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Given that Sen. Larry Craig (R-ID) is already facing one primary challenge from the right, he needs to do a better job of keeping his staff under control:

Army Reserve Capt. Jon Soltz, 29, and former 101st Airborne Division Sgt. Joe Kramer, 31, say Chief of Staff Mike Ware raised his voice or yelled at them and pointed at them during a scheduled meeting in Craig’s office.

The two soldiers and two other Iraq war veterans with the anti-war group VoteVets met with Ware and Craig’s legislative assistant for military affairs. Craig spokesman Dan Whiting said the men agreed to disagree before the soldiers left after about a 30-minute meeting. But Soltz and Kramer said Ware went too far.

"It’s probably the most unprofessional thing I’ve ever heard from a chief of staff of a U.S. senator," Soltz said. "I told him it was rather unprofessional to yell at a soldier who fought for our country."

Craig is already facing a primary opponent in Canyon County Commissioner Robert Vasquez, a rabid anti-immigration agitator who declared back in October. Perhaps not coincidentally, this report comes from the Idaho Press-Tribune, located in the heart of Canyon County. Beyond Vasquez, however, there's also a rumor floating around the state that the Club for Growth just might be looking at bigger things for their boy Bill Sali, currently disgracing Idaho as the congressman for the first district, and might be considering bankrolling his primary challenge of Craig. The persistent rumors about Craig's personal life have been the worst kept secret in Idaho politics, but have never been taken particularly seriously, or used by a political opponent. Sali or Vasquez would be unlikely to be all that reticent to use the rumors if they thought it could give them an inroad.

A run at Craig from the right is likely the biggest fearing weighing on the Senator's mind these days. By all accounts, he's planning on running again. If so, he's got to keep his staff from pulling another Conrad Burns-like attack on Iraq war veterans. Because dissing Iraq War veterans is even worse than dissing firefighters.

Originally posted to Daily Kos on Thu Feb 08, 2007 at 06:22 PM PST.

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Comment Preferences

  •  The sad thing is... (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Trix, Easterling

    We don't really have a shot at this seat. It'll just be one crazy wingnut replaced by another.

    Progressive Wave
    "Inconvenient truths do not go away just because they are not seen." -Al Gore

    by PsiFighter37 on Thu Feb 08, 2007 at 06:21:10 PM PST

  •  It burns! (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    bearian

    Conrad Burns, that is.

  •  WTF id wrong with Idaho? (7+ / 0-)

    Since when is Larry Craig considered a RINO? Only in Idaho could a hard right wing nutjob like Craig not be considered right wing enough.

    "People place their hand on the Bible and swear to uphold the Constitution. They don't put their hand on the Constitution and swear to uphold the Bible." --J.R.

    by michael1104 on Thu Feb 08, 2007 at 06:26:54 PM PST

    •  "Dissing" anyone in the military is bad (0+ / 0-)

      but "dissing" everyone in Idaho is good?

      •  A little confrontational tonight (0+ / 0-)

        are we?
        How in the world could such an accurate protrayal of the real political situation in wone of the reddest of the red states be considered dissing?

        30 yrs, and you haven't learned the 1st thing about politics.Sad.--RonK Seattle http://www.mehart.blogspot.com/ So, Okay, I Write

        by IsraelHand on Thu Feb 08, 2007 at 06:40:42 PM PST

        [ Parent ]

          •  How so? (0+ / 0-)

            Is Idaho not red?

            30 yrs, and you haven't learned the 1st thing about politics.Sad.--RonK Seattle http://www.mehart.blogspot.com/ So, Okay, I Write

            by IsraelHand on Thu Feb 08, 2007 at 06:44:28 PM PST

            [ Parent ]

            •  Imagine that someone said (1+ / 0-)
              Recommended by:
              tc59

              Only in (fill in the blank) could a hard left wing nutjob like (fill in the blank) not be considered left wing enough.

              Would that not be "dissing" the people of that state?

              Not a good way to "win friends and influence people", which seems to be one of the points of this article.

