator Craig is typical of all narcissists, he wants to shift blame to something other than himself. Actually saying in his speech that this “brings a cloud over Idaho”, is his way of trying to implicate us all (Idahoans) in his perversion.

    Guess what, this is not about Larry Craig being gay, this is about Larry Craig being a pervert and a Republican Senator. It is the Idaho Republicans who voted for this guy that have the cloud over them. Every Idaho Republican I know would snicker when the idea was brought up that Larry Craig was gay. They are the enablers of this type of perversion. They supported this guy and most knew he was “different”. The cloud is a Republican cloud not an Idaho cloud.

    I wonder if Carl Rove wrote the speech. It was not Larry Craig’s closeted gay urges that made him want bathroom sex with men. I have many gay friends who would never think of such an act. But the Republicans are calling it a “gay” issue. Brandi, I hope you and Bryan Fischer can pray Senator Larry Craig back to the side of rigteousness and heterosexuality, so he can again be a born again paragon of Republican virtue.

  11. BoiseCitizen
    Aug 30, 2007, 6:06 pm

    shealyisnottheantichrist said:Sen. Craig’ deserves to get the benefit of the doubt; two many have rushed to judge him before the facts were in. If I were him, I would be furious at my “conservative” colleagues.

    You are kidding right? He PLEADED GUILTY! He had TWO MONTHS to get a lawyer and have the lawyer make it go away. I mean look at OJ Simpson. Look what his “dream team” did for him. Senator Craig could certainly have afforded an attorney. He is a guilty man trying to hide something, and it all blew up in his face. He deserves whatever he gets.

  12. Mr. Editor: Your 6th paragraph infuriates me with its accuracy. This is a special club. We stand out of respect for the office when a Senator or Congressman enters the room. Why? These ‘servants of the people’ are well compensated for their service, while school teachers, police, and firemen who hold this country together plug along, stengthened only by the knowledge that what they do matters. Let’s stand for them and let the elitest & holy 100 earn back the public trust they so take for granted.

  13. BoiseCitizen: As OJ’s dream team of liers, opps I mean Lawyers would say “if the wide stance fits when he ‘sits’, you must aquits!”

  14. Guardian – - Can’t wait to see your follow-up investigation on whether or not the Airport Police at Minnesota Int’l leave the toilets running during their coffee breaks.

  15. BoiseCitizen
    Aug 31, 2007, 7:14 am

    Depot Bill, thats funny! Shockwave, I bet they run to the showers to clean up.

  16. I have heard from two out-of-state relatives about the Craig mess up. We are all Democrats. My relatives said it sounded to them like Craig was perhaps set up by the cop. After I heard the taped interview yesterday, that crossed my mind too. But that’s just speculation. Apparently his own party doesn’t have much sympathy for him.

    What always seems odd to me is the obsession Republicans have about sex.

  17. I am not defending Craig due to his homophobic public positions but I think he could have prevailed in court if he had plead innocent. There’s no law against foot-tapping in Minnesota. Definitely a double standard when Sen. David Vetter gets a rousing applause after admitting he hired postitutes a few years ago and Craig is forced to resign. I can’t imagine that Craig will want to remain in Idaho now that he is powerless. The taped interview with the airport cop sealed his fate. Interesting that the Republicans have been hit hard with moral issues in their two strongholds — the South and the Mountain West.

  18. Believe me – if Idaho had a Democratic governor Craig would have had all the support in the world from his fellow Republicans. They would have done anything to keep a Democrat being appointed to Craig’s senate seat.

    But our Guv is a Republican so it was pretty easy for the party to throw Craig under the bus. Politics is a nasty business.

  19. shealyisnottheantichrist
    Sep 1, 2007, 10:26 pm

    No doubt Craig handled it poorly. He would have done better to quickly bring the issue to the media himself and put his own spin on it. However, biblically, he should have been allowed the courtesy of public comment before being called on to resign by Christians, whether he was innocent or guilty. This rush to judgment no doubt had some effect on the national branch of the party throwing him under the bus so quickly.

  20. 17. david Zarkin said:”I am not defending Craig due to his homophobic public positions but I think he could have prevailed in court if he had plead innocent. There’s no law against foot-tapping in Minnesota.”

    Correct, but there is a law against disorderly conduct, and here it is in case you were wondering. (assuming he was charged with the MN state code and not a local ordinance)

    609.72 DISORDERLY CONDUCT.
    Subdivision 1. Crime. Whoever does any of the following in a public or private place,
    including on a school bus, knowing, or having reasonable grounds to know that it will, or will
    tend to, alarm, anger or disturb others or provoke an assault or breach of the peace, is guilty of
    disorderly conduct, which is a misdemeanor:
    (1) Engages in brawling or fighting; or
    (2) Disturbs an assembly or meeting, not unlawful in its character; or
    (3) Engages in offensive, obscene, abusive, boisterous, or noisy conduct or in offensive,
    obscene, or abusive language tending reasonably to arouse alarm, anger, or resentment in others.
    A person does not violate this section if the person’s disorderly conduct was caused by
    an epileptic seizure.
    Subd. 2.[Repealed, 1969 c 226 s 1]
    Subd. 3. Caregiver; penalty for disorderly conduct. A caregiver, as defined in section
    609.232, who violates the provisions of subdivision 1 against a vulnerable adult, as defined in
    section 609.232, may be sentenced to imprisonment for not more than one year or to payment of a
    fine of not more than $3,000, or both.

