Posts tagged: John McGee
The incident that cost Sen. John McGee his Senate seat, his role in legislative leadership and his future in Idaho politics resulted in a criminal charge Tuesday. Ada County Prosecutor’s Office issued an arrest warrant for former state Sen. John McGee of Caldwell on a misdemeanor charge of disturbing the peace in connection with a complaint from a former secretary. The alleged incident occurred in McGee's legislative office in the Capitol during the 2012 session. According to the warrant, McGee “willfully and maliciously disturbed the peace or quiet of a person, by offensive conduct, to wit: on Feb. 7, 2012, he used profane and offensive language and/or offensive conduct in the presence of” a state employee. McGee, who was the No. 4 Republican in the Senate, resigned from the Senate on Feb. 22/Idaho Statesman. More here.
Question: And this used to be one of the Idaho Republican Party's best & brightest? Hmm.
“I am absolutely elated,” fired former ITD Director Pam Lowe said this morning, after a federal judge sided with her over the weekend in a key ruling in her wrongful termination lawsuit. “It absolutely vindicated me and what I had been saying, and that is that the board was happy with my work, I had done a good job, I had had nothing but positive comments from the board as well as certainly my formal evaluations, but that the board succumbed to political blackmail and pressure from John McGee when he ran that bill.” McGee, then chairman of the Senate Transportation Committee, introduced legislation in 2009 to strip the Idaho Transportation Board of the ability to hire and fire the director, though the bill didn't pass/Betsy Russell, SR. More here.
Regardless of how you feel about the political positions he took, you have to feel for former District 10 Sen. John McGee (pictured) and his family. His once-promising political career is apparently over, his job could be at risk and his family has had to deal with a very public array of embarrassing allegations and convictions in the last nine months. Politics is a rough-and-tumble affair, but at the end of the day, we’re still just human beings. That said, credit must be given to McGee’s colleagues in the Idaho Senate, who responded quickly, definitively and properly last week when McGee was charged with sexual harassment of an adult legislative employee/Idaho Press-Tribune Editorial Board. More here.
Question: Do you think Idaho Senate leaders would have responded “quickly, definitively and properly” to the sexual allegation against John McGee, if he hadn't slipped up before?
Attorney General Lawrence Wasden's office cited the exemption in Idaho's public records law that allows withholding records related to an ongoing criminal investigation. Last week, after Sen. John McGee's resignation, the Statesman asked Senate President Pro Tem Brent Hill for email, text messages, hand-written notes or any other records regarding allegations of sexual harassment brought to Hill by a Senate staffer. “We deny your requests because these documents are within the scope of a criminal investigation which is currently being conducted by the Idaho State Patrol,” wrote Deputy Attorney General Robert Adelson on Monday/Dan Popkey, Idaho Statesman. More here. (AG Web site photo of Lawrence Wasden)
Question: On a scale of 1 to 10, with 1 being a long, long yawn, how interested are you in former Idaho senator John McGee, now that he has resigned his Senate post in disgrace & is facing a criminal investigation?
Idaho Attorney General Lawrence Wasden has reviewed the sexual harassment allegations against former Sen. John McGee, R-Caldwell, and handed the case over to the Idaho State Police. “He determined it was appropriate to provide to ISP,” said Attorney General's office spokesman Bob Cooper, who said Wasden met with ISP Director Col. Jerry Russell yesterday afternoon to hand over the case. Asked the status of the matter at ISP, Russell said today, “ISP is currently conducting a preliminary investigation to determine if any criminal laws have been violated”/Betsy Russell, Eye On Boise. More here.
Question: How do you think all this will play out for former senator John McGee?
Larry Grant, Chairman of the Idaho Democratic Party, is often quoted about his disgust with the “culture” of the GOP controlled Idaho State Senate. His comments seem to often link it with the word “corruption” or some other perjorative word; though his recent quotes have not seemed to link those two words, anymore. Maybe Larry Grant's more correct than many of us gave him credit for. Not that the Idaho State Senate GOP Leadership is “corrupt” - as I have witnessed nothing that reflects an out-and-out ignoring of Idaho's laws…pending the Attorney General's report on Mr. McGee's actions, as an individual. However, the press reports on this event have NOW appeared throughout the US, today. Amercia sees Idaho once again as a laughing-stock, back-mountain wild west show/Dennis Mansfield. More here. (AP photo: Senate Pro Tem Brent Hill announcing John McGee's resignation Wednesday)
Question: Is McGee the first domino to fall in a legislative culture in Idaho that has for too long enabled misbehavers and scofflaws to continue to operate as though nothing has happened?
Senate President Pro Tem Brent Hill disguised any anger he may feel for his disgraced former caucus chairman, John McGee. But Wednesday’s decision by the Republican majority to acknowledge McGee is accused of sexual harassment by a woman staffer reveals the sting of betrayal. Most institutions would have trotted out the “personal reasons” boilerplate, leaving Idahoans to speculate on what might have finally brought the man-who-would-be-governor down. Not the Idaho Senate under Brent Hill. Hill is both a gentleman and a gentle man. And he may simply be heartsick — the word Majority Leader Bart Davis chose to describe his own mood. But Hill made it clear he’s had his fill with McGee’s recklessness/Dan Popkey, Idaho Statesman. More here. (AP photo: Sen. Bart Davis walks to a news conference for the announcement of the resignation of Sen. John McGee)
Question: Is John McGee's political career over?
