WASHINGTON (AP) — The Senate Ethics Committee said Wednesday that Idaho Sen. Larry Craig acted improperly in connection with a men’s room sex sting last year and had brought discredit on the Senate.
Gee, all that excitement going on, and Larry still found the time to send us a Valentine’s Day card! What a guy!!
Nice to see you still have that wide stance! Interesting topiary, Larry! Make sure to tip your gardener well! 😉
In a letter to the Republican senator, the ethics panel said Craig’s attempt to withdraw his guilty plea after his arrest at a Minneapolis airport was an effort to evade legal consequences of his own actions.
In an e-mailed statement, Craig told The Associated Press he disagreed with the ethics panel’s action.
The six members of the committee — three Democrats and three Republicans — told Craig they believed he “committed the offense to which you pled guilty” and that “you entered your plea knowingly, voluntarily and intelligently.”
The panel also said Craig should have received permission from the ethics panel before using campaign funds to pay his legal bills. Craig, who is not running for re-election, has spent more than $213,000 in campaign money for legal expense and public relations work in the wake of his arrest and conviction last summer.
The committee said it had reached no conclusion about whether use of campaign funds was proper, but it said “it is clear that you never sought the committee’s approval, as required,” to use the money for legal expenses.
Any future use of campaign money for legal bills will be seen as “demonstrating your continuing disregard of ethics requirements,” the ethics committee wrote in its three-page letter.
The panel also admonished Craig for showing the arresting officer a business card that identified him as a U.S. senator.
The committee wrote, “You knew or should have known that a reasonable person in the position of the arresting officer could view your action and statement as an improper attempt by you to use your position and status … to receive special and favorable treatment.”
Sen. Barbara Boxer, D-Calif., chairwoman of the ethics panel, declined to comment. A spokeswoman said the panel’s letter of admonition cannot be appealed.
The ethics panel took no further action against Craig.
Craig, a three-term Republican, pleaded guilty to disorderly conduct in August after he was accused of soliciting sex in a bathroom at the Minneapolis-St. Paul International Airport in June.
Senate Republicans demanded the ethics investigation after news broke of Craig’s conviction last August.
Besides Boxer, the letter is signed by Sen. John Cornyn, R-Texas, the panel’s vice chairman, and Sens. Mark Pryor, D-Ark., Ken Salazar, D-Colo., Pat Roberts, R-Kan., and Johnny Isakson, R-Ga.
While we are on the subject of Valentine’s Day…..