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Tuesday, December 09, 2008

Minnesota court of appeals affirms Craig conviction

I wrote quite a bit last year about Sen. Larry "Wide Stance" Craig (R-ID)'s pathetic attempts to withdraw his guilty plea for disorderly conduct in a Minneapolis-St. Paul airport restroom, and after reading the trial judge's opinion rejecting that attempt last October, I concluded that for purposes of any appeals, Sen. Craig was already toast. However, by continuing his appeals, Sen. Craig managed to stave off any Senate action to unseat him, and he's now served out all but the last few days of the balance of his term.

Thus, today's decision by the Minnesota Court of Appeals — which affirmed Sen. Craig's conviction and the trial court's refusal to reconsider it — is a belated epilogue to the melodrama of the Larry Craig story. Craig may, for appearances' sake, seek further review in the Minnesota Supreme Court or even the Supreme Court of the United States (since he insists that he, or the ACLU on his behalf, has raised federal constitutional issues). But today's decision — which the appellate court didn't even consider significant enough to warrant marking for publication in the bound volumes of appellate precedent — is plenty solid enough to survive further attacks, just as was the trial court's.

Were I to struggle to extend my metaphor from last October, then, I supposed I'd have to say that Sen. Craig is now merely stale crumbs of toast.


Previous posts on the Craig matter, oldest to most recent:

  1. The answer to the "Why was this a crime?" crowd on the Craig matter
  2. Craig "reconsidering" resignation; and his chance to withdraw his guilty plea is probably better than Beldar first presumed
  3. Has Larry Craig hired the part-time prosecutor who filed the complaint against him?
  4. Craig swears that on the date of his arrest, he "decided to seek a guilty plea to whatever charge would be lodged" against him
  5. In letter forwarding proposed plea, prosecutor Renz repeatedly reminded Craig of his right to counsel and warned that plea would result in "a conviction for Disorderly Conduct appearing on [his] criminal record"
  6. ACLU files silly brief in support of Craig's plea withdrawal
  7. Prosecution moves to strike ACLU amicus brief supporting Craig's motion to withdraw guilty plea
  8. Of pleas and piñatas: No surprises in prosecution's response to Craig's motion to withdraw guilty plea
  9. Craig plans to ditch hearing, but Renz should object to his affidavit as hearsay and force Craig to take the stand
  10. Just "one procedural question" for prosecutor Renz as he opposed Sen. Craig's motion to withdraw his guilty plea
  11. Is Craig's strategy "winning by losing," counting on colleagues and constituents to confuse "innocent until proven guilty" with "guilty (pending further appeals)"?
  12. Minnesota trial court rejects Craig's motion to withdraw guilty plea

Posted by Beldar at 01:03 PM in Law (2008), Politics (2008) | Permalink


Other weblog posts, if any, whose authors have linked to Minnesota court of appeals affirms Craig conviction and sent a trackback ping are listed here:


(1) Bill Brandt made the following comment | Dec 10, 2008 2:48:44 AM | Permalink

If he is innocent as he claimed, why did he plead guilty to disorderly conduct?

I am amazed at the cohones these senators have - get caught doing lewd stuff in a public restroom and most people would want to slink away. Even Pee Wee Herman ;-) He didn't want to appeal.

Sponsor "adjustable rate mortgage" legislation and when the stuff hits the fan, let the criticism roll off your back.

(2) Donna B. made the following comment | Dec 10, 2008 8:43:58 PM | Permalink

I'm not familiar with Congressional pensions. Are they formulated in such a way that it would mean a substantial loss of money if Craig didn't serve out his term?

(3) Carol Herman made the following comment | Dec 10, 2008 10:49:09 PM | Permalink

Alas, the stigma of gay sex. As if congress-critters haven't been known to exploit prostitutes. (And, didn't John Tower, drunk, have a splashing escape in a DC fountain?)

You think sex goes away? Or fits neatly into marriage?

From Larry Craig's case I learned he was married to a woman who seemed grateful at "being a wife," when the relationship in bed was EMPTY.

To get satisfied Craig used men. And, yes. Men are making themselves available to other men.

There was no gun used in the bathroom pickup. And, what the whole thing shows is a lack of tolerance when a human behavior gets exposed. The price Craig paid is shame.

And, that's a shame.

Of course, no one wants public rest rooms used for anything other than a short visit; when you're not at home. And, you've got to go.

Craig risked a great deal to get to this place. So did Oscar Wilde. Whom it's been said was Sir Arthur Conan Doyle's model for Sherlock Holmes.

I'd be happier if people could feel a bit of pity. Craig was human. And, then, he didn't want to be cast out. Even in a senate full of black sheep; he did what he had to do to keep seated. Isn't that why lawyers hang out shingles?

(4) Bill Brandt made the following comment | Dec 11, 2008 1:05:51 PM | Permalink

Donna I keep thinking of the Congressional pension angle - why else would he choose to continually embarrass himself staying on?

He said he would step down and then didn't - why?

Carol - sex (of the desire for it) can make us all do some crazy things - but when the "little head isn't listening to the big head"....

Some years ago we had a TV weather forecaster who went by the name of "Stormin' Norman" - all was fine until one day spashed on the headlines was a police bust in the men's restroom at a Macy's Dept store and guess who got caught up in the sweep - To keep this from being too vulgar lets say there were a number arrested that day. Anyway Norman went away like a comet. He was off the air the next day.

Propositioning someone in a restroom is probably not something even a lax society wants

(5) Carol Herman made the following comment | Dec 12, 2008 11:26:40 AM | Permalink

Dear Bill Brandt,

Punishing people for their sexual desires makes no sense to me. Larry Craig was looking for another ADULT male, who wanted to share intimacy. And, there was a cop in the next toilet stall, purposely leading him on. Yes, the cop got paid a salary to sit all day. (Maybe, his insurance will pay for the hemaroids?)

