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Fall quick and steep for Chip Rogers


Ousted as Senate majority leader, Cherokee state senator resigns



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Chip Rogers
December 13, 2012
ATLANTA — State Senate Majority Leader Chip Rogers announced Tuesday, Dec. 4, he was stepping down from his seat in the Senate to take a job with Georgia Public Broadcasting.

It was a quick exit by one of the most politically powerful men in the state. Although Rogers had just won re-election to the Senate in November, by December he was out.

He had already announced that he would not seek re-election as majority leader, saying he wanted "to spend more time with his family" the time-honored excuse for being forced out.

Now, according to some political observers, he is apparently being bought off by Gov. Nathan Deal with a vague newly designed executive post at Georgia Public Broadcasting.

In a press release by Rogers, he says he is being given the job for his "experience in broadcasting." He was a part-owner of a small Cartersville radio station and its on-air announcer. He was also an on-air tout for football gambling interests Rogers characterized his job as that of an actor playing a role.

A savvy politician, Rogers served one term as a state representative. Then the Woodstock resident ran and won the District 21 Senate seat in 2002. In his fourth term, he was elected majority leader.

Sources close to the situation say Rogers first began to court disaster as the ringleader of the maneuvering to strip Lt. Gov. Casey Cagle of his powers in the Senate, including the committee chairmanship appointments. That bought him some enemies.

Next, he appropriated $140,000 out of the Republican Senate Trust Fund to help pick GOP candidates in their Georgia primary elections. The trust fund was created to help elect GOP Senate candidates in the general election against Democrats, not to help selected allies in their primaries.

His public split with the governor over the Transportation Special Purpose Local Option Sales Tax was also cited as another blunder. The governor wanted it to pass, but Rogers came out against it.

The final straw was the curious mandatory October meeting when he called Senate Republicans for the now infamous Agenda 21 seminar. At the meeting, listeners heard a power-point presentation attacking the United Nations Agenda 21, a non-binding agreement to promote land use planning and environmental sustainability.

Its far-right critics say it is an attack on individual property rights. When word got out about the meeting and its message, it made national news. Within days, Rogers announced he would not seek re-election as majority leader, and then his resignation Dec. 4.

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Tags: Government & News & Crime

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    Reality on Rogers
    December 13, 2012 | 04:32 PM

    Mr. Rogers made poor and uneducated decisions while never taking personal responsibility. His policies grew government and spent more taxpayer dollars. The real story underneath this all is his real family, the American Legislative Exchange Council (ALEC) and the other lobbying efforts he's undertaken while representing citizens. Lobby money and gifts have been showered on him just as he proclaimed allegiance to Tea Party grassroots principles. His time in office is like a sad statement on the potent cocktail mix of money and power among our lawmakers. They've lost site of ethics, the citizens they're supposed to serve and the benchmarks they care about. Rogers and his proteges like Albers and managers like Deal have done nothing to grow jobs, support the majority in public education, better the lives of the poor and working people of this District, or plan for the transportation and infrastructure needs which will help attract business and keep people in this area. Even in his parting press releases, it's all about him, not his constituents. Now he'll go underground with ALEC and we'll continue to see bad legislation here in Georgia and elsewhere. Not even self-aware enough to say no to another taxpayer gimme.

    Patrick Thompson
    Woodstock
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