Caught on tape
Gov. Nathan Deal must really love Chip Rogers.
Since creating the GPB job for Chip in a private meeting in October and making the announcement public in December, Gov. Deal has done everything in his power to protect the $150,000 per year job from a growing controversy.
Today we finally learn what’s really going on at the Gold Dome and why 35 state senators have ignored voters’ demands to remove Chip.
When asked if Chip Rogers was worthy of his new position, State Sen. Steve Gooch replied simply: “No.”
In a caught-on-tape moment, a GOP senate leader tells a Georgia taxpayer that Georgia Public Broadcasting can’t fire Chip Rogers because of the governor’s political pressure, and, instead, “they probably would have cut three or four employees and kept him.”
Sen. Gooch said in a recorded telephone conversation (click to listen) that the State Senate never approved and doesn’t support the governor’s appointment. The same goes for members of the House.
But because of the fear of retribution, no elected Republican feels safe to say what they really think in public.
“That’s one you’d talk about behind closed doors,” Sen. Gooch said.
But in private, how does Sen. Gooch feel about Gov. Deal’s political appointment of Chip Rogers to GPB?
“As bad as it was, the way it happened, it does smack of cronyism,” Sen. Gooch said. “And it wasn’t a smart move on his part.”
Sen. Gooch said he doesn’t support the $150,000 per year appointment but his hands are tied.
“We can show our displeasure by it but if we do it in a disrespectful way then he can come back on us in other ways and punish us or put us in a bad position in our district,” Gooch said.
Sen. Gooch was right to take the time to talk with his constituent.
He was right about everything he said, but it’s a shame that he and his fellow senators can’t be honest with us in public.
Time for change
Georgia needs a new culture of accountability where lawmakers are free to call out croynism wherever it occurs without fear of retribution from the Governor who uses taxpayer funded jobs as if they are his to give as rewards those who are loyal or to deal with a “problem” like Chip Rogers.
We finally know the whole story about Chip Rogers’ appointment — but not because Gov. Deal was willing to tell it. He’s done everything he can to avoid talking about it.
Tell Gov. Deal to step up and let GPB off the hook.
Tell Gov. Deal to step up and let the state legislature off the hook.
>> Call the governor’s office: 404-656-1776.
>> Send an email to these 35 state senators telling them to support you, the taxpayer.
GPB has done nothing wrong.
Sen. Gooch and our legislators are right. They can’t fix the problem if they aren’t even allowed to talk about it in public.
Only one person can fix this and his name is Nathan Deal.
It’s past time he stepped up and cleaned up this mess he made.
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