Doug Clark: Laughs Larry Craig gave us worth our dimes
Listen up, fellow patriots.
Larry Craig is back on the hot seat again, and we might have to bail him out to the tune of $216,000.
That’s the amount in campaign funds that the Federal Election Commission says Craig misused. The money went to pay lawyers who unsuccessfully tried to get the former Idaho Republican senator off the hook after his 2007 bust for trying to turn a Minneapolis airport men’s room into a lavatorial love-in.
Craig has been out of office since retiring in 2008, which means no more campaign lucre to siphon.
So I’ve started a fund for Craig in case this court squabble bites him in the you-know-where.
Why help this Idaho weirdo, you ask?
Because we owe Larry, that’s why.
Craig gave us that amount in belly laughs and more.
Inspired by the saga, my buddy Joe Brasch and I produced a parody song based on Tony Orlando’s beloved “Knock Three Times.” You can still enjoy this ditty and video by simply searching “Tap Three Times” on YouTube.
Toilet trolling Senator Craig,
Standing so tall outside my bathroom stall at the airporrrrrt.
Ah, good times.
How different this would be if only Craig had a centipede’s sense of shame.
He would have resigned the Senate after pleading guilty and then crawled under the nearest rock.
While we laughed and laughed, Craig fought and fought a futile battle to withdraw that plea.
An expensive futile battle, I might add, which is why the ex-senator is back in the news.
The ballyhoo boils down to “what U.S. District Judge Amy Berman Jackson says about how campaign dollars can be spent,” to quote a news report. This week’s scheduled hearing on the subject has been rescheduled to Wednesday.
Craig and his lawyers claim he had every right to use campaign dough.
They say – and with incredibly straight faces – that he was on “official business” when he sat down in a men’s room stall and began playing footsie with the stranger in the commode next door.
Tap. Tap. Tap.
How was Craig to know that he was actually courting an undercover cop who was out to slam the lid down on a creepy uptick in airport toilet diddling?
Then in one of the most original excuses of all time, Craig tried to blame his “wide stance” for his under-stall contact.
You’d have to have the IQ of tile grout to believe that whopper.
That said, I do believe Craig’s “official business” defense.
First off, Craig was a U.S. senator when he went looking for love in all the wrong spaces.
If that isn’t official, then what is?
Secondly, everybody and their sock puppet knows that Craig was trying to get his “business” taken care of on that fateful day, June, 11, 2007.
So do the math.
But will any nonmedicated federal judge want to dismiss the claim that Lusty Larry misappropriated his campaign loot?
Plus, this ruling could affect those in Congress who use their campaign donations to pay for normal old-fashioned vices, like hookers and blow.
So this is where our cause comes in.
Before we go any further, ask yourselves the following simple question:
Did Larry Craig’s bathroom travails give you 10 cents worth of joy?
If you answered yes, then here’s what to do.
Mail one thin dime to “Save Wide Stance Larry,” in care of me at The Spokesman-Review, 999 W. Riverside Ave., Spokane, WA, 99201.
I will later forward all the dimes to the Idaho Republican Party, where, after normal skimming, most of the donations will be sent along to Craig. Probably.
This, of course, is chump change compared to the trillions the government spends every day on items like battleships or lobster bibs for the Senate dining hall.
But this isn’t all about do-re-mi. This is about conveying our gratitude to Craig, along with a simple message:
We still care.
Doug Clark can be reached at (509) 459-5432 firstname.lastname@example.org.