Ghost of indiscretions past: The specter of former Senate Majority Caucus Chairman John McGee appeared Monday on the first day of orientation for new lawmakers. McGee, who resigned early this year after a 2011 DUI and a 2012 sexual harassment case, wasnt mentioned by name, but his spirit was in the room.
Be ready for scrutiny: At the luncheon that opened three days of training for 44 new Idaho lawmakers, House Speaker Lawerence Denney urged the group to be mindful of the scrutiny theyll draw as elected officials.
I want to welcome you to the goldfish bowl: Denney, R-Midvale, said: Everything you do is going to be observed. Youre going to have to be very, very careful what you do, when you do it and how you do it because it may be the headline the next day.
Designated driver Denney? Denney noted the nightly social events open to lawmakers free of charge, sponsored by various interest groups and associations. I can tell you there are a lot of opportunities to do things that don't bring honor to you around here. Receptions and dinners occur almost every night, Denney said. If you drink too much, Im going to give each one of you my cell phone number and I will come and take you home, because I dont want to read about it in the newspaper because everything that we do reflects on every one of us.
Ethics training for all: Jeff Youtz, director of the Legislative Services Office, added that new ethics training will be held for all 105 lawmakers on Jan. 9, the third day of the 2013 session. A half-day is set aside for the program, which was endorsed by bipartisan leadership. Its a chance, Youtz said, for the entire Legislature to hear all the ground rules, to get the same playbook.
Dan Popkey: 377-6438