              •  Sorry (2+ / 0-)
                Recommended by:
                pHunbalanced, sja

                I am assuming that PDX means Portland? I grew up on the right-hand border of Oregon, campaigned for McGovern in the 70's there.
                You could honestly say the above about that part of the state, and have it be 100% true. Same for portions of Washington State, where I now live.
                The truth is not dissing---
                Idaho has in the last 20 years morphed into a very conservative place. It has always had colorful politicians--- observing such is not dissing.

                30 yrs, and you haven't learned the 1st thing about politics.Sad.--RonK Seattle http://www.mehart.blogspot.com/ So, Okay, I Write

                by IsraelHand on Thu Feb 08, 2007 at 07:08:02 PM PST

                [ Parent ]

                •  Observing? (0+ / 0-)

                  "Only in Idaho could a hard right wing nutjob like Craig not be considered right wing enough."

                  Only in (fill in the blank) could a hard (fill in the blank) wing nutjob like (fill in the blank) not be considered (fill in the blank) wing enough."

                  Sounds like "dissing' to me.

                  Probably would also sound like "dissing' to anyone in the state being "observed".

      •  I'll just diss the goobers in Madison County Id. (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        sja

        where they gave George Bush 91.9%  of their votes to Kerry's 7.1% in 2004.

        I remember in Rexburg the County seat I stopped at a supermarket and I asked wher the wine was, and they looked at me like I'd just asked for cheese imported from the moon.

        The Party of Failed Occupation / The Party of Desperate Escalation / The Republicans Misled the Nation

        by Lefty Coaster on Thu Feb 08, 2007 at 07:05:53 PM PST

        [ Parent ]

        •  Too funny (1+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          wastelandusa

          Back in the day, I found myself in Rexburg ID recruiting for the Peace Corps. For some crazy reason, Peace Corps sent me to Ricks College, a seriously Mormon school, to look for candidates.  I found myself, bleary-eyed, first thing in the morning, searching for a cup of coffee in the student union building. I got the same reaction that you did.  What a surreal place. I still remember listening to Karen Carpenter songs playing from the bell tower wondering if I had accidentally ended up in the Twilight Zone.  I'll never forget it.

    •  Craig was one of the libertarian conservative (0+ / 0-)

      Republicans in the Senate that initially delayed the renewal of the PATRIOT Act, by supporting the Dems' filibuster.

      Even though the administration eventually succeeded in getting through the Senate an only slightly watered-down version of that renewal, the administration and other Republicans may hold that against Craig now.

      Katrina was America's Chernobyl.

      by lysias on Fri Feb 09, 2007 at 06:31:22 AM PST

      [ Parent ]

    •  Idaho is very conservative... (0+ / 0-)

      Some of that comes from the 35% LDS population that holds politics hostage in the eastern half of the state. The Repucs then set the congressional boundaries to divide the state's Democrats in two by splitting Boise.

      Only consolation is that the Mormons aren't as 'in your face' about their religious/political views as Southern Fried Baptists.

      Humanity will truly advance when all religion is finally seen as the mythology it is.

      by Boisepoet on Fri Feb 09, 2007 at 12:14:03 PM PST

      [ Parent ]

  •  ok, wait a second (3+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Carl Nyberg, oblomov, Blue South

    am I missing something here?

    The staffers "raised their voices or yelled" and "pointed at them"??

    And you are honestly arguing that the staffers should be kept under control?

    Are you fucking serious here?

    To write in plain vigorous language one has to think fearlessly, and if one thinks fearlessly one cannot be politically orthodox. George Orwell, 1946

    by deepintheheartoftx on Thu Feb 08, 2007 at 06:29:19 PM PST

    •  Not sure I understand your complaint (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      xanthippe2, llbear

      When I walk into the office of a member of Congress and meet with them or their staff, I expect to be treated with respect. Sure, if I'm a jerk, I should be shown the door. But if I'm being civil, then it's certainly incumbent upon them to be.

