Idaho newspaper: ‘Unfair to judge’ Crapo

An editorial in the Idaho Statesman on Tuesday urged voters to forgive Sen. Mike Crapo (R-Idaho) after the lawmaker’s arrest last weekend for drunken driving.

“One mistake does not erase an otherwise honorable career,” said the Christmas Day note from the Boise newspaper. “It’s a good guess that the embarrassment anybody might feel for him is nothing compared with the embarrassment he feels for himself.”

Crapo was arrested Sunday night by Alexandria, Va. police for driving under the influence. Police said the GOP lawmakers was stopped by an officer on routine patrol after Crapo’s vehicle was spotted running a red light.

ADVERTISEMENT
The senator apologized to his constituents Sunday night, telling them he was “deeply sorry for the actions that resulted in this circumstance.”

“I made a mistake for which I apologize to my family, my Idaho constituents and any others who have put their trust in me,” he said in a written statement. “I accept total responsibility and will deal with whatever penalty comes my way in this matter. I will also undertake measures to ensure that this circumstance is never repeated.”

The Statesman on Tuesday said it would be “unfair to judge” the senator on the one mistake.

“But it is totally fair to evaluate him according to where he goes from here and what he does to turn this matter from a negative to a positive,” the editorial said.

The paper also compared Crapo’s incident to that of former Idaho Sen. Larry Craig (R), who was arrested in 2007 on charges of soliciting sex in an airport bathroom. 

“Crapo’s ‘mistake’ was not on the same level as former Sen. Larry Craig’s ‘mistake’ at a Minneapolis airport bathroom in 2007. It was worse. Crapo could have killed himself, or somebody else — which is a lot more serious than toe-tapping in a restroom stall,” said the paper. “But there is a difference in how they handled their mistakes. Craig blamed everybody but himself; Crapo knows the DUI arrest was nobody’s fault but his own, and took responsibility for his actions.”

Craig denied the accusations and attempted to withdraw his guilty plea after the incident became public. He did not seek reelection in 2008.