I'd be remiss if I said I knew him - I really don't. I know his father-in-law and respect him immensely. I admire Senator McGee's young bride and join many who think highly of her.
John, though, is an enigma to me.
He is friends with people I respect, he's been supported and elected by people I know and respect.
He came on the scene long after my hay-day of Idaho Family Forum and my work with Focus on the Family. I saw him from a distance and he always seemed to be a handsome young man with a pleasant personality. He had the needed pedigree. he was a fortunate son of Idaho...
He also had a future...a political future, in particular.
Events of this past week most assuredly have ended that promising political future.
And my heart broke for his family, his bride and lastly for him.
John McGee has a problem. Whether his defense attorney is successful in having the court take into account a "medical" reasoning or not, I am not sure.
But he has a problem.
John's substance abuse (for that is what it is) is his problem.
For the last decade I've been involved in helping addicts and ex-addicts.
As an aside, I wanted desperately to place up to 30 staffed, safe and sober homes in Canyon County. We only succeeded in putting one in - as leaders of the GOP Legislature and the city of Nampa forged an unbreakable band of iron that kept "undesireable" houses/clients out of their neighborhoods. Eventually that lone house was closed down - so that the politicians, including Senator McGee, could "help" the community. John was outspoken in his opposition to houses in neighborhoods that had substance abuse people in them - "they should be placed somewhere, just not in nice communities" seemed to be the political line of reasoning. John echoed that perspective.
It just simply saddened me.
For in the past, the courts had the opportunity of placing normal people like John McGee in staffed, safe and sober homes...like ours.
But that's not a real option anymore.
That's what saddens me the most.
I pray that John McGee acknowledges whatever it is that has power over him and seeks rehab rather than medical excuses or legal defenses.
If he does faces reality, a new and improved version of the REAL John McGee can emerge. This can be the most fortunate thing that has ever happened to this handsome, caring young man.
From this situation, he can become a man who can truly help others. He is in my prayers.