And how much do you need to know about Larry Hogan before you move from “Not so bad” to “get OUT of here”? Here are a few reminders about why "not so bad" is wrong. He's bad -- for everyone except his rich corporate friends.
/By Woody Woodruff<>PM BlogSpace Report/ Marylanders can be excused for feeling that the worst of the Trump convulsion has passed them by. The Obama boom continues despite Trump’s huge mistakes and miscues. But don’t credit that to Larry Hogan, who has parlayed a made-up “nice guy” image and stealth anti-family, anti-worker practices to undeserved popularity for not being, you know, that guy.
The more you know about Ben Jealous – really know – the more you will like him and the more Larry Hogan will move in your estimate from “Not that bad” to “get OUT of here, Larry!”
Many Maryland voters think they know about Jealous when they are actually working from the alarmist and deeply untruthful TV ads run by the Republican Governors’ Association that blanketed the state from early July while Jealous’s campaign was still trying to put together TV money. Those RGA ads were independent expenditures so Hogan didn’t have to be technically accountable for them, though fact-checkers went to town on their reckless falsehood.
The ads got a good pushback from a Jealous campaign spokesperson: “Larry Hogan should actually read our plans, because in them, he will find solutions to important priorities his administration has failed to adequately address, like college affordability, stopping healthcare premium increases and growing Maryland's economy in a way that actually increases wages for hardworking families,” Jealous campaign spokesman Kevin Harris said in a statement. [our emphasis] “Instead of choosing an honest debate on real issues and which candidate can shape a better future for Maryland's families, Larry Hogan has instead decided to behave like a scared politician and rely on the old Republican playbook of attack politics and misleading claims about taxes. Marylanders deserve better."
The more you know about Jealous the more he looks like the change agent Maryland needs after Hogan’s term of giving away the store to his corporate buddies.
Here’s a deep-dive profile of Jealous from Capital News Service, the official but student-managed operation at the Merrill College of Journalism at UMCP that offers its work to media throughout the state, and gets many takers.
Progressive activist and canvass veteran John Mitchell recently outlined for us the list of reasons tor voting for Jealous that he brings to the doors on which he knocks. Note that the sale is usually made before he gets halfway through Jealous’s qualities and proposals.
Why are you reading this here, in the Progressive Maryland BlogSpace? Well, as we have said previously, “We at Progressive Maryland have endorsed Ben Jealous for Governor and Susie Turnbull for Lieutenant Governor. We have endorsed Jealous/Turnbull and other progressive candidates at every level of state and local government. See our endorsements here, including how the candidates answered our questionnaires about the issues facing our state. You’ll see why we are backing them, just as the fighting Democrats you remember like Barbara Mikulski are as well.
We have outlined Ben Jealous’s program for making Maryland whole again, with progressive and pro-people improvements to health care, public education, and economic development with clean-energy jobs -- Many of our BlogSpace accounts of key issues in the campaign and the superior Jealous/Turnbull approach are in this link-filled recent post.
Conversely, the more you actually know about the Larry Hogan behind the good-guy, “not that bad” façade the more you are ready to move on to a Jealous governorship, as Linda Neuman wrote on the Blogspace.
And we have reminded our readers pretty consistently that “We have argued that Larry Hogan has done enough damage to the state’s educational quality and the lives of working people while he catered to the “needs” of big money and corporate interests, both in and out of the state. Larry Hogan’s other failures in office (successes for him and his business friends, but for sure not for you and the folks you know) are laid out here. And here. Larry Hogan needs to be sent home.
But wait -- hasn’t Hogan kept his promises? Sure, they were Republican-type promises, but at least he kept them, right? Well, no. Here’s the quick-n-dirty as recounted by a Jealous campaign researcher, working from a WaPo article:
Governor Hogan ran in 2014 on a pocketbook-themed pitch that rested on three central promises: Roll back tax and fee increases, create new jobs, and cut wasteful government spending. So how'd he do? Let's break it down:
- Governor Hogan failed to roll back tax and fee increases. In all, he delivered on just 10% of his promise, and the taxes and fees he managed to roll back disproportionately helped big corporations over working families.