Idaho State senate leadership, Chuck Winder, left, Brent Hill, center, and Bart Davis announce the resignation of Sen. John McGee during a press conference earlier today at the Idaho Statehouse in Boise, Idaho. Faced with sexual harassment allegations, Republican Sen. John McGee was given two choices: Quit or go before a state Senate ethics panel. The 38-year-old four-term lawmaker opted to resign on Wednesday, capping a political free-fall that began last year with a Father’s Day drunken driving and car theft arrest. Roundup of stories about resignation here. (AP Photo/The Idaho Statesman, Chris Butler)
The three remaining Senate GOP leaders — Senate President Pro-Tem Brent Hill, Majority Leader Bart Davis, and Assistant Majority Leader Chuck Winder — have announced to a packed press conference that Sen. John McGee (pictured) has resigned from the Senate in the wake of allegations of sexual harassment of a Senate attache. Hill said the harassment charges are being investigated by the Idaho Attorney General, and the attache, a woman who is not a minor, is on paid leave. McGee, R-Caldwell, is a fourth term state senator and also is the chairman of the Canyon County Republican Central Committee. A former aide to then-Sen. and Gov. Dirk Kempthorne, McGee, 39, is the marketing director for West Valley Medical Center in Caldwell, and is married with two young children. He was widely viewed as a rising star in the Idaho GOP before the bizarre incident last June in which he was arrested and convicted of drunken driving/Betsy Russell, Eye On Boise. More here.
Question: About time?
I've blogged since last summer that John McGee must resign. Today he did so. I've received phone messages from certain Idaho GOP State Senate Leaders who have “politely” called me and left voicemails asking me to “call them”. Really? Summoned by these guys who never had the courage to demand John's resignation? Now, watch what happens. It'll be anti-piling on, in a sense… GOP Senate Leadership (as it is now constructed — other than with Senator Chuck Winder, who is a good man) will today open their ranks and spit out Mr. McGee from its caucus. I refuse to pile on John McGee. His is a journey that now takes him to this distant part of a political desert. I hope he receives help in all areas of his life. The Senate Leadership? Pile on, baby, pile on/Dennis Mansfield. More here.
Question: Is Dennis right? Is it time to pile on Senate leadership for not having guts to handle John McGee's bizarre behavior back when?
A deeply divided House State Affairs Committee voted this morning to introduce legislation proposed by Rep. Julie Ellsworth, R-Boise, (pictured) to amend House rules to say that any member of leadership who is convicted of a DUI or drug offense would lose his or her leadership post. “It basically says if you're a member of leadership in your current term, if you're found guilty of a DUI or a drug offense, you're not eligible to complete that current leadership term,” Ellsworth told the committee. “I believe that it creates a standard, it puts it in place so that issues don't come into play when a situation arises. I like the idea of a standard”/Betsy Russell, Eye On Boise. More here.
Question: Do you support this bill?
JEERS … to Idaho Senate President Brent Hill, R-Rexburg. Hill is the epitome of transparency and ethical political behavior. Yet he so mishandled the Sen. John McGee fiasco that in comparison, Boss Denney's mild rebuke of tax scofflaw Phil Hart last year looks like a public flogging. And Hart was only guilty of hypocrisy - refusing to pay his own taxes while serving on the House Revenue and Taxation Committee.McGee, R-Caldwell, on the other hand, committed a crime - one that could have killed somebody/Marty Trillhaase, Lewiston Tribune. Marty's Cheers & Jeers column here.
Question: Do you agree with Marty Trillhaase that Brent Hill's protection of Sen. John McGee is worse than Lawerence Denney's protection of Phil Hart last year?
For years, Idaho legislators have tried to keep their leadership elections and in-house discipline to themselves. This is one reason why lawmakers say they need to be able to meet in closed party caucuses, outside the view of the media and their constituents. A caucus is not unlike Las Vegas. What happens there stays there. But on Friday, nine Republican state senators pulled back the curtain and gave their constituents a glimpse inside the cloistered caucus — although their motivations were probably more machiavellian than altruistic. Regardless, it is an astounding twist in the implosion of state Sen. John McGee, R-Caldwell. Nine days after Senate Republicans caucused, and decided to keep the embattled McGee in party leadership, the nine Republicans issued a statement saying they wanted to replace McGee. The fact that a group of Senate Republicans went public in such an unorthodox fashion illustrates a schism within the caucus/Kevin Richert, Idaho Statesman. More here.
