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McGee returns to public role two years after scandals

Here's a news item from the Associated Press: CALDWELL, Idaho (AP) — A former Idaho lawmaker is returning to the public eye after two highly publicized political scandals two years ago caused him to resign. The Idaho Press-Tribune (http://bit.ly/1lQ9wnv ) reports that former GOP state Sen. John McGee is now serving as chairman of the Downtown Caldwell Organization in southwestern Idaho. The group focuses on revitalizing downtown Caldwell to attract more businesses. McGree quit the legislature amid sexual harassment allegations in 2012, preceded by a drunken driving arrest on Father's Day a year before. McGee stepped down before the Idaho Senate ethics committee could conduct an investigation on what happened. He spent 39 days in jail. After a two year respite, McGee says his local community has been supportive as he returns to a public role again.

McGee affair bleeds into Senate leadership fight

Here's a news item from the Associated Press: BOISE, Idaho (AP) ― Former Republican Sen. John McGee's Senate exit is bleeding into a fight over leadership of the chamber's dominant GOP faction for 2013. Senate Majority Leader Bart Davis is being challenged by Sen. Dean Mortimer for the No. 2 position in Wednesday's secret vote. The two Idaho Falls lawmakers would seem natural allies. However, the Idaho Statesman reports dissatisfaction in the caucus over Davis' handling of the McGee affair. Davis remained a McGee ally, despite the Caldwell lawmaker's 2011 drunken-driving conviction. Meanwhile, Mortimer was among nine senators who said publicly they tried to oust McGee as majority caucus chair in a closed-door vote in January ― just weeks before sexual-harassment allegations ended McGee's career.

Davis declined comment to The Associated Press on Saturday; Mortimer couldn't be reached. There are two other leadership races in the Senate. Curt McKenzie of Nampa is challenging Assistant Majority Leader Chuck Winder of Boise, and Steve Bair of Blackfoot takes on Majority Caucus Leader Russ Fulcher of Meridian, who was elected to the leadership post when McGee quit in February.

Documents describe McGee’s conduct in sexual harassment case

Documents obtained by the Associated Press reveal the most detail to date about the conduct of former state Sen. John McGee, R-Caldwell, in the sexual harassment case that led to his resignation from the Senate. They include descriptions of McGee engaging in sexually inappropriate behavior in his Capitol office and pressing a young female staffer for sex. Click below for the full report from AP reporter John Miller. McGee resigned from office rather than face a full ethics inquiry; the case also was referred to law enforcement, and he served jail time after a conviction for disturbing the peace of a person, a misdemeanor. McGee apologized in court at his sentencing hearing on Aug. 21.

McGee gets five days off for good behavior, will be released from jail Sat.

Here's a news item from the Associated Press: BOISE, Idaho (AP) ― Former Republican Sen. John McGee is due to get out of jail Saturday, five days before his originally-scheduled release date. McGee had been sentenced Aug. 21 to at least 44 days behind bars. That's after pleading guilty to charges linked to allegations of sexual harassment levied against him by a Senate staffer. But Ada County Sheriff Gary Raney's office wrote to 4th District Court Magistrate James Cawthon this month, requesting McGee's early release. Cawthon agreed. Jailers say McGee behaved and completed tasks in an orderly and peaceable manner. Idaho prison inmates must serve fixed sentences and haven't received "good time" credit since the 1980s. But the state allows those serving time in county jails like McGee to have their detention reduced by five days for every month of their sentences. Click below for a full report from AP reporter John Miller.

In court, new details emerge about downfall of once-rising GOP star in Senate

During former Sen. John McGee's sentencing hearing today, new details emerged on the sexual harassment allegations that led to McGee's resignation from the Idaho Senate. Asked what happened, McGee told 4th District Magistrate Judge James Cawthon, "Your honor, on Feb. 7, I acted inappropriately and I used language that I should not have used, and I conducted myself in a way, your honor, that was offensive, and I'm guilty of this offense." The charge against McGee was disturbing the peace of a person.

But Ada County deputy prosecutor Jean Fisher said it went beyond that. The victim was a 25-year-old woman who worked for the Senate in 2011, then returned for the 2012 session. "The job for her, as you can imagine, was very exciting, a unique opportunity," Fisher said. "It was a great honor for her." But when the woman returned for the 2012 session, she found McGee, who in the interim had been convicted of DUI in a bizarre Father's Day incident, "mercurial," subject to "mood swings," and "acting sexually inappropriately around her." At one point, Fisher told the court, McGee "called her into his office, locked the door and demanded that she engage in graphic sexual conduct." The woman escaped. She went home that day and told her mother.