    I don’t know about you, but I would be pretty alarmed and disturbed if the guy in the stall next to me was touching my foot and sticking his hand into my stall.

  21. Steve Ackerman
    Sep 2, 2007, 4:01 pm

    I agree that Craig should have resigned. In fact, I’d go further, arguing that he should have either resigned earlier, been more open to his wife and family about the issue, or recused himself from voting on certain issues and not been as vocal about them. He failed to do so, and will now pay a price.

    Here’s my problem: “Craig-like any politician-thrives on the limelight.” Let’s get real. We put these people there. We want to know about their private lives for our own voyeristic apetites.

    What the author doesn’t bring up when he focuses on the apparently luxurious lifestyle of politicians is the fact that they deal with very high-pressure issues that affect people, must maintain very robust travel schedules that take them away from their families, and must regularly try to keep apathetic voters involved.

    My limited time in Washington, D.C. and my study of political science in a democracy have taught me that certain truths are what they are: It takes money to run a campaign — cost of TV and other things — it is a high-pressure job — we had to shut down military bases and put people out of work. And, as Senator Warner just said, must fly to places around the world on a moment’s notice, jump out of helicopters, and study extensively on controversial issues six to seven days a week.

    Public service in a democracy is hard work, and the author ought to be a bit more balanced and, dare say, appreciative of those who take up the challenges it demands. When only 20-40% of the voters even bother to show up for an election, the complaints about politicians — whatever their failings — ring a bit hollow.

  22. Steve Ackerman has indicated here and on another posting that we need to be appreciative of Craig because he ran for office and that takes courage.

    Yes it takes courage – the first time only, particularly on a statewide level for national office like Representative or Senator. After that, unless you are a complete dimwit or totally out of step with the voters, it is very hard to beat an incumbent. They have the Pacs, they have the franking to mail propaganda, they have the infrastructure, they have the big contributors and the special interests and most importantly, they make the laws like McCain Feingold which are basically incumbent protection acts.

    Maybe these pols have high pressure jobs. However, they are catered to and I would bet a large sum that most of the pols in DC really don’t read the legislation, that’s what staffs are for. And I might add that many times, most times actually, these pols pass laws that have so many unintended consequences that it would have been better had they done nothing.

    These guys act like Brahmins. Witness Craig handing the cop his Senate card and saying “what do you think of that?” Obviously the cop said – “not much” which is about what the regular voter also says anymore. Steve says these guys need to keep a disinterested electorate engaged and infers that this is a very hard job and adds such a burden. I would submit that these pols would rather do everything behind closed doors, ie the immigration amnesty sham that Craig was so in favor of, in contradiction of the electorate.

    Craig brought this all on himself. Don’t shed any tears for him, shed the tears for the taxpaying public that’s going to pay him 100 grand a year for life. The saddest part of this whole fiasco is, he shouldn’t have been there for 27 years anyhow. The Founding Fathers never anticipated that these guys would serve for life.

  23. shealyisnottheantichrist
    Sep 4, 2007, 10:34 pm

    “Andy” sounds an awful lot like Bryan Fischer.

  24. Steve Ackerman
    Sep 5, 2007, 10:08 pm

    Sara is right if Senator Craig handed the police officer his Senate card, trying to use his power to influence the police officer. That’s abuse of power, not respect for the voters that gave him that power — temporarily.

    I’m not going to go down the road of trying to say Senator Craig didn’t have his faults. Given his desire to pursue private behavior that would embarass his wife and family, maybe he should have left before.

    But let’s not forget that voting to send people into conflict, voting to confirm judges to lifetime appointments, etc. is not easy business. I’m glad they have staffs to help them understand the full range of decisions like that. How much time does the average voter spend researching issues? 30% and 40% voter turnouts tell me it’s not much.

    When it comes to elections, let’s remember something: In business, you can miss your quarterly or annual goal by a couple of percentage points, and still “win” by showing profit. In politics, if you lose 49.9% to 50.1%, you get nothing — your a loser.

    As for special interests, everybody is a special interest. If you own a house, you get to write off your mortgage interest thanks to special interests. Is that fair to people that rent? But it helps pursue the broad goal of home ownership and stake in the society.

    We want cheaper gas or some other fuel, but don’t want to pay for researching it. We want more drilling, but want to protect the environment. We want other fuels, but don’t want it to be more expensive, poorer performing, or any inconvenience. We want it all, which is why we send these politicians conflicting signals of what they want. Then we complain when they compromise.

    I’m not saying elected politicians are saints, but we are part of this problem. Craig didn’t get there by magic. And he didn’t get there because of some manipulation. The majority of people elected him there more than once. If the majority didn’t pay attention, or if they didn’t care enough to check, then caveat emptor (“let the buyer beware”). The media seemed to have news about previous allegations.

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