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GOP drops John McGee DUI resolution

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Posted: Wednesday, August 10, 2011 12:11 am | Updated: 4:07 pm, Wed Feb 22, 2012.

CALDWELL — Canyon County Republican leaders voted down a resolution to investigate state Sen. John McGee’s June DUI Tuesday at their monthly meeting.

Precinct chairpersons defeated the proposal 22 to 10. Some members of the County Republican Central Committee that voted on the resolution spoke harshly of the measure brought forth by District 13 chairwoman Ronalee Linsenmann.

“What we have is an example of a personal vendetta rather than a serious motion,” committee member Jim Rice said.

But others praised Linsenmann for bringing the subject up for debate. Her resolution would also have had the Central Committee vote on whether to keep McGee as chairman.

At the last Central Committee meeting McGee, acting as chairman, passed Linsenmann’s resolution on to the Central Committee executive board, postponing a vote on the issue by the committee itself.

On Tuesday, the executive board voted to send the resolution to the committee with a “do not pass” recommendation. Linsenmann voiced the only dissenting vote on the board.

McGee, of Caldwell, handed his duties as chairman over to Vice Chairman Steve Kren at both the executive board meeting and the Central Committee meeting while the resolution was discussed.

“I think it’s more appropriate that Steve review this,” McGee said.

The Central Committee also voted on and passed 23-6 a resolution brought by Julie Yamamoto in support of McGee with a recommendation not to address McGee’s DUI again.

In both the executive board and Central Committee meetings Linsenmann stood firm on her desire to consider taking McGee’s chairmanship from him to protect the reputation of the Republican Party.

“We are being just inundated with all kinds of bad behavior,” Linsenmann said. “We’re trying to create a caste system where some people just don’t suffer … consequences.

“If we want to renew the faith in the Republican Party, we need to act like our reputation matters.”

Other committee members said McGee had his day in court, has been punished and has publicly apologized.

“This is an aberration,” Todd Lakey said about McGee’s DUI. “There’s no pattern in this conduct. John took responsibility and pleaded guilty and paid his restitution.”

Linsenmann revised her resolution from last month to include other accusations of what she called “abuse of power” by McGee. The resolution accused McGee of paying transportation and accommodations for students he picked as part of the Canyon County delegation for the 2008 State Republican Convention, among other accusations.

Carl Anderson of Caldwell said his son was a member of that group and McGee didn’t pay his way. Linsenmann said a member of the group told her otherwise.

The resolution also said McGee prevented Linsenmann’s “lawfully presented” motion from being heard by the Central Committee last month and “that action validated a continuing example of such abuse of power.”

McGee said in the executive board meeting that his actions last month were “the appropriate way to handle it.”

Central Committee secretary Nancy Baxter disagreed with Linsenmann about McGee but praised her for her work with the party. She said McGee deserves to have his entire contribution to the party considered.

“He does not need to have an unblemished record destroyed like this,” Baxter said. “We need to turn around and appreciate him for what he has done.”

Reaction from McGee

Sen. John McGee, R-Caldwell, said after the vote that he was “humbled and flattered” by the Canyon County Republican Central Committee’s support.

“I look forward to continuing to serve as the chairman of the party and continuing to serve my role as state senator,” McGee said.

When asked why he turned the meetings Tuesday over to Vice Chairman Steve Kren for discussion of the resolution about him and did not do the same when the resolution was discussed last month, McGee said “that’s not what the story’s about.”

“The story is overwhelmingly the people of the Central Committee supported my chairmanship of the party,” McGee said.

He also said all questions about what happened the night of his DUI arrest have been answered.

“It’s all there,” McGee said. “This has now been adjudicated by the court system and I’m fulfilling my punishment and my debt to society, and Hanna (McGee’s wife) and I are moving forward.

“The vast majority of people in that room said enough is enough. The party’s moving forward and my family’s moving forward. It’s time to move on to other things.”

