Remember the GOP senator who was arrested and later pleaded guilty to a misdemeanor when he got caught with his pants down, presumably soliciting anonymous, gay sex at an airport?
He’s finally found a new home after years of lobbying for the timber and energy industry at his consulting firm, New West Strategies.
According to local news affiliate KTVB-News, the Idaho GOP has hired him as their financial chair of their executive committee. A member the Idaho GOP recently proposed eliminating marriage licenses in order to prevent gay marriage, their party platform asked Idaho officials to “use all means possible to prevent expansion of the definition of marriage beyond that of a bond between one man and one woman.”
Craig, who consistently voted against gay rights and was a vocal opponent of gay marriage, was forced to give up his seat as Senate co-chair when the scandal broke.
He eventually pleaded guilty to lewd conduct.
But he later changed his mind, shocking Idaho by reversing himself and saying he would complete the final 15 months of his term. He later fought to withdraw his guilty plea, only to lose in the Minnesota Supreme Court.
The arrest, along with a series of poor decisions, left his political career in shambles:
In a rare public letter in February 2008, a unanimous Senate Ethics Committee admonished Craig for “improper conduct.”
Craig attempted to “evade legal consequences” by trying to keep the arrest secret and seeking to withdraw his plea only after it became public, the bipartisan committee said. The committee also said Craig broke a Senate rule by failing to seek permission before spending more than $200,000 in leftover campaign money on lawyers.
According to an arrest report prepared by Sargent Dave Karsnia, “Craig stated … He has a wide stance when going to the bathroom and that his foot may have touched mine.”to explain why he had tapped on a bathroom stall and peeked through the side several times.
Later on, it was discovered he used campaign money to fund his defense.
In an August 2012 filing, Craig’s lawyer Andrew Herman claimed that using his campaign funds to pay his legal bills was legal, telling the FEC that, “Not only was the trip itself constitutionally required, but Senate rules sanction reimbursement for any cost relating to a senator’s use of a bathroom while on official travel.”
The FEC was still trying to hold him responsible for mismanaging the funds as late as January, 2014:
Craig and his campaign “ignored admonitory language in FEC guidance indicating their spending would be illegal, and they now admit that they did not ask for their own advisory opinion because they were concerned the commission might say no,” said FEC attorney Kevin Hancock in the 43-page filing. “Instead, defendants spent the campaign funds, and they continued even after the Senate Ethics Committee warned them they were likely violating” the Federal Election Campaign Act.
Sounds like an excellent person to hurry up and hand oversight of large amounts of campaign cash, amirite?
Congratulations, Idaho GOP, you sound like you’ve got a really got a winner there.
P.S. Larry is not the only Republican out there who financed a legal defense with his campaign coffers.