MN Democrat tests limits of well-known axiom on political death

posted at 9:21 am on August 21, 2012 by Ed Morrissey

Most people in politics have at one time or another said about an apparently Teflon-coated politician that the only way he could lose would be to be caught with a live boy or a dead girl.  It’s a rather crude way to show respect for an opponent, but no one means it literally.  However, thanks to one pioneering state representative from Minnesota, we’re about to test at least one half of that formula:

A Minnesota state lawmaker who authorities say admitted having a liaison with a 17-year-old boy at a rest stop faced calls from party leaders on Monday to give up his re-election bid.

Rep. Kerry Gauthier, 56, hasn’t been charged in the July incident, and authorities said he wouldn’t be because the boy was older than 16, the legal age of consent, and no money was exchanged. Police say the teenager responded to the lawmaker’s Craigslist ad for “no strings attached” sex.

Gauthier admitted to the liaison, according to police reports made public late last week. The teen told police the two had oral sex, according to the reports.

Gauthier had been running for re-election to his district, a reliably Democratic seat in Duluth.  Democrats want him out, including his caucus leader and his party’s chair:

State Democratic leaders are increasing pressure on a DFL legislator not to seek re-election after authorities said he had a sexual encounter with a 17-year-old boy at a rest stop in Duluth.

“I am deeply disappointed with Rep. Kerry Gauthier’s conduct,” said House Minority Leader Paul Thissen, DFL-Minneapolis. “The conduct was wrong and … I believe he should withdraw from the race for re-election.” …

Soon after Thissen’s comments on Monday, DFL Party Chair Ken Martin called the situation “deeply unfortunate” and asked Gauthier to drop out of the race.

“His actions are inexcusable,” Martin said. “The people of Duluth deserve a representative who will stand up for their interests, without the sort of distractions that Rep. Gauthier has caused through exceedingly poor judgment.”

Republicans want him out now, not at the end of the term:

House Speaker Kurt Zellers, a Republican, made a stronger call Friday, saying that Gauthier should resign during his current term in the wake of the public sex incident.

What happens from here?  The primary is over, and I’m not certain whether Minnesota has the same leeway for parties to replace nominees as Missouri does.  Two local politicians have already announced write-in bids for the state House seat, one a sitting member of the Duluth City Council and the other an assistant fire chief in the city.  If Gauthier withdraws and Democrats can’t replace him on the ballot, they may have to choose one of those two candidates to endorse in order to keep Republican nominee Travis Silver from winning against fractured opposition.  Democrats had hoped to take advantage of Republican disarray to take back control of the legislature, but this throws a big wrench in their plans.

I’ve received a few e-mails wondering why I haven’t written about Gauthier.  To be honest, I didn’t think it was a national news story.  In fact, I forwarded the link of the arrest story to Allahpundit as a possible “Dude” headline and forgot about it until yesterday.  While the incident was disgusting and unbelievably tawdry, no coercion was involved, and both participants are above the age of consent in this state.  It’s a scandal, of course, but until this week, I thought that it was of little interest outside of Minnesota.  At least we’ll finally have a real-world example of the “live boy” metric, thanks to Kerry Gauthier, who should otherwise be sprinting towards obscurity as fast as he possibly can.

Update: Great point from one commenter: “This thread is funny, and sad. They’re “consenting adults”, except when it comes to healthcare. Then he’s a kid for another decade.”


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…that’s not the guy who gave the bride away at Barney Franks wedding is it?

KOOLAID2 on August 21, 2012 at 11:21 AM

Mayday on August 21, 2012 at 11:12 AM

That was poorly worded on my part, I think a lot of people would care about the act but the impact is regional and other than expressing outrage most on HotAir have no impact on this man’s career. I consider it a small step forward that the press even mentioned his party, that’s usually a secret when it is a Democrat.

Cindy Munford on August 21, 2012 at 11:21 AM

Reporters should start hanging out of Craigslist.

