- The Washington Times - Friday, September 28, 2007

ANALYSIS/OPINION:

The facts are simple and straightforward. Sen. Larry Craig, Idaho Republican, was arrested June 11 for lewd conduct during a sex sting in a Minneapolis airport men’s room. Two months later, on Aug, 8, he pleaded guilty to disorderly conduct, which led a judge to issue Mr. Craig a $500 fine and a year of probation.

Despite Mr. Craig’s attempts to keep the matter private, the incident made international headlines after details were unearthed by the Capitol Hill newspaper Roll Call on Aug. 27. Less than a week later, on Sept. 1, Mr. Craig said he is not homosexual and announced “with sadness and deep regret” that “it is my intent to resign from the Senate, effective September 30th.”

Now it appears Mr. Craig’s intent is to remain seated. If he does, the senator will be reneging on his promise even as his court case continues. The senator wants a court to reverse his initial guilty plea, boldly vowing to “fight this like hell.” After a Wednesday hearing, Hennepin County District Judge Charles Porter — who seemed skeptical of the convoluted arguments put forth by Mr. Craig’s attorneys — said he wouldn’t rule on Mr. Craig’s case until next week. That means the judge won’t ruled until after Mr. Craig’s self-imposed Sept. 30 resignation date. Now the senator has announced he will stay in office indefinitely as he attempts to clear his name.

Mr. Craig is a veteran policy-maker whose re-elections mean he has served his constituents and his party well for 27 years. But the senator said he would step down Sept. 30 and that is precisely what he should do. Leaving Congress does not preclude Larry Craig from clearing his name.

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