Roll Call: Latest News on Capitol Hill, Congress, Politics and Elections
December 22, 2014

A Crapo Fundraiser’s Interesting Optics

Not quite four months since Sen. Michael D. Crapo was arrested in Virginia and charged with driving under the influence of alcohol, the Idaho Republican apparently feels right at home heading to a fundraiser at a private townhouse owned by a liquor conglomerate.

Crapo — who was pulled over on Dec. 23 in Alexandria, Va., and failed multiple sobriety tests — is hosting the event Thursday afternoon for his Freedom Fund PAC at the privately owned Diageo Townhouse at 310 Sixth St. SE.

In January, Crapo pleaded guilty to a drunken-driving charge. His license was suspended for one year, and as part of the plea, he had to complete an alcohol safety program and pay a $250 fine. He released an apology at the time, saying he had been drinking and that it was in violation of his Mormon faith: “It was a poor choice to use alcohol to relieve stress — and one at odds with my personally-held religious beliefs.”

Diageo is one of the world’s largest alcoholic beverage companies, owning brands such as Smirnoff, Johnnie Walker, Captain Morgan, Guinness and Jose Cuervo.

Crapo spokesman Lindsay Nothern said the fundraiser was planned before Crapo’s arrest.

“He has used the facility for quite some time for various fundraisers,” Nothern said. “My understanding is the event was booked prior to the incident over the holidays.”

The fundraiser, first pointed out by the Sunlight Foundation, is billed as a March Madness Kick Off event.

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