Cindy Munford on August 21, 2012 at 11:18 AM

I thought Larry Flynt was still offereing to pay big bucks for any dirt on a conservative elected official.

hawkdriver on August 21, 2012 at 11:23 AM

I am so effin tired of this. I am gay. And I am 28, much closer in age to this kid than Mr. Gauthier. I have NEVER, EVER had or thought of having sex with a 15, 16, 17 or even 18 year old. I am so tired of conservatives painting gay people with the pedophile brush.

I have NEVER had urges for a child or young boy. What about when female teachers have sex with their male students. Do you blame heterosexuality for that? What about when that actor who was 52 married a 16 year old? Did you blame heterosexual marriage.

You might not agree with gay marriage, FINE. You may think homosexuality is wrong, FINE. But do not insult ALL gay people, most of us who think that sleeping with a minor is WRONG. I find this behavior reprehensible and he resign or worse.

nyclakerfan on August 21, 2012 at 11:23 AM

I do not understand why the Dems in Mn are so bothered by this.
Conservative Republicans, I understans.
This is exactly what the liberals have been fighting for.
Per their actions, nothing illegal are wrong.
Are they actually DISCRIMINATING against their own ideology ?

Jabberwock on August 21, 2012 at 11:23 AM

his partner was of age- not a child. calling him a pedophile is really outrageous and waters down the meaning of the word to suit purposes other than protecting children from real predators.

mittens on August 21, 2012 at 11:01 AM

It’s ephebophilia, or in more colloquial terms, pederasty. And it’s completely disgusting. Eventually the pederast gets sloppy, targets an underage boy and winds up in prison as a plaything of the whole institution.

This pederast does not belong in Congress.

theCork on August 21, 2012 at 11:25 AM

Whats the big deal ?
Progressives are supposed to be the pioneers of exploring one’s own Sexuality and accept this as natural………(see Woody and Roman)

Is this not a recognized prerequisite to be a Democrite ? /

FlaMurph on August 21, 2012 at 11:25 AM

nyclakerfan on August 21, 2012 at 11:23 AM

I was just asking Mittens. He seems to be okay with it. Maybe your comment was better directed at him.

hawkdriver on August 21, 2012 at 11:26 AM

No, I am talking about the other comments. They are clearly trying to link homosexuality and pedophilia. And yes, I am pissed at Mittens. It is a stupid a$$ comment. I don’t know hot to reply to people directly on here LOL

nyclakerfan on August 21, 2012 at 11:31 AM

Don’t know how this story actually broke, but the first I saw of it was an item from Telegraph.UK. Has anyone else noticed how much better the UK media covers both sides of US politics?

When will some UK / Canadian / Aussie newspaper decide to fill the vacuum that exists in the US newspaper market for news content that does not read like DNC press releases?

drunyan8315 on August 21, 2012 at 10:58 AM

It broke in the local paper (I live 15 miles outside of Duluth) after the prosecutor decided not to press charges last week. The morning the story broke, Gauthier all of a sudden couldn’t breathe and was rushed to the hospital for a few days rest while this hopefully went away.

The rest area that this happened at is fairly notorious for this type of activity at night (though the police have done little to stop it). During the day, it’s one of the busier rest areas on I35 in this part of the state.

The hookups don’t happen in the bathrooms. They happen along the walking trails on the picnic tables behind the building.

I don’t think there is any danger of the DFL losing this seat no matter what happens. They’re organized and entrenched deep enough up here to make a write in candidacy work. Labor won’t let this seat change party hands.

And the poster above has more confidence in Cravaack holding his House seat than a lot of people. His election is going to really depend on turnout up here, and there are a lot of Paul supporters in this area that aren’t real enthused about getting out to vote for Romney. The DFL ALWAYS turn out to vote and there’s still real enthusiasm in this area for Obama.

AScott on August 21, 2012 at 11:33 AM

Sorry about the spelling in my 11:23 entry.
Going too fast.

