Law Enforcement

Craig Arrested In Mens Room Incident

Chances are pretty good Idaho senator Larry Craig probably won’t seek re election, ending speculation and maneuvering by Republicans, following today’s revelation he was arrested in June and fined in a Minneapolis court August 8.

Seems the Senator had a “misunderstanding” in the men’s room of the Minneapolis Airport in June. According to a report just released at the REAL CLEAR POLITICS blog site–in partnership with Time and CNN, Craig was arrested by a plain clothes copper investigating complaints of lewd conduct in the public pooper.

Here is the text of the posting on the blog:

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

A spokesman for Craig described the incident as a “he said/he said misunderstanding,” and said the office would release a fuller statement later Monday afternoon.

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

Craig was detained for approximately 45 minutes, interviewed, photographed, fingerprinted and released, and police prepared a formal complaint for interference with privacy and disorderly conduct.

Rumors of Craig’s exploits outside the halls of the United States Senate have been fodder for partisan politican speculation for years. Last year a radio talk show host came out with allegations regarding Craig’s sexual preferences. The GUARDIAN and other local news outlets stayed away from the story.

It has been an open secret among local media wonks that the Daily PAper’s Dan Popkey spent six months tracking down the story. We hear he was unable to come up with anything they could safely publish, despite dozens of interviews, visits to gay bars, and trips to Washington, D.C. A responsible move on the part of the Daily Paper.

We have it on good authority there is an unpublished video tape of a meeting between Craig and Idaho Statesman staffers within the past six months. No doubt, we will have some juicy exerpts from that interview in the near future.

NOTE–Due to the nature of this incident the GUARDIAN cautions readers to not “cross the line”–where ever it may be–with comments.

Comments & Discussion

Comments are closed for this post.

  1. Warren Tyler
    Aug 27, 2007, 4:15 pm

    Google the “good” Senator-there have been a tons of articles implicating the senator in similar bathroom incidents in the past.

    I first heard the “gay” rumor in 1990. Where there is smoke, there is fire….

  2. Colleen Fellows
    Aug 27, 2007, 4:31 pm

    This story would work well with the title of the last article as too. Seems that there is now proof for something people have speculated about for years.

    Now I am guessing that this is the real reason Sec. of the Interior Kempthorn has been back in Boise without any staff for a month (unheard of in Interior Dept. history). The Republicans have circled the wagons on this one and are now trying to determine what to do next. My guess is Kempthorn will step down as Interior Sec. to run for the Idaho Senate seat. He has always prefered Washington D.C. over Idaho. It’s a little too slow here for him.

  3. Dunno if our esteemed senator can dodge this one.

    However… based on the details of the incident and ensuing arrest, I’m wondering where the crime was. (So far, there was some toe-tapping and “footsie” going on between Craig and the cop in the next stall. Some sort of gay-secret-code? But if that’s all that happened, where’s the crime?)

    BOLD PREDICTION: Senator Craig will announce that he’s decided not to run for reelection in 2008, “to spend more time with his family.” He’ll probably stay in DC as a lobbyist, rather than return “home” to Council. (The restrooms at the Council International Airport are outside, and only hold one person! hahaha)

  4. Heck these rumors were floating around back when he was only thinking about running for Senate.
    Those that knew him worked hard to cover it up.
    Idaho’s knew, but he had the rebulican party behind him and we know where those folks stand.

  5. BoiseCitizen
    Aug 27, 2007, 5:20 pm

    I would like to see him quit. Unfortunately, he could probably stay and get reelected because Idaho is sooo conservative. Those die hard dead end GOP’ers will probably believe Larry’s side of the “affair”. Of course I find it hard to believe that he could not get legal representation in between the arrest date and the sentencing. I guess he was just trying to keep it quiet. He has no shame. Bye,bye,Larry.

  6. Bikeboy–
    The moral to the story is this: DON ‘T tap your toes, even if you are light in the loafers or, if you, “gotta go, gotta go, gotta go right now.”

  7. Thanks to Wonkette

    for the trail to this site that I had (thankfully) otherwise overlooked.

    And just below a smiling pic of Sen. Craig is this ghoulish tidbit of how this group would like to see sex offenders punished and details the horrible, horrible habits of those nasty homosexuals in the Atlanta airport.

    I beat you to the prediction some time ago Colleen, but the part about Kempthorne was news to me. From what I hear, Dirk better keep his tap shoes in the closet as well. What is it with these guys?

    Rethinking your stance on Risch in DC now Sisyphus?

    Who says politics is boring.

  8. Colleen Fellows
    Aug 27, 2007, 6:40 pm

    So, I am assuming the Republican’s must really think this whole situation sucks. This is a really hard predicament they’re all in. Do you suppose there will be any stiff competition for Craig’s seat? Who ever runs, I hope the press gives the candidate very pointed questioning. Hands down, Craig better think long and hard about explaining this one away. He’s definately going to have to back out.

