Civil Air Patrol’s Lt Col Don Rogers Had Some Taxing Problems

Civil Air Patrol Government RelationsCivil Air Patrol's California State Senator Donald Augustine Rogers

by Anonymous | Letters of Civil Air Patrol

[Editor’s note: AuxBeacon was sent this anonymous letter from back in the fall of 1996. Thank you for your contribution. Extracts of articles below are properly cited and presented under 17 U.S.C. § 107 Fair Use doctrine for the purpose of criticism, comment, news reporting, teaching and research into the tactics and abuses of Civil Air Patrol. AuxBeacon is non-commercial all-volunteer effort by current and former members.]

[Addressee Redacted],

I have just returned from our California Wing conference and was absolutely livid to find that COL Porco arranged to induct state Sen Don Rogers into our California Wing and award him with another phony commander’s commendation. Enclosed are newspaper clippings exposing what we have allowed into our ranks.

[Closing text redacted]

Senator’s Name Stripped From Bill After Speech
Cynthia H. Craft | Los Angeles Times | August 31, 1994
In a rare move, the Assembly Tuesday stripped a bill by state Sen. Don Rogers of his name in an effort to overcome animosity over his appearance last weekend before a group of suspected racists. With Rogers listed as its author, the otherwise mundane bill to create a flood control district in the Antelope Valley was headed nowhere, Assembly members said. Assemblyman William J. (Pete) Knight (R-Palmdale), who sponsored the amendment replacing Rogers as author with state Sen.

Legislator to Speak Before Group Criticized as Racist
Cynthia H. Craft | Los Angeles Times | February 10, 1995
Only six months after taking heat from fellow legislators for a similar appearance, state Sen. Don Rogers (R-Tehachapi) is slated to speak before a group that the Anti-Defamation League of B’nai B’rith contends has ties to anti-Semitic and racist agitators. The group, a Tarzana-based organization called the Granada Forum, is an offshoot of the so-called “patriot movement,” aimed at persuading Americans to fear and distrust government.

State Lawmaker Emerging as Darling of Right Wing
Cynthia H. Craft | Los Angeles Times Staff Writer | April 29, 1995
As his first legislative resolution this year, state Sen. Don Rogers introduced a measure seeking safeguards against a global government takeover by the United Nations. Soon thereafter, Rogers authored an amendment to add the right to bear arms to the state Constitution, and a bill declaring California’s sovereignty in the face of federal mandates.

Sen. Don Rogers Finds Favor With Militia Movement
Cynthia H. Craft | Los Angeles Times Staff Writer | April 30, 1995
As his first legislative resolution this year, state Sen. Don Rogers introduced a measure seeking safeguards against a global government takeover by the United Nations. Soon thereafter, he authored an amendment adding the right to bear arms to the state Constitution and a bill declaring California’s sovereignty in the face of federal mandates.

State Senator Said He Owed No Taxes Because of Race
Carl Ingram and Henry Chu | Los Angeles Times | April 13, 1996

SACRAMENTO — A Republican state lawmaker associated with militias and other fringe organizations stirred new controversy Friday with the disclosure that four years ago he refused to pay federal income taxes because of what he called his “white man’s citizenship.”

State Sen. Don Rogers of Tehachapi made the assertion during a fight with the Internal Revenue Service over back taxes. He insisted he was exempt from tax payments by the 14th Amendment, which granted citizenship after the Civil War to former slaves.

Calling himself a “nonresidential alien,” the lawmaker declared in a 1992 filing with the Sonoma County recorder’s office: “I am not a citizen of the United States as contemplated by the 14th Amendment.”

In the rambling six-page document, Rogers sought to make a distinction between white males born in states such as his native Louisiana and African Americans, whose citizenship was granted in 1868.

He claimed that “because such a white man’s citizenship was not restricted by the 14th Amendment,” these individuals owe “no obedience to anyone” to pay taxes. Rogers easily has won reelection in his sprawling Mojave Desert-based district since first elected to the Legislature in 1978.

Rogers did not return telephone calls for comment Friday.

But he told the Bakersfield Californian that “when I was going through a problem with the IRS, I looked at this and I thought it was maybe something that had some merit. But since then, I’ve decided it (did) not.”

He said he relied on bad advice at the time and has paid his taxes for the past four years.