About McGee’s DUI

Police arrested Sen. John McGee, R-Caldwell, early June 19 after he took a Ford Excursion and cargo trailer from the southwest Boise home of a stranger and got it stuck in a yard down the street. A breath test showed the four-term lawmaker’s blood-alcohol content was nearly twice the legal limit, police said. McGee pleaded guilty to the DUI and a charge of operating a vehicle without the owner’s consent was dropped.

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Welcome to the discussion.


  • Matt Salisbury posted at 5:41 pm on Thu, Aug 25, 2011.

    Matt Salisbury Posts: 7

    @Gotter (Does that stand for coward behind an anonymous name?) You deserve special attention after I read your post. Since you resorted to insults right from the get go, you instantly lost any credibility, but your use of anonymity makes you free game.

    Enjoyed your response. I'm guessing you haven't done a single thing to actually participate in our democratic process?

    "Slimy tools treat the political process as a game, not realizing that their “game" has a real and lasting impact on our children's future. Hey Matt, go have your drink with John McGee, like you have before."


    I truly hope that "CTR" isn't Choose The Right, because every member of the LDS church is cringing if they read your diatribe. Or perhaps using your initials is the sum of your courage after your rambling post?

    Our political process is not a game, and unlike you, I've put my money where my mouth is both in combat, to protect cowards such as yourself to say whatever they want to, from the anonymous, safety of their home computer, but also in working to promote political ideals that I believe are best for my three children, something that I think that you also have no understanding of based on your post.

    I don't live in Sen. McGee's district, so it won't be up to me to decide if he will be re-elected. Since you really don't grasp morality, the bottom line is, if we are going to attack one person in our party, than the same outrage should be directed at every single person who has broken the law, despite their voting record.

    Have my drink with Sen. McGee? Um, O.K., you caught me...I have indeed had something to drink, in the same room, along with hundreds of other people, on multiple occasions. I don't play golf, so your directive/accusation/innuendo hasn't and won't happen in this regard.

    Sign your full name coward, like the founders of our country did when they signed the Declaration of Independence, then at least you will get some modicum of respect for the vomit that inflicted upon this forum. Or better yet, lets sit down face to face and have a chat about your views, and I'll be happy to tell you how to move from sitting on a computer, to taking part in our democratic process locally. Sadly, I'm guessing you aren't even registered to vote. Lets start there my little angry friend.

  • RobertoSarto posted at 8:49 am on Sun, Aug 14, 2011.

    RobertoSarto Posts: 290

    I love the picture of McGee that goes with the article. I knew a guy who had the same smooth "gee-whiz" expression on his face all the time. He asked my daughter if he could "borrow" the engagement ring he had given her. He then gave it to somebody else!

  • Froghair posted at 1:53 pm on Fri, Aug 12, 2011.

    Froghair Posts: 21

    It seems that on Father's Day, McGee's Karma ran over his party's dogma.

    Now all heck is breaking loose![beam]

  • WhoKnows posted at 11:45 am on Fri, Aug 12, 2011.

    WhoKnows Posts: 45


    Es ist not our place to interpret the laws of the Faderland. Es ist not our place to challenge the Fuhrer or seine judges. McGee ist free for his leiben of the Faderland und the Fuhrer!

    Sieg heil mine Fuhrer Otter! Heil John McGe! Simplotland uber allen!

  • notjustamom posted at 9:37 pm on Thu, Aug 11, 2011.

    notjustamom Posts: 1

    I have to agree with bronco grad what happened in this county is disgraceful and just as bad as what we keep complaining about on higher levels.
    In this country we are having a real problem with people in leadership positions obeying, honoring and sustaining the law. Especially all the way up at the top, we whine, we fuss, we complain THEN when we have a chance to make a difference, a chance to say "No, that isn't the way we do things" we do NOTHING? We say "Oh, but he is really a good guy, and don't the scriptures say 'forgive and forget'" There is a problem with that: I have learned that circumventing the law and forgiving without penalty only invites the person to re-do their crime and then some. We need to teach people that they are responsible to the people for their actions if they are going to be in a leadership position. John lost alot of respect from the voting people with the way he handled this situation, yes we all make mistakes but we don't all act arrogantly when we do.

