The problem with Hogan

With a second year of women’s marches now behind us, Maryland progressives need to focus on one thing _ defeating Gov. Larry Hogan’s bid for a second term.

In the Jan. 21 edition of the Baltimore Sun, one statement stood out about Hogan: “Perhaps his highest profile donor is Kansas based Koch Industries, run by Charles and David Koch, the billionaire conservative financiers.”

In the book “Dark Money,” by Jane Mayer, the Kochs’ patient spending over several decades to build a huge network of thinly disguised “educational” political groups working to make conservative, regressive principles dominant in the United States is made crystal clear. One of the most successful parts of that strategy was the winning of Republican control of state governments across the nation, which led to highly gerrymandered congressional districts, which has helped give the GOP control of both houses of congress.

If Larry Hogan wins re-election this year, he will be term limited and will no longer have any reason to be a “moderate” Republican. He can use his position as Governor to help Republicans gain congressional and state legislative seats through the redistricting process after the next census. With the Trump administration’s underfunded and partisan approach to everything in government, the results of the census  could easily be jiggered to undercount population in Democratic parts of the state, while adding to the count in areas where the GOP is more popular.

Hogan has been making a case for months that Maryland’s congressional districts are gerrymandered to favor the Democrats, which, of course, they are. But his advocacy for a “fair” redistricting is just cover for his desire to see the opposite kind of gerrymandering- to favor his own party, as the GOP has done across the nation, including in Pennsylvania and Virginia.

The Sun reported that Hogan and Boyd Rutherford, his Lt. governor, have together collected about $9 million for the re-election effort. That is more, The Sun said, than, all the Democratic candidates combined, and includes “more than 100 donations” from both individuals and businesses at the maximum amount of $6,000. This from a man who in 2014 won with a much, much lower amount of public campaign finance money.

So keep those “march” feelings alive this year, but put them to work volunteering for the candidates of your choice- especially the Democratic nominee for Governor!

Larry Carson

 

 

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