  9. “My guess is Kempthorn will step down as Interior Sec. to run for the Idaho Senate seat. He has always prefered Washington D.C. over Idaho. It’s a little too slow here for him.”

    Say it ain’t so Colleen.

    Actually I don’t think Dirkie could get elected again in Idaho.

  10. Colleen Fellows
    Aug 27, 2007, 6:52 pm

    Guardian warns….”the GUARDIAN cautions readers to not “cross the line”—where ever it may be—with comments.”

    Was that line at the edge of the bathroom stall?

    So, who worked to keep this thing covered up for so long? Which Republicans helped in the cover-up? It’s a pitty that the only time Larry was concerned with keeping things covered was after the crime, not before it.

    Would he resign for the sake of his family, and if so, isn’t it Otter that determines his replacment from a list of nominees from the Idaho GOP?

  11. So your coverage on this one looks quite tantalizing. Did anyone step over the line with their comments? Hard for me to tell, but I do enjoy reading your blog today.

    EDITOR NOTE–The line seems all but erased. We have had calls and comments from Texas, Minnesota, and North Carolina so far.

    This was truly difficult to write.
    I wanted to call the radio allegations “full blown,” but didn’t. I wanted to claim to have written the story “straight,” but you know how that would have sounded. Didn’t dare say his staff “stood behind him.” It was his own press release which explained he has a “wide stance” on the crapper!!

    And we Idahoans can just plan on being the “butt” of a bunch of jokes for a long time.

  12. Sam the sham
    Aug 27, 2007, 7:46 pm

    I agree with Robert. I’ve lived here all my life and these rumors have always been a part of this man’s reputation. Because of that, I am certain that he will run again – “man hears what he wants to hear
    And disregards the rest, hmmmm”. And some folks in Idaho vote, denying the pink elephant in the room. This is the state that just elected Sali for crying out loud!

    Oh, Dirk will get elected again for the same darned reason.

  13. Colleen Fellows
    Aug 27, 2007, 8:51 pm

    So, Craig’s newest press release says he should have had a lawyer and shouldn’t have pleaded guilty to save time. “I was trying to handle this matter myself quickly and expeditiously” said Craig.

    Somebody help this poor man. It was his trying to handle the “matter” himself that got him into this pre”dic”ament to begin with. Usually he’s “a-head” of the game. In short, pretty sure he’s blown his political career.

  14. I predict the good Senator will return to Idaho, switch parties (among other things), establish his new base in the North End, buy a photogenic maroon and brown retrosexual Western Flyer with big blow up balloon tyres. . . and be elected again.

    As for Hollywood Dirk? I think his visa should have expired long ago.

  15. Larry was very lucky to get caught where he did. In many places on the planet, he’d immediately be sent to a PENAL colony.

  16. Good riddance to the worst politician we’ve seen in this state in a long while.

  17. Colleen, you are having way too much fun with this. You need a two minute penalty for piling on.
    I find it amusing that all the libs who champion “alternative lifestyles” can’t wait to crucify Craig. I can hear the ” hypocrite” justifications already, so don’t bother. The bottom line is that liberal democrats and conservative republicans, have the same “bottom feeding” tendancies. You are just as big of a bunch of hypocrites as those you attack!

  18. I guess this gives a whole new meaning to “open borders.” Right Mr. Craig?

  19. I agree with Cyclops analysis of this situation. If this was a regular citizen, there would be no news story here. In fact the citizens to the left of the fence/ACLU would consider this entrapment and call foul.

    There are two side of this story that will come to light. The personal side that should be left alone. The political side will surface as to when he voted against same-sex issues. Politically this could be a road bump for a politician in Washington and disaster at home. All I can say is that hopefully you all exert the same restraint and give support to all involved just as if it were your brother or best friend.

  20. Now that he was caught with his pants down, I venture to say Mr. Craig’s career is in the toilet.

  21. Colleen Fellows
    Aug 28, 2007, 1:58 am

    Cyclops, sorry, but I am having trouble resisting the pun. Ah well, I apologize if the jokes are becoming a bit lowbrow. I’m not usually one for toilet humor.

    Yes, hypocrisy comes in all colors, red, blue and gray. And yes, it is often the case and without a preponderance of doubt, party affiliates will hold up a situation, pointing at the speck in the other party’s eye, while ignoring the plank in their own. I am certainly not about to parse the meaning of “is” here today. The point is not whether Senator Craig is, or is not, gay, straight or anything else, and that is not my concern here.