Jabberwock on August 21, 2012 at 11:35 AM

No, I am talking about the other comments. They are clearly trying to link homosexuality and pedophilia. And yes, I am pissed at Mittens. It is a stupid a$$ comment. I don’t know hot to reply to people directly on here LOL

nyclakerfan on August 21, 2012 at 11:31 AM

You can highlight the comment, or even just the screenname and timestamp ny, and then copy paste it to the comment block. Then highlight it again and pick one of the buttons above like “quote” and it’ll be displayed as what you’re commenting about above your new comment.

hawkdriver on August 21, 2012 at 11:36 AM

hawkdriver on August 21, 2012 at 11:23 AM

I don’t think you go into journalism to bust your butt working but because you are going to change lives. HotAirian hosts excluded of course. But they aren’t “real” journalists. /

Cindy Munford on August 21, 2012 at 11:36 AM

I thought Clinton proved that “Oral Sex” isn’t actually “Sex”. It depends on waht the meaning of “is” is.

Storybec on August 21, 2012 at 11:39 AM

Wonder if he’s a member of NAMBLA?

jawkneemusic on August 21, 2012 at 11:40 AM

We live in a democracy after all…If his constituents want a homosexual pedophile as their representative, then who are we to argue….?

repvoter on August 21, 2012 at 11:45 AM

Cindy Munford on August 21, 2012 at 11:36 AM

I dunno. I just comment here because I’m an extremist SoCon but I can’t get registered on any good “hate sites”. My entire purpose it seems is to destroy the GOP.

hawkdriver on August 21, 2012 at 11:48 AM

We live in a democracyConstitutional Republic after all…If his constituents want a homosexual pedophile as their representative, then who are we to argue….?
repvoter on August 21, 2012 at 11:45 AM

jawkneemusic on August 21, 2012 at 12:00 PM

The other corrupted a child’s soul for life.

Not a “child”. A consenting adult, as the “gheys” are constantly screaming at us.

Nutstuyu on August 21, 2012 at 12:11 PM

We live in a democracy after all…If his constituents want a homosexual pedophile consenting adult having sex with another consenting adult as their representative, then who are we to argue….?

repvoter on August 21, 2012 at 11:45 AM

Nutstuyu on August 21, 2012 at 12:12 PM

Will this have an effect on Obama’s reelection?…Legacy media/

d1carter on August 21, 2012 at 12:13 PM

hawkdriver on August 21, 2012 at 11:48 AM

So I have read.

Cindy Munford on August 21, 2012 at 12:14 PM

nyclakerfan on August 21, 2012 at 11:23 AM

nyc–if you are on facebook, there is an excellent group of straights and conservative gays that meet for political discussion…I think you would like it! Oh, and your comment is right on!

https://www.facebook.com/DeadfallFilm#!/groups/165997493414698/

lovingmyUSA on August 21, 2012 at 12:17 PM

I am trying to get #KerryGauthierPERV to trend on twitter. Please use this hashtag on twitter when talking about this perverted pederast predator.

votermom on August 21, 2012 at 12:17 PM

“How can we connect this guy to Paul Ryan? Interns! Get busy Googling. I gotta go do lunch with Stephanie Cutter – seeya.” – MSM

forest on August 21, 2012 at 9:33 AM

Easy. The “boy” watched the P90X infomercial, and Paul Ryan uses P90X. Paul Ryan is deh ghey!

Nutstuyu on August 21, 2012 at 12:18 PM

. I don’t know hot to reply to people directly on here LOL

nyclakerfan on August 21, 2012 at 11:31 AM

I usually put – at least – the name, date, time, as a quote so that they know that I’m replying directly to them or about their comment.

Solaratov on August 21, 2012 at 12:24 PM

Not out keep him in. In fact lets send him money to run for U.S. Senator from there.

Make a good ship mate for horney Harry Reid.

APACHEWHOKNOWS on August 21, 2012 at 12:24 PM

I am trying to get #KerryGauthierPERV to trend on twitter. Please use this hashtag on twitter when talking about this perverted pederast predator.

votermom on August 21, 2012 at 12:17 PM

Slightly off topic, but what does the #TCOT hashtag mean? I am not a twitter user but I see that a lot.

