RNC Official: New Mexico Is ‘Going to Hell’ For Hosting Meeting With American Indians About Economic Development

Our guest blogger is Erik Stegman, Manager of the Half in Ten Campaign at the Center for American Progress Action Fund.

An executive member of the Republican National Committee said that his home state of New Mexico is “going to hell” because an annual meeting between the governor and the state’s 22 American Indian tribes dishonored the memory of Gen. George Armstrong Custer, who is widely known for his bloody campaigns against Plains Indians in the late 1800’s. Mandated by New Mexican law, the governor meets on a yearly basis with cabinet officials and tribal government leaders to address issues of mutual concern.

American Indians represent 10.1 percent of New Mexicans. What was on this year’s agenda? Sessions about improving education, healthcare, economic development, and infrastructure.  After Governor Susana Martinez (R) announced the upcoming Tribal Leaders Summit, Pat Rogers, a partner with the Modrall law firm, lobbyist, and member of the RNC executive committee, decided to share a piece of his mind with the governor’s staff over email, which was originally publicized by Progress Now New Mexico:

Quislings, French surrender monkeys, secret supporters (all along) of JAJ [Janice Arnold Jones] 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.


“Quislings” is another term for traitor, referring to politicians who favor the interest of other nations over their own. And who are JAJ and Weh? Rogers blasted this email off two days after the state primary when Republicans confirmed former State Rep. Janice Arnold Jones as their nominee for a congressional seat. Retired Marine Corps Col. Allen Weh ran against Martinez in the 2010 Republican primary election “I call upon the Republican National Committee to remove Mr. Rogers from his official capacity within the committee,” All Indian Pueblo Council Chairman Chandler Sanchez said in a statement Sunday. “His statement that Custer is some kind of hero demanding deference is offensive.” The All Indian Pueblo Council represents New Mexico’s 20 sovereign pueblo governments. A spokesman for Navajo Nation President Ben Shelly said, “It’s definitely something that is just insensitive and careless to even remotely joke about that in this day and age.” Rogers told the Albuquerque Journal that his email was a “poor attempt at humor and apologized, but made no direct apologies to any tribes in the state.”