On Chip Rogers’ departure from the Gold Dome

Just a few years ago, Chip Rogers was a rising star in Georgia politics. He was a possible contestant for the lieutenant governor’s office if Casey Cagle sought higher office, and a sure-fire future gubernatorial candidate himself. Today, he said he’s leaving the Legislature altogether for a position at Georgia Public Broadcasting — a sharp, sudden end (for now, anyway) to a once-promising political career.

On the positive side, Rogers was strongly associated with the causes of school choice and property-tax reform. He pushed the first measure involving vouchers (for students with special needs) and tried unsuccessfully the last couple of years to expand that program to children of military and foster families. He helped reinstate the state’s Charter Schools Commission, after the Supreme Court declared it unconstitutional, by maneuvering this year’s constitutional amendment through the Senate. He was a likeable guy, and he went after big ideas.

He also attracted his share of critics, and controversy found him time and again. Some of these controversies — for instance, a business deal (with U.S. Rep. Tom Graves) gone bad — were more serious than others — such as a much-ridiculed bill requiring consent for the implantation of microchips.

But the most politically damaging controversy, by far, was his role in the leadership putsch in the Senate two years ago. Rogers helped lead the group of senators who stripped Lt. Gov. Casey Cagle of some of his powers so that they could run the chamber themselves. As the Senate’s majority leader and a telegenic, Atlanta-area legislator (he represented Cherokee County), he was a leading spokesman for a chamber that was criticized many times over the past two years for appearing rudderless. Neither Gov. Nathan Deal nor, more publicly, Speaker David Ralston, relished seeing their legislative priorities subjected to a Senate run by consensus within the GOP caucus.

Most bills, whether large or small in importance, ran the risk of becoming ensnared in the chamber’s running leadership fight. In the end, most of the more prominent bills during the last two legislative sessions managed to get through the Senate run by Rogers and President Pro Tem Tommie Williams. But the arrangement required their constant vigilance and, from my dealings with them, seemed to wear them down — both in terms of their energy and patience, and in terms of their standing with their own caucus.

First Williams announced he would not be running again for pro tem, then his chosen successor was defeated soundly in a post-election caucus meeting. Rogers dropped out of his own re-election bid, and rumors started circulating almost immediately that he’d be out of office before year’s end.

Rogers’ departure almost closes the book on the first era of the Georgia GOP’s rule under the Gold Dome; he took the majority leader position when Glenn Richardson was speaker and ran the House with Mark Burkhalter and Jerry Keen; Cagle was lieutenant governor and Eric Johnson was Senate president pro tem; and Sonny Perdue was governor. Only Cagle remains in elected office (at this point, you’d have to say he was the winner of the Senate’s two-year “experiment”).

At age 44, Rogers is too young to write off as a potential comeback candidate one day. But for now, like that first GOP-led era, Rogers’ legacy will be a mixed bag: Some big early successes, followed by less accomplishment even as the GOP’s majorities grew larger, and more questions and infighting than answers toward the end.

– By Kyle Wingfield

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146 comments Add your comment

GiveItASportingTry

December 4th, 2012
5:04 pm

Must be “another woman” somewhere in this story. Usually is.

BTW Kyle are you still considering a move to the sports section of AJC? A better fit for you perhaps.

Aquagirl

December 4th, 2012
5:12 pm

I can’t wait to hear what sent Chip scurrying toward his little rodent hole.

Damn, life is good.

Tiberius - pulling the tail of the left AND right when needed

December 4th, 2012
5:24 pm

Won’t miss Rogers at all.

But then, I wouldn’t miss Casey Cagle if he were to disappear, either.

He’s the epitome of an empty suit.

Aynie Sue

December 4th, 2012
5:28 pm

Another contributor to the most corrupt state government in the nation! Why would GPB hire such a jerk?

JAWJA

December 4th, 2012
5:29 pm

I wonder if its an indictment on the Graves/Rogers motel thingy, or a woman thingy. Why the heck did he run? Third from the bottom of states in high school graduates, bottom on SAT’s, infrastructure, services gone to pot. ‘PUBS really know how to run a state.

Dusty

December 4th, 2012
5:30 pm

Now, now, AquaGirl, I am sponsoring a “BE NICE” evening and you are are not being a poster girl.

Rats? They run on both sides so don’t be catty and try to catch one side only.

It’s ONLY POLITICS you know…or doncha?

Hillbilly D

December 4th, 2012
5:30 pm

Every once in a while something good happens. This is good. Have to give him credit, though, he’s one of only a couple of people (the other isn’t in the public eye) who was able to tell a bank “you knew I couldn’t pay you when you lent me the money’ (parapharase) and be able to pull it off.

nathan's political arsonist

December 4th, 2012
5:30 pm

repulsive, egotistical, pompous, condecending, manipulative, overbearing hack with questionable background and character who did far more harm than good for this state. best thing he did was resign today. balfour should be next

nathan's political arsonist

December 4th, 2012
5:31 pm

then his partner in crime graves

LeftIsRight

December 4th, 2012
5:32 pm

One more quitter in the mold of Palin and Eric Erickson(Macon City Council)! If you can’t get your way or can find more $$ elsewhere then bye, bye.

nathan's political arsonist

December 4th, 2012
5:33 pm

word is he will be working on a documentary about sustainability at GPB

LeftIsRight

December 4th, 2012
5:34 pm

GPB you’ve lost my annual contribution if you hire this guy!

