A chip off the ole block

Better Georgia has issued a job performance review for former State Senator Chip Rogers since he was handed a $150K per year job at GPB by Governor Nathan Deal. Rogers has over seven months of taxpayer funded paychecks under his belt. Let’s see how he is doing.

from Better Georgia:

Gov. Nathan Deal created a job for Chip Rogers at GPB more than seven months ago.You’ll remember that Gov. Deal didn’t have a job description for Chip at that time.But Gov. Deal was sure Chip would do a swell job at something to earn his $150,000 taxpayer-funded salary.You’ll also remember that what little Gov. Deal did tell us about the job he created for Chip Rogers was that it would be “a statewide weekly radio program examining current economic development trends and highlighting companies that are growing and creating jobs.”

Well, a funny thing has happened since.


Chip Rogers has been on the job 128 days but hasn’t broadcast his new radio program once, much less weekly.

Chip has already been paid more than $50,000 from taxpayers’ pockets but hasn’t managed to do the one thing he was hired to do.

We thought we would lend a hand.

We created a series of radio shows to highlight Chip Rogers’ own economic development track record. (Watch all three videos: Oglethorpe InnAgenda 21 and Will the Winner).

Last week, Gov. Deal gave some good advice about a government that doesn’t listen to voters:

“I think too often when government oversteps its bounds,somebody simply resigns or somebody’s hand is slapped with the hope that maybe the public would forget about it,” Gov. Deal told the Tea Party.

In Gov. Deal’s administration, he doesn’t even ask for a resignation. He doesn’t slap anyone’s hands. Gov. Deal simply doesn’t care when he over steps the bounds again and again.

Gov. Deal thinks you’re not paying attention.

Tell Gov. Deal that we won’t forget about Chip Rogers. Sign and share the petition asking Gov. Deal to fire Chip Rogers today.


Bryan Long
Executive Director
Better Georgia

P.S. Make sure your friends see our videos. Take a minute to share them on Facebook. If you’ve already signed the petition to Fire Chip Rogers, please ask your friends to sign it. 

Senator Steve Gooch: Chip Rogers’ job at GPB “smacks of cronyism”

I cancelled the Missing Persons report on my General Assembly reps yesterday afternoon. Mack Jackson called and apologized for leaving my questions unanswered (he added he would let David Lucas know we talked, but Lucas, as my State Senator, still owes me a call or email on the issues I asked him about). Jackson said he heard “something” about Senator Chip Rogers resigning and taking a job at GPB, and that someone at GPB had quit, but he didn’t know much more.

That’s a pretty lame excuse. With the firestorm of press and social media coverage which continue to blaze over Governor Nathan Deal’s one person job creation program, being up to speed on a disgraced State Senator who resigned just weeks before the Session began shouldn’t be that hard.

And now we know that the Senate and the House aren’t too happy with Deal’s job cherry-picking either, thanks to a recorded discussion between a taxpayer and Senator Steve PicGoochSteve752Gooch, which Better Georgia has posted. Gooch said this is an issue that “you’d talk about behind closed doors.” The fall-out for publicly opposing a governor with plummeting job approval ratings would be like “fall(ing) down on your sword”

Gooch said that the Senate and House could have voted differently on GPB funding, but that might have resulted in the loss of some jobs at GPB in order to cover Rogers’ 150K salary. So the result of opposing Rogers’ job could be job cuts where he works?

It seems, based on Senator Bill Heath’s complaint that constituents are “annoying” when they contact him, and the fact that members of the General Assembly will not speak up about glaring “cronyism,” the taxpayers of Georgia are expected to take one for the team. April 15 is coming, and together we will pony up for Rogers salary and expenses at GPB in order to support their newest Senior Producer.

That raises some questions. If our representatives aren’t willing to speak up when they see a wrong, what are they doing there anyway? Who sent them to the Gold Dome? Who do they work for? And who is paying them to sit in silence?

Chip Rogers debunks hiring myths on GPB blog

Chip Rogers is now blogging for Georgia Public Broadcasting (GPB) in his new job as a Senior Producer. You won’t find it easily on the GPB web site. It isn’t listed anywhere.

Rogers’ blog on myths about job searches, is a scant three sentences long, and links to a New Hampshire based company’s website, Careerealism.

Rogers is just weeks into a new job himself, but instead of using his personal experience as a touchstone, he linked to a short list of myths. Three of the myths are interesting in light of Roger’s career path from promoting odds on sporting events as “Will ‘The Winner’ Rogers” and as the former Georgia Senate Majority Leader.

The second myth listed, “Direct Experience is the Most Important” wasn’t the case for Roger’s hiring at GPB. He went from little broadcasting experience, and no production experience, to working as a Senior Producer at GPB with the second highest salary among the network’s employees. Careerealism doesn’t mention that knowing the governor can be a big help in overcoming a lack of work experience.