"Co-workers noted her declining demeanor and asked what was wrong," Fisher said. The victim didn't want to report McGee. "She believed that her job was on the line," Fisher said. "She and her friend attempted to isolate the victim from Sen. McGee," in part by moving other workers into the workplace. But, Fisher said, "The senator isolated her again and repeated the barrage of disturbing and offensive sexual innuendo." At that point, the friend reported the situation to a supervisor, and an investigation was launched, leading eventually to a criminal charge against McGee of misdemeanor disturbing the peace.

Fisher said the victim just wants the whole thing over. "She is so ready to move on and be done with this process that has been a horrible disruption in her life," she told the court.

Scott McKay, attorney for McGee, said his client disputes some of Fisher's allegations. "He admits that on Feb. 7 he committed the crime of disturbing the peace," McKay told the court.

McGee made this statement to the court: "Your honor, I accept responsibility for my actions." Then he paused before continuing. "Serving in the Idaho Senate has been a great privilege, but with that privilege comes responsibility, and over the last year I did not live up to that privilege. And I'm sorry for that. I apologize."

Judge sends former Sen. McGee directly to jail, revokes withheld judgment

An Ada County judge today sent former Idaho Sen. John McGee straight to jail, revoking his withheld judgment for a 2011 DUI and imposing another six-month jail term for a disturbing the peace charge related to allegations that McGee sexually harassed a Senate staffer. Magistrate Judge James Cawthon  declined to follow a plea agreement worked out between prosecutors and McGee's attorney that would have required McGee to serve just five days of jail time; instead, McGee, 39, must serve 90 days, the first half of that with no option for work-release or community service.

When McGee's attorney, Scott McKay, asked the judge if his client could have seven days to say goodbye to his family and turn himself in to serve the sentence, the judge responded, "The court will order the execution of the sentence at this time." McGee was taken into custody at the close of his sentencing hearing. His wife, Hanna, who along with his parents, brother and church pastor accompanied McGee to the hearing, left the courtroom in tears.

Cawthon also sentenced McGee to three years of supervised probation, counseling, restitution and court costs. "What the court's going to impose here I think sends a message in terms of general deterrence," Cawthon told McGee. "I hope it reflects … the serious nature of the offense."

McGee was on probation for a 2011 DUI conviction - in which he received a withheld judgment and more serious charges of stealing and damaging a vehicle were dismissed - when he allegedly sexually harassed a 25-year-old female Senate staffer in February. After an investigation, a criminal charge, a misdemeanor charge of disturbing the peace, was filed against McGee, along with a charge of violating his probation. "This isn't just disturbing the peace," the judge told him today. "You weren't playing music too loud. … Whatever this is, it's sexual in nature." He said, "I don't know if you just lost your moral compass because of the positions you had." He called it "amazing" that McGee would risk his marriage, his family and his career a second time while still on probation for the first crime.

He also said he sentenced McGee on the DUI just as he would any other first-time DUI offender. But he said, "This new offense happened … in your role as an Idaho state senator. It happened at the Capitol." He said he was treating McGee like any other public servant who "misbehaves to the level of committing criminal offenses in the course of their public service."

Prosecutors recommending five days jail, court costs, counseling for McGee

Here's a news item from the Associated Press: BOISE, Idaho (AP) ― Authorities are recommending that former Republican Sen. John McGee serve five days in jail, pay $500 in court costs and undergo private counseling in exchange for pleading guilty to disturbing the peace. According to court documents filed by McGee's attorney, both sides are also recommending McGee pay $960 in restitution and attend classes about having healthy relationships and setting appropriate boundaries. The court documents say McGee intends to plead guilty Tuesday to the charge, which is linked to sexual harassment allegations that resulted in his February departure from the Idaho Legislature. At the time of the sexual misconduct investigation, McGee was on probation following a 2011 drunken driving conviction. McGee is also expected to plead guilty to violating the terms of his probation during the hearing Tuesday.

Click below for a full report from AP reporter Jessie Bonner.

Former Sen. McGee to be sentenced tomorrow in 4th District court

Former Idaho Sen. John McGee, R-Caldwell, is up for sentencing tomorrow at 1:30 p.m. in 4th District Court in Ada County; McGee is facing sentencing for a charge of disturbing the peace on Feb. 7, 2012, related to charges that he sexually harassed a Senate staffer; and violating his probation in connection with the same allegation. At the time, McGee was on probation for driving under the influence in June of 2011, for which he received a withheld judgment. An additional charge of driving/operating a vehicle without the owner's consent and causing more than $1,000 damage in the June 2011 incident was dismissed in exchange for his guilty plea on the DUI.