JAWJA

December 4th, 2012
5:34 pm

Maybe Graves will be eaten in US congress. After all, they did send Nathan scurrying back to Georgia.

Dusty

December 4th, 2012
5:35 pm

Annie Sue and Jawja

Are you insulting the state in which you live, huh? Why? You can move elsewhere, you know.

Now be nice. I (for one) am tired of this huff- and- puff- mean- stuff people want to shovel on here. Behave!

JAWJA

December 4th, 2012
5:37 pm

Dusty, you misunderstand; not insultin my state, just the fools who voted for these corrupt people.

Aquagirl

December 4th, 2012
5:38 pm

Now, now, AquaGirl, I am sponsoring a “BE NICE” evening and you are are not being a poster girl

Am I ever? :)

M

December 4th, 2012
5:40 pm

I guess each and everyone of you that commented have never done anything wrong, said anything wrong. Have wives/children/mothers/fathers/brothers/sisters, I guess each of you know him personally and have sat down with him and listened to his heart on each and every decision he made. I guess none of you suffered during the recession or ever made a bad deal and had to pay the consequences that no one else would know unless you have access to his personal credit or bank issues.. Wow, we continue to live in a world where we do nothing but tear people apart even when you don’t personally know them or do your homework!!

Skip

December 4th, 2012
5:45 pm

M, whatever you have in the glass, pour it out.

Dusty

December 4th, 2012
5:45 pm

JAWJA

Don’t fool yourself. If you have facts, pass ‘em on. But this”everybody is crooked’ just doesn’t make the truth. It also makes Georgia look like we are running Devil’s Island or something. So stop it.

If you don’t mind me asking, R U married to Aquagirl?

Aquagirl

December 4th, 2012
5:45 pm

I guess each and everyone of you that commented have never done anything wrong, said anything wrong.

Hey Chip, at least have the huevos to post under your real name.

Cherokee

December 4th, 2012
5:47 pm

Sorry, Kyle, but he was NOT a ‘likeable’ guy. I live in his district – if you had the audacity to disagree with his attacks on gay people or Mexicans, he reacted with fury – how dare someone have a different opinion?

Good riddance – and like Aquagirl, I expect there’s more to this story.

Dusty

December 4th, 2012
5:49 pm

M has a heart. Don’t knock it!

Cheesy Grits is gone but not forgotten

December 4th, 2012
5:52 pm

In October 2012, Rogers held an educational meeting at the Capitol for Senators and staffers regarding Agenda 21,

The guy was a total nutjob.

Cheesy Grits is gone but not forgotten

December 4th, 2012
5:53 pm

In October 2012, Rogers held an educational meeting at the Capitol for Senators and staffers regarding Agenda 21, a non-binding, voluntarily implemented action plan of the United Nations with regards to sustainable development. The session was held at the request of constituents, and consisted of a video presentation with a former member of the Georgia Tea Party Field Searcy, who stated that the United Nations is using a mind control technique developed during the Cold War to support Agenda 21. The video also included a clip of political consultant Dick Morris claiming that Barack Obama “wants to force everyone into the cities”.[17] Two days after video of the meeting surfaced, Rogers announced that he would step down as Senate Majority Leader at the conclusion of his current term.

Total and complete nutjob.

nathan's political arsonist

December 4th, 2012
5:56 pm

kyle voted for noot, but he is step above Will the Sports Bookie and Hotel Owner, and a hell of a lot funnier

Ray

December 4th, 2012
5:58 pm

He’ll be a paid lobbyist before you know it. Given, what he has done thus far to so obviously push for infrastructure to support the gaming and casino lobby in this state, is there much doubt, that is where his bread and butter will soon come from?

Instead of starting with cheesy video gaming through the GA Lottery, Georgia should embrace first class gaming and horse racing.

Dusty

December 4th, 2012
5:58 pm

Aquagirl @ 5:45

Try to behave, poster child..

I’m going to oven fry some chicken for dinner. Not just to chicken out, but feed the poor ‘n’ hungry (that live in ;my house including me).

When’s the last time you were on PBS? Yay yay yay!!! Seems not everybody hates this guy…

nathan's political arsonist

December 4th, 2012
6:00 pm

Big THANKS to Better Georgia for filming Will’s wacky mind control symposium and exposing the idiot !!! Way to go Bryan Long and staff!!!!

JAWJA

December 4th, 2012
6:04 pm

DUSTY: This is you being nice? Oh, and, I’m not going anywhere. I’m not a quitter like the Chipster.

Dunwoody Granny

December 4th, 2012
6:23 pm

M, I’d guess everyone reading this blog, or the AJC in general, or, well, anything at all, has done something wrong. But very few of us have ever defaulted on a $2.1 million loan. The scale of what he did wrong was a little different from the scale of the mistakes and sins the rest of us have committed.

