Larry Craig

Larry Craig (Board Member)

Larry Craig - NRA Board Member
Former United States Representative and Senator (R – ID)

Larry Craig served as a Member of Congress from 1981 to 2009. Born in Council, Idaho in 1945, Craig served in the Idaho National Guard from 1970-1972. He began his political career by serving as a Republican Idaho State Senator beginning in 1974. After serving three terms in the state senate, Craig was elected to the United States House of Representatives in 1980. He then went on to serve ten years in the House and 18 years in the Senate. Craig’s political career was derailed when his 2007 arrest for lewd conduct in an airport bathroom became national news. He initially said he would resign, but later decided to serve out the remainder of his term. While serving in the Senate, Craig was one of the gun lobby’s most important allies, shepherding numerous pieces of NRA-backed legislation into law. In 2006, he received the NRA Institute for Legislative Action’s highest honor. Chris Cox, the executive director of NRA-ILA, called Craig an “eloquent and fearless champion of the Second Amendment.”

Controversial Actions and Statements

Controversial Actions and Statements:

Larry Craig (Board Member)

On August 3, 2012, the Associated Press reported that Craig, who is being sued by the Federal Elections Commission (FEC) for allegedly misusing more than $200,000 in campaign funds for his legal defense following his 2007 arrest in a bathroom sex sting, seeks to fend off the charges by arguing that the incident was part of his official Senate business. Craig asserts that he was travelling between Idaho and the nation's capital for work and cites a Senate rule which include all charges for meals, lodging, hotel fans, cleaning, pressing of clothing—and bathrooms—as reimbursable per diem expenses. "Not only was the trip itself constitutionally required, but Senate rules sanction reimbursement for any cost relating to a senator's use of a bathroom while on official travel," wrote Craig’s lawyer in documents filed on August 2, 2012.

Conspiracy Theory | Criminal Activity | Political Corruption | Republican Party (GOP) | Campaign Finance

Larry Craig (Board Member)

On June 11, 2012, Craig was sued by the Federal Elections Commission (FEC) for allegedly misusing more than $200,000 in campaign funds for his legal defense following his 2007 arrest in a bathroom sex sting. Craig had been accused of soliciting sex in a bathroom at the Minneapolis-St. Paul International Airport. The FEC claims that Craig for U.S. Senate, the U.S. senator’s campaign account, paid at least $139,952 to the law firm Sutherland, Asbill and Brennan in Washington, D.C., and $77,032 to Kelly & Jacobson in Minnesota for legal services related to his guilty plea. The FEC stated in their complaint that Craig should be required to repay the misused funds and a fine of up to $6,500.

Criminal Activity | Political Corruption | Republican Party (GOP) | Campaign Finance

Larry Craig (Board Member)

In 2011, Craig lobbied Congress to remove the gray wolf from protection under the Endangered Species Act. The former U.S. Senator’s client, Sportsmen for Fish and Wildlife, wanted the gray wolf de-listed because of concern that a recovered wolf population would eat big game animals prized by hunters. Once common in throughout North America, the gray wolf is now extinct in all but a few locations in the United States.

Lobbying Activity | Animal Rights | The Environment

Larry Craig (Board Member)

In 2009, New West Strategies, a lobbying firm co-founded by Craig, lobbied the federal government on behalf of two Idaho counties who wanted a federal prison to be constructed within their borders. Representatives of the counties cancelled the $5,000-per-month lobbying contract after Craig’s firm failed to secure funding in the federal budget for the project.

Lobbying Activity |

Larry Craig (Board Member)

In an August 2007 letter to a constituent who asked about the military’s “Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell” policy concerning homosexuality, Craig wrote, “It is unacceptable to risk the lives of American soldiers and sailors merely to accommodate the sexual lifestyles of certain individuals.”

Gay Rights

Larry Craig (Board Member)

In June 2007, Craig, a married man, was arrested in a Minneapolis airport bathroom and charged with lewd conduct after an undercover male police officer accused him of making sexual advances. Craig later pled guilty to disorderly conduct. The Idaho Statesman published a comprehensive investigative report alleging that Craig engaged in sex acts with men for decades. A number of men gave accounts of sexual encounters with Craig.

Criminal Activity | Sexual Scandals |

Larry Craig (Board Member)

In a video appearance at a 2007 “Friends of the NRA” dinner, Craig suggested that it was plausible that total firearm confiscation could occur in the United States and said, “When the government is the sole owner of firearms, you and I then become the subjects of a government, or the victims of a government, and not the free citizen that this country has been built on.”

Political Violence

Larry Craig (Board Member)

In the wake of Hurricane Katrina, Craig was hesitant to provide federal funds to aid the recovery. Preferring instead that the damaged areas of New Orleans be abandoned, he said, “Fraud is in the culture of Iraqis. I believe that is true in the state of Louisiana as well.” Craig suggested that the Lower Ninth Ward be turned “back to what it was, a wetland.

Race

Larry Craig (Board Member)

In 2004, the Human Rights Campaign Congressional Scorecard awarded Craig a score of 0 out of a possible 100 for his positions on gay rights. His low score stemmed from his vote for a proposed amendment to the United States Constitution that would have limited marriage to opposite sex partners and a vote against the “Local Law Enforcement Act,” which provides federal assistance in the prosecution of hate crimes.

Gay Rights

Larry Craig (Board Member)

In a 1999 appearance on Meet the Press, Craig criticized then-President Bill Clinton for having an extramarital affair, calling Clinton “a nasty, bad, naughty boy”.

Sexual Scandals |

Larry Craig (Board Member)

Craig voted “Yes” to implement the “Don’t Ask Don’t Tell” policy in 1993, which allowed for the dismissal of military service members who were discovered to be gay.

Gay Rights

Larry Craig (Board Member)

Craig urged his sexual partners to keep quiet by using threats, reportedly telling one man in 1986, “I can buy and sell your ass a thousand times over. You were never here.

Sexual Scandals |

Larry Craig (Board Member)

In 1982 a former male Congressional page alleged that Members of Congress had encouraged pages to engage in sexual activity and drug and alcohol use. While no Members of Congress were specifically named, then-Representative Craig issued a preemptive statement denying involvement.

Sexual Scandals |
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