The second myth ties in nicely to the fourth myth, “Applying For Jobs Online Is The Only Way To Find A New Job.” In Rogers’ case, there was no application process at all. A call was made from Governor Deal’s office to GPB President Teya Ryan, and the next thing you know, Rogers is a Senior Producer with a 150K taxpayer funded salary.

The last myth that Careerealsim dismisses is, “Writing A Cover Letter Is A Waste Of Time.” It fails to mention that some lucky people don’t have to be bothered with a resume, job application, OR cover letter to get a job. It is all about who you know (and maybe who you are embarrassing with Far-Right conspiracy theories).

Comments on the Careerealism site dispel any “myths”on Rogers’ recent change of employment and how he got there.


Better Georgia: 2014 election isn’t a “done Deal” for Governor

Don Weigel

Most of the political talk for the last few weeks has centered on the US Senate seat now open in 2014 – and for good reason. Sen. Saxby Chambliss’ retirement is an important moment in Georgia politics.

But let’s not lose sight of another vulnerable seat, which could be, were the right stars to align, a fight just as important as the open Senate seat: Governor.

That’s right, Governor Deal shouldn’t be sitting as comfortably as Georgia’s politcos and mainstream media would want you to believe.

Hear me out.

Better Georgia recently conducted our fifth statewide issues poll in a little over a year. There’s a lot of really interesting data in the toplines and I encourage everyone to download them read them for themselves.

Download here at: BetterGeorgia.com/2013Q1

But here’s what we know about Deal’s re-election chances:

Gov. Deal’s approval rating has slumped to 46 percent and only 32 percent of registered voters believe that Georgia is headed in the right direction, compared with a majority, 52 percent, believing our state is headed down the wrong track.

When asked to think ahead to the next general election for Governor indealn 2014 only 29 percent would vote to re-elect Nathan Deal while 41 would prefer “someone else”.

While many of these folks are Republican who will vote for Gov. Deal if he is the nominee they would still prefer someone else.

With 42 percent of Republican primary voters undecided and 35 percent wanting someone more conservative that leaves only a quarter of Republicans excited to support Gov. Deal. You can imagine an ambitious, prominent Republican picking this one-to-one primary over the crowded field for US Senate.

But here’s the great news.

The Governor has much more immediate problems than next year’s Republican Primary.  His politically toxic appointment of disgraced former senator Chip Rogers has dogged the news since mid-December and (not surprisingly) voters are not happy with the Governor.

A whopping 62 percent of voters find Gov. Deal’s appointment of Chip Rogers to be a convincing reason to vote against him.

In more than a full year of testing criticisms against Gov. Deal no single issue has stirred as much anger as this political appointment.  Even amongst voters who are certain to vote in the GOP primary 49 percent responded that it was a convincing reason to vote against the Governor.

So while everyone needs to go to FireChipRogers.com because we’re 4,000 strong and growing, I also kind of hope Gov. Deal keeps fighting the inevitable departure of Chip Rogers as long as possible.

Because every day between today and that impending day we’re connecting with more and more voters across Georgia who have had enough of this Governor and conservative supermajority failing to meet our states biggest challenges while using our tax dollars to solve the Governor’s political problems.

Sign and spread this important petition, please.  Despite their best efforts they cannot ignore us.

The Governor’s “inevitable re-election” is far from a Done Deal.

Don Weigel is the Political Director for Better Georgia, the state’s fastest growing progressive advocacy organization.  He previously worked for the Georgia House Democratic Caucus for three years.  www.bettergeorgia.com


Senator Heath needs a portable escape ladder

Last week Senator Bill Heath made a critical bad turn while dodging WSB reporter Lori Geary. The Senator ducked into the Senate Clerk’s Office, and later sent the Senate Press Secretary out to tell Geary the Senator needed to get to a committee meeting. If you watch WSB’s coverage, it looks like Heath missed that meeting.

It occurred to me that Senator Heath could have used a portable fire escape ladder to rope ladderextricate himself from the Clerk’s Office. While a little bulky, this ladder could easily be tucked under one arm and carried to meetings and hearing rooms for quick escapes from reporters and constituents.

This particular ladder is sold by Home Depot, a Georgia based company. Sales would boost much needed state and local tax revenues while supporting a Georgia owned business.

It is ironic that this ladder will cost about $35.00, which is the same amount of a Georgia Public Broadcasting membership, where Senator Heath’s former colleague Chip Rogers is now working for $150K per year (quick math: Rogers’ salary is equivalent to 4,286 GPB memberships. GPB says Rogers’ salary is covered by taxpayer dollars, not GPB membership funds, as if that provides us with any relief).

Budget watchers might be wise to look for “improvements” to the Capitol like more fire escapes or underground tunnels. It seems if the need is there, the money can be found, unlike Senator Heath last week.



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