And I’m with Aquagirl and others: The only reason people ever resign in order to spend more time with their family is when they’re pretty sure something is going to get them thrown out.

Look before I leap...

December 4th, 2012
6:26 pm

1 crook down, about 150 more to go.

There is more to the story than is being told.
I suspect it is because they are about to tell ole Chip he really has to pay the money back and his legislator’s salary just isn’t gonna cut it.

MarkV

December 4th, 2012
6:42 pm

I wish I had something good to say about Mr. Chip Rogers.

But I do not have that.

On the other hand, I do not have anything bad to say about him either; at least not something I could use to make a definite judgment.

If he is leaving, why not let him face the consequences of his sins, if he has any, and let it be.

Mr. Dithers

December 4th, 2012
6:48 pm

Well, at least one less reason to be embarrassed to live in N. Fulton. If we could only get Coke or Delta to hire Tom Price.
I have already written to GPB letting them know they should not be asking me for money in the future. I hope enough people do the same that they have to reconsider their decision. Surely there’s a gambling organization that needs a shill. Chip has already proven he can do that job. Let’s hope he doesn’t personally guarantee any donations to GPB. And that GPB doesn’t start airing “Agenda 21″ Friday night programs.

Glenn Beck

December 4th, 2012
6:56 pm

Dusty

You cry and complain then suggest others leave the state when they say something about the politicians.

When will you finally be a leader in life and leave the country? After all you do complain a lot about those you do not agree with on a national level.

Don’t let irony and hypocrisy continue to hinder you.

Take initiative and set the example.

Real Athens

December 4th, 2012
6:59 pm

Chip Rogers? Property Tax Reform? Last I checked his idea of “reform” was the freezing of the $428 million Homeowner Tax Relief Grant program to help cover the state budget shortfall in 2008.

Through a homestead exemption, the program saved taxpayers about $250 a year and provided local governments with a check to help cover lost revenue. Presumably to pay for Perdue’s Go FISH! initiative; the Oaky Woods purchase and other governmental mismanagement during Perdue’s reign (and drain) on the state budget.

Glenn Beck

December 4th, 2012
6:59 pm

As for Chip, another goon will come along to take his place.

GA politics was a tight circle when Democrats ran the show and it is basically the same since power switched hands. Of course, many are the same players who just switched parties to stay in power as the voting trends were changing on a state level.

Tiberiius - Banned from Common Sense

December 4th, 2012
7:00 pm

And I’m lobbying Emory to hire Paul Broun for their Science department. :)
How in heck does this move make any sense by GPB?
I’m thinking maybe old Chip had a thing for Elmo or something.

Glenn Beck

December 4th, 2012
7:02 pm

Real Athens

That was a tax increase without having to say there was a tax increase.

JDW

December 4th, 2012
7:03 pm

Good Riddance! I only wish I could pick about 75 more of those clowns to go with him.

Real Athens

December 4th, 2012
7:04 pm

You think Chip’s got “dead girl or live boy” tat we’re going to hear about i the next few days?

I thought the GOP hated PBS. I guess Chip was waiting for Obama to be elected before taking the job, seeing that Mitt was going to do away with all funding on day one of his presidency.

You can’t make this stuff up.

JDW

December 4th, 2012
7:06 pm

For once I agree with Tiberius…this makes no sense for GPB.

One Who Knows....

December 4th, 2012
7:11 pm

So what happens to all of his campaign cash? Does Chip get to keep it for himself?

Hillbilly D

December 4th, 2012
7:24 pm

So what happens to all of his campaign cash? Does Chip get to keep it for himself?

If I’m not mistaken and/or Georgia law hasn’t changed, any leftover campaign funds are the candidate’s, free and clear, once he’s done running for office. Somebody can correct me if that’s no longer the case.

mike

December 4th, 2012
7:33 pm

The Georgia legislature makes the Republican presidential primaries look staid by comparison. What an absolutely, positively, idiotic clown show! But then again, what else would you expect?

Mr. Dithers

December 4th, 2012
7:38 pm

Did Chip ask his family if they wanted to spend more time with him?

Tiberius - pulling the tail of the left AND right when needed

December 4th, 2012
7:40 pm

“repulsive, egotistical, pompous, condecending, manipulative, overbearing hack with questionable background and character who did far more harm than good for this state.”

Now, now, nathan. We’re talking about Chip Rogers, not John Lewis.

A teacher

December 4th, 2012
7:41 pm

Great day in Georgia politics. By far one of the most corrupt politician in the state of Georgia.

Tiberius - pulling the tail of the left AND right when needed

December 4th, 2012
7:43 pm

“By far one of the most corrupt politician in the state of Georgia.”

And you know this to be true – how, A teacher? Or is it just the loan he defaulted on (done by hundreds of thousands of average Americans in the past few years) that you object to?

retiredds

December 4th, 2012
8:03 pm

12 years of Republican rule in GA and from the comments above it does not appear that the people are thrilled. Guess the R’s forgot that they were going to change the way business is done in GA.

Glenn Beck

December 4th, 2012
8:06 pm

John Lewis is 10 times the man Chip Rogers will ever be on is worst day… Not above mistakes as any human, but it isn’t even close.