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Lost in all the excitement of New Hampshire, the news that Larry Craig is still trying to withdraw that pesky guilty broke Tuesday (subscription) to little attention. Craig's lawyers have filed with the Minnesota Court of Appeals, asking that it overturn a lower court's refusal to let him have a mulligan.

The brief argues that the Hennepin County district court "abused its discretion" by refusing to allow Craig to withdraw his guilty plea in a ruling on Oct. 4. Craig filed a notice of appeal on Oct. 15 and briefs were due on Jan. 8.

Meanwhile, back in Idaho, Craig's self-appointed, GOP would-be successor, Jim Risch, is back to the scare-mongering. Last month he sent a breathless fundraising letter, warning Idahoans that the national media and the New Yorkers and Hollywoodites were going to take over the Gem State if they didn't send him money.

This month's letter is another treasure trove of paranoia. It not only evokes the same sense as a Publisher's Clearinghouse pitch from the early 1980s (sans copyediting), it promises even more fear! "Liberal Democrats Are Plotting to Steal This U.S. Senate Seat." Who knew that Senate seats revert to private property in Idaho? It only gets better from there, as MountainGoat reports:

The letter goes on in the same strangely desperate fashion as the previous fundraising letter and includes curious baseball references and something about his being a target that makes him "breakout into a huge smile."  It also again touts his strong-arming the state legislature into special session as temporary governor in '06 to pass a tax increase on average Idahoans which he disguised as property tax relief.

The letter includes an appeal from Idaho's GOP governor, but what it doesn't include is the fact that Risch is using Larry Craig to speak at his fundraisers. See, the lobbyists and corporate interests care little about Larry Craig's, um, extracurricular activities, but care a hell of a lot about getting another toady for their interests in the seat. While this dashes my fondest hope--that Craig's stubbornness would lead him to decide to try to keep his seat just to show them all--it doesn't mean Craig can't create some mischief back in Idaho for Risch. See, while he might be happy using Craig's clout to raise money in DC, Larry Craig's name doesn't come up a lot in Risch's campaign back home in Idaho, where Craig's popularity has most definitely waned.

Beyond this, there's the tidbit that Risch's paranoia might just reflect some real fear. The Dems are going to be awash in money this year, and they're even looking toward Idaho. While the DSCC hasn't committed yet to Dem Larry LaRocco, the DCCC has already said that they'll be targetting Idaho's first district and its trainwreck of a Congressman, Republican Bill Sali. Considering ID-01 is half the state, that will only help LaRocco (not to mention whichever Dem ends up on the ticket for ID-01--Larry Grant, Walt Minnick, or Rand Lewis).

So I guess all I can say is, "watch your back, Risch," the liberals are comin' for you.

Originally posted to Daily Kos on Thu Jan 10, 2008 at 03:59 PM PST.

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Comment Preferences

  •  Wish This Were a Diary Entry (7+ / 0-)

    So that I can recommend it.

    I really like hearing coverage from the interior Western states.  Activity on the ground there sounds very good to me.

    I am a retired candidate diarist.

    by bink on Thu Jan 10, 2008 at 04:03:19 PM PST

  •  Strange Baseball References & Paranoia... (6+ / 0-)

    ...built this country.  As solidly as a slide into third at the Base of Mount Rushmore...where'd that black helicopter with "Hollyweird" written on the side come from?

    Love it or leave it, partner.

  •  Whoo! Thought You Were Going To Say Larry's Gay, (3+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    mcjoan, The Maven, mcfly

    or some Shit!

  •  Can one fundraise from the closet? (5+ / 0-)
  •  Anything new on Craig's amendment on... (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    The Maven, AUBoy2007

    eminent domain?  I was kind of hoping it would pass 69-31.  If it had the support of 70 or 68 Senators, I was going to intensely lobby for one Senator to change his/her vote.  Eminent domain is a serious issue, after all ;-)

    "Some men see things as they are and say 'Why?' I dream things that never were and say, 'I need to quit drinking!'" - Greasy Grant

    by Greasy Grant on Thu Jan 10, 2008 at 04:09:08 PM PST

  •  When's the filing deadline? (3+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    The Maven, Buckeye Terry, leonard145b

    I'm still waiting to see how retired Craig actually is.

  •  OMG TEH LIBERASL!!1! (5+ / 0-)

    next thing you know they will be forcing upstanding Idahoans to have gay sex in bathrooms ...oh, wait...

  •  Imus (4+ / 0-)

    Was listening to the Imus show this morning and they were joking about Larry Craig trying to get his guilty conviction reversed.

    One of their new guys, Tony Powell said: "I don't understand why they go to so much trouble (airport rest rooms, highway rest stops, etc.). Why don't they do what Republican congressmen do and just pick up one of those congressional interns?"