    •  Missing the point (3+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      testvet6778, llbear, Randall Sherman

      it is bad PR for the GOP.
      And let me get this straight--- you think it is okay for the staffer of a a public servant to treat a memeber of the public any way they choose? Do you let the counter-person at McDonald's yell at you, too?

      30 yrs, and you haven't learned the 1st thing about politics.Sad.--RonK Seattle http://www.mehart.blogspot.com/ So, Okay, I Write

      by IsraelHand on Thu Feb 08, 2007 at 06:37:12 PM PST

      [ Parent ]

    •  They work for us (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      xanthippe2

      No matter what state you're from these guys are paid by taxpayers and get taxpayer funded benefits. They are also responsible to serve the national interest, not exclusively those of Idaho, (though that would be news to most republican Americans.)

      The characterization in this blurb doesn't sound too serious to me, until the "it's the most unprofessional thing I've ever heard..." bit. If they're not being disrespected by their guests, they have a responsibility to be not just civil, but professional.

      The meaning of life is LOVE (-5.13, -5.95) 1st-Gore 2nd-Clark

      by B12love on Thu Feb 08, 2007 at 06:48:13 PM PST

      [ Parent ]

    •  my experience with staff (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      testvet6778

      is that even when they disagree they are pretty civil.

      there was one staffer for a Florida Republican who was somewhat obnoxious, but not this bad.

      If you are interested in the politics of Proviso Township in Cook County, Illinois, visit Proviso Probe.

      by Carl Nyberg on Thu Feb 08, 2007 at 07:22:55 PM PST

      [ Parent ]

  •  um... (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    xanthippe2

    maybe its because all the newsmedia is on anna nicole around the clock, but I only care about the salacious stuff.  What persistent rumors?  Name the dish!

    No, I'm not serious.  The Publican Party likes to wave the flag and knock themselves saluting when it is an empty symbolic gesture.  Now that they have to actually be accountable, they lash out in fear.

    This is actually a good metaphor for their inability to deal with the realities of what they've wrought.

    Politics isn't everything, it's the only thing.

    by tc59 on Thu Feb 08, 2007 at 06:29:38 PM PST

  •  Equal (0+ / 0-)

    Because dissing Iraq War veterans is even worse than dissing firefighters.

    Actually, I think it's about equally repugnant.

    Opening Day - April 1, 2007

    by MikeBaseball on Thu Feb 08, 2007 at 06:29:47 PM PST

  •  Anyone can "diss" anyone they want (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    oblomov, sja

    It's the American way. No one is, or should be, immune.

    No one.

  •  I wish (4+ / 0-)

    I was rich.  I would have given VoteVets a million bucks by this point.  I love those guys.

    Just as importantly, I am glad that Republicans once again prove they hate the troops.

  •  craig (0+ / 0-)

    theres a rumer running around the capital building in boise,that says craig aint going to run again.

    •  I bet there is. (0+ / 0-)

      Old Larry is going to get one solid Republican challenger in the primary.  If there is a Iraq Veteran Republican who is a native-born Idahoan, he has a career opportunity that should be well-funded.

      llbear is trying to hybernate - and it's not going well

      by llbear on Thu Feb 08, 2007 at 07:27:02 PM PST

      [ Parent ]

      •  Other than *ahem* the rumor, (0+ / 0-)

        what the hell has Larry Craig done wrong?  He opposed the Patriot Act Reauthorization briefly, with Lisa Murkowski and I think John Sununu.  Beyond that he's been with the Administration every time.  He votes with the Republican Senate leadership on everything.  What's the problem?  Why would Club for Growth even be interested?

  •  We could have beat Lugar in IN (0+ / 0-)

    and we can beat Craig in ID

    •  certainly could have made the case (0+ / 0-)

      that the Dick Lugar that voted for the Iraq War and Bush deficits wasn't the same guy Indiana sent to Washington in 1976.

