Should Larry Craig have used Campaign Funds to pay for his Defense?
February 26, 2013 2 Comments
Former Idaho Senator Larry Craig is asking a federal court to decide if he had the right to use campaign funds to pay attorney’s fees following his arrest in 2007.
According to an article posted by McClatchydc.com, “The Federal Election Commission says Craig improperly used more than $216,000 in campaign funds to pay attorneys after being charged with disorderly conduct for his behavior in a Minneapolis airport men’s room. Craig’s attorneys insist he was on official business and so could use his campaign treasury as other legally embattled lawmakers have done before him. The judicial resolution to this dispute could have a broad reach.”
Rumors regarding Craig’s sexuality persisted for years in Idaho, until he was “outed” on national radio by activist Mike Rogers in 2006, “I have done extensive research into this case, including trips to the Pacific Northwest to meet with men who have say they have physical relations with the Senator. I have also met with a man here in Washington, D.C., who says the same — and that these incidents occurred in the bathrooms of Union Station. None of these men know each other, or knew that I was talking to others. They all reported similar personal characteristics about the Senator, which lead me to believe, beyond any doubt, that their stories are valid,” Rogers told MSNBC’S Ed Shultz.
Reporters had all but given up trying to validate Rogers claims until Craig’s arrest that following summer. Craig, who now works for New West Strategies, a lobbying firm, announced his resignation following the airport incident but later recanted, and finished out his term.
According to the McClatchy article,”Lawmakers have faced this question in the past in deciding whether to use campaign funds to defend themselves against misconduct accusations. Still, the oral argument set for Wednesday morning in a Washington courtroom is the first face-to-face test for an FEC lawsuit filed against Craig last year.”