Jewish Democrats attacked the GOP for shunning a Republican senator convicted in a gay bathroom sting but ignoring another senator who admitted calling an escort service.
“The Senate Republican leadership stripped Sen. Larry Craig (R-Idaho) of his committee assignments after it was revealed that Sen. Craig pled guilty in June to disorderly conduct in an airport restroom,” said a statement Thursday from the National Jewish Democratic Council. “Craig allegedly solicited a homosexual sexual tryst. Meanwhile, the GOP Senate Leadership declined to take similar punitive action against Sen. David Vitter (R-La.) who admitted to committing a ‘very serious sin’ when his name showed up on the notorious ‘DC Madam’s’ list of prostitution clients.”
That, the NJDC said, constituted “gross hypocrisy,” suggesting it was motivated by prejudice against gays.
The Republican Jewish Coalition dismissed the charge as baseless. “The distinction between the two is simple: Senator Craig pled guilty to a crime and Senator Vitter never was charged with a crime,” said RJC spokeswoman Suzanne Kurtz. “For the NJDC to make any other kind of response is just reaching, period.”
Meanwhile, Norm Coleman, the Jewish Republican senator from Minnesota, where Craig’s bathroom encounter occurred, joined those in the GOP calling on Craig to resign. He donated $2,500 he had received as a campaign donation from a Craig-affiliated political action committee to a Minnesota charity, “Sharing and Caring Hands.”