      If you are interested in the politics of Proviso Township in Cook County, Illinois, visit Proviso Probe.

      by Carl Nyberg on Thu Feb 08, 2007 at 07:09:02 PM PST

      [ Parent ]

      •  we won 3 congress districts in IN (0+ / 0-)

        I have zero doubt that this seat could have been in play last year.  And you make an excellant point, the Lugar of '76 is not the Lugar of '06.

        So if ID go unchallenged, it'll be the shame of the Democrats for years.

  •  Vasquez in Canyon County (0+ / 0-)

    His residence there was good for a win with 38%

    Sali and Vasquez running would split the "Silly" vote enough to let Craig win.

    How long until Idaho goes the way of Utah, with the Constitution Party trying to emerge there too?

    "Our country right or wrong. When right, to be kept right; when wrong, to be put right" - Carl Schurz

    by RBH on Thu Feb 08, 2007 at 06:47:00 PM PST

  •  need a blog keeping tabs on Craig (3+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    fgentile, xanthippe2, llbear

    and making the case to dump him.

    Will the DSCC put some money into anti-incumbent blogs and then use the project as a hook for fundraising from the blogosphere in 2007?

    A blog needs time to mature and build an audience leading up to the 2008 elections.

    Purposes of an attack blog:

    1.  build a community of people who want to dump the Republican
    1. intensify the feelings of people against the Republican
    1. expose the Republican's bad behavior
    1. work to influence traditional media coverage of the Republican
    1. needle the Republican to get him/her to react and take the candidate out of his/her gameplan

    If you are interested in the politics of Proviso Township in Cook County, Illinois, visit Proviso Probe.

    by Carl Nyberg on Thu Feb 08, 2007 at 07:05:21 PM PST

  •  Any chance we could find... (0+ / 0-)

    ...a decent Dem to run against Craig?

    What about the guy who ran for ID Gov last year?  Didn't he do well for a Democrat?

    Burns/Allen type gaffes from Craig and his staffers are exactly the kind of thing that could make for a competitive general election.

  •  Idaho seems to have a disproportionately high (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    bearian

    Ratio of rabid rightwingnuts running for office. I hope the Dems can use the fractious rethuglican primary (a term I have missapropriated from a diarist here)
    That way Sali's seat can be retargetted.

  •  I predict in that meeting Mike Ware (0+ / 0-)

    just produced one of the many future leaders on Veterans' issues in decades to come.

    Until John Kerry was swift-boated, Jon Soltz was a-political and conservatively bent.  

    Jon Stoltz on YouTube

    llbear is trying to hybernate - and it's not going well

    by llbear on Thu Feb 08, 2007 at 07:12:21 PM PST

  •  state with nuttiest pair of senators? (0+ / 0-)

    I had always thought it to be Oklahoma.
    But I could be convinced about others...?

    I am not talking worst politically, just nuttiest.

    •  nuttiest Senators (0+ / 0-)

      Alabama: Sessions and Shelby?
      Arizona: Kyl and McCain?
      Kentucky: McConnell and Bunning?

      If you are interested in the politics of Proviso Township in Cook County, Illinois, visit Proviso Probe.

      by Carl Nyberg on Thu Feb 08, 2007 at 07:39:02 PM PST

      [ Parent ]

      •  gotta be Coburn & Inhofe (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        Carl Nyberg
        • Just Being bad politically does not count (they area after all Republicans).
        • Being really good (competent, skillfull, sly) at being bad does not count.
        • Being ineffectual non-entity does not count.

        No, for this one, you gotta be the nutty whack jobs even they find embaressing and won't trot out on national stage!

        •  I forgot about Coburn (0+ / 0-)

          Yeah, Oklahoma would seem to have it in the bag.

          BTW, we need a blog tracking Inhofe, explaining what a nut he is and building a community of Oklahomans who want to dump him.

          With a strong community the Dems will be able to draft a top tier candidate.

          If you are interested in the politics of Proviso Township in Cook County, Illinois, visit Proviso Probe.

          by Carl Nyberg on Thu Feb 08, 2007 at 07:51:46 PM PST

          [ Parent ]

        •  good old coburn (0+ / 0-)

          i still can't get over how ironic it is that he wants to charge people who conduct abortions with murder.

          and he was an ABORTION PROVIDER a few decades ago in his medical practice.

          so the line goes, he should call for his own prosecution, since there is no statute of limitations on murder.

          yeah, certified nutcase.