  •  Larry Craig's more into denial than (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    The Maven, SecondComing

    a foil-hat election fraudista.  I'm having a problem with Larry's denial:  why does he bother?  He's totally identified now with that stall in the Minneapolis Airport, it's a tourist attraction. He's close to demented bothering the way he does.  Maybe someone can explain this.

  •  This brought to mind the time (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    The Maven

    I was working in a VERY conservative company (I was the token liberal).  One day a former NFL player who was a VP said, "You know, your a liberal prick!"  Without hesitation, I replied, "Yes, but without us liberal pricks, where would you consevative cocksuckers be!"  The room went silent, but then the guy started laughing, admitting that was a great comeback.

    In an insane society, the sane man would appear insane

    by TampaCPA on Thu Jan 10, 2008 at 04:14:22 PM PST

  •  Did you note Craig's legal defense (4+ / 0-)

    asserts that the law is unconstitutional, thereby questioning the state's power to regulate sexual conduct in public places?  

    It was just a few years ago that the SCt said the state couldn't criminalize homosexual conduct between consenting adults in their own homes.  

    Those republicans.....really for civil liberties.

    John Kerry? He's naive. He has no experience with the right wing attack machine.

    by Inland on Thu Jan 10, 2008 at 04:14:28 PM PST

  •  I'm just as glad to see... (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    milton333, Buckeye Terry

    ...Craig's career go down the toilet as anyone else here, but I'll point out for the 1000th time that he still is not in any meaningful way guilty of anything resembling an actual crime.

    I pity him for his sexual confusion, but I also think this is yet another great example of our legal system getting involved in meaningless interpersonal matters.  At the end of the day, all this is about is two consenting adults wanting to have sex.  Democrats traditionally don't think that ought to be a crime, right?

    The urge to save humanity is almost always a false face for the urge to rule it. ~ H.L. Mencken

    by Jay Elias on Thu Jan 10, 2008 at 04:16:20 PM PST

    •  I agree we should leave personal behavior alone.. (0+ / 0-)

      but this was PUBLIC behavior.  Although, I will grant you at the time they arrested him, he had not yet committed any crime.  Given more time, well...

      I wouldn't want hetero sex going on in a public bathroom.  Jeez, get a room!

      In an insane society, the sane man would appear insane

      by TampaCPA on Thu Jan 10, 2008 at 04:19:34 PM PST

      [ Parent ]

      •  Even that... (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        Buckeye Terry

        ...wasn't what we're talking about here.  There was no question that anyone was actually having sex in a public bathroom - the issue is whether or not he was soliciting sex in a public bathroom.

        Soliciting consensual sex happens in every bar, gay or straight, in America every day.  If these idiots choose to do so in bathrooms instead, who are you, I, or the law to give a damn?

        The urge to save humanity is almost always a false face for the urge to rule it. ~ H.L. Mencken

        by Jay Elias on Thu Jan 10, 2008 at 04:21:45 PM PST

        [ Parent ]

        •  Maybe but dont Squeeze the Charmin and dont (0+ / 0-)

          ask where's the beeef...Kraig may have just been out of toilet paper ? What would you have done..used your socks or stunk up the airport..All these questions need addresssed or undresssed in a Court of Blind Justice..This is Amerika

          "Better a little late, than a little never"..Doctor Julian Winston

          by Johnny Rapture on Thu Jan 10, 2008 at 04:26:45 PM PST

          [ Parent ]

          •  I would hope... (0+ / 0-)

            ...that I would have the brains to make sure there was TP before I used the stall.  Be prepared is the Boy Scout motto, which is fitting no matter what Craig was actually up to.

            The urge to save humanity is almost always a false face for the urge to rule it. ~ H.L. Mencken

            by Jay Elias on Thu Jan 10, 2008 at 04:28:04 PM PST

            [ Parent ]

        •  I have no problem with asking (2+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          SecondComing, Buckeye Terry

          anywhere.  But then again, if he peered into my stall, I'd kick his ass.  There is still such a thing as personal space and personal privacy.

          Public sex in bathrooms is not OK.  I have small children and they shouldn't be subjected to that.  Get a fucking room (pun intended).  Somethings really are over the line.  If you don't think so, then I can't explain it further.

          In an insane society, the sane man would appear insane

          by TampaCPA on Thu Jan 10, 2008 at 04:27:32 PM PST

          [ Parent ]

          •  I am not suggesting... (1+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:

            ...that public sex is okay, or that one should peer into occupied bathroom stalls without consequences.

            What I am saying is that putting undercover officers in bathroom stalls is both entrapment and utterly pointless.  We have laws against public indecency, and he is accused of breaking none of them.  So I must ask again, what is this about except celebrating the downfall of a Republican?

