Hamilton, Madison, and Jay

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Thursday, August 30, 2007

Craig to resign

Captain Ed picked up the story from CNN that Craig will resign; possibly as soon as today:

Several well-placed GOP sources in Washington and Idaho have told CNN that embattled Republican Sen. Larry Craig is likely to resign soon, possibly as early as Friday.

GOP sources with knowledge of the situation told CNN's Dana Bash that the Republican National Committee was poised to take the extraordinary step of calling on Craig to resign but held off.

The RNC put the move on hold, the sources said, because top party leaders have received indications that Craig himself is preparing to step down.

Sources have confirmed that high-level meetings on the matter were being conducted in Idaho on Thursday.

Craig has been under pressure to quit since news surfaced this week that he was arrested in June at Minneapolis-St. Paul International Airport and later pleaded guilty to a disorderly conduct charge.

The arrest was made by an officer investigating reports of sexual behavior in an airport restroom.

In a post-arrest police recording released Thursday, Craig denied that he was trying to engage in lewd behavior in the airport bathroom and suggested he was entrapped by the arresting officer.

OK, so this is finally coming to a close. But I would like to address an issue that has popped up, and one that Capt. Ed brought up. What makes Larry Craig different from David Vitter? Both men committed crimes. Craig was charged, and plead to a lesser charge. David Vitter, while he did break the law, was never charged. So what makes Vitter's case different from the Craig case?

Vitter came forward with the news that he had been a client of the DC Madam after Hustler obtained his phone number from the brothel's records. His liaisons with the DC Madam and her consorts began in 1999 and ended in 2001. He openly admitted to it in a press conference, and stated that he and his wife were working through this. He can't legally be charged with a crime because of the statute of limitations. The question remains whether or not he can retain his seat in the 2010 elections. More than likely he will unless his opponent makes a lot of hay out of this, or stumbles on any other sort of illicit liaisons that he might have had since then.

Larry Craig was arrested for lewd behavior. He plead the charge down to disorderly conduct, and accepted the punishment of the court. But he did this all in secret. He didn't tell his wife, his family, his friends. Hell, he didn't even seek out counsel from a lawyer. (That one still gets me.) He kept it as quiet as he could until the media got a hold of it. Sure, they play gotcha politics with the GOP, and Craig should have seen that coming. Instead of admitting that he was charged with a crime and that he plead guilty to it, he hid it.

And there is the difference between the two. While Vitter did commit a crime, he was never caught for, nor was he charged wit solicitation. Craig was arrested. He was charged, and he plead guilty. There is the underlying difference between the two. Personally speaking, if I were a voter in Louisiana, I'd never cast a vote for Vitter. I've got a moralistic view of the world, and the first thing on the top of my list is you don't cheat on your wife.

When it comes to DC, I want representatives in office that have the integrity and character that matches the post they were elected to. I want someone with the courage of their convictions. I don't want criminals there, and I sure as heck don't want people there that think they can glide under the radar so the voters don't see what they're doing. If Larry Craig resigns today, then all the better. If not, then the beatings will continue though I think he's taking a lot more punches from the media than the voters right now.

Publius II

UPDATE: A Craig staff member has told ABC News that Craig isn't resigning:

ABC News' Ronna Waldman reports: Despite reports today quoting anonymous 'GOP sources" that embattled Sen. Larry Craig, R-Idaho., will resign Friday, his aide says the Senator will return to Washington, D.C. next week to continue his work as best he can, Craig's Idaho press secretary tells ABC News.

If that plan changes, the media will be notified, the aide said.

Pressure has mounted on Craig to resign after news broke of his arrest in an undercover sting operation in an airport men's room. Craig pleaded guilty to disorderly conduct on Aug. 1 but has maintained that he did nothing wrong.

Republican leaders have launched investigations into the matter and Republican senators have publicly called on Craig to step down.

Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell called Craig's conduct "unforgivable," the AP reported Friday. The GOP Senate Leader acknowledged many caucus-members are pushing for Craig to step down.

"We have acted promptly to begin the process of dealing with this conduct," McConnell told the AP. "We will see what happens in the coming days."

If this is true then Craig is rolling the dice and taking his chances at an ethics probe. If he's cleared, then he's going to stay. If they find out that he did breach ehtics as a US senator, they're going to call, formally, for his ouster.

Publius II


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