      •  It's a ménage à trois between... (0+ / 0-)

        The 2 Senators from Oklahoma, Coburn and Inhofe, and the junior Senator from Texas, John Coryn.  

        Geographically, their states are doing this weird spooning action and coincidentally, so are the senators.  

        In the bowl of mixed nuts that is the GOP Senate minority, those three are some really big c-ass-shews.

  •  "Raised his voice" or "yelled" (0+ / 0-)

    Well, boys, which is it?  Voices get "raised" all the time, and in all kinds on contexts, with different meanings possible.  "Yelling" is a little less equivocal and ambiguous.  And the finger?  OMG!!!!

    The complainers sound like they don't really have much of a beef, and in any case why is this a forkin' diary?

    Their real God is money-- Jesus just drives the armored car. © 2006 All Rights Reserved

    by oblomov on Thu Feb 08, 2007 at 07:52:04 PM PST

  •  What rumors? (0+ / 0-)

    The persistent rumors about Craig's personal life have been the worst kept secret in Idaho politics

    Not being from Idaho and thus not follwoing Idaho politics I can only say:

    WHAT RUMORS?

    Anyone willing to enlighten this uninformed Northeasterner?

  •  What's happening in Larry Craig's Office? (0+ / 0-)

    Last week it was the 9th Circuit Court of Appeals letting Senator Craig know that he could not alone stop progress as his earmark placed at the pleasure of a hydro-power company who donates heavily to his campaigns lost on appeal. This week it's his COS yelling (or even raising his voice as someone indicated) at Iraq war veterans. What Gives Here?

    Is there such a thing in American politics as "too many years in Washington"? Sure. And could be. He was after all a U.S. Representative for Idaho before becoming one of its senators. By my count, Senator Craig has been already in office 27 years. Lots of years. Enough to forget what Idaho is?

    It would take a lot to bring down Sen. Larry Craig. A lot. Neither his politics nor the rumors of which you spoke would do it. Idaho is inordinately proud of their Senator Craig.

    My only questions, taken from the two articles I have now read, are Has Larry Craig taken on too much of the BushCo hard covering and that You Cannot Touch Me attitude? Two problems for sure in his own state. Civility, Respect, and Honor are all part of the Idaho citizen Larry Craig seems to be setting out to annoy, even anger.

    I'll watch with interest.

    In Peace, Harmony and Unity - May we all continue to work for bringing our country back to life again. MarchDancer

    by MarchDancer on Fri Feb 09, 2007 at 01:30:45 AM PST

  •  Good thing they didn't show Mike Ware... (0+ / 0-)

    ...some of the skills they acquired in Iraq, a Senator's chief of staff looks ridiculous with pissed pants. Most good troopers wouldn’t dirty their hands with a punk so I guess Ware was safe.

    The young man who has not wept is a savage, and the old man who will not laugh is a fool. George Santayana

    by Bobjack23 on Fri Feb 09, 2007 at 03:17:06 AM PST

  •  where's that dkos article about sali (0+ / 0-)

    that goes into detailed account of his attempt to defraud an insurance company by faking injuries?

    was that on dkos?  i can't remember.

    i do remember, though, that the low-point was when sali's own doctor wrote a letter to the insurance company saying sali was completely faking it.

    yeah, what a POS.

  •  If Satan ran for Prez as a Republican... (0+ / 0-)

    He would at least carry Idaho.

    The masses will vote for anyone with an "R" next to their name.

    Humanity will truly advance when all religion is finally seen as the mythology it is.

    by Boisepoet on Fri Feb 09, 2007 at 12:16:29 PM PST

  •  Rumors About His Personal Life... (0+ / 0-)

    What are they? That he's a closeted "Dreamgirls" fan and a big ole 'mo? ;-)

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