Chip Rogers served the Senate Majority Leader in the state legislature, then as a political appointee at Georgia Public Broadcasting. Now he’s done with public service thanks to the persistence of Better Georgia and our supporters.
Rogers’ tenure as the Senate Majority Leader ended in 2012 after Better Georgia brought to light video of him comparing then President Barack Obama to Stalin and accusing groups like the Georgia Chamber of Commerce of using mind control.
Rogers held a four hour meeting at the state capitol to educate the Republican caucus’ leadership about a conspiracy theory that held that Obama planned — with the support of groups like the Chamber of Commerce — to force people out of suburbs and into cities.
How were they going to enact this plan? Mind control.
Rogers seems to be part of a long line of elected officials in Georgia with highly questionable beliefs. Let’s not forget state Rep. Tommy Benton saying that the Klu Klux Klan, “was not so much a racist thing but a vigilante thing to keep law and order.” While Gov. Nathan Deal once criticized “ghetto grandmothers,” during a speech on voter ID laws during his first campaign.
After promoting a bizarre conspiracy placing Obama at the center of a plan to mind control people into moving into cities, Rogers faced a public backlash and ultimately resigned both his leadership position and his seat in the state Senate.
But his story doesn’t end there. Gov. Deal got him a sweetheart deal “working” at Georgia Public Broadcasting for a smooth $150,000. Better Georgia kept up the pressure to have Rogers fired for a whole year, and he was ultimately forced out. By then it came to light that Rogers owned a competing radio station in middle Georgia, was working a side job full time, and never managed to produce a single broadcast of the show he was supposedly hired for.
Deal’s blatant cronyism may have saved Rogers for a little while, but ultimately Rogers faced intense public scrutiny for his repeated abuses of power. Georgia taxpayers paid for his time-wasting conspiracy theories and his cushy job at GBP, but Better Georgia and our supporters railed against the corruption of Deal and Rogers and ultimately won.
As legislators gear up for the 2018 legislative session (and candidates gear up for the 2018 elections), remember that we can hold public officials accountable for what they say and do. Better Georgia held Chip Rogers accountable, and will continue to work hard holding others like him accountable in our state. Who is going to be next?