The elephant in the room: Pat Rogers and the democrats who back him

Yesterday, we introduced you to Pat Rogers, the itinerant Republican lawyer who seems committed to stopping progress at every turn in and around Albuquerque. We started our series with a synopsis of Rogers’ peculiar schemes to kill ABQ Democracy Dollars at the Bernalillo County Commision. But the bigger story is that just about every time community organizers in Albuquerque fight to return some agency to the people over corporate interests, or to boost the well-being of workers over big business profits, Pat Rogers is on hand like the grim reaper. Only a lot more smug. But his ability to swing citizen initiatives isn’t done in a vacuum. The voting members of the county commission and city council are culpable, even some Democrats.

The elephant in the room: Who is GOP operative Pat Rogers?

“Why I only got a problem when you in the hood?” -Kanye West, The Good Life
That was the theme of last week’s Bernalillo County Commission meeting when several commissioners threw a bizarre curveball at what should have been an otherwise homerun for democracy in Albuquerque and eventually statewide. In the preceding months, over 28,000 Burqueños had signed a petition to put the ABQ Democracy Dollars initiative on the November ballot and organizers had followed the process “to a T.” Excitement about the campaign was buzzing and on the night of the hearing, supporters packed the commission chambers. Only one individual showed up to oppose the measure – attorney Pat Rogers. But that’s when Commissioners Steven Michael Quezada and Jim Smith, along with the help of County Attorney Kenny Martinez (formerly NM State House Speaker), performed a charade of question and answer about the initiative’s content (kinda like the mailman debating whether to deliver the shirt you ordered because it’s not his style) – and ultimately blocked the initiative (2-2). So who is Pat Roger’s and how did his presence relate?

State’s largest progressive advocacy group endorses Pat Rogers for GOP Committeeman

PROGRESSNOW NM
NEWS RELEASE
May 19, 2016

State’s largest progressive advocacy group endorses Pat Rogers for GOP Committeeman 
Albuquerque – Ahead of Saturday’s State Republican Party Convention, ProgressNow NM – New Mexico’s largest progressive advocacy organization – encourages Republicans to retain Pat Rogers as its National Committeeman. Harvey Yates is challenging Rogers for the post representing New Mexico Republicans on the Republican National Committee.  

ProgressNow NM’s Executive Director, Pat Davis, on the organization’s endorsement of Rogers:
If anyone represents the ineffectiveness and self-serving nature of Republican leadership in New Mexico better than Pat Rogers, we haven’t met them.  

As committeeman, Rogers used private emails to arrange for the governor’s staff to attend fishing trips with his lobbying clients and “quiet” meetings between the governor’s chief-of-staff and another client with a multi-million dollar state contract. 

Saying he was helping Republican candidates for office, Rogers sued Sandoval County.  He later asked for $180,000 from taxpayers for the privilege. The connections he attained as a professional Republican serve his private interests too, reminding voters that leaders of our Republican Party are putting their own prosperity ahead of the rest of us. 

And then there are his comments about the “poor Hispanic Dr. Pepper girl” and how meeting with Native Americans dishonored the legacy of notorious Indian-killer Gen. George Armstrong Custer.

Finance reports show GOP candidates, PACs paying large legal retainers as FBI investigation into Martinez/McCleskey goes forward

A long-rumored FBI investigation into funders and fundraisers connected to Gov. Susana Martinez came to light over the past 24-hours as reporters began confirming that federal agents had interviewed and taken evidence from former Martinez donors and appointees. Read the latest from The New Mexico Political Report here:
Report: Guv’s fundraising under FBI scrutiny (Nov. 7. 2015)
Earlier this year, as politicos were focussed on (now former) Sec. of State Dianna Duran’s misdeeds with fundraising and finance reporting, ProgressNowNM found several recent high-dollar expenditures from GOP PACs and campaigns to law firms connected to Martinez and her advisors.

SHARE: Top 5 reasons Susana’s Secret Emails were Way Worse than Hillary

Holy hypocrisy alert.  This morning, the New Mexico State Republican Party sent this email to their members (we’re on their list so you don’t have to be):
Hey,

I am Pat Garrett, the communications director over here at RPNM. I wanted to make sure you saw the news that Hillary Clinton is expected to hit another reset button and officially launch her campaign for President.  
Many of you know she is hiding her emails, used a personal-email account while Secretary of State, endangered our national security and you know what? If she becomes President that won’t change– it will be far worse.

We found voter fraud in New Mexico (but it’s not where you think)

PROGRESSNOW NM
Republicans can’t wait to find voter fraud somewhere.  It justifies their racist attempts to suppress the votes of people who don’t vote like they do.  

Last night the US Supreme Court halted a drastic Voter ID law in Wisconsin and a federal judge in Texas called the state’s new Voter ID law a “poll tax” and ruled there had been motivated by a racist attempt to keep black and Latino voters away from the polls.  

Republicans claimed these new laws would stop voter fraud – but the courts know better.  

But some people just won’t give up, including our own Secretary of State, Dianna Duran.  

Yesterday, the Santa Fe Reporter reported that notorious Republican lawyer Pat Rogers is hosting a fundraiser for Duran.  Two peas in the “voter fraud” pod.

BREAKING: Judge removes Rep. Sandra Jeff from ballot; Pat Rogers loses another case

The latest chapter in the ballad of Sandra Jeff (h/t “NM Telegram”) may be the last. After a few weeks of bouncing a court case between District Court and the state’s Supreme Court, District Judge DePauli invalidated 23 signatures submitted by Jeff to place her on the 2014 ballot.  Jeff needed 78 valid voters to support her candidacy, and she submitted 91.  But with at least 23 ruled invalid, Jeff is short of the required number of signatures to place her name on the ballot.  

From CVNM (which backed the challenge):
BREAKING: The ruling is in – 23 signatures invalid, Rep. Jeff is therefore off the ballot.

Leaked tapes not the first. A quick review of emails, tapes & whistleblowers from inside the 4th (and 5th) floor

Yesterday’s explosive audio tapes of Susana Martinez and her staff making light of New Mexico’s language heritage and crafting a plan to hide their position on teacher pay made big news across the country. But this isn’t the first time internal conversations have given voters a look inside Martinez’s inner circle. Here’s a quick recap:

In January 2011, public records requests uncovered administration emails showing the new administration letting industry lobbyists write an executive order limiting regulation of the industry. [Read More]

 

In Aug. 2012, Martinez’s campaign lawyer and inner circle advisor Pat Rogers was forced to resign his high paying attorney/lobbyist job after he sent a racist email containing a rant against the state’s Native American community and suggesting that meeting with Native people was disrespectful to the memory of noted Indian-killer Col.

State's Top Republicans Step Up to Save Democrat Sandra Jeff From Ballot Ban

State Representative Sandra Jeff has an election battle on her hands and polling places aren’t even open yet. Jeff drew the ire of Democrats during the session after another year of her consistently reliable conservative votes cost Democrats the critical vote to pass important progressive policy positions, including an increase in the state’s minimum wage.   Jeff famously denied to reporters that she had received a personal phone call from Vice President Joe Biden to discuss the minimum wage issue. Need to catch up?  Read The Ballad of Sandra Jeff from Matt Reichbach at the NM Telegram 
A lawsuit filed in Gallup last month contends that Jeff failed to obtain the minimum amount of signatures from voters in order to qualify her as a candidate in her District 5 state House of Representatives seat.