UltimateBob on August 21, 2012 at 12:44 PM

Rep. Akin’s comments may have been thoughtless, but at least he never f*cked a 17-year old boy.

Ryan Anthony on August 21, 2012 at 12:46 PM

Slightly off topic, but what does the #TCOT hashtag mean? I am not a twitter user but I see that a lot.

UltimateBob on August 21, 2012 at 12:44 PM

I think it means “Top Conservatives on Twitter,” but I don’t know the full details about it.

J.S.K. on August 21, 2012 at 12:49 PM

Remember the Florida Congressman Mark Something who liked to diddle teenagers. He recruited from tje staff of pages. All legal, but it dominated the news cycle in the run up to the 06 midterms.

Of course there are homosexuals who do not seek to seduce and deflower teenagers. That is important to point out.

Ted Torgerson on August 21, 2012 at 12:56 PM

I’m sure Bufu is a very effective senator. Probably a “moderate” who only voted 95% of the time with pelosi.

Did you hear about Seamus?

Probably about time to bring the one up again on ABC, NBC, CBS, PBS and CNN.

acyl72 on August 21, 2012 at 1:02 PM

Is it just me or does he look like that NY Dem Congressman (retired Navy) who played tickle me Elmo with his male staffers? He also had the look of a marshmellow about him.

Portia46 on August 21, 2012 at 1:04 PM

Ted Torgerson on August 21, 2012 at 12:56 PM

As a matter of fact Ted, was it not the catalyst for the media meme, “Culture of Corruption” because they didn’t think the GOP did enough to out him?

My how times change.

hawkdriver on August 21, 2012 at 1:05 PM

I’m sure Bufu is a very effective congresswoman. Probably a “moderate” who only voted 95% of the time with pelosi.

Did you hear about Seamus?

Probably about time to bring the one up again on ABC, NBC, CBS, PBS and CNN.

acyl72 on August 21, 2012 at 1:02 PM

Corrected. She’s not in the senate yet but with a track record like this is a shoe in for the senate.

acyl72 on August 21, 2012 at 1:07 PM

This state is pretty conservative in the rural areas. Mpls/St.Paul and Duluth are where Dems get their votes from. Although it’s starting to turn a little more red in more areas, the area this guys is from he’ll still get elected. The DFL (Democrat Farmer Labor)(tell me that isn’t a noce socialist label) The drones up there just pull the lever automatically for and dem. One bright spot, I think Craavack who booted Oberstar will get re-elected.

Minnfidel on August 21, 2012 at 10:44 AM

I grew up in the SW part of the state (Marshall, Willmar area). Very few actual liberals, yet even conservatives still vote Democrat because “that’s what we’ve always done,” they say.

Hat Trick on August 21, 2012 at 1:07 PM

consenting adult having sex with another consenting adult

on August 21, 2012 at 12:12 PM

*facepalm*

We live in a crooked & perverted generation.

16 yr old boys don’t even know how to dress properly.
The vast majority are not even close to being mature.
And we expect them to be able to wisely make such life-altering decisions?

Nutstuyu, will you let your 16 yr old kid have sex with old perverts?

itsnotaboutme on August 21, 2012 at 2:34 PM

Sorry. That quote should read:

consenting adult having sex with another consenting adult

Nutstuyu on August 21, 2012 at 12:12 PM

itsnotaboutme on August 21, 2012 at 2:35 PM

Nowhere in that article is the perv’s party affiliation stated. Everyone else’s is. One can reasonably conclude he’s a democrat, but its just not there.

BobMbx on August 21, 2012 at 9:37 AM

That’s pretty much a giveaway. If there’s a scandal involving a politician, and said politician’s affiliation isn’t blared out every other sentence…it’s a democrat. Never fails.

squint on August 21, 2012 at 2:55 PM

Well, according to Kevin Jennings, there’s nothing wrong with this. Who are we to judge. /s

catquilt on August 21, 2012 at 3:21 PM

So, the ‘kid’ was of legal age, no crime was committed, etc…

Is it the gay sex part or the age difference that’s making teh Dems queasy here? From their own perspective, then, they are either anti-gay or anti-older-person – wonder which?