“It sounds just like what the ‘freemen’ up in Montana are saying,” said Senate Leader Bill Lockyer (D-Hayward). “It’s a bit scary to hear that same rhetoric from a member of the state Senate.”

Lockyer indicated he would not seek Roger’s removal from the Senate even though U.S. citizenship is a requirement for holding elective office in California. Rogers will retire from the Senate next year because of term limits.

Rogers, a courteous, quiet-spoken member of the Legislature, is among its most conservative members. He is an outspoken advocate of relaxing controls on gun ownership and a defender of what he terms law-abiding militias. He has carried legislation warning against a global takeover by the United Nations. He also is known for his challenges of accepted scientific theories, including depletion of the Earth’s protective ozone layer by some chemicals.

Rogers denies that he is a racist but has drawn heavy criticism for his appearances in recent years as a featured speaker at conventions of far right conservatives, including alleged white supremacists and anti-Semites.

: : :

Rogers, who did not identify the source of the legal advice, said he intends to rescind the document in which he declared himself not to be a citizen, the Sacramento Bee reported.

In Rogers’ high desert district, anti-government sentiment runs deep and devotees of the freemen movement flock to biweekly seminars. Still, news of the document surprised fellow Antelope Valley Republicans.

“How could he serve in California as an elected official and not be a resident of it?” asked Eve Wolowicz, president of the Antelope Valley Republican League. “If you don’t want to be a citizen of the United States and California, then you’re some kind of kook.”

Rogers’ declaration was filed as an attachment to a legal document in which he revoked a power of attorney. But Sonoma County officials said the revocation was a cover for his declaration of “white man’s citizenship” and the justifications for refusing to pay taxes.

Here are some excerpts of a six-page document that State Sen. Don Rogers filed in Sonoma County in 1992. It argued that he did not have to pay federal taxes because he was white and therefore not a U.S. citizen under the 14th Amendment to the Constitution, which was ratified after the Civil War and defines citizenship.

5. And as the 14th Amendment did “not . . . impose any new restrictions on citizenship,” all white men born in any of the several states, “of parents who were its citizens, become themselves, upon their birth, citizens also,” and are “not intended to have any additional protection by . . . the [14th] Amendment:”

6. And because such a white man’s citizenship was not restricted by the 14th Amendment and because he receives no protection from it, he has no reciprocal obligation to a 14th Amendment allegiance or sovereignty and owes no obedience to anyone under the 14th Amendment:

10. And that I am not a citizen of the United States as contemplated by the 14th Amendment and that I do not reside in any state with the intention of receiving from the Federal government or any other party a protection against the legislative power of that state pursuant to the authority of the 14th Amendment.

Evidence that Civil Air Patrol inducted California state senator Don Rogers can be found in an Associated Press Article authored by Jennifer Kerr in 1996 at the time when Don Rogers was looking for his next adventure.

Jennifer Kerr | Associated Press Writer | July 21, 1996

“Representing you in the mountains, in the desert and now in the air – your California Legislature.”

A state senator Thursday became a lieutenant colonel and the first full-fledged member of the Civil Air Patrol’s Legislative Squadron. Sen. Don Rogers, R-Palmdale, wearing a blue CAP uniform complete with silver wings above his jacket pocket, was formally named the squadron’s commander – and only trained member – in a ceremony on the Capitol steps.

“What we have done for the first time is have a true legislator as the legislative commander,” said Col. Angelo Porco, commander of the CAP’s California Wing.

Rogers, a private pilot since 1952, said he would find other squadron members from among the many legislators, lobbyists and state officials who are private pilots.

“I look forward to recruiting a lot of them and building up the squadron to provide service to the state,” Rogers said.

Porco said the Legislative Squadron has existed since 1989 with about 10 honorary members, most of them pilots such as Assemblyman W.J. “Pete” Knight, R-Palmdale, a retired Air Force colonel and test pilot who holds several records.

But Rogers is the first lawmaker who agreed to pay CAP dues and undergo training to become an official member and the squadron commander. Rogers said he was a CAP member in 1956 in Chico.

“It’s going to be his job to build up the CAP so the Legislature knows what it is,” Porco said, referring to Rogers.

1 Comment on "Civil Air Patrol’s Lt Col Don Rogers Had Some Taxing Problems"

  1. Isn’t this the guy who crashed his Mooney after running out of fuel? He died recently with no mention of Civil Air Patrol in his obituary.

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