Georgia's Republican governor isn't saying why he gave a part-time seat on a state task force to the state senator who organized a four-hour briefing that told Republican lawmakers President Barack Obama and the United Nations are engaging "mind-control" techniques to force a land use agenda.
Gov. Nathan Deal (R) last week named Senate Majority Leader Chip Rogers (R-Woodstock) to a seat on the governor's digital learning task force, formed earlier this year to study ways the state can use digital technology in schools, including digital textbooks. Deal made the appointment before a video surfaced of the meeting Rogers organized last month on Agenda 21, the U.N. sustainability program.
“Senator Rogers has been nationally recognized for his leading efforts in digital learning. I appreciate his willingness to serve as we strive to make Georgia the premier state for incorporating new technology into the learning process,” Deal said in a Senate statement about the Rogers appointment. The task force position is unpaid.
Deal's spokeswoman did not return messages seeking comment about Rogers' appointment, and asking whether the governor agrees with the Agenda 21 lecture, which included a birther activist telling Republican senators that Obama and the U.N. are using mind-control to force through the program. Rogers holds the task force seat in addition to his Senate seat. Rogers could not be reached for comment.
Rogers dropped his bid to seek a third two-year term as Senate majority leader during a Republican caucus meeting on Thursday evening, citing a desire to spend more time with his family. But Better Georgia, the progressive group that taped the Agenda 21 meeting, claimed credit for forcing Rogers out of the majority leader's race.
Bryan Long, the executive director of Better Georgia, told HuffPost that while the Agenda 21 meeting was held in October, the group waited to distribute the video in order to analyze the claims and to affect the majority leader race. Long said the group also didn't want to release the tape in the midst of election coverage. .
"He was fighting going into this week to preserve his leadership role," Long said of Rogers.
Rogers has previously pushed Agenda 21 bans in the state Senate, including an amendment to a land use bill in 2011 that failed by two votes. Agenda 21 was adopted by the U.N. during a 1992 climate change summit in Brazil to promote sustainability. Agenda 21 does not have the force of law in the United States, but has become a favorite target of Tea Party activists in recent years. Several states have passed laws to ban or oppose the U.N. agenda.
During the Senate GOP caucus briefing, birther activist Field Searcy claimed Agenda 21 would ban rural development, livestock grazing, paved roads, floor and wall tiles, modern hunting, single-family homes, private property, power line construction, sewers, golf courses, scuba diving and synthetic drugs. The presentation also compared Obama's rural agenda with genocide programs by Soviet leader Joseph Stalin and Chinese leader Mao Zedong that killed millions.
A full copy of Searcy's presentation can be found here.