*stirs*

Midas on August 21, 2012 at 3:23 PM

nyclakerfan on August 21, 2012 at 11:23 AM

I think it’s dandy you’re not hitting on 17 year old boys.

I have, though, read articles and research that says there is a higher percentage of adults who prey on kids among homosexuals than there are among heterosexuals.

Putting all that aside, my other issue with homosexuality is that it’s become a taboo subject to criticize or speak out against at any time, facet, shape or form.

If someone so much makes an harmless comment about it in either direction, (such as as says they support “traditional marriage,” or consider it abnormal or sinful), they get harassed by the media, celebrities who support homosexual marriage, etc.

Christian photographers who refuse (due to religious beliefs) to photograph same sex marriage ceremonies get sued/harassed over it.

People who do not agree with homosexuality and who see problems with it are not freely permitted to speak publicly about it, or to criticize homosexuality or the actions and attitudes of “homosexual rights” militants – they are intimidated into silence.

TigerPaw on August 21, 2012 at 3:32 PM

Wow That’s a little embarrassing to say the least. He might want to consider a move to Turkey.

Old eagle on August 21, 2012 at 3:49 PM

nyclakerfan on August 21, 2012

I am so tired of conservatives painting gay people with the pedophile brush.

Thank you so much for including me in you conservative hate rant. As you well know, judging from the rest of your post, not all people are the same. Of course, with one sentence, you completely contradicted yourself.

Way to go!

rocker98 on August 21, 2012 at 4:02 PM

When he returns to the State House, will he get a standing ovation like Gerry Studds (D-MA) did after sleeping with a page in 1983?

honsy on August 21, 2012 at 4:34 PM

am so effin tired of this. I am gay. And I am 28, much closer in age to this kid than Mr. Gauthier. I have NEVER, EVER had or thought of having sex with a 15, 16, 17 or even 18 year old. I am so tired of conservatives painting gay people with the pedophile brush.

I have NEVER had urges for a child or young boy. What about when female teachers have sex with their male students. Do you blame heterosexuality for that? What about when that actor who was 52 married a 16 year old? Did you blame heterosexual marriage.

You might not agree with gay marriage, FINE. You may think homosexuality is wrong, FINE. But do not insult ALL gay people, most of us who think that sleeping with a minor is WRONG. I find this behavior reprehensible and he resign or worse.

I read the article and I see no indication that is is supposed to be an example of gay behavoir. Au Contraire it is an example of pedophile behavior. Me thinks the respondent is a little thin skinned and this may indicate some hidden meaning. I am not really saying anything….but like Harry Reid….prove me wrong.

logicman_1998 on August 21, 2012 at 5:30 PM

so its only a crime if he takes photos of it right?

Dino V on August 21, 2012 at 5:38 PM

Sorry gays who are, “offended” by this discussion, but if you feel so strongly, why aren’t you offended by the fact that the only 2 pedophile organizations out there, are both homosexual, one’s for gay pedophiles, and the other is for lesbian pedophiles. Fact, homosexual pedophiles molest 7 times more victims than heterosexual pedophiles do. Why didn’t you kick up a fuss, when Obama appointed Kevin Jennings, as “safe schools czar”, the same Kevin Jennings whose hero is the gay man who created NAMBLA, the gay male pedophile organization. Why weren’t you offended when Jennings, as head of GLSEN in Boston, demanded that children as young as 5 years old, be indoctrinated into the wherefores of gay, lesbian and transgender sexual activity? Tell us, if you believe that children should be protected from pedophiles, then why aren’t you ANGRY at homosexual pedophiles, who insist on being allowed to target children? Why aren’t you ANGRY that Rep Amy Klobuchar REFUSED to allow an amendment that would have denied pedophiles protections under her pedophile written hate crimes bill?

