A RNC National Committeeman told Governor Susana Martinez’s staff that her agreeing to meet with Native Americans is disrespectful to the memory of Col. George Armstrong Custer, the infamous cavalry officer who killed thousands of Native Americans in the 1800s, according to emails obtained by ProgressNow New Mexico.
In a June 8, 2012 email to the governor’s senior staff and personal attorney, Pat Rogers wrote in response to an article regarding the governor’s annual meeting with the state’s tribal leaders:
The state is going to hell. Col. Weh would not have dishonored Col Custer in this manner.
I hope who ever recommended this is required to read the entire redist [redistricting law suit] transcript and sit through the entire meeting with the Gov.
Rogers is referring to the governor’s attendance at the annual state-tribal leaders summit, a meeting the governor is required by law to attend.
George Armstrong Custer may be regarded as a kind of military hero by Pat Rogers, but to the Native peoples of America Custer represents the bellicose imperialism that was responsible for the systematic slaughter of American Indians throughout this continent.
Pat Rogers is a high-powered GOP lobbyist, partner and Vice-President of the Modrall law firm of Albuquerque, RNC National Committeeman and recent member of the RNC Executive Committee. He has represented Presidential candidates George Bush, Ralph Nader, Congressman Heather Wilson and the Susana Martinez for Governor Committee.
“Such a blatantly racist statement against our native people is offensive from anyone, but to come from a national GOP leader and lobbyist for some of our country’s largest corporations is indefensible,” said Pat Davis, Executive Director of ProgressNow New Mexico.
“These emails show the contempt and disrespect New Mexico’s Republican leadership has for our native people. Unless they drop Pat Rogers immediately, we can rightly assume that those organizations he speaks for, including the RNC, Modrall Sperling and his lobbying clients, feel the same way.”
Rogers, through his law firm Modrall Sperling, is a registered lobbyist for some of the nation’s largest companies, including Verizon, General Motors, Scientific Gaming, The University of Phoenix, Molina Healthcare and CYRQ Energy. Many of those companies have direct business with the native governments in attendance at that meeting and with native communities across the country.
New Mexico enjoys one of the country’s largest Native American populations, with almost 200,000 native persons representing 22 pueblos, tribes and nations, including the Navajo Nation, the largest Native American government in the country.
About those Quislings
In case you didn’t know (we didn’t either), “quislings” refers to traitors:
In contemporary usage, Quisling is synonymous with traitor, and particularly applied to politicians who appear to favour the interests of other nations or cultures over their own. (Wikipedia)
In this context, Rogers seems to be implying that the governor and her inner-circle are traitors for chosing to meet with native nations and cultures instead of their own, whatever their own is perceived to be (though they are all white males).
…And the French
In a single line, Rogers manages to offend the French, Norwegians how own party’s congressional nominee and Native Americans. A new record, we are quite sure, for less than 30 words.
If you aren’t familiar with the phrase “surrender monkeys,” it is a shortened version of “cheese-eating surrender monkeys,” a phrase first heard on the Simpons in 1995 but soon popularized by conservative writer Johan Goldberg who uses it extensively to describe the French, for which he has little respect.
…And Republican candidates
In addition to the horribly racist statements against our country’s native peoples, the email also exposes a rift in the Republican party and Republican CD-1 nominee Janice Arnold Jones will not likely be happy.
Rogers’ June 8th email comes just 2 days after New Mexico’s primary election where Republicans officially confirmed former State Representative Janice Arnold Jones as their nominee for the Albuquerque-area congressional seat being vacated by Democrat Martin Heinrich.
Rogers’ bold statements calling the governor’s inside team “secret supporters (all along)” of Arnold-Jones appears to be a tongue-in-cheek reference to the party’s obligation to support Jones in the CD1 race. Jones was widely rumored not to be pick of GOP insiders leading up to the election.
And about that Supreme Court appointment
This email could spell trouble for Paul Kennedy as well. Kennedy, a well-known Albuquerque lawyer, served as chief legal counsel for Martinez’s transition team in 2010 and is among two candidates vying for a Martinez appointment to the State Supreme Court. The judicial nominating committee meets this week to review both candidates.
Kennedy may have some explaining to do to the commission if they ask what he did when he received this email, and how he feels about the use of private emails for public business – seeing as it is now clear that he was aware of the practice.