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Is Maryland ready for change?

Is Maryland ready for change?

Democrats want Marylanders to forget Anthony Brown’s record; The Republicans and Larry Hogan don’t want them to forget.

The primaries are over and Maryland’s nominees for governor are Lietenant Governor Anthony Brown for the Democrats and Larry Hogan for the Republicans.

Despite having failed at his most prominent job as Lieutenant Governor the state’s Democrats want to give him a promotion.

I previously critiqued the Washington Post’s endorsement of Brown. The Baltimore Sun too endorsed Brown.

As for Mr. Brown, we’ll address his flaws first. We have been consistently critical of his lack of transparency in discussing his role in Maryland’s disastrous health insurance exchange launch. His explanations have been guarded and convoluted; a simple apology and a pledge to learn from the experience would have been much better. Mr. Brown was, officially, Maryland’s point-person for health care reform. Had the website been a success, he would have taken credit; thus, he must accept a share of blame for its failure. That said, the buck stops with Gov. Martin O’Malley, not Mr. Brown, whose actual role appears to have been more symbolic than managerial.

That’s an endorsement? He wasn’t incompetent he really wasn’t supposed do anything? Worse the Sun called Gansler, “able public servant during his long career.” The Sun’s criticisms of Gansler stemmed from his campaign not for his governance. To endorse the guy whose managerial role they described as “symbolic” over someone with a track record is ridiculous.

I bring up the endorsements again even though the race is over, because it shows the lengths that Brown’s supporters have to go to get past his failure. Either they ignore it or they say he was a no show. Neither one is a ringing endorsement for the guy’s leadership.

But the failure isn’t just Brown’s, or the O’Malley/Brown administration. It’s the failure of Maryland’s Democratic party – as nearly the entire leadership of the party in Maryland endorsed Brown.

And the leading newspapers in Maryland endorsed him too.

So the Democrats want power without responsibility. And the media that should be serving as a check on government’s power have failed miserably in their civic responsibility.

Look at Brown’s last ad before the primary, called “Step up.”

Brown comes across as confident, but even as he asks viewers for their help to “build a better Maryland,” he offers no qualifications for the job, only that he is driven by the value his father instilled in him that “service to others comes first.” He sounds like it is his convictions not his record that should be the criterion for choosing him. He wants us to forget his record.

The election for governor then must an exercise in accountability. It is up to Maryland’s voters to say “enough.” It’s time to stop being taken for granted.

In the run up to the primary, a local TV station, WMAR, interviewed the candidates for governor. The first question for the Republican candidates was about the health care exchange roll out. The Democrats and much of the media may wish the questions of the O’Malley-Brown failure away, but I don’t think the voters will. Larry Hogan’s interview is embedded here. (WMAR also interviewed Republican contenders, David Craig and Ron George.)

Larry Hogan, who won the Republican primary for governor, won’t let health care exchange failure go. He has come out swinging with “The most incompetent man in Maryland.

Maryland’s top conservative blogger, Michael Swartz, disagrees with coming out so negative, without some positive messaging too. Red Maryland, on the other hand, thinks that it was effective.

Maryland voters are faced with a choice in November. On one hand the choice is to continue the failures of the past eight years. (Bryan Jacoutot blogged about a Washington Post report in March that exposed the level of mismanagement involved in Maryland’s health care exchange roll out. This isn’t just about Brown, but the O’Malley-Brown administration.) Or Marylanders can vote for change and vote for Larry Hogan.


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Good to know there’s a Republican (“the Republican”) in Maryland.

Conservative Beaner | June 29, 2014 at 2:02 pm

Yes I’ll say it. Another black guy with a now show or worse record trying for a top executive office and