Patrick J. Rogers – predictably and unbelievably – denies charges of Vote-Suppression

Crossposted at Oxdown Gazette.

Patrick J. Rogers is the New Mexico attorney who represents and advises the Republican Party of New Mexico on its voter suppression efforts. In this prior post , I documented how Mr. Rogers’ conduct in this matter violates the New Mexico Rules of Professional Conduct. Mr. Rogers “was too busy working on the election” to reply to a request for a statement from TPMMuckraker, so it’s no surprise he didn’t respond to my e-mail requesting a response to my allegations since I’m just an anonymous blogger. Notably, though, Mr. Rogers – or someone from his firm – did have time to stop by The Grievance Project:

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But, as Heather Clark reported on October 29, 2008, Mr. Rogers did reply to the Associated Press:

ALBUQUERQUE, N.M.—An Albuquerque attorney who has been accused in a federal lawsuit of intimidating two voters in an attempt to interfere with their right to vote said Wednesday he has not violated any law.

Pat Rogers, who advises the state Republican Party, is accused of helping disseminate private information about two voters and hiring a private investigator, Al Romero, who allegedly went to their homes and confronted them about their eligibility to vote, the lawsuit said.

Rogers and Romero are named as defendants in the lawsuit, which was filed in U.S. District Court in Albuquerque on Monday by the Mexican American Legal Defense and Educational Fund, or MALDEF.

“I have not violated any law and Mr. Romero has not violated any law,” Rogers told The Associated Press.

* * *

“The lawsuit contains serious accusations that have no basis in law or fact. The suit is filed and advertised before the upcoming election for obvious purposes,” Rogers said, declining to elaborate.

I, too, would proclaim my innocence if I was being investigated by the Department of Justice – even a Michael Mukasey-led DoJ – and that conduct resulted in my being named as a defendant in a federal lawsuit. Every day, criminal defendants – both guilty and innocent alike – make countless similar proclamations of innocence in criminal courts all over the globe. Like many of these defendants, Mr. Rogers’ denial of wrong-doing is simply not believable. If you agree, you can easily file a grievance against Mr. Rogers with the State Bar of New Mexico in three simple steps:

  1. Print, complete and sign the official Form for Complaint against a Lawyer in New Mexico;
  2. Print and attach this page to the Complaint Form as the factual basis for the claim; and
  3. Mail the complaint to the address noted on the Complaint Form.

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2 Responses

  1. Real Life Bullying That Matters: The Persecution of Pat Rogers

    Pat Rogers: prey.
    Make no mistake about it, the word for what happened to New Mexico attorney Pat Rogers is bullying. Politicians, pundits and the public like to pontificate against bullying when it involves children, and are even willing to compromise basic First Amendment rights, so outraged are they over abuses of power that victimize kids. When it comes to the bullying of adults, however—good adults, innocent adults, adults who have done nothing to justify vicious efforts to crush them out of pure animus and nothing more—these supposed champions of fairness are as likely as not to side with the bullies.

    This sickening hypocrisy is on display now in the persecution of New Mexico lawyer Pat Rogers in the ethics train wreck I first described here.  Rogers, whose first offense appears to be that he is a Republican, bared his throat to his attackers by sending an obviously satirical e-mail on the occasion of Governor Susan Martinez, whom he supports, participating in a state Native-American tribal summit. His jocular e-mail went to members of her staff with whom he had worked and who know him, and read, “Quislings, French surrender monkeys. … The state is going to hell. Col. Weh would not have dishonored Col. Custer in this manner.” This was—again I say, obviously—an inside joke surrounded by satire. Weh was Martinez’s military veteran opposition for the GOP’s nomination for governor; the message tweaks him based on his military orientation to those who were aligned against his candidacy. “French surrender monkeys” is a quote from “Groundskeeper Willie,” a character on the satirical animated Fox show, “The Simpsons,” and was often referenced in jest during the silly days of “freedom fries.” This is the first clear hint that the message is satire; the second is the reference to Weh. The third is the surprising tone of faux indignation over the Governor’s conduct that is business as usual for any New Mexico executive-in-chief, given that Rogers is a partisan supporter. The fourth clear hint of satire is the Custer reference. Literally no one–no one—in 2012 is concerned about Custer’s “honor” at the Little Big Horn. Military historians unanimously deride him for walking into an ambush. Sane historians hold him responsible and condemned as a purveyor of genocide. The culture at large has regarded him as a buffoon ever since the portrayal of him in “Little Big Man” by Richard Mulligan ( as an egomaniacal madman) superseded the old black-and-white film portrayal of Custer by Errol Flynn in “They Died With Their Boots On.” Custer’s name is synonymous today with “brutal fool” today, and everyone knows it. The fifth hint that the e-mail is satirical is that it is ridiculous, which is the hallmark of satire: ridicule. That’s five clear indicators of Rogers’ intent in a 21 word note. Short of a headline that shouted: WARNING TO THE IRONY, HISTORY AND HUMOR CHALLENGED: THE FOLLOWING IS INTENDED AS SATIRE!, Rogers could not possibly have been more obvious and responsible. (The e-mail is also funny.)

