Claims to fame: Anti-gay Republican pegged as the next Great White Hope for the Idaho governor’s mansion; former Idaho state senator (2004-12) & majority caucus chair (2011-12); vice chair, Canyon County Republican Central Committee; marketing director, West Valley Medical Center; executive director, Western Canyon Youth and Family Coalition; husband; father; convicted drunk driver; alleged sexual-harasser with “a problem”
Moral apex: It’s a tie between his 2011 Father’s Day DUI conviction and his 2012 arrest on charges of disturbing the peace and violating probation for his 2011 Father’s Day DUI conviction. Except… it doesn’t sound like the disturbing-the-peace charge really has much to do with disturbing the peace as it does with the sexual-harassment investigation that
prompted forced him to resign from office in February.
The… what? In short, six months after McGee allegedly got drunk and stole an SUV and attached trailer, which he jack-knifed and crashed into somebody else’s yard (in exchange for his guilty plea to the DUI, prosecutors dropped a felony charge of auto theft), a female state senate attaché (“attaché” being a fancy word for “gofer”) accused him of sexual harassment. Without admitting any wrongdoing, McGee resigned from office in February, 2012.
It took five minutes for Republicans on the Senate State Affairs Committee to extinguish a bill Friday that would prohibit discrimination on the basis of sexual orientation or gender identity.
But the anguish that darkened their faces as Minority Leader Edgar Malepeai pleaded with colleagues to introduce his bill lingered. …
Senate GOP Caucus Chairman John McGee of Caldwell was among the no votes Friday. Already saddled with a nasty DUI last summer, McGee simply wasn’t willing to give a challenger the chance to say he supports the “gay lifestyle.”
Would his vote have been different absent the primary? “I don’t even think in those terms,” dodged McGee.
“Nobody here believes in discrimination against anybody,” McGee said. “But at the same time I don’t think we want to create special groups and special categories. … The issue becomes, where does it stop?”
Ah, yes, the slippery slope to special rights for practitioners of bestiality and pedophilia.
— Dan Popkey
“Painful day in the Idaho Senate as ‘Add the Words’ gay-rights bill killed”
Idaho Statesman, February 11, 2012
The details of what went down (or, perhaps, who wanted to “go down”) in McGee’s office February 7th are murky; the Idaho Statesman says: “According to the arrest warrant, McGee ‘willfully and maliciously disturbed the peace or quiet of a person, by offensive conduct.’ Prosecutors say that McGee ‘used profane and offensive language and/or offensive conduct in the presence of’ a state employee.”
Somehow, we doubt he was busted for just, like, blurting out the F-word.
This makes more sense: “[Ada County Deputy Prosecutor Jean Fisher] said Tuesday McGee had become ‘sexually provocative’ towards the female employee, but did not elaborate in court.”
McGee is expected to plead guilty when he appears again in court August 21, 2012.
By the way: “Fisher said Tuesday that Senate leaders who talked to McGee told ISP [Idaho State Police] investigators that McGee ‘said he knew he had a problem.’” We’re not sure that means McGee has “a problem” with drunk-driving other people’s vehicles, “a problem” chasing glorified admin assistants around his desk, or just “a problem,” period.
We do know his DUI probation was supposed to end July 1, 2012. Maybe his “problem” is self-sabotage.
What’s more: AP reported, citing itself: “McGee’s reputation was further bruised over the summer when the AP reported that despite having a home just 26 miles from the Capitol, he had been claiming a $122 per diem during the Legislature that adds up to some $6,000 annually. The money is meant to defray the cost of a second residence in Boise, but McGee was spending nights at his parents’ house in Boise.”
“$6,000 a year is what McGee’s got from taxpayers for staying with his parents,” wrote Adam Graham. “That’s enough to pay two months of a teacher’s salary. When every part of the budget is getting [sic] including education, health care, and the State Police, it is beyond audacious for a State Senator to get $6,000 for living somewhere rent free. … I’ve known dozens of people who regularly commute in from Caldwell and Nampa for work and then go back home again. Why should State legislators be any more privileged than their constituents who have to deal with things like commutes and bad weather?”
Meanwhile: “On July 11, 2011, McGee, chairing a meeting of the Canyon County Republican Central Committee, created controversy when he cut off debate on a resolution calling for the investigation of the medical claims McGee raised as a defense to his criminal charges. McGee sent the resolution to an internal committee, which he also [chaired], for review. Several days later, on July 16, 2011, the Republican Central Committee for the State of Idaho approved a no-confidence motion on McGee.”
The resignation was sudden, but can it really be surprising?
Only if you believe — as McGee asserted and a majority of Senate Republicans accepted — that McGee’s Father’s Day arrest was somehow an isolated lapse of judgment.
McGee made that argument in the face of the bizarre circumstances of that evening. He was arrested, barefoot and drunk, 6 1/2 miles away from the golf clubhouse where he had downed enough gin and tonics to blow a .15 percent blood-alcohol reading, nearly twice the legal limit. He was arrested behind the wheel of an SUV?he had stumbled upon along the way, famously telling police that he was looking for “the promised land.”
— Kevin Richert
“John McGee’s downfall: sudden, but not surprising”
Idaho Statesman, February 22, 2012
…the Promised Land — aka Jackpot Nevada. Jackpot is a patch of small time casinos on the Nevada border that caters to the southern Idaho Family Values crowd and Mormons straying from the fold.
“Co-Sponsor of Bill to Evict Occupy Boise Resigns From Idaho Legislature in Disgrace”
Firedoglake, February 23, 2012
In a stroke of divine justice, Add the Words never went away, but McGee did
A pair of Add the Words, Idaho volunteers attempted to hand deliver a bouquet of rainbow-colored roses to the Senate Majority Caucus Chair on Wednesday afternoon. Wearing a stunning black velvet dress complete with black veil, LipsInc sensation “Martini” and organizer Lisa Perry chased the Senator down a Capital [sic] Building hallway as he was leaving for lunch.
Perry called out the Senator’s name and told him they had flowers for him.
McGee declined to take the bouquet.
Perry says she tried to convince the Senator to at least take the attached card that read, “You could have been a hero to thousands,” but he declined that as well.
“Martini” says she was disappointed, but not surprised. “He wants to ignore us, have us go away, but we aren’t going.”
— James Tidmarsh
“Rejected Again! Idaho State Senator John McGee Refuses Flowers From a Lady!”
The Idaho Agenda, February 16, 2012
• “GOP drops John McGee DUI resolution,” Idaho Press-Tribune, August 10, 2011
• “New allegations prompt Idaho Sen. McGee’s resignation,” Dan Popkey, Idaho Statesman, February 22, 2012
• “Arrest warrant issued for ex-Idaho senator,” AP, June 12, 2012
Suggested Bble reading for Mr. McGee:
He that refuseth instruction despiseth his own soul: but he that heareth reproof getteth understanding.
The fear of the Lord is the instruction of wisdom; and before honour is humility.
— Proverbs 15:32-33
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