MD Democratic Party Calls on Hogan to Release Communications over $70M Contract to Major Campaign Donor

Apr 19, 2018

Annapolis, MD – The Maryland Democratic Party is calling on Larry Hogan to release all communications between HNTB Corporation and the Hogan administration and campaign in light of the company’s ties to Transportation Secretary Pete Rahn and more than $100k in donations from HNTB entities to help Hogan’s bid for reelection.

Yesterday, Hogan bowed to pressure from Democrats, including Delegate Kirill Reznik and State Treasurer Nancy Kopp, and delayed a vote on a $70 million contract awarded to Rahn’s former employer, HNTB Corporation.  Rahn failed to disclose owning shares in HNTB on his 2015 financial disclosure forms, then failed to disclose his sale of the shares on his 2016 disclosure.  Rahn has disclosed gifts from HNTB each year he has been Transportation Secretary, as well as a gift from Parsons Transportation Group, one of the companies included in the HNTB’s project management contract.

HNTB has been a major booster of Hogan’s bid for reelection.  Since November 2016, the company has donated more than $100,000 to Larry Hogan’s campaign, the Maryland Republican Party, and the Republican Governors Association (RGA)—which plans to spend big to reelect Hogan this year. Notably, three quarters of the contributions directly to the Hogan-Rutherford campaign, as well as the contribution to the Maryland Republican Party, came in between Hogan’s late September announcement of his highway tolling project and HNTB being selected by the Hogan administration for the contract several months later. HNTB had never donated to Hogan amounts that large before the project was announced.

“There is a cloud of scandal surrounding this contract, given Governor Hogan and Secretary Rahn’s cozy relationship with HNTB,” said Maryland Democratic Party Chair Kathleen Matthews.  “Governor Hogan should immediately release all communications between his administration, campaign, and HNTB, because Maryland taxpayers deserve to know whether there was cronyism, favoritism, and pay-to-play.”