TheÂ Minnesota judge hearing Senator CraigsÂ motion to withdraw his guilty plea ruled todayÂ the Idaho Republican had his day in court and the conviction will stand. Judge Charles Porter of Hennepin County District CourtÂ denied Craig’s contention his plea resultedÂ from aÂ rushed desireÂ to avoid exposure whenÂ an undercover officer arrested him in an airport men’s room.
Senator Craig’s initial announcementÂ he wouldÂ resign from the Senate after the scandal broke was quickly backtracked while the lawmakers attorneys vowedÂ to seek a changeÂ of plea.Â
Shunned by fellow republicans on the hillÂ CraigsÂ office issued several wait and see responses to questions on his political future. The disgraced SenatorÂ a pillar of the pro evangelical neoconservative rightÂ and on the short listÂ of possible G.O.PÂ vice presidential candidates.Â Now aÂ pariah on capitol hill his former colleagues and friendsÂ avoidÂ him in the corridors of power.Â
The misdemeanor conviction on disorderly conduct was related to the Senators attempt to solicit homosexual sex acts in a public bathroomÂ during aÂ police sting operation.Â
The Senator claims it was all a misunderstanding related to his need for a “wide stance” while using the stall and denies the undercover officers report that CraigÂ engaged in clearÂ hand and foot signals associated with theÂ resurgenceÂ of individuals using public restrooms in airports to solicit sexual encounters. Authorities point to the abilityÂ of posting instant messages on boards that can be accessed with black berry and pocket phoneÂ computer technology as a factor in the rising problem.
The gay community in general expresses concern for theÂ lack of responsibility with theÂ practice since its locality, Public airportÂ restroomsÂ are frequented by children who risk exposure andÂ the danger posedÂ from molesters.
The Senator in the face ofÂ comprehensiveÂ reporting to the contrary dating back several decades, Insists he is not a homosexual. A lawyer who represented a teenage houseÂ page in 1983 recently confirmed Senator Craig was one of the house members who molested him.Â
The Senator who established a political power base urging denial of gay rights and criminalisation of the behaviorÂ faces possibleÂ senateÂ ethical charges should he choose to not carry through with his stated intention to resign.Â Â Â Â Â
P S Burton
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