    Also, Skousen points out in his book the 5,000 year leap that "The most promising method of securing a virtuous and morally stable people is to elect virtuous leaders." The task of the electorate is to choose those whose "fidelity has been tried in the nicest and tenderest manner, and has been ever firm and unshaken."

    Our founders hoped to develop a spirit of public virtue by having leaders of strong private (personal) virtue. I don't John showed much private virtue especially in his handling of the issue at the central committee. Watch John Munds video.

    Public offices should be an Honor rather than a position of profit.

    to quote Sam Adams " neither the wisest constitution nor the wisest laws will secure the liberty and happiness of a people whose manners are universally corrupt. He therefore is the truest friend to the liberty of his country who tries most to promote its virtue, and who, so far as his power and influence extend, will not suffer a man to be chosen into any office of power and trust who is not a wise and virtuous man."
    Who ever says Ronnalee did this out of a desire for political power or profit is an idiot and a liar. She just aligned herself against the "good 'ol boys" that isn't profitable for a political position but it is the RIGHT thing to do. Yeah for Ronnalee, wish I had that kind of courage!

  • FedUp posted at 4:58 pm on Thu, Aug 11, 2011.

    FedUp Posts: 1

    To say McMe has been punished enough is a joke. Who wouldn't plead guilty to "misdeamor" DUI in exchange for walking away scott free from a "felony" grand theft auto charge? That does not indicate he didn't do the crime.

    If McMe was so concerned about having an unblemished record maybe he should have thought about that before he drove drunker than a skunk and before he stole a vehicle and crashed it. And maybe he should have thought twice before spending all hours of the night out with God know's who doing God know's what before ending his escape by committing a felony.

    Maybe those who think McMe is being judged too harsely should ask every other person in Idaho that has been arrested for Grand Theft Auto what they received for deals!

    And as for the comparison to Phil Hart. I actually took the time to research the facts about his issues at the urging of someone who suggested the media was falsely reporting the facts. Perhaps everyone else should do the same thing. He actually has paid over $130,000 in taxes, but what the media is reporting as taxes owed is the result of the IRS conducting a politically motivated audit because he wrote a revolutionary book about the income tax laws. The IRS wanted the names of every person who bought his book and he refused. In retaliation the IRS stripped him of ALL of his business deductions, meaning he couldn't write off anything and was falsely charged with profits he did not earn. These are the taxes he is appealing, not the legitamate taxes he has already paid. The facts and proof is all published online for all to see if they care to take the time to look. There is a huge difference between standing in the GAP for the people and protecting the people's 1st amendment rights (even if it means you are persecuted) than driving drunk (could have killed innocent people) and stealing a vehicle and wrecking it. To this day Phil Hart is standing firm in protection of THE PEOPLE and to this day McMe is standing firm in protecting HIMSELF" and to h ell with the people!!!

    Ronalee is one courageous and admirable woman! She should be commended for her brave stance for truth and honesty, not persecuted for demanding and end to corruption and politics as usual. Go Ronalee, you are a much, much better person than McMe ever thought of being. McMe can't hold a candle to you Ronalee, you're in a league of your own, far above McMe! We need more Ronalee's in this country!!!

  • Floinidaho posted at 1:34 pm on Thu, Aug 11, 2011.

    Floinidaho Posts: 2

    Linsenmann did not take on the Idaho Repubs on this issue, just that small group of go along to get along's in Canyon County. Most Idaho GOP party members are very well aware of his rule breaking.

    Me Me McGee, is nicknamed by other legislators because he is always looking around to see who is looking at him. He is a brown noser who acts usually out of trying to please those who he thinks might give him political favor. I bet those he sucks up to laugh at him behind his back as well. They keep him in place because he is useful to them. It is a well known statewide fact that he has lied and cheated in the State GOP to gain that favor. He has that same reputation amongst legislators in his position in the Senate. He has no moral compass Does Canyon county want a bought and paid for Senator?

    When I learned of this incident my heart went out to McGee and his family. I too believe people deserve a second chance. The idea that this was a one time occurrence is ridicules. McGee was given a much needed wake up call, that I was hoping it would bring him down to earth a bit. But instead he resorted to his usual tactics. Hopefully no one has to be killed, or injured as happens too often with drinking and driving before he learns his lesson.

