Annapolis, MD—Maryland Democrats are calling on Hidin’ Larry Hogan to find the courage to defend his indefensible record on education, healthcare, and the economy. This morning, Maryland Democratic Party Chair Kathleen Matthews joined former gubernatorial candidates Senator Richard Madaleno, Jim Shea, Krish Vignarajah, and CASA In Action President Gustavo Torres on a press call criticizing Hogan’s attempts to deny Maryland voters an opportunity to scrutinize his record at multiple debates.
Yesterday, Hidin’ Hogan issued a press release asking for far fewer debates than he agreed to in 2014, indicating yet again that he wants to limit scrutiny of his indefensible record on education, healthcare, and the economy. What a difference four years makes. In 2014, Hogan called for five televised debates and two radio debates. In 2018, Hogan curiously left off the only Spanish-Language networks, Univision and Telemundo which partners with NBC4. It begs the question of whether Larry Hogan is willing to defend his record on issues particular to the Latino community.
Hogan has supported many of President Trump’s anti-immigrant policies:
- Hogan revealed that he secretly deployed four Maryland National Guard servicemembers to the U.S.-Mexico border, even though MDNG denied it had received “any request for assistance” when Trump announced his plan to deploy the National Guard to the border in April.
- Last year, The Baltimore Sun discovered Hogan was secretly helping the Trump administration enforce its immigration policies. Despite Hogan’s claims that Maryland was not detaining immigrants on behalf of Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE), the Sun reported that Baltimore Central Booking—which is operated by the state—received and honored dozens of detention requests from ICE. The investigation also found that many of the requests were for low-level crimes and misdemeanors, not serious or violent crimes.
- While Republican Illinois Governor Bruce Rauner has refused to honor ICE’s immigrant detention requests, Hogan said not honoring the requests would be “absurd,” and promised that state police will “detain people for 48 hours so that ICE has the ability to come in and do whatever action they want to take.”
- When Marylanders flooded Hogan’s Facebook page requesting he join them at airports to protest Trump’s Muslim Ban, Hogan deleted their comments and banned them from his page, and then refused to grant Attorney General Brian Frosh authority to fight the ban in court.
“For four years, Larry Hogan has shortchanged Maryland’s workers, families and students, so it’s easy to see why he wants to avoid scrutiny of his record by hiding from multiple face-to-face debates with Ben Jealous,” said Maryland Democratic Party Chair Kathleen Matthews. “Given his record of aiding and abetting the Trump administration’s anti-immigrant policies in Maryland, it not surprising that Hogan would be afraid to debate on a Spanish-Language network.”
“Larry Hogan likes to tout his popularity, but he is running on the record of Democrats in the legislature who have been pushing back on his policies for years,” said Senator Richard Madaleno. “It’s clear that he is scared of defending his record to Marylanders and he certainly should be. On healthcare and defending the hundreds of thousands of Marylanders who benefit from the Affordable Care Act, Larry Hogan’s record is abysmal.”
Former Michelle Obama policy director Krish Vignarajh said: “Debates are an opportunity for voters to evaluate candidates on the issues so that they can make an informed choice come Election Day. In the primary, Democrats made sure that voters had ample opportunity to become informed. It’s not surprising that a Governor so disinterested in education would also be disinterested in educating voters on his record.”
“Larry Hogan went from requesting five televised debates when he was running for Governor in 2014 to now only wanting two,” said former University System of Maryland Board of Regents chair Jim Shea. “It seems abundantly clear that he is both unwilling and incapable of defending his record to the voters. As Marylanders face another year of stagnant wage growth and declining economy, Larry Hogan should be willing to stand up and allow voters to evaluate his plan for Maryland.”
“Debates for the next governor of Maryland should reflect the diversity of our state,” said CASA In Action president Gustavo Torres. “The fact of the matter is, Larry Hogan should be willing to defend his record and talk about issues that pertain to our community. His record on immigration reveals a man unwilling to stand up to his own party for Maryland values and Maryland families.”
The Hogan campaign announced its debate schedule without first engaging in talks with the Jealous campaign, which is customary. The Jealous campaign has advocated for more than two debates to make sure the debates reflected the full diversity of Maryland and allow voters far more opportunities to hear both candidates’ visions for Maryland.
During the primary campaign, Jealous, Madaleno, Shea, Vignarajah and all Democratic gubernatorial candidates participated in 6 broadcast debates to ensure that voters had an opportunity to hear directly from candidates and to have them answer pressing questions on their policies and vision for the future of Maryland.