The latest chapter in the saga of Sen. John McGee has apparently come to an end. Canyon County Republican leaders have decided not to investigate his bizarre June DUI arrest any further.
Ronalee Linsenmann, who proposed the resolution last month, argued that “if we want to renew the faith in the Republican Party, we need to act like our reputation matters.”
But the majority of other party leaders clearly opposed the move, saying McGee has paid his debt, made his apologies, and now it’s time to move on.
Say what you will about their decision. But it was good to see that McGee didn’t try to control the proceedings like he did on July 12, when he essentially put a cold stop to Linsenmann’s motion by passing it on to the Central Committee’s executive board for future consideration.
On Tuesday, McGee wisely yielded his chairman duties to Vice Chairman Steve Kren. Because the resolution dealt with him personally, the only acceptable thing for him to do was recuse himself from the process. Better late than never.
Still, voters have long memories, and with human nature being what it is, they tend to remember the bad things public figures do much longer than they do the good ones. McGee will have a cloud over his head for quite some time, and it will give him an obstacle to overcome that he had yet to deal with in his relatively young political career.
He still hasn’t provided any sort of tangible corroboration of his claim he suffered a concussion on that night. That would give voters a legitimate reason to believe it was as much a medical problem as it was just drunken foolishness. So it looks like we’ll just have to take him at his word about that, as well as what happened during all those hours between when he left the golf course and when he crashed the vehicle he stole into a nearby yard.
McGee has been given another chance by his party. But if he runs again, people will want an answer.