Ceolas on August 21, 2012 at 5:43 PM

Any word from LGTG on this? Looks like a clear cut case of discrimination/double standard against homosexuals who like minor cildren? Barney, are you there for your bro?

StevC on August 21, 2012 at 5:52 PM

NBC.com doesn’t know this story exists, but they know Bo Obama is on a diet. Another total failure to do their main job, inform the American people. Maybe their main job is to keep the American people uninformed. Time is 6:30pm.

MJZZZ on August 21, 2012 at 6:30 PM

Duluth votes for the Democrat 99.99% of the time. Now that they have a candidate who prefers the company of teenage boys they will have to make a choice.

jpmn on August 21, 2012 at 7:37 PM

MN appears to be going off the rails

MainelyRight on August 21, 2012 at 9:38 AM

Fortunately, no Bachmann as Veep.

socalcon on August 21, 2012 at 7:50 PM

Mayday on August 21, 2012 at 11:12 AM

That was poorly worded on my part, I think a lot of people would care about the act but the impact is regional and other than expressing outrage most on HotAir have no impact on this man’s career. I consider it a small step forward that the press even mentioned his party, that’s usually a secret when it is a Democrat.

Cindy Munford on August 21, 2012 at 11:21 AM

It’s a safe Democrat seat. If there was the slightest chance the Democrats would lose a seat, it would all be hushed up very quickly.

tom on August 21, 2012 at 7:56 PM

Ed,

Your title to this post has had me laughing all day, which turned out to be at least a bit of a counterweight to witnessing a certain candidate in another jurisdiction fail to give any consideration whatsoever to the obvious.

Trochilus on August 21, 2012 at 8:01 PM

What can I say? This is the DFL (Democrat, Farm, Labor party — that is to say, the Minnesota Socialist Party) . This is the party of Al Franken (3rd-string SNL comic turned United States Senator for no credible reason whatsover). This is the party that is scared shitless of the likely prospect that Voter-ID legislation will be passed. This is the party of 9/11-Truther, and all-around chickenshit, governor Mark Dayton.

What’s a little statutory homosexual rape? The kid lied about his age, and the DFL state senator was only doing what comes natural to late-middle-aged men of his, uh, orientation?

minnesoter on August 21, 2012 at 10:59 PM

Why are all of you gay people who have posted on this mad at Conservatives? You know our position. Why aren’t you pissed at the Democrats who are trying to get this guy to not run again? They once again show you that you are just a voting block for them, and that they really don’t think you are ok just the way you are.

Has any one of you posted about being mad at the Democrat party for lying to you? Or did I just miss it?

cptacek on August 22, 2012 at 1:17 AM

I would be just as grossed out if a hetero person did this. The disgusting part is that he found the guy on Craig’s List and met him in a rest stop to give him a beej. That is incredibly seedy and risky. And the teenager has something wrong with him if he’s going to meet up with a 56 yr old man in a bathroom somewhere: he’s either on drugs or mentally ill. Either way, some nasty 56 yr old perv took advantage and he should know better. Gross.

foxforce91 on August 22, 2012 at 9:34 AM

One look at this cup cake screams PEDOPHILE. Guess the homosexuals get a pass on this one too? Sandusky, priests, now congressmen. Tres gay? Nope.

StevC on August 22, 2012 at 10:18 AM

ammo, stupid in tampa, total media silence on queer congressman pederast, get ready america, progressives WILL NOT lose power on the whim of a vote!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! THEY WILL NOT LET IT HAPPEN!!!!!!!!race riots, and then postponement!!!!!!!!!!!

tm11999 on August 22, 2012 at 11:57 AM

UPDATE:

Minnesota lawmaker who police say had a rest-stop liaison with teen won’t seek re-election – @KSTP

2 hours ago from kstp.com by editor

http://kstp.com/news/stories/s2737182.shtml

canopfor on August 22, 2012 at 8:54 PM

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