            The urge to save humanity is almost always a false face for the urge to rule it. ~ H.L. Mencken

            by Jay Elias on Thu Jan 10, 2008 at 04:30:13 PM PST

            [ Parent ]

        •  I'm with you on this (1+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          Jay Elias

          If we made soliciting for sex in public places a crime, there will be a jail on every street corner.

          So what if Craig signalled someone he wanted to have sex.  However, if they were having sex in a very public restroom, that's a different story.  But if two consenting adults agree in a public place, then go to a private place to perform the deed, what's the big deal?

          "It's hip to be miserable when you're young and intellectual."--Carly Simon

          by Buckeye Terry on Thu Jan 10, 2008 at 04:29:03 PM PST

          [ Parent ]

          •  The funny thing is... (0+ / 0-)

            ...that the more we defend Craig, the worse for his political career anyways.  Which is why I advocate our taking a position which is in accord with our political views.

            The urge to save humanity is almost always a false face for the urge to rule it. ~ H.L. Mencken

            by Jay Elias on Thu Jan 10, 2008 at 04:31:25 PM PST

            [ Parent ]

          •  Looking for love in all the wrong places was a (1+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:

            huge hit song and may be appropriate here..Lot of hetero sex takes place in public...Lots..Why youse think all those elevators get hung up between floors..I evun saw Clarke Griswald and his missus do it in an airplane restroom..Tidy bowel blue is quaint and a dead give away

            "Better a little late, than a little never"..Doctor Julian Winston

            by Johnny Rapture on Thu Jan 10, 2008 at 04:51:42 PM PST

            [ Parent ]

        •  Honestly, I do think it was entrapment (1+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          Jay Elias

          at the least. I don't like the way the police handled this at all. It's an insane use of police resources, IMO--though I do think they needed to do something about this bathroom--there is a significant difference between solicitation in a gay bar and in a public restroom in an airport, including the fact that children might be in that restroom. I'd think having the restroom on the police's security or regular beat would be as effective. But that's sort of beside the point.

          Because you still come back to the fact that he did plead guilty. Set aside whatever arguments you might have about the justification for the charges, he pleaded guilty. He's a lawyer, for chrissakes.

          •  FWIW... (0+ / 0-)

            ...of course you are right about the guilty plea.  Although if lawyers and lawmakers don't understand what that means, it would explain a lot about our Congress.

            But I think getting all Helen Lovejoy about the risk to children is a bit much.  This was non-verbal solicitation.  Would you or I have understood it, much less a child?  Again, it seems to me that we have laws preventing actual sexual activity in public places.

            And like I said, I think it only hurts Craig to have us agree that this shouldn't be a crime.

            The urge to save humanity is almost always a false face for the urge to rule it. ~ H.L. Mencken

            by Jay Elias on Thu Jan 10, 2008 at 04:38:05 PM PST

            [ Parent ]

            •  Um (1+ / 0-)
              Recommended by:

              I don't think it's just toe-tapping and solicitation that had been going on in that airport. Think about it. You're in the security area of the airport, between flights. Nobody's leaving the bathroom if they end up finding a hookup--where else would they go? The whole reason they've staked out that airport is because it was being used for sex. So the cops are left with waiting for someone to break that law by actually having public sex (maybe even a creepier law enforcement scenario) or nabbing for solicitation. I don't like the method, but some level of enforcement is completely justifiable.

              •  I don't think so either... (0+ / 0-)

                ...but this is a simple problem to solve.  Send in a uniformed officer every half hour or so.

                The only reason to do it like this is to be able to convict people who might have had sex there.  What is the purpose of that?

                The urge to save humanity is almost always a false face for the urge to rule it. ~ H.L. Mencken

                by Jay Elias on Thu Jan 10, 2008 at 05:15:48 PM PST

                [ Parent ]

  •  the only way this story could get better (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    mcjoan, leonard145b

    is if repubs around the country were compelled to use the Minneapolis airport.


  •  Craig is acting out of spite (0+ / 0-)

    Or as my late Mother would call, "pure spite".

    One of my rules of life is "never underestimate the power of spite."  Craig unquestionably supported the conservative Republican agenda for nearly 30 years.  Everyone knew he was gay or bisexual; as long as he kept it out of the limelight, no one cared.  He gets in trouble and is outed.  And what did the Republicans do-they ran from him as fast as they could.  While at the same time, giving DC Madame customer David Vitter a standing ovation.

    Craig decided,"screw you guys.  I supported you for years and this is how you treat me?  Fuck you.  I'm a United States Senator until Jan 2009 and there's not a damn thing you can do about it."

    Never underestimate the power of spite.