Court records show that McGee has completed 24 hours of community service; was fined $947; wrote a letter of apology to the victims in the driving case in July of 2011; was sentenced to one year of unsupervised probation; and was assigned 24 hours of alcohol/DUI education class. He also was sentenced to 180 days in jail with 175 suspended and received work release.

McGee, the former Republican caucus chairman, resigned from the Senate after the sexual harassment allegation surfaced. Prosecutors told 4th District Magistrate Judge James Cawthon in June that at the Aug. 21 sentencing, McGee will plead guilty to misdemeanor charges of disturbing the peace and probation violation.

Ex-Sen. McGee quits job after latest charges

Here's a news item from the Associated Press: BOISE, Idaho (AP) ― Former Republican state Sen. John McGee quit his Idaho hospital job Friday after being charged with misdemeanor crimes linked to sexual harassment allegations. West Valley Medical Center in Caldwell confirmed that McGee had resigned as marketing director and spokesman, a role in which he was often the public face of the facility. The hospital said the departure of McGee, 39, will help avoid distractions linked to his unfolding legal travails. Click below for more.

McGee to plead guilty to new charges

Former Idaho Sen. John McGee will plead guilty in August to new charges of disturbing the peace and violating probation that are connected to a sexual harassment investigation, the Idaho Statesman reported this afternoon, citing court documents. The newspaper reported that in February, McGee had become "sexually provocative" toward a female Senate staffer, who first told only her mother what had occurred, but later told other employees after they noticed she was "unhappy, tearful and crying often." You can read the Statesman's full report here.

McGee, R-Caldwell, who was Senate majority caucus chairman, resigned from the Senate Feb. 22 rather than face an ethics probe over the harassment allegations. The criminal charges, both misdemeanors, were announced yesterday after a months-long investigation.

McGee arrested, released on bond

Former Idaho Sen. John McGee, R-Caldwell, was arrested last night on misdemeanor charges of disturbing the peace and violating his probation from his 2011 DUI conviction; McGee turned himself in after an arrest warrant was issued, and then was released on bond, $1,000 for each charge. He's due to appear in court on Aug. 21 on the charges. The disturbing the peace charge is the outcome of a months-long investigation into allegations that McGee sexually harassed a female Senate staffer; he resigned from the Senate on Feb. 22 rather than face an ethics probe over the charges. The complaint against McGee on that charge says he "used profane and offensive language and/or offensive conduct" in the presence of an unidentified person on Feb. 7. "The new charge is based on criminal conduct that occurred in the former senator's office during the 2012 legislative session," Ada County Prosecutor Greg Bower said in a release. Click below for a full report from AP reporter John Miller.

Ex-Senator McGee Faces Charge

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.

Arrest warrant issued for former Sen. John McGee

Here's a news item from the Associated Press: BOISE, Idaho (AP) ― Arrest warrants for former Idaho Republican state Sen. John McGee were issued after prosecutors charged him with misdemeanor disturbing the peace and violating probation terms for a 2011 DUI conviction. The warrants were issued Tuesday in 4th District Court against McGee, who resigned from the Idaho Senate in February amid allegations that he sexually harassed an employee. McGee didn't return a phone call Tuesday. According to the complaint, McGee is charged with disturbing the peace on Feb. 7. Prosecutors say he used profane and offensive language and/or offensive conduct in the presence of an unidentified victim during the 2012 Legislature. He's also charged violating his misdemeanor DUI probation. He was convicted last year after a drunken Father's Day incident in which he drove a stranger's car pulling a trailer, jacknifing it in a nearby yard. Click below for a full report from AP reporter John Miller; you can read the Ada County Prosecutor's office news release here.

McGee case still pending at Ada prosecutor’s office, could take ‘a while’

From the "whatever happened to" department of Eye on Boise, today we bring you: Whatever happened to the investigation into Sen. John McGee? And the answer is: It's still pending. McGee, R-Caldwell, the former Senate majority caucus chairman, resigned from the Idaho Senate on Feb. 22 amid charges of sexual harassment of a female Senate aide; the Idaho State Police investigated, and turned the case over to Ada County Prosecutor Greg Bower on April 13, who could decide to file criminal charges.

