The Press Tribune article by reporter Mike Butts presents a worthwhile read regarding the events of this summer, detailing State Senator John McGee's actions and publicly humiliating behavior. Sen. McGee spoke publicly for the first time in detail.
"The 38-year-old Caldwell senator, who met with the Idaho Press-Tribune Monday night, said he drank way too much and can't explain the hours-long gap in his memory.
"I've had to make a lot of apologies. ... I know people are disappointed in me," McGee said. "I'm incredibly disappointed in what I did."
McGee, who remains on probation, said he offers no excuses for his actions. And even though his attorney advised him not to give details, McGee said he wanted to answer questions and put the issue behind him."
Dan Popkey of The Idaho Statesman has an interview with Senator McGee in today's paper, too.
I commend Senator McGee for recently meeting with the Press Tribune - for surely he would eventually have to face his hometown paper - his tone and content seem sincere and as re-countable as any person could muster under such an alcohol influence.
Wanting to get it "behind him" may sound, to some, like a politically convenient thing to do as the session opens this week. I don't. I've worked with thousands of folks in the clutches of substance abuse. Taking a fierce inventory of who and where they are is vital to future health; moving past one's poor behavior is key. Moving towards complete sobriety is paramount.
He can move forward, personally. He will also most likely be held accountable, publicly, by the voters for his actions. Both are needful for healing.
I think his introspection is wise. I also think his willingness to not just see, but to also publicly state, how his drunken behavior hurt many people who supported him and believed in him, is very wise for John to do.
John McGee's greatest decision is not whether he remains in the Idaho State Senate (or in its "leadership") - but whether he actively seeks a program to help him with his drug abuse, for surely alcohol is his drug of choice - and he can beat it.
His lovely wife and precious children now need a healthy, alive member of their family - not an inebriated local senator, in the future slumped over the front seat of yet another crashed car. John McGee is a very fortunate man to have those around him love him so much.
Mr. McGee also has a select circle of personal friends who must now tell him the God-honest truth about his behavior of recent days and months. It is my hope that he listens to them.
The interview by Mike Butts shows that John McGee is capable of learning and being very vulnerable.
Good for him. Good for his family.
What is good for Idaho will yet soon be seen.