Maryland is one of the bluest states in the country, but in 2014 we elected Republican Larry Hogan to the governorship and we are on the verge of re-electing him in 2018. Governor Hogan commands an impressive approval rating at 71% according to the latest Washington Post/ University of Maryland poll. In order for Democrats to take back the Governor’s Mansion in Maryland, we have to showcase how Hogan has failed Marylanders.
After viewing his “Maryland Strong” ad, viewers might be left with the impression that Hogan has singlehandedly brought Maryland forward, but a review of the facts lays credit elsewhere. Hogan’s predecessor, Governor O’Malley, served from 2006-2014 and two years into his term the nation entered the Great Recession. Hogan’s ad cherry picks data from one of the most difficult economic crises in an effort to mislead viewers. His claim that “over 100,000 jobs lost” is actually from 2007-2010, the height of the Great Recession. His claim of over “$1.2 billion in tax relief” includes hundreds of millions of dollars in tax relief passed by the Democratic legislature and already existing programs. The Baltimore Sun notes how that claim even includes “$240 million that the Supreme Court ordered the state to return to taxpayers who were overcharged on their income taxes.” Governor Hogan is deliberately trying to mislead voters and in a time of fake news, the facts matter.
With the understanding that Republicans are outnumbered 2-1 in voter registration, the Hogan Administration has avoided risk and controversy whenever possible. Countless bills have come across his desk and become law without his signature. Marylanders need a governor who will be an active leader in our state.
Governor Hogan sided with Trump in 2016 when he declared he would not be allowing Syrian refugees into our state. This decision was based on factual inaccuracies and fearmongering. Hogan tries to distance himself from President Trump, but has no problem stumping for Trump approved candidates, such as Ed Gillespie of Virginia. Maryland needs a governor who will stand up to President Trump.
On education, Governor Hogan has proposed tens of millions of dollars in cuts to education spending. Cuts that hurt teacher salaries and increase class sizes. While proposing budget cuts for public schools, Hogan has ensured that he will continue the policies of U.S. Secretary of Education Betsy DeVos by diverting funds away from public schools and into private charter schools. Governor Hogan is not a friend to teachers. He has called teachers “union thugs” and opposed having public school teachers on the Maryland Board of Education.
Governor Hogan also enjoys an A- rating from the NRA and accepted thousands of dollars from the NRA in campaign contributions. Governor Hogan opposed legislation banning guns on college campuses and even common-sense legislation that would ban bump-stocks in Maryland. We need a governor who will support legislation that protects Marylanders from gun violence, especially when Congress remains inactive in this crucial area.
Ben Jealous is the Governor Maryland needs. Mr. Jealous brings the necessary experience for the job as the former President and CEO of the NAACP and his successful campaigns to abolish the death penalty, expand voting rights, and pass marriage equality. Mr. Jealous will work to promote public education by investing in our teachers and students. He will fight for every Marylander to have access to healthcare, work towards ending the student debt crisis, and promote strong economic growth in Maryland. I look forward to working with my fellow College Democrats as we talk with voters about issues they care about most and retake the Governor’s Mansion this Novemeber.
President, College Democrats of Maryland