Asked today where the case stands, Chief Deputy Prosecutor Roger Bourne said, "It's still under advisement, we're still looking into it." Asked if it's normal for such a case to take this long, Bourne said, "It's not like we have cases like this all the time that we have a history on, that I can tell you whether it's normal or not. We're looking into a number of things, and it's going to take us a while." He added, "There's a number of variables, and we're looking at several things."

Ruling Elates Ex-ITD Director Lowe

“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.


Edit: McGee Allegation Handled Well

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?

AG Won’t Provide McGee Records

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?

Read more here: http://voices.idahostatesman.com/2012/02/27/idahopolitics/idaho_attorney_general_denies_statesman_request_records_regardin#storylink=cpy

ISP Investigating McGee Allegation

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?

ISP investigating whether McGee violated any criminal laws

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."

McGee, 39, resigned from the Senate yesterday amid allegations of sexual harassment involving a female Senate staffer; he was the Senate Majority Caucus chairman, the fourth-highest leadership position in the Senate, and was a fourth-term Republican senator and former Transportation Committee chairman.

DM: Senate Leaders Betrayed Idaho

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?

Popkey: McGee’s Fall Rooted In Hubris

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?

Read more here: http://www.idahostatesman.com/2012/02/23/2006070/mcgees-fall-rooted-in-hubris.html#storylink=cpy

Parting Shot — 2.22.12

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)

Dems: ‘Sobering, a sad day for the Senate’

Here's a link to the full story at spokesman.com on today's resignation of Senate Majority Caucus Chairman John McGee, in which AP reporter John Miller notes that McGee's resignation amid allegations of sexual harassment of a female Senate staffer capped a political free-fall that began last year with a drunken driving arrest.

Minority Democrats said they were informed of McGee's resignation Wednesday morning and were shocked by the news. "Whenever any of our members has this happen, it's sobering," Sen. Michelle Stennett, D-Ketchum, told the Associated Press. "It's a sad day for the Senate."  Meanwhile, the Idaho Democratic Party issued a statement saying it was "thankful" that McGee resigned today. Party Chairman Larry Grant said, "I am glad that GOP leadership has finally accepted that something must be done to turn around the culture that has rooted itself in the Statehouse.” You can read the party's full statement here.

The AP reports that McGee's sunny disposition and rapid rise into Senate leadership last year at the age of just 38 made him constant fodder for talk that he'd seek higher elected office; but that his departure from the Senate likely means any further political aspirations he had are over.

McGee Quits Over Harassment Claims

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?

Hill: McGee hand-delivered his resignation letter this morning

Senate President Pro-Tem Brent Hill said on Saturday, Feb. 18, he and Majority Leader Bart Davis were notified of confidential allegations of sexual harassment against Sen. John McGee, R-Caldwell. "The Idaho Senate takes all allegations of sexual harassment seriously," Hill said. "At leadership's request, the Senate secretary, throughout Monday, investigated and counseled the attache to report the claims of misconduct to Brent Hill. Monday afternoon the attache, together with the Senate secretary, met with the Pro Tem and majority leader to report the asserted misconduct."

Hill said he immediately reassigned the Senate staffer "to another position within the Senate." Hill said, "In this situation, my first priority is to ensure a safe, secure and professional work environment for Senate employees. My second priority is to protect the integrity and institution of the Idaho State Senate."

Hill said McGee did not admit to any wrongdoing, but "informed leadership that he believed it was in the Senate's best interest for him to resign." Hill said McGee hand-delivered his letter of resignation this morning. Hill urged people to respect the privacy of the Senate attache involved, who is on paid leave. "This is an extremely difficult time for her," he said.

Dennis: Pile On Senate Leadership

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?

Bill Would Boot Leaders w/DUIs

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?

Brent Hill Gets Lewiston Trib Jeers

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?

McGee Vote Reveals GOP Split

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.


Read more here: http://www.idahostatesman.com/2012/01/24/1965405/a-senate-divided-and-in-full-public.html#storylink=twt#storylink=cpy

McGee responds…

After nine GOP senators issued a statement this afternoon saying they voted against Sen. John McGee keeping his leadership post during an earlier closed caucus, but were outvoted, McGee, R-Caldwell, issued this statement:

"No one is more disappointed by the mistake I made last June than me.
I am solely responsible for my actions. I am humbled daily by the
support I have received from my constituents, my colleagues and most
importantly my family. I look forward to now working with my
colleagues to address the important issues facing the citizens of the
state of Idaho."