[Vision2020] Senator Larry Craig Challenges Guilty Plea

Ted Moffett starbliss at gmail.com
Wed Sep 26 13:41:17 PDT 2007


In Minnesota, Larry Craig's attorney argued today before a judge to withdraw
his guilty plea for the "disorderly conduct" misdemeanor charge that has
hounded Craig.  They argued, if I have this correct, that Craig pled guilty
to conduct that is not a crime.  It's like being charged with (my example)
raping a manikin, and pleading guilty.  The guilty plea can be withdrawn,
because there is no law making it illegal to rape a manikin.  The ACLU has
filed a friend of the court brief alleging unconstitutional aspects of this


I think that arresting someone for Craig's conduct in this case is over
zealous, and probably unconstitutional.  Craig peered into a stall, bumped
someones foot, and his hand came under the stall divider.  This is
disorderly conduct?  Questionable.  As to whether these actions implied a
sexual advance, they probably did.  But this is making inferences as to
state of mind that are also highly questionable.  There was no discussion of
sex, in fact no discussion at all, no physical contact except bumping shoes
(how often does this occur accidentally?), no notes passed under the stall.
There are serious constitutional issues regarding making his conduct a
crime, as the ACLU asserts, even if these actions implied a sexual advance.
If Craig had pled not guilty odds are this charge would have been dropped.
But avoiding publicity no doubt was uppermost on Craig's mind.

The political and ethical charges of Craig's hypocrisy in promoting a
"family values" agenda, while allegedly engaging in gay activity, are
separate from the legal issues in this case.  It could be argued that Craig
is representing his constituency, which is his job, even if the agenda he
promotes contradicts the ethical implications of his personal behavior.
Almost all politicians face this ethical compromise.  Craig did not force
the voters of Idaho to vote overwhelmingly for a Super DOMA in 2006.

Nonetheless, the shameless manipulation by the Republican Party of the
sexual hysteria of the public regarding Gay behavior is a major issue that
impacts this case politically.  The Republican's didn't just throw Craig off
the bus, they threw him under the bus, after his "disorderly conduct"
charges became public.  They want Craig to just go away quietly, no doubt.
The threat of a Senate ethics investigation prompted by a misdemeanor
disorderly conduct charge has almost no precedent, and might be an attempt
to bully Craig into resigning:


Investigating such a complaint, they warned, would draw the Senate into
"reviewing and adjudging a host of minor misdemeanors and transgressions"
even if "minor or professionally irrelevant."


Consider the approach taken to Senator Vitter, linked to affairs with
prostitutes.  If Craig had faced this problem, would the attacks against him
have been so vituperative?  Why should Craig be forced out of the US Senate
for his conduct, and Vitter not?  A married man having sex with prostitutes
is morally superior to a married man having gay sex?


Vitter, 46, apologized in July for committing a "very serious sin" and
acknowledged his Washington phone number was among those called several
years ago by an escort service run by Deborah Jeane Palfrey. The admission
came after Flynt's Hustler magazine told the senator that his telephone
number was linked to Palfrey's escort service.

I hope Craig stays in the senate for the remainder of his current term, and
resolves the case in Minnesota in his favor.  The case in Minnesota involved
over zealous police entrapment, possibly unconstitutional, as the ACLU
alleges.  And Craig remaining in the senate might temper the Republicans'
manipulation of the public regarding Gay issues, while serving as a reminder
to the public that the anti-Gay agenda of the Republican Party is shameless
manipulation of the public's fears and anxieties.

Ted Moffett
-------------- next part --------------
An HTML attachment was scrubbed...
URL: http://mailman.fsr.com/pipermail/vision2020/attachments/20070926/d0bdec4a/attachment-0001.html 

More information about the Vision2020 mailing list