Rogers to step down as Majority Leader
by Rebecca Johnston and Megan Thornton
rjohnston@cherokeetribune
mthornton@cherokeetribune
November 16, 2012 12:55 AM | 4942 views | 5 5 comments | 28 28 recommendations | email to a friend | print
While Sen. Chip Rogers (R-Woodstock) said he chose to withdraw from consideration for Senate majority leader at Thursday’s Senate caucus to elect a leadership team, some close to the situation say his decision was not voluntary.

Rogers was in attendance at the meeting of Republican senators in south Georgia where Sen. David Schafer of Duluth was elected president pro tem and the governor’s floor leader, Sen. Ronnie Chance of Tyrone, was chosen to replace Rogers.

Rogers immediately sent out a release saying he wanted to spend more time with his family and decided not to contend for the leadership slot.

Rogers said in the release. “I am honored to have served four years in leading the Republican majority. After months of consideration I ultimately decided that the toll of serving my caucus was taking too much from my family. While I had no challengers for the position of majority leader, the decision was still clear to me. Leadership positions should never become permanent and I am very supportive of our new majority leader and my good friend, Sen. Chance.” A source familiar with the situation, however, told the Cherokee Tribune that it was not a case of Rogers stepping down.

According to the source: “The press release implies that Chip had decided he wasn’t going to run for majority leader, which opened up a seat and Ronnie Chance decided in the last two minutes that he would graciously put his name in because somebody has to be majority leader. It didn’t play out that way. … The handwriting was on the wall that Chip wasn’t going to get re-elected. There’s a lot of issues, internally and externally, you’ve read about some of them in the campaign. … The current leadership did not continue to have the support of the majority of the Republican Caucus, so they’ve stepped aside to allow a new group of leaders to lead the state moving forward.”

Rogers’ spokesperson, Robert Trim, said that the senator wanted time to coach his 12-year-old son’s traveling basketball team.

“He is absolutely ecstatic to go coach his son’s team,” Trim said. “It’s been something he’s been considering … he hadn’t made a final decision until probably last night. It is something that has been a conversation for some time now.”

In September, following July’s primaries, Schafer and Chance began to surface as likely candidates to replace the leadership in the Senate.

Rogers was among the senators who two years ago maneuvered to remove some of the lieutenant governor’s powers and give them to the Senate itself.

During the election this year, allegations that Rogers was a former sports handicapper surfaced.

Rogers was also criticized for his involvement in a loan he received to remodel the Oglethorpe Inn in Calhoun.

The senator, along with U.S. Rep. Tom Graves, were sued by the former Bartow County Bank in 2010 for failure to make payments on a $2.3 million loan they took out in 2007 to buy and renovate the hotel, but said they later settled the matter by repaying $1.2 million.

The change in Rogers’ status at the Capitol also comes three days after a video of him holding a meeting about Agenda 21 surfaced.

“We are pleased to see that Georgia Republicans have drawn a line in the sand on crazy,” said Bryan Long, executive director for Better Georgia, the group that released the tape. “We have serious, real problems facing Georgia next year, and we are encouraged that Georgia Republicans will start working on them in earnest. We need our elected officials focusing on issues that actually exist.”

— Staff writer Jon Gillooly contributed to this report
Comments
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Reality Train
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November 20, 2012
" ....said they later settled the matter by repaying $1.2 million"

From what I know, the matter was not "settled"; the total debt was reduced by about a million in 2011, but about 1.5 million was still owed by Graves and Rogers. The hotel property has now been foreclosed and the bank filed a lawsuit to confirm the foreclosure sale (which is a prerequisite for suing Rogers and Graves individually on the loan). Makes you wonder what the truth is.
Liar Pants on Fire
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November 16, 2012
Once again Rogers is telling a pants on fire lie that he didn't have any opposition for the majority leader position!

If you read Jim Galloway’s column, you will see that he clearly states that Chip withdrew his bid after the caucus voted 25 to 10 in favor of David Shafer over Bill Cowsert. The tickets were Cowsert/Rogers and Shafer/Chance and Chip didn't need a crystal ball to see that he was on the losing ticket after Shafer won with such a large margin!!!

What Jim Galloway did not report was the fact that Chip was a sore loser. After the votes were taken Chip packed up his marbles and went home. The republican caucus meeting was a 2-day event to plan for the 2013 legislative session and he bailed on the rest of the meeting.

GoodScout
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November 16, 2012
"Republicans have drawn a line in the sand on crazy."

I guess that means that they're only going to tolerate moderate crazy. Total tinfoil-hat paranoid crazy is too far.

Candidly, if tinfoil-hat crazy is a barrier to being in the Georgia GOP, they're going to need to start doing some testing.

Not born yesterday
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November 16, 2012
Who does he think he is kidding with this release? He didn't make this decision, the majority of the senate caucus made it for him when they had the votes to elect Ronnie Chance!

Chip Rogers is an embarrassment to the senate, to the people of Cherokee County and of the state of Georgia.
Senior Voter
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November 16, 2012
This is a very good day for Georgia! It is unfortunate that a man like this has held office for so long. We here in Cherokee county either need term limits or more educated voters. How this man keeps getting elected with all the unethical decisions he has made is beyond anyone's comprehension. Mr. Trim is just as bad and if he thinks anyone is buying that Mr. Rogers stepped down to coach his son's basketball team well then I have a hotel in North Georgia I would like to sell him!
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