- Governor Hogan failed to create as many new jobs as the rest of the region or nation. His economic approach has caused Maryland to lag behind both the region and the nation in job creation. Economists say that the jobs created while Governor Hogan has been governor are due to, "general economic prosperity," and not his policies.
- Governor Hogan failed to cut wasteful government spending, so he understaffed public agencies and slowed education funding growth instead. He has cut more than 1,200 public agency jobs and repeatedly slowed needed education funding increases, including when he withheld $68 million for public schools in 2015 despite the money being included in a bipartisan budget.
The WaPo, which endorsed Hogan and has used every workaround to avoid close scrutiny of his shiftiness, nevertheless noted in an otherwise gushing pre-election portrayal:
“Hogan will mock critics but then collaborate with Democrats — often on policies that poll well — and happily accepts full credit for everyone’s work [our emphasis]. The governor has touted the state’s generous new parental leave policy, even though his administration objected to it. His campaign ads urge voters to approve what he dubbed “the Hogan lockbox,” a constitutional amendment preventing casino money from being siphoned away from K-12 education, which Democrats put on the ballot over the governor’s objection.
But, you say, Hogan has tapped into the resentment of Maryland’s “forgotten people” outside the vote-heavy urban areas? Check this out:
Lower Shore Voters Should Vote Progressives – I am Jared Schablein, and have had the privilege of being born and raised here on the Lower Eastern Shore of Maryland. Over the years I have seen our region overcome so many challenges and reach new heights. However, I have also seen the major issues that hold us back like the opioid epidemic, lack of economic opportunities, and the fact that so many working people struggle to make ends meet. For decades the establishment of both the Democratic and Republican party alike have abandoned the Eastern Shore and failed to put forth meaningful long-term solutions to address the major issues we face. The problems have been exacerbated by years of maintaining a status quo that has left us out to dry. Now more than ever it is crucial that we elect bold new leaders who will reject that status quo and focus on putting forth solutions to the economic, social, racial, and environmental issues we face. That is why I support and strongly encourage readers to vote for the bold progressive candidates running in their district on November 6th. In total, nine backed progressive candidates are running on the Lower Shore from Governor to local office. These candidates include Ben Jealous (Governor), Dan O’Hare (State House 37-B), Kirkland Hall (State House 38-A), Holly Wright (State Senate 38), Jamaad Gould (Wicomico County Council At-Large), Michele Gregory (Wicomico County Council District 3), Josh Hastings (Wicomico County Council District 4), Deborah Nissley (Somerset County Commissioner District 3), and Seth Mitchell (Wicomico County State’s Attorney). It is important we elect leaders committed to the people and not partisan gain to move our region forward and to build a better future for our children. These candidates are those leaders. -- Jared Schablein, Pittsville (Wicomico County), Chair of the Lower Shore Progressive Caucus.
Ask the people of Ellicott City, wondering if they will recover from devastating flooding traceable to historic lack of stormwater management, how they feel about Hogan’s cheesey 2014 campaign against what he called the “Rain Tax.” A requirement by the federal EPA to counter the expensive and Bay-wrecking flooding resulting from excessive and uncontrolled development (Hogan is of course a millionaire developer), the county-by-county stormwater management program meant that local governments had to come up with a plan that generally involved local revenues. Local officials hated it because it involved some sort of taxes (remember, the majority of Maryland counties are controlled by Republican elected officials). Hogan reversed the plan after he was elected – one of the few promises he kept, and a ruinous bargain fueled by an easy campaign slogan. Ellicott City is only the most prominent example of why his catering to development interests was a serious violation of the public interest.
Four years of Hogan are not mainly attributable to his “Rain Tax” campaign, regardless of what Vox (above) argues. It was the significant falloff in voter participation in the big urban electorates – Prince George’s and Montgomery – that allowed Hogan to slip through by 65,000 votes. And those are the jurisdictions that, finally, will have to turn out for a genuine progressive like Ben Jealous to keep Hogan from going full-frontal Republican for four years without the need to look like a “nice guy” in order to get re-elected.
If you are looking forward to that, then stay home Tuesday. Instead, we suggest you make a plan to ensure that you will vote, and take your friends with you. Maryland’s future is waiting.
Woody Woodruff is volunteer moderator of the Progressive Maryland BlogSpace. He lives in Prince George's County.