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GOP senators say Craig should resign- but not Vitter?

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  • Greg Cannon
    If Craig should resign, why not Vitter? Vitter was caught by the media, instead of by the police, but there s no doubt he committed a crime. Craig s attempted
    Message 1 of 2 , Aug 29, 2007
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      If Craig should resign, why not Vitter? Vitter was
      caught by the media, instead of by the police, but
      there's no doubt he committed a crime. Craig's
      attempted sex would've been public; does that make the
      crime heinous enough to require resignation, while
      Vitter's private illegal sex acts don't merit it? I am
      confused. Maybe McCain and these other people called
      for Vitter's resignation so quietly that I never heard
      about it.

      http://news.yahoo.com/s/ap/20070829/ap_on_go_co/craig_arrest

      GOP senators say Craig should resign

      By DAVID ESPO, AP Special Correspondent Wed Aug 29,
      6:13 PM ET

      WASHINGTON - Idaho Sen. Larry Craig's political
      support eroded by the hour on Wednesday as fellow
      Republicans in Congress called for him to resign and
      party leaders pushed him unceremoniously from senior
      committee posts.

      The White House expressed disappointment, too — and
      nary a word of support for the 62-year-old lawmaker,
      who pleaded guilty earlier this month to a charge
      stemming from an undercover police operation in an
      airport men's room.

      Craig "represents the Republican Party," said Rep.
      Pete Hoekstra of Michigan, the first in a steadily
      lengthening list of GOP members of Congress to urge a
      resignation.

      The senator's spokesman declined comment. "They have a
      right to express themselves," said Sidney Smith. He
      said he had heard no discussion of a possible
      resignation.

      Craig said Tuesday he had committed no wrongdoing and
      shouldn't have pleaded guilty. He said he had only
      recently retained a lawyer to advise him in the case
      that threatens to write an ignominious end to a
      lifetime in public office.

      Sens. John McCain of Arizona and Norm Coleman of
      Minnesota joined Hoekstra in urging Craig to step
      down, as did Rep. Jeff Miller of Florida — and others
      who joined them as the day wore on.

      McCain spoke out in an interview with CNN. "My opinion
      is that when you plead guilty to a crime, you
      shouldn't serve. That's not a moral stand. That's not
      a holier-than-thou. It's just a factual situation."

      Coleman said in a written statement, "Senator Craig
      pled guilty to a crime involving conduct unbecoming a
      senator."

      For a second consecutive day, GOP Senate leaders
      stepped in, issuing a statement that said Craig had
      "agreed to comply with leadership's request" to
      temporarily give up his posts on important committees.
      He has been the top Republican on the Veterans Affairs
      Committee as well as on subcommittees for two other
      panels.

      "This is not a decision we take lightly, but we
      believe this is in the best interest of the Senate
      until this situation is resolved by the ethics
      committee," said the statement, issued in the name of
      Mitch McConnell of Kentucky, the party leader, and
      others.

      On Tuesday, the leaders jumped in ahead of Craig's
      appearance before television cameras in Idaho to
      announce they had asked the ethics committee to look
      into the case.

      White House spokesman Scott Stanzel said, "We are
      disappointed in the matter," without specifying
      exactly what was causing the discomfort.

      He said he hoped the ethics committee would do its
      work swiftly, "as that would be in the best interests
      of the Senate and the people of Idaho."

      In Craig's home state, Republican Gov. C.L. (Butch)
      Otter said his longtime friend "is an honorable man
      and I am confident that Larry Craig will do what is
      best for him and his family and the state of Idaho."

      For the most part, Democrats studiously avoided
      involvement with an unfolding Republican scandal.

      "We at least ought to hear his side of the story.,"
      said Sen. Christopher Dodd of Connecticut, like McCain
      a presidential contender who spoke on CNN.

      Rep. Jim Clyburn, D-S.C., said his party stood to
      gain. "All of these people who (are) holier than thou
      are now under investigations. ... I think the
      Republican Party will find itself in a great peril
      next year," he said.

      McCain's call for a resignation was the first among
      GOP presidential rivals.

      Sen. Sam Brownback, also seeking the White House, said
      Craig's declaration that he had pleaded guilty to make
      the issue go away "doesn't work in these jobs." Still,
      the Kansan said it was premature to call for Craig to
      resign.

      That wasn't how it was seen by Coleman, a senator
      facing a potentially difficult re-election contest
      next year, or by Hoekstra, who signaled a concern
      about the impact on the party generally.

      In an interview with The Associated Press, Hoekstra
      called Craig's explanations "not credible."

      "I think it's important for Republicans to step out
      right now and say, 'No, this behavior is not going to
      be tolerated,'" he said.