Nine Idaho senators, including Assistant Majority Leader Chuck Winder, R-Boise, said they were outvoted on last week's vote on retaining Sen. John McGee, R-Caldwell, (pictured) in his No. 4 position in the Senate Republican caucus. The nine, in a statement issued Friday, said they want to clarify how they voted. They said media reports of the vote to retain McGee “led many of our constituents to mistakenly conclude that all members of the Senate GOP caucus voted to affirm support for Sen. McGee. …” “Our constituents expect us to stand up for the convictions, principles and values we have said we represent and … our constituents deserve to be reassured that their confidence in us us not misplaced.” The signers of the statement, in addition to Winder, were Sens. Russ Fulcher, Dean Mortimer, Sheryl Nuxoll, Mitch Toryanski, Monty Pearce, Shirley McKague, Steve Vick and Lee Heider/Idaho Statesman. More here.
Question: If you do the math, you'll notice that Steve Vick, R-Hayden Lake, was the only North Idaho senator who wanted John McGee to step down. What's up with the other 4 North Idaho senators?
I just NOW heard from some friends at the capitol that there is a move by certain key GOP Senators to ask John McGee to step down from his GOP Caucus leadership position. Like within the last little bit, my insiders tell me. “C'mon John, do the right thing, for a change,” seems to be their request. If this is accurate and Mr. McGee cannot or will not listen to those who CLEARLY are being impacted by his continued and blind self-focus, then either his “vision” must be altered or he risks a brand new name: Mr. Magoo/Dennis Mansfield. More here. (Wikipedia photo of Mr. Magoo)
Question: Anyone out there remember Mr. Magoo?
John McGee would have done himself a lot of good had he simply resigned from Senate leadership. I think somehow this situation has become worse, not better, because of the GOP Caucus meeting last week. Now, every GOP Senator (perhaps every legislator) has somehow become wrapped in John’s cocoon — and the Senate Democrat Leadership sees this opportunity. As the press rolled out, following the “Caucus confidence vote”, I believe that it became apparent to a number of GOP senators that they were now perceived to be supporting John, and even comfortable with his behavior — even though they are not/Dennis Mansfield. More here.
Question: Has John McGee become the Idaho Senate equivalent to Rep. Phil Hart — a pariah that hamstrings GOP legislative leadership?
It had to have been difficult for Sen. John McGee to meet with his colleagues Wednesday. But it could have been even worse. The Senate Republican caucus met to hear McGee, R-Caldwell, speak to them about what he calls “the worst night of my life:” the night of drinking that landed him in the Ada County Jail last Father’s Day, and resulted in a guilty plea on a DUI charge. Then, Republicans had to decide whether they wanted McGee to remain in leadership, and allow the politically ambitious McGee to serve as the public face of the GOP caucus. I can’t imagine this was easy on McGee — just as, I’m sure, it was difficult for him to break his seven-month silence and talk to reporters about his arrest. There are still holes in the story, particularly the still unsubstantiated claim that McGee suffered a concussion that contributed to his erratic Father’s Day behavior/Kevin Richert, Idaho Statesman. More here.
Question: Can anyone suggest what a Republican legislator would have to do to be reprimanded by their colleagues and the lenient GOP leadership?
Idaho Senate officials say Republican Sen. John McGee, pictured, will keep his position as caucus chairman, the fourth highest ranking post in the GOP controlled chamber. Republican senators met behind closed doors in the Idaho Capitol Wednesday to determine if McGee should retain his leadership post. Last year, McGee pleaded guilty to drunken driving in a plea deal after being arrested in a Boise neighborhood. The Caldwell Republican has apologized for his behavior and is aware of the disappointment expressed by his senate colleagues/John Miller, AP. More here.
Question: Do you agree with this decision?
Dennis Mansfield: I commend Senator McGee for recently meeting with the Press Tribune — for surely he would eventually have to face his hometown paper — his tone and content seem sincere and as re-countable as any person could muster under such an alcohol influence. Wanting to get it “behind him” may sound, to some, like a politically convenient thing to do as the session opens this week. I don't. I've worked with thousands of folks in the clutches of substance abuse. Taking a fierce inventory of who and where they are is vital to future health; moving past one's poor behavior is key. Moving towards complete sobriety is paramount. He can move forward, personally. He will also most likely be held accountable, publicly, by the voters for his actions. Both are needful for healing. More here.
Question: Do you think Sen. John McGree is truly doing soul-searching re: his bizarre DUI arrest last year — or simply trying to save his political career?
I love neighborhoods that subscribe to familiar “watch programs.” It's a case of neighbors helping neighbors. And it works. Often in politics, when citizens are busy living their lives, the only people looking at certain things are lobbyists, politicos, elected officials and (at times) bloggers, including me. So, I decided to look around and see how my “neighborhood” was doing. Were people OK? Anyone sick? I looked at current-State Senator Mike McGee of Idaho to do a follow-up on his illness. Illness? What illness? Well, back when he was arrested for the drunk driving and boorish behavior of grand theft of an auto, part of current-Senator McGee's defense was that he was ill, with a “likely” head problem/Dennis Mansfield. More here. (Illustration courtesy of Dennis Mansfield)
Question: Have the always accommodating Republican leadership of the Idaho Legislature officially swept McGee's misstep under the rug, hoping HucksOnline and loyal supporters, like Dennis Mansfield, won't notice and go away?