Larry Craig did not invent the men's bathroom as a place where men can find sex. So you can't blame him for "looking."

With "little heads" and "big heads" ... it's still reality that men are driven by sexual desires. And, it doesn't make any sense to me to go after Larry Craig, EXCEPT IT'S DONE BY PERVERTS! People who feel good about themselves, because they can attack another man "for his weakness."

There are no saints out there!

As to Larry Craig, he sat BECAUSE HE OOULD! Give him credit for understanding he didn't have to go to some high bridge and jump off.

Craig also knows the "inner workings" of the Senate. Where plenty of bizarre stuff flies. That Craig managed to keep "a lid" on his real desires is what speaks volumes!

His wife "didn't know." And, she didn't want him "caught." How do people get themselves married into such phony-baloney-ness, and not ever have an honest day in which to inspect the SHAM? Beats me.

Lax societies have absolutely nothing to do with homosexual overtures made by MARRIED men, to other men! Once, during Oscar Wilde's lifetime, men took to wearing green carnations in their lapels, while they ambled along walking with their wives. Spot the green flower. And, get yourself some immediate gratification. Oscar Wilde called this: THE LOVE THAT DARE NOT SPEAK ITS NAME.

Heck, I even think Shakespeare could have been gay. (There were no female actors in his time. Men played those rolls. Or I should say "boys") ... So for all any of us know, the total makeup of some "character" contains parts we just don't get to see.

Larry Craig probably tried his hardest to be a good Senator!

You want him stoned? Why? Who gets to judge this crap, when the judges are equally tainted. Beats me.

(6) Bill Brandt made the following comment | Dec 13, 2008 1:02:44 PM | Permalink

Carol - I think you are seeing things that aren't there in the facts. "Punishing people for their sexual desires" is not what this case is about. Soliciting in a public restroom is what the case is about. If this were a fictional "unisex" public restroom the outcome would not have been different.

As for Shakespeare being "gay" you have absolutely no evidence for that, either. Acting as a profession was not open to women in the 16th century. I wonder if you are also of the "Lincoln and Jesus were gay" crowd, too with the same preponderance of evidence.

(7) Carol Herman made the following comment | Dec 13, 2008 10:36:03 PM | Permalink

Dear Bill Brandt,

I speak for myself. And, from what I see I know Larry Craig did NOT invent meeting men in toilets, for "quickies." It's been around since before he was born.

And, while you really don't like it! It seems an afront to public restrooms; Larry Craig only went there because it's a beehive of activity. Where we spend police department dollars, to have an officer sit all day on the can. Pants around his ankles. And, from my point of view? That's not exactly police work to be proud of.

Gays are actually lucky they're not attacked in toilets. Given the risk factors. But what people learned from this case is that homosexual men are very, very careful! They don't call attention to themselves. They don't send in a "team" to take over the toilets. All Larry Craig did was a "hand movement." Which so many men know how to read, how can you just blame one guy?

Once it's published, there's backlash. But it's to Larry Craig's credit that he understood he WON THE ELECTION. The job was his. And, at no time did he think he put this at risk. Since of the 100 senators; ALL of them by now are adults who know lots about their own orgasms. And, many men no longer "prefer" their wives. They hook up with arm candy. They don't have to leave office, either.

Perhaps it's a religious thing for some folks? They want saints. And, even though few Americans think of politicians as saints, you get these few into an uproar; and they want to see mob action.

Didn't happen.

Again, Oscar Wilde was homosexual. He spent time in Reading Jail. Because an aristocratic father charged Wilde, at his men's club, of using his son for sex. Wilde thought he'd sue. To "save his name." And, instead, the truth eeked out. Leaving his wife terribly unhappy. And, his children, mortified. Meanwhile, Sir Arthur Conan Doyle, having written one episode of Sherlock Holmes (borrowed from an Edgar Alan Poe story, was introduced to Wilde, by his book publisher. At that dinner, it ame to Doyle that he could use Wilde as his model for Sherlock Holmes.

So you can't see Holmes cruising for men. So what? He wasn't married. And, he seemed to like Watson's company. Making Watson his roommate.

If you don't think men have enjoyed other men, I can't help you out. But in today's world, more and more people are learning how homosexuals cope. And, some of them live lives of sham. Not shame. Yet, surprisingly few women complain. They just want their husbands. And, if he gets off in some other way than in the bedroom? Ya know what? They've adjusted.

All you really have is an ability to make someone feel ashamed. And, Larry Craig didn't play by your book. He kept his seat. He used his time as this toodled through the courts, effectively. Maybe, it takes having a very good lawyer to get the advice you need to survive a crisis?

You don't think lawyers know how to find the best?

And, you don't think the best are cut out to help you survive?

It's a way better story that a cop, with his pants down, trying to bait a guy to "give him a hand signal." So the law is on the books? So what?

We once had laws on the books that forbid a druggist to sell contraceptives out in the open, by placing the merchandise on shelves.

It seems we've been reducing the affects of too much religion and its attendant guilts.

Do you know why? Because no man would venture into a toilet to try to have an encounter with another guy. When its not in his makeup.

These days, given what's happened to our economy; where Wall Streeters at top firms couldn't care less about their clients. And, they just made sure greed would overtake common sense; woke up to find out that Moody's and the S&P were covering for the toxic mortgages, by "derivatives." By cutting up the bad loans, mixing in a few good ones. And, sticking a label on top AAA. (Bonds with AAA ratings are backed by the treasury.) That's how we all got fleeced.

Prepare hand signals. Because the Wall Streeters are counting on your eyes glazing over; seeing numbers. Instead of seeing the truth.

The truth always wins out.

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