  • Paul posted at 12:37 pm on Thu, Aug 11, 2011.

    Paul Posts: 360

    I applaud Ms. Linsenman for taking on the Repubs over this issue. I am not active in the "party" but there are some people I know and respect who sat in judgement of Mr. McGee at the meeting. I think the DUI Mr. McGee got was well deserved as was the the underlying charges with the vehicle. What I don't agree with is that is episode should be used to summarily end Mr. McGee's political career. I have watched over the years the careers of excellent law enforcement people end over a DUI. I didn't agree with that either. People of all stripes deserve a path to redemption for mistakes they make in life. I would like to think the stress this has created for McGee and his family along with court imposed sanctions is punishment enough. I know I am in the minority in this line of thinking but forgiveness and redemption are things to think about. If McGee truly has a drinking problem he will not survive his probation given the spotlight and microscope he is now living under 24/7. Another incident and I would agree it is time for John to hang up his spurs.

  • Gotter posted at 6:30 am on Thu, Aug 11, 2011.

    Gotter Posts: 13

    @ Matt Salisbury: You talk of influence and underlying political motivations! I'm guessing you are a person who lacks the mental capacity to know you are being used. I estimate that you have been used so much and for so long, you have begun to believe that you are in control, when in fact you are not. Not once did you address any of the issues at hand, but rather, you threw out a pitch to have people pick up and drop off tables for events to help elect John McGee and others who, as you state, deserve their influence.

    The point is John McFee has used extremely poor judgment in the past few months. He should have been honorable to Idaho and his family, and resigned his political posts. A still sadder situation is McGee does not hear the whispers that some that support him do so with motives of their own.

    The facts are:
    - John McGee stole a Ford Excursion and cargo trailer and drank so much that he was a danger to innocent people.

    - McGee allowed his attorney to mislead a judge and prosecutor, stating that McGee’s behavior was not only caused by drinking excess alcohol beverages, but claiming McGee suffered a concussion.

    - McGee’s arrogance was apparent when he joked about the SERIOUS situation and delayed a vote regarding the situation at the July 12 Republican Central Committee meeting.

    - And, as an elected official, McGee has not once explained to the voters or the press what happened that night!

    Slimy tools treat the political process as a game, not realizing that their “game" has a real and lasting impact on our children's future. Hey Matt, go have your drink with John McGee, like you have before.


  • Ray Sr posted at 11:45 pm on Wed, Aug 10, 2011.

    Ray Sr Posts: 1

    John McGee is a disgrace to the Party! And as I see it those who have swept this whole thing under the rug need to ousted themselves!
    The more I see this type of political tripe the more disgusted I am with the whole political process!
    Ronnalee, did the right thing, the problem is she is now being treated like she has the plague and that she is the one who did something wrong.
    Committeepersons are suppose to bring to us the best and most honorable people possible to represent us, not to just make sure their golden boy retains his place in the coorupted system.
    Mr. McGee is not the best we can have, as an honorable person he should have resigned and shown that he was an honorable man.
    Those who did not vote are not doing their duty as committeepersons.
    Lastly, those who voted should have no problem in having their names appear in the open so that we can do all we can to make sure they do not get re-elected.
    Ronnalee, thank you for doing your duty!
    Ray Sr.

  • piccolo posted at 11:05 pm on Wed, Aug 10, 2011.

    piccolo Posts: 1

    If the Republican party is to be a clear alternative to the communist-leaning Demo-rat party, we should elect honorable people and require the highest possible standard of behavior. From the comments of many of the Committeepersons, it seems as though they think such honorable people don't exist.
    This is not, as Jim Rice said, "a vendetta". A thorough investigation and analysis is appropriate. This subject should not be swept aside because we, "...all have things in our closets." Not many of us have committed crimes. Mr. McGee's actions were not a, "miss-step".
    A law enforcement officer informed me that a law enforcement officer would lose his job over such behavior. Should not someone who makes the laws they enforce suffer the same consequence? The same person told me that any other citizen would not have the opportunity to plead guilty to DUI IN EXCHANGE for having the theft charge dropped. They'd have served time in jail AND been sentenced to pay restitution. McGee was caught "red-breathed" with a .15 alcohol reading. Why was he allowed to "trade" the truth for having the felony theft charge dropped when he was also CAUGHT in possession of the stolen vehicles? Privilege and favoritism for elected officials is wrong.
    McGee asked for our trust when he ran for office. This incident is a result of his series of serious, irresponsible decisions. Most people have not driven while drunk.
    Over three Hundred Million Americans. We ought to be able to find several hundred to serve in office who would never behave in this manner--even once.

