Craig Defends Use Of Campaign Funds For Criminal Defense After Bathroom Arrest

Former Senator Larry Craig is back in the news. The former Idaho Senator was once a critic of those who wanted to live off the government or bureaucrats seeking more money from federal coffers. However, his lawyers are in court this week defending his use of $217,000 in campaign funds to pay for criminal defense after he was arrested in a Minneapolis airport bathroom soliciting sex. He insisted that he was still doing on public business at the time. Of course, the police alleged it was public business of a different kind, but Craig says that such travel was part of Senate business because he was traveling between Washington and Idaho on July 11, 2007.

The Federal Election Commission has sued Craig and argues that this is not what donors had in mind when they gave to his campaign. Craig does not claim it was part of a campaign but rather part of his role as a member of the Senate. He notes that the U.S. Senate rules allow for reimbursement for per diem expenses that include all charges for meals, lodging, hotel fans, cleaning, pressing of clothing — and bathrooms. His lawyer argues that “[n]ot only was the trip itself constitutionally required, but Senate rules sanction reimbursement for any cost relating to a senator’s use of a bathroom while on official travel.”

Craig’s claim brings to mind the recent case discussed on this blog of the woman who was able to collect worker’s compensation when injured in a sexual tryst in a hotel after the court found that it was a natural part of traveling on business.

I can understand the argument up to a point, but it is the criminality involved in the Craig trip that produces the logical disconnect. Under this logic, Craig could have robbed the Starbucks at the airport and used campaign funds in his defense. In the same fashion, there remains a difference between kissing babies and child molestation as part of a political trip. The former is a standard of politicians while the latter is a felony. Likewise, there is a difference between “pressing the flesh with voters” and . . . well you get the idea.

Craig has created a consulting firm called New West Strategies with his former chief of staff, Mike Ware, that works on energy issues. His bio wisely omits the reason for his leaving the Senate. Instead it heralds how “as a westerner and former rancher, he has gained a national reputation as a stalwart against environmental extremism.” Well, that is not quite the national and international reputation that most people would cite for Larry Craig.

Source: USA Today

23 thoughts on “Craig Defends Use Of Campaign Funds For Criminal Defense After Bathroom Arrest

  1. I can’t help myself…..

    But, this is a new low blow to campaign expenditures….. Oh yeah…. This low blow was what got him in the multiple single eyes of his darlings….. The media…… One Day in Glory…. The next a Glory Hole…… Better he is not singing the Campbells soup song………. Mmmmm good….

  2. Former Senator Craig,I have a piece of advise for you.Next time you want to do some foot taping in a mens bathroom stall.Have a little portable radio so should you get caught again,you can say you were listening to a tune.

    One very important thing Make sure the radio is on.

  3. There are worker comp cases where workers died of a gut wrenching induced stroke while using the head — the claims were denied as outside the scope of the workers’ duties. I guess Craig believes Congressional work includes his personal doodies. Why not, he probably crapped on enough constituents for res ipsa to apply.

  4. We had a dog in our dogpack that we had to kick out for trying to have same sex with a Beagle. This dogs name was IdaHoeDog. We named her that because she came from some state called something like that. Says that her dad in a prior life was a Mormon and a gypsie at the same time. She hung out with HumpinDog.

  5. I believe he initially pled guilty. Then when it blew up he changed his mind.
    Just wanted to throw another convolution in there.

    I guess the defense of, “Yes I did it, I got caught doing it, I do this sometimes and hoped to keep it private”

    That “defense” which is most likely true would not have cost so much.
    Strategy to create alternatives to truth are often expensive.

  6. “The Raving Lunatic Tapper on Official Bidness”

    Once upon a midnight dreary,
    while I pondered, weak and weary,
    Over many a quaint and curious
    volume of forgotten lore —

    While I nodded, nearly napping,
    suddenly there came a tapping,

    As of some one gently rapping,
    rapping at my chamber door.

    “‘Tis some visiter,” I muttered,
    “tapping at my chamber door —
    Only this and nothing more.”

    (Edgar Allan Poe). Quoth the raven, “Nevermore” …

  7. Considering Congress….maybe looking for a hookup is part of what they do and the expenses get reimbursed. The difference is, Craig was criminally charged.

  8. So many quips come to mind but I think I will defer to pete and await his arrival … endless possibilities.

  9. Could be true, then again it may not be true. At least the people I vote for win. They may not win by large margins, but they still win ethically. Something you may not be all that familiar with, its a word of Greek origins: Ethos.

    Why don’t you learn a new word. Try it on, the word is “Ethos.”

  10. d*mn yankee was in the wrong stall during craig’s toe tappin pit stop.

    we should be happy craig doesn’t want flight pay for all his time in the cockpit.

  11. Fun stuff there Pettie. I bet you get the best in the cockpit! Personal expertise, I am sure. I bet you recognize a bulk head when you see one.

  12. His argument is specious; a common wage slave or low level Federal employee would have to wait for the judge to stop laughing before getting a ruling from same but we aren’t dealing with little people or simple travel reimbursement. For little people not all travel associated expenditures are repaid and the definition of ‘doing business and ‘business related’ are clearly defined.

    In the recent hooker scandal involving the Secret Service if the travel regs were applied those men would have to pay for their own lawyers, there would be no shield regarding travel or ‘business related’ or ‘in the normal course of business’. There is a lot of latitude in who pays for a lawyer if you’re a Federal employee, so much so that specific insurance is available for employees to buy if they feel they may have legal problems arise out of their employment that their agency may not be required to supply legal help for. Craig is hoping his previous status gets him off the hook.

  13. Never trust a politician with two first names for first and last. He could just as well be Craig Larry. Crook from Idaho. RepubliCon. Rooting for the Willard.

  14. Just got back from Boise. They’ve got lots of range fires going there presently. Kind of difficult to get to the summer playgrounds of Cambridge and McCall.

    They’re selling Five Wives vodka in Idaho now. Costs $19.95 a bottle.

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