Former Sen. Larry Craig is still in court over his solicitation of sex in a Minneapolis airport men’s room (which shouldn’t be illegal, by the way), fighting against the Federal Elections Commission over whether he could use campaign contributions to pay for his legal defense. The judge seems a bit skeptical:
Craig contends that the airport bathroom trip fell under his official, duties as senator because he was traveling between Idaho and Washington for work, and therefore the legal fees could be paid for with campaign money. But at a hearing, U.S. District Court Judge Amy Berman Jackson said that such a broad reading of official travel could be taken to extremes. What if a lawmaker was arrested in an airport for robbing a kiosk or consorting with a prostitute, she asked.
The Federal Election Commission sued Craig last year, arguing his legal problems had nothing to do with campaigning for federal office…
Jackson pointedly reminded Craig’s lawyer, Andrew D. Herman, of his client’s guilty plea.
“That had no connection to his duties, other than being in an airport,” she said.
I don’t expect this to fly (ahem). If that argument wins, there’s virtually nothing that a legislator could not use campaign funds for.