  • Matt Salisbury posted at 5:12 pm on Wed, Aug 10, 2011.

    Matt Salisbury Posts: 7

    The only two salient points brought up thus far are Rep. Hart, and Canyon County. Ronalee is one of the hardest working members of the Canyon County Republican Party. As a member and resident of Canyon County, she earned the right to bring her motion. The resolution reviewed by the executive committee was not the one brought to the floor in the following central committee meeting.

    Ronalee is getting an inordinate amount of name ID and publicity for this motion and it is a politically deft move that she and her advisers have put into play, especially in light of redistricting, which current plans will position her quite well for a run. She is tough as nails, and the "poor woman" angle of support is a rather large insult to her, actually.

    I am not a voting member of the central committee but I believe that those involved during the meeting in question, were aware of the underlying political motivations and maneuvering taking place. Thus, this was, and is, a Canyon County issue in the committee's mind and both parties had their say. Which brings us to one of our northern lawmaker, who is not paying taxes, during a time of war no less. The laments of Sen. McGee tarnishing the image of the GOP rings rather hollow in light of the fairly obvious internal political motivations. Had both lawmakers been included in the move to protect Idaho's reputation the actual appearance of attempting to truly police our own would have been a fact, not political gamesmanship.

    In the end, during the next election, Ronalee, myself, and the handful of other work horse individuals, including John McGee will again be actually doing the real work of the party. Boring, tedious, anonymous voter id, literature drops, voter calling, and sign placement. I hope that this motivates anyone to run for precinct chair and/or get involved in more than just anonymous blogging.

    We need people to pick up and drop off tables for events, we need people willing to stuff campaign literature, we need people to call voters, we need volunteers to staff the campaign office. In short, we need less talking and more doing. Those who do this just might find out that both their understanding of what is going on, and their influence will be quite different than what it currently is.

  • worried posted at 4:52 pm on Wed, Aug 10, 2011.

    worried Posts: 9

    Excellent postings today. The whole meeting has a very distinctive odor--no secret ballot, many members refraining from voting, none of the questions answered regarding the night in question, just a well-rehearsed apology. The Republican party in Canyon County continues to thumb its collective nose at The Law they claim to uphold--where's their strong moral stand now??? Felony theft, DUI, an apparent payoff to the injured parties. Give me a break!

  • RonBurgundy posted at 3:43 pm on Wed, Aug 10, 2011.

    RonBurgundy Posts: 18

    So McGee and his lackeys decide beforehand how they will railroad Ronalee and make it appear as if she's the criminal for daring to question King McGee and his court.
    Arey you people in Canyon County really going to stand for this?
    Once again I ask? "Where were you Johnny? You didn't walk from Hillcrest CC over six miles to where you stole a truck and passed out. How come we havn't heard from the brother you were supposedly with? Who were you with till three in the morning? Why won't you release your medical records that would support your concussion claim?"
    In short "what the hell are you trying so desperately to hide?"

    If you havn't listened to the audio clip, you should. What a travesty of justice. Julie Yamamoto needs to be the first one to get the boot come election time.

  • Richwas posted at 3:18 pm on Wed, Aug 10, 2011.

    Richwas Posts: 46

    mcgee, mckay, mckenzie...send the nobles back to scotland!

  • Deano posted at 2:18 pm on Wed, Aug 10, 2011.

    Deano Posts: 72

    First let me tell you I am & have been a loyal constitutional reoublican BUT this is all nonsense! Just more of the same GOOD-OL-BOY politics! Senatot McKenzie must go also for his silly motion at the last central commitee meting!
    Gooid job Ronnalee!