    The point is that our senior Senator has been around long enough to know that regardless of the situation, one doesn’t plead to a crime that one has not committed, short of being water boarded, and expect that it will go away by refuting it at a later date. Frankly, there’s not a lot more damage the “liberal media” can do to Senator Craig that he hasn’t done to himself already.

  22. Colleen is right. There is not a lot more the man can do to maim himself. If his guilty plea wasn’t enough, his excuse is sure to finish him off. For the rest of his life, whenever he enters a room, people will be thinking, and snickering, here comes senator “Wide Stance.”

  23. I agree completely Colleen. When all the dust settles on this, if it is concluded that Craig has been hypocritical in his voting record, I want him gone. Not for being gay, but for being terminally stupid. To do what he has been accused of doing knowing full well that Dan Popkey just spent the last 6 months trying to “out” him, would be beyond stupid!

  24. This is way too much fun! I can proudly say I have never voted for the man. Idaho can proudly say it has voted in some of the best. “Where is the can opener?” Helen Chenoweth. “Doesn’t fill out disclosure forms” George Hansen. And now “Potty mouth” and I am not talking about talking dirty here, Larry Craig.
    Keep voting ’em in Republicans and I will keep on laughing!

  25. While I am sure that other states eventually tire of their own clowns enough to send them away to preform in the hallowed halls of our nations’ capitol, why does Idahos’ contributions to the college of political baffoonery have to always show up in full make-up and costume? But seriously folks let’s think here;
    1. why an undercover cop..(let’s face it that’s just too good to be true.)
    2. Was Craig then being followed-and why?
    3. Who paid for said cop if such was the case? 4. Is anyone else (of note or not) being investigated?
    5. What was the origional charge, is playing footsie a crime in Min?
    6. Or does this mean the mens’ rooms in our countries airports are so dangerous that cops are being posted in them on a regular basis?
    Well politicians do seem to travel alot.
    ohh, my bad…not
    I find it too sad to be humorous, if it is true, that we now need “Crapper Cops”. Good grief!

  26. Having been in the Minneapolis airport many times, I can report that never have I seen any evidence of this kind of activity in the women’s rooms.

    I never voted for Craig but I have to feel sorry for someone who has lived the kind of conflicted life he has, and is left with the legacy of playing footsie in the men’s room.

  27. Larry Craig is a seasoned, inside the beltway member of the Senate.

    You don’t get that far in a political carreer, especially in that town, and NOT know how to deal with things like this.

    His pathetic story is just another lie.

  28. Larry started his press conference with the words, “Thank you for coming out today.” Interesting.

    Also interesting how you jump into the media frenzy now but all you could do for the past few years is lay back with the rest of the lame, easily-intimidated Idaho nonreporters waiting for someone at the national level to uncover an Idaho story.

  29. Chet, the reason The Statesman didn’t report what they knew is because they couldn’t get anyone to go on the record – and that’s a good reason to not publish. The Washington Post, New York Times, the National Enquirer and the other big coastal media have one thing in common: They are addicted to anonymous sources. I don’t think the NYT could report the weather without saying, “According to a high-placed official in the National Weather Service, who spoke on condition of anonymity, tomorrow will be partly cloudy.”

    If the big coastal media followed the simple craft practice of mandatory attribution, politicians, business leaders and bureaucrats of all kinds would get away with far less.

    The issue only surfaced in this case because Craig did something very dumb and weird, not because the coastal media somehow “uncovered” something.

    EDITOR NOTE–Wonk, you failed to defend the GUARDIAN who depends on anonymous sources. We too refused to print the rumors. It is NOT a rumor that Craig pled guilty, telling a judge under oath he did the acts with which he was charged. To claim, “The Statesman made me do it,” makes for great bar room banter.

  30. Colleen Fellows
    Aug 28, 2007, 9:07 pm

    Don’t forget, Watergate was broken with anonymous sources. Everyone demanded to know the identity of Deep Throat, and had their own theory as to the actual identity. Besides, at times, remaining anonymous is the only safe way for individuals to come forward.

  31. Cops are totally incapable of intrapment of otherwise innocent people. Cops never lie or write bogus tickets.They never shoot innocent people or get the wrong man,because well,all cops are highly honorable,perfect paragons of virtue. If a cop says it is so then by jove it is so. Therefore the senator must be guilty. Everyone knows you cross your legs when you poop.

    The man pled guilty to disorderly conduct to get the thing over with. Cops always charge you with several things so you will plead to one or the other and they will have a successful arrest.

    I say its insufficient evidence. Politicians and cops have something in common they are both capable of lying.

  32. Spike, A giraffe couldn’t cross his legs and still reach under the stall next to him! Cross your ankles maybe.

    Are you trying to say cops and politicians make strange bedfellows?

  33. Spike – Video tape doesn’t lie. I don’t have to trust the cops to interpret things correctly… video and audio say it all.

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