2018 Maryland General Assembly Wrap-Up: Chameleon Larry Hogan Cannot Change His True Colors

Apr 12, 2018

To: Interested Parties
From: Maryland Democratic Party
Date: April 12, 2018
Re: 2018 Maryland General Assembly Wrap-Up: Chameleon Larry Hogan Cannot Change His True Colors

Larry Hogan navigated the 2018 Maryland General Assembly facing tremendous national and local political head winds. Polls show Marylanders overwhelmingly (68%) reject the Trump and GOP agenda, and less than half of all Marylanders want to give Hogan a second term. His standing among women voters has been eroding with a 10-point gender gap, reflecting the hostile national climate among women for the Republican agenda.

Knowing his real record was unpalatable to Maryland voters, Hogan spent the 2018 session attempting to run away from his Republican record. Unfortunately for Hogan, voters in Maryland won’t fall for this chameleon strategy.  Despite all the talk of bipartisanship in an election year, the record shows that Hogan’s true color is bright red.

In more than three years in office, Larry Hogan has shown weak leadership and prioritized regressive Republican initiatives that are not aligned with the interests of Maryland voters. In this way, he has “shortchanged Maryland,” rather than offering the “change” that got him elected in 2014. 

Larry Hogan Cannot Run Away from His Record of Underfunding and Undermining Maryland Public Schools

Hogan’s administration has been a disaster for Maryland public schools, and he will not be able to outrun his record.  Hogan attempted to cut public school funding by more than $250 million in his very first budget and since he entered office, Maryland public schools have dropped in the national rankings for three straight years.

This year, Hogan tried to block Democrats’ efforts to protect education funding. Months after Democrats put forward a plan to put casino gaming revenue in a “lockbox” to ensure it properly goes to fund education in the state, Hogan tried using legislative gimmicks and offered a copycat bill that would have retained his power to steal from students to fund other parts of his budget. 

Despite Hogan’s efforts, Democrats passed the Fix the Fund Act, which prevents governors from raiding the Education Trust Fund to pay for other areas of the state budget. With Hogan’s record of diverting $1.4 billion away from public schools in three years, it’s no surprise that Hogan tried to undermine this legislation.

No matter his election-year rhetoric, Hogan has been a disaster for Maryland schools. This session he showed his true colors and voters, parents, and students will not forget his actions in November.

Larry Hogan Cannot Run Away from His A-minus NRA Rating and Record on Guns

Hogan’s weak record on keeping Marylanders safe from gun violence has been on display for years. Voters remember that Hogan earned an A-minus NRA rating, and promised to “roll back” guns laws and “make it easier” to buy guns in his 2014 campaign. What’s worse, he has refused to release his NRA questionnaire and won’t say what he promised the gun lobby to receive their support.

In February of this year, Hogan dismissed Democrats’ proposal to ban bump stocks in Maryland, saying, “I don’t think anyone in the history of our state has ever been killed by a bump stock.”  He also said Democrats’ legislation to take political appointees out of the conceal carry permit process was not “very serious.” Hogan has opposed Democratic efforts to keep firearms off college campuses and pass “no fly, no buy” legislation.

It’s clear that Hogan is finally realizing that his record on guns is out of the mainstream for Maryland voters, but his election year contortions won’t fool Maryland voters.

Larry Hogan Cannot Run Away from His Record of Silence on Donald Trump and Washington Republicans’ Attacks on Maryland

Last year, as Donald Trump, Paul Ryan, Mitch McConnell and Washington Republicans attacked Marylanders—trying to take away their healthcare with TrumpCare and raising their taxes with the GOP tax scam—Larry Hogan was silent. He even opposed Maryland Democrats when they tried to fight back.

This year, Democrats kicked off the legislative session with a proposal to protect Maryland taxpayers from tax hikes in the GOP tax scam.  Hogan used more legislative gimmicks to challenge the effort. Again Hogan’s efforts failed and Democrats passed legislation to protect middle class Maryland families from the GOP tax scam without Hogan’s help.

Hogan failed to show Marylanders that he is willing to stand up and fight for them against the President of his own political party. Voters will remember Hogan’s record of silence when they go to make their voice heard this November.

Larry Hogan Cannot Run Away From His Record of Not Standing With Workers

Last year, Hogan stood with his business allies over workers when he vetoed Democrats’ earned sick leave bill.  At the beginning of session, Democrats overrode Hogan’s veto, so more than 700,000 Maryland workers could take the time they need to take care of themselves or a loved one without fearing they will lose their jobs.

This year, Hogan doubled down on his anti-worker record—opposing Democrats’ legislation to protect Maryland’s unions from national Republicans’ attacks on organized labor.

Hogan’s opposition to pro-worker legislation this session gave working families in Maryland more reasons to vote against him in November.

Larry Hogan Cannot Run Away from His Record of Failure in Baltimore City

Residents of Baltimore know how hard Hogan’s empty promises can hurt them.

Due to Hogan’s failed leadership, the Baltimore Metro SubwayLink was shut down for a month. Despite ample warning from BaltimoreLink employees about safety issues in the system, Hogan refused to hold anyone in his administration accountable.  In response to Hogan’s failures, Democratic legislators passed legislation to increase funding for the Maryland Transit Administration, which operates BaltimoreLink, by more than $175 in the next three years.

During session, pictures of Baltimore students sitting in freezing classrooms made national news.  Hogan deflected, passed the buck, and denied Democrats’ requests for $2.5 million in emergency funding to fix the heating in Baltimore schools.  And just last month, news reports showed that Hogan’s National Guard lost 1,500 rounds of high-caliber ammunition in Baltimore and said nothing for three years.  Hogan has not held anyone accountable.  

Baltimore voters will be eager to elect a governor who makes Baltimore a priority.

Larry Hogan Will Have a Hard Time Explaining His Record to Maryland Voters

While Larry Hogan spent the 2018 legislative session dodging responsibility and running away from his record, Democrats kept fighting for Maryland families.  They kept their promise to protect Marylanders from Trump’s tax cuts and healthcare sabotage; they took steps to increase education funding by $500 million annually; they passed measures to keep dangerous firearms out of our communities; and they made vital investments that will help rebuild Baltimore.  

Hogan came into the 2018 legislative session facing a tough reelection, and failed to improve his standing.  His attempts to paper over his failures while in office fell short, and only highlight his failing policies and weak leadership.  The Maryland Democratic Party will continue showing Maryland voters that despite Larry Hogan’s continued efforts to shortchange Maryland, Democrats have their back.