  • broncograd posted at 1:54 pm on Wed, Aug 10, 2011.

    broncograd Posts: 10

    Not a surprise. Listen, the republicans in Canyon County who are in office are corrupt as they can be. Do you think if a kid in football in high school did what he did, would still be on the team? That would be a hell no! Do you think if any law enforcement officer would have their job if they did what he did? Hell no! And McGee is the one who helps make the laws but can’t be man enough to abide by them. Amazing isn’t it? Not really. It’s typical here in CC. I sure hope the redistricting takes place before next election. We will be able to get rid of two of the corrupted ones real fast. Patty lodge and McGee! They would have to run against each other and guess what, someone else will jump in the race that will beat them both. I can hardly wait. Either way, my friends and family, along with myself, will do everything possible and within reason to get rid of these two. That’s a promise!

  • wtfidaho posted at 1:51 pm on Wed, Aug 10, 2011.

    wtfidaho Posts: 3

    Is there any integrity at all in the GOP? Obviously to be a party member in good standing you need to be a drunken thief.

  • verityman posted at 11:27 am on Wed, Aug 10, 2011.

    verityman Posts: 172

    There were about 50 voting members present. The vote on the resolution to form a committee to investigate McGee was 10-22. Approximately 18did not vote. The vote on the resolution to support him was 23-6. Approximately 21 did not vote. The voting was a standing vote. The request for a secret ballot was negated by the parlimentarian (one of the "good ol' boys"). My opinion is that those who did not vote did not want to cross McGee--the reason for the request for a secret ballot. The Republican Party seems to be in the control of the "good ol' boys."

  • CuriousGeorge posted at 11:12 am on Wed, Aug 10, 2011.

    CuriousGeorge Posts: 73

    No surprises here. Same ol', same ol'. American politics, ain't it grand? [thumbdown]

  • Richwas posted at 11:10 am on Wed, Aug 10, 2011.

    Richwas Posts: 46

    ronalee is very courageous!
    todd lakey is delusional, like the prosecuting attorney for the dui, grand theft.
    the good thing about what john did was that it further reveals the character of some canyon county republican central committee members.
    there is always a smaller crime coincident with the larger crime. since we don't want to pay the cost of prosecuting a larger crime, we let the criminal go relatively unpunished to save cost.
    mercy cannot rob justice.

  • Sawtooth46 posted at 10:08 am on Wed, Aug 10, 2011.

    Sawtooth46 Posts: 911

    Rather than spending this much time and effort on John Mcgee's one time indescretion, I can't understand why the Idaho Republican Party allows Phil Hart, tax evader and timber thief to hold committee position(s). If the people from his district want to have him represent them that's their business. However, allowing him to influence policy on a committe level is far worse than a one time DUI. If there's anything that gives the party a blackeye , it's this guy not John McGee.

  • loveskids posted at 9:03 am on Wed, Aug 10, 2011.

    loveskids Posts: 99

    Please tell who voted for or against the motion. I listened to the audio clip and didn't hear any support for Ms. Linsenmann. In fact, it was shameful the way she was treated by the other members. John, I have lost all respect for you.

  • mrwizard posted at 8:52 am on Wed, Aug 10, 2011.

    mrwizard Posts: 97

    As is often the case, the problem lies not just in the heinous behavior, but in the subsequent cover-up. It appears Mr. McGee has been treated in the normal manner in the judicial process, and has made the expected and appropriate amends.

    However, we need to see the medical reports from the mysterious physician who determined that John's problems stemmed from a concussion, rather than just alcohol abuse. If the assertion of a medical issue is untrue, that lie will stain his character from now on.

  • hmmmph posted at 8:33 am on Wed, Aug 10, 2011.

    hmmmph Posts: 76

    any chance the public can find out who voted and how? Since everyone who voted is an elected official, I believe we have a right to know. As far as I'm concerned not one of them who voted to retain him will ever get my vote for anything again. Not about the DUI; this is about the lack of honor which which he has conducted himself since.



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