    "It's hip to be miserable when you're young and intellectual."--Carly Simon

    by Buckeye Terry on Thu Jan 10, 2008 at 04:18:04 PM PST

  •  They should be afraid of "teh libruls" (0+ / 0-)

    because if there are two things I know about us it's we can learn from our mistakes and now that we understand we are in a battle to the death for the soul of America we will not stop.  Unless of course the writer's strike ends and our favorite teebee programs come back.  That would be very very distracting.  I personally don't care if the South breaks off and floats into the Gulf of Mexico and becomes its own country so long as Battlestar Galactica returns with new episodes.

    "An entire credulous nation believed in Santa Claus, but Santa Claus was really the gasman." Gunter Grass

    by rrheard on Thu Jan 10, 2008 at 04:18:07 PM PST

  •  Some more Superfriends... (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    SecondComing, rrheard

    Meanwhile, deep inside the Middle East, President Bush practices a few exercises in futility to save some legacy-face.

    Meanwhile, somewhere south of Iowa, someone still cares about immigration reform.  But meanwhile, somewhere halfway across the world, our government pays children to fight our wars in the name of prosperity.  Surge prosperity.

    So many distractions, so little's a guy to keep up with that presidential race, anyway?

  •  McJoan, maybe you have an answer for me. (0+ / 0-)

    One of my coworkers is taking me to a caucus on February 5th.  But doesn't Idaho have a primary also--the Republicans is closed to anyone who isn't a registered Republican, but the Democrats is open.

    No matter how cynical I get, I can't keep up these days--Lily Tomlin

    by hoosierspud on Thu Jan 10, 2008 at 04:19:08 PM PST

  •  GOP mail is weird. (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:

    I got one of those "surveys" from the RNC.  I've never seen Congress referred to as the the "Nancy Pelosi Democrat Congress" before.

    I did appreciate the post-paid return envelope.  Gotcha for 41 cents, suckers!

    You can look it up, though I would prefer that you did not. -- tom tomorrow

    by sagra on Thu Jan 10, 2008 at 04:45:33 PM PST

  •  One thing about Craig: (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    SecondComing, Johnny Rapture

    He is not in trouble because he is gay. He is in trouble because of his perversion and his decadence intertwining with his  sexual immaturity.

    Gay people are overwhelmingly not perverts just as straight people are overwhelmingly not. Frankly, it makes me mad that this isn't discussed more often in the mainstream.

    It's about perversion, and not homosexuality.


    ...Operation Rota is Closed... New Blog Coming Soon With Pictures!...

    by nowheredesign on Thu Jan 10, 2008 at 04:46:13 PM PST

  •  Beware? (0+ / 0-)

    So I guess all I can say is, "watch your back, Risch," the liberals are comin' for you.

    And since Craig is still on the loose, maybe he shouldn't drop his soap or tap his toes!

    --- Democratic mantra for '08: It's the EVERYTHING, stupid!

    by KingBolete on Thu Jan 10, 2008 at 04:53:47 PM PST

  •  Idaho worried about "Hollywood and New Yorkers"?! (0+ / 0-)

    Yeah..... be real.  THAT's who's buying all those nice big ranches... paying salaries to the locals.  In too many places tourism is the only real option economically....

    They SHOULD be more worried about all the Right wing militia types holed up in the mountains.... THOSE guys are really scary... intimidating local officials and law enforcement.... and most aren't doing much for the local economy.... survivalists tend not to be all that affluent or free-spending.

    Of course with energy prices going up, they could benefit from unrestrained exploration.... hell nobody is safe from that in the West anymore.... the uber right wing Mars Candy heir is all hot and bothered because courts said a company had the right to drill for coal-seam methane on his nice private ranch....

  •  The gift that keeps on giving (0+ / 0-)

    "How about a little comic-relief?"

    How long will "wide stance" stay funny amongst toilet humorists?

    May I have ten thousand marbles, please? - Flounder

    by SecondComing on Thu Jan 10, 2008 at 05:46:37 PM PST

  •  why do you hound this man non stop? (0+ / 0-)

    would you chase him through the village streets hitting him with sticks? no,not in 2008. you do it this way now.

    diarist - wouldn't you feel better if you just stopped wasting breath and bandwidth on this unseemly matter? it's smelly and by now the smell clings to your clothes.

    it's hard to fathom why someone thinks this is a valid use of their time. are you paid to do this? i'm afraid you'll say no. and that is even more disturbing.

  •  Toe Tapping (0+ / 0-)

    Larry Craig is toe tapping.

    What a hypocrite.

  •  Translation from WingnutSpeak (0+ / 0-)

    "Liberal Democrats Are Plotting to Steal This U.S. Senate Seat" =
    "Democrats Are Working to Win a Legal Election for This U.S. Senate Seat"

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