      Hoekstra, a conservative from western Michigan, said
      he reached his decision on his own and had not
      consulted with party leaders.

      "It's not a judgment on gay rights or anything like
      that. This is about leadership and setting a standard
      that the American people and your colleagues in the
      Republican Party can feel good about."

      Other Republicans dwelt on Craig's guilty plea, but
      Hoekstra's mention of homosexuality reflected a
      separate concern.

      "I am not gay. I never have been gay," the senator
      said on Tuesday, but that stood in apparent
      contradiction to the police report that led to his
      guilty plea, submitted on Aug. 1.

      Craig was arrested on June 11 in the Minneapolis
      airport men's room after an undercover officer
      observed conduct that he said was "often used by
      persons communicating a desire to engage in sexual
      conduct."

      Craig was read his rights, fingerprinted and required
      to submit to a mug shot at the time of his arrest.

      He subsequently pleaded guilty to disorderly conduct,
      and signed papers that included a notation that the
      court would not accept a guilty plea from anyone
      claiming to be innocent.

      In his public appearance on Tuesday, Craig said he had
      "overreacted and made a poor decision" after being
      apprehended.

      "While I was not involved in any inappropriate conduct
      in the Minneapolis Airport or anywhere else, I chose
      to plead guilty to a lesser charge in hopes of making
      it go away," he said.

      Democratic Rep. Barney Frank of Massachusetts, an
      openly homosexual member of the House, said Craig was
      a hypocrite on gay rights issues but he didn't think
      the Republican senator should resign.

      "This is the hypocrisy — it's to deny legal equality
      to gay people, but then to engage in gay behavior,"
      Frank said.

      ___

      Associated Press writer Todd Dvorak contributed to
      this story from Idaho. Matthew Daly, Ken Thomas and
      Andrew Miga contributed from Washington, and Jim
      Davenport from Columbia, S.C.
    • THOMAS JOHNSON
      The difference is that Vitter let the GOP leadership know it was coming before the story broke and followed their plan of damage control by apologizing.
      Message 2 of 2 , Aug 29, 2007
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        The difference is that Vitter let the GOP leadership
        know it was coming before the story broke and followed
        their plan of damage control by apologizing. Craig's
        arrest took them by surprise and since many feel that
        the Mark Foley scandal was the major reason for the
        loss of Congress in 06, they are anxious to get this
        story tamped down ASAP.
        I find it interesting that Craig took more of a
        arrogant victimized denial approach ala Gary Hart/
        Bill Clinton, and not a contrite 'I have sinned" Jimmy
        Swaggart style apology, followed by the now obligatory
        stint in rehab.

        Tom


        --- Greg Cannon <gregcannon1@...> wrote:

        > If Craig should resign, why not Vitter? Vitter was
        > caught by the media, instead of by the police, but
        > there's no doubt he committed a crime. Craig's
        > attempted sex would've been public; does that make
        > the
        > crime heinous enough to require resignation, while
        > Vitter's private illegal sex acts don't merit it? I
        > am
        > confused. Maybe McCain and these other people called
        > for Vitter's resignation so quietly that I never
        > heard
        > about it.
        >
        >
        http://news.yahoo.com/s/ap/20070829/ap_on_go_co/craig_arrest
        >
        > GOP senators say Craig should resign
        >
        > By DAVID ESPO, AP Special Correspondent Wed Aug 29,
        > 6:13 PM ET
        >
        > WASHINGTON - Idaho Sen. Larry Craig's political
        > support eroded by the hour on Wednesday as fellow
        > Republicans in Congress called for him to resign and
        > party leaders pushed him unceremoniously from senior
        > committee posts.
        >
        > The White House expressed disappointment, too — and
        > nary a word of support for the 62-year-old lawmaker,
        > who pleaded guilty earlier this month to a charge
        > stemming from an undercover police operation in an
        > airport men's room.
        >
        > Craig "represents the Republican Party," said Rep.
        > Pete Hoekstra of Michigan, the first in a steadily
        > lengthening list of GOP members of Congress to urge
        > a
        > resignation.
        >
        > The senator's spokesman declined comment. "They have
        > a
        > right to express themselves," said Sidney Smith. He
        > said he had heard no discussion of a possible
        > resignation.
        >
        > Craig said Tuesday he had committed no wrongdoing
        > and
        > shouldn't have pleaded guilty. He said he had only
        > recently retained a lawyer to advise him in the case
        > that threatens to write an ignominious end to a
        > lifetime in public office.
        >
        > Sens. John McCain of Arizona and Norm Coleman of
        > Minnesota joined Hoekstra in urging Craig to step
        > down, as did Rep. Jeff Miller of Florida — and
        > others
        > who joined them as the day wore on.
        >
        > McCain spoke out in an interview with CNN. "My
        > opinion
        > is that when you plead guilty to a crime, you
        > shouldn't serve. That's not a moral stand. That's
        > not
        > a holier-than-thou. It's just a factual situation."
        >
        > Coleman said in a written statement, "Senator Craig
        > pled guilty to a crime involving conduct unbecoming
        > a
        > senator."
        >
        > For a second consecutive day, GOP Senate leaders
        > stepped in, issuing a statement that said Craig had
        > "agreed to comply with leadership's request" to
        > temporarily give up his posts on important
        > committees.
        > He has been the top Republican on the Veterans
        > Affairs
        > Committee as well as on subcommittees for two other
        > panels.
        >
        > "This is not a decision we take lightly, but we
        > believe this is in the best interest of the Senate
        > until this situation is resolved by the ethics
        > committee," said the statement, issued in the name
        > of
        > Mitch McConnell of Kentucky, the party leader, and
        > others.
        >
        > On Tuesday, the leaders jumped in ahead of Craig's
        > appearance before television cameras in Idaho to
        > announce they had asked the ethics committee to look
        > into the case.
        >
        > White House spokesman Scott Stanzel said, "We are
        > disappointed in the matter," without specifying
        > exactly what was causing the discomfort.
        >
        > He said he hoped the ethics committee would do its
        > work swiftly, "as that would be in the best
        > interests
        > of the Senate and the people of Idaho."
        >
        > In Craig's home state, Republican Gov. C.L. (Butch)
        > Otter said his longtime friend "is an honorable man
        > and I am confident that Larry Craig will do what is
        > best for him and his family and the state of Idaho."
        >
        > For the most part, Democrats studiously avoided
        > involvement with an unfolding Republican scandal.
        >
        > "We at least ought to hear his side of the story.,"
        > said Sen. Christopher Dodd of Connecticut, like
        > McCain
        > a presidential contender who spoke on CNN.
        >
        > Rep. Jim Clyburn, D-S.C., said his party stood to
        > gain. "All of these people who (are) holier than
        > thou
        > are now under investigations. ... I think the
        > Republican Party will find itself in a great peril
        > next year," he said.
        >
        > McCain's call for a resignation was the first among
        > GOP presidential rivals.
        >
        > Sen. Sam Brownback, also seeking the White House,
        > said
        > Craig's declaration that he had pleaded guilty to
        > make
        > the issue go away "doesn't work in these jobs."
        > Still,
        > the Kansan said it was premature to call for Craig
        > to
        > resign.
        >
        > That wasn't how it was seen by Coleman, a senator
        > facing a potentially difficult re-election contest
        > next year, or by Hoekstra, who signaled a concern
        > about the impact on the party generally.
        >
        > In an interview with The Associated Press, Hoekstra
        > called Craig's explanations "not credible."
        >
        > "I think it's important for Republicans to step out
        > right now and say, 'No, this behavior is not going
        > to
        > be tolerated,'" he said.
        >
        > Hoekstra, a conservative from western Michigan, said
        > he reached his decision on his own and had not
        > consulted with party leaders.
        >
        > "It's not a judgment on gay rights or anything like
        > that. This is about leadership and setting a
        > standard
        > that the American people and your colleagues in the
        > Republican Party can feel good about."
        >
        > Other Republicans dwelt on Craig's guilty plea, but
        > Hoekstra's mention of homosexuality reflected a
        > separate concern.
        >
        > "I am not gay. I never have been gay," the senator
        > said on Tuesday, but that stood in apparent
        > contradiction to the police report that led to his
        > guilty plea, submitted on Aug. 1.
        >
        > Craig was arrested on June 11 in the Minneapolis
        > airport men's room after an undercover officer
        > observed conduct that he said was "often used by
        > persons communicating a desire to engage in sexual
        > conduct."
        >
        > Craig was read his rights, fingerprinted and
        > required
        > to submit to a mug shot at the time of his arrest.
        >
        > He subsequently pleaded guilty to disorderly
        > conduct,
        > and signed papers that included a notation that the
        > court would not accept a guilty plea from anyone
        > claiming to be innocent.
        >
        > In his public appearance on Tuesday, Craig said he
        > had
        > "overreacted and made a poor decision" after being
        > apprehended.
        >
        > "While I was not involved in any inappropriate
        > conduct
        > in the Minneapolis Airport or anywhere else, I chose
        > to plead guilty to a lesser charge in hopes of
        > making
        > it go away," he said.
        >
        > Democratic Rep. Barney Frank of Massachusetts, an
        > openly homosexual member of the House, said Craig
        > was
        > a hypocrite on gay rights issues but he didn't think
        > the Republican senator should resign.
        >
        > "This is the hypocrisy — it's to deny legal equality
        >
        === message truncated ===
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