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MN Court Rejects Craig’s Bid to Withdraw Sex-Sting Plea

With the news that Illinois Democratic Gov. Rod Blagojevich was arrested today for allegedly peddling power all over the state, who has any interest in an ongoing sex scandal?

Right — everyone.

A Minnesota appeals court this morning rejected the latest bid by outgoing Idaho Sen. Larry Craig (R) to withdraw his guilty plea in the sex scandal that led to his imminent retirement at the end of this year.

Craig, a conservative who spent a career touting an adherence to family values, was arrested in June 2007 for allegedly soliciting sex from an undercover policeman in a Minneapolis airport. He pleaded guilty to misdemeanor charges of disorderly conduct, apparently thinking the episode wouldn’t leak. (Note to lawmakers: These things always leak.)

When Roll Call broke the story in August, Craig denied that he’s gay, claiming only that he “made a poor decision” when he entered the guilty plea, which he’s been trying to withdraw ever since. The Minnesota State Court of Appeals was the latest to dismiss the request, upholding the earlier verdict of a district court. From the court’s statement, via The Hill:

“Appellant has not shown that the district court abused its discretion in denying his petition to withdraw his guilty plea,” Judge Edward Toussaint Jr. stated in the 10-page ruling.

With the Senate likely to leave town for the year at the end of this week, Craig will exit the national stage (at least for now), and perhaps this story will go away forever. Pray that that’s the case.

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