    Well, I suppose he could have avoided trying to be light-hearted and give a “Oh, that Pat!” chuckle to friends, since politics is nothing but deadly combat today and humor, rather than being, as we once thought, the social balm that allows society to function without being seared by anxiety, is not to be countenanced.

    Rogers miscalculated, however:

    1. He didn’t count on his e-mail being hacked. It was sent to an old email address that, according to Martinez’s staff, was being monitored by a former employee with a grudge. That former employee seized the e-mail and made sure it found its way to ThinkProgress New Mexico, a progressive organization, which, it turned out, is run by unprincipled bullies.

    2. He underestimated the cold viciousness that his political adversaries and the progressive groups in New Mexico were capable of. Or, perhaps, he never thought for a second that an e-mail with no genuine offensive content at all could be twisted into a weapon to harm him.

    As I recounted in the first post, ThinkProgress made certain that the e-mail was widely circulated. The Native American politicians realized it was satire, as did ThinkProgress, because—I am being fair, here—they are presumably not historically, logically, culturally ignorant dolts, or clinically insane. They…Just…Didn’t…Care. What they wanted to do was embarrass Martinez and Republicans, and were happy to destroy Rogers to do it. The media helped, obviously: many press accounts didn’t even print the text of the message, calling it instead “controversial” or “offensive.” As planned, Rogers’ law firm was deluged with e-mails attacking him and the firm, taking the cue from Pat Davis, the real unethical Pat in this Kafkaesque fiasco, whose statement read:

    “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. 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.”

    This is the swarm call of the head bully, summoning the gang to beat up an innocent victim who has wandered into hostile turf. No fairness, no proportion, no consideration, no mercy, nor sense of decency–yes, Joe McCarthy was, above all, a bully—just naked hate and a willingness to abuse another human being for narrow goals, or just to show that the mob  has the power to do it, so others will be afraid. Among those fellow bullies who heeded his call was Sandoval County Commission Chairman Darryl Madalena, who threatened to end the county’s contract with the firm. Madalena called Rogers’ words “hurtful,” and channeled his bully leader by saying at a County Commission meeting, “Racism, bigotry and hatred have no place in the state of New Mexico.”

    This was clearly untrue, since what Magdelena himself was doing to Rogers was hate and nothing else. Hate obviously thrives in New Mexico politics, or this wouldn’t have happened. Madalena then said he felt compelled as “the only Native American county commission chair in the state” to take action.

    Yes, he was compelled, because an opportunity to smash a political adversary based on nothing at all doesn’t come up very often, and one certainly can’t pass up such an opportunity simply because intentionally mischaracterizing an e-mail that was illegally obtained is mean, unfair, and text-book bullying.

    And it worked!

    Madalena asked Duane Brown, chairman of Modrall’s public finance group, to formally explain what the firm planned to do about Rogers, or else its contract with Sandoval County would be terminated. That’s right, in effect, “we demand that you punish your partner for a private joke that was neither offensive nor racist, because we want to make an example of him as if it were offensive and racist, because that will maybe win a few more votes for the Democratic side in the election, and because we’ll feel powerful and influential if we can demonstrate our power that way”

    Or, in the short version, “Yes, we’re bullying you, so if you want us to stop, you have to let us bully Pat Rogers.”

    I would have admired the firm if they had drawn a line in the sand and refused to submit to this despicable pressure, just as I would have admired King and Spalding if they had been willing to resist the gay and lesbian advocacy groups who threatened to organize boycotts against their clients if the firm continued to handle the legal defense of the Defense of Marriage Act. It is a lot to ask, however: law firms are businesses, and bullying works against businesses. Pat Rogers, to his credit, didn’t make his law firm choose between keeping lucrative contracts and allowing bullies to triumph: he resigned.

    Still, this is wrong. Pat Rogers should not have his career damaged and his livelihood interrupted as a result of political bloodsport. He did nothing unethical and certainly nothing racist, but adversaries with the ethical instincts of the Crips, Dracula, or a pack of jackals decided to denigrate and destroy him because they could. Their conduct would have been bullying even if his e-mail was what they said it was—what right do they have to punish a man to this extent for the phrasing of a private e-mail? The remedy was an apology (Rogers did apologize; personally, I think he should have refused. I would have.), and fair, decent people would have accepted it as a joke that misfired.

    But these are not fair and decent people. These are vengeful, mean-spirited, merciless and unethical bullies, and the ranks of American politics are swelling with them. What are we going to do about it.
    The first step is to call them what they are.


  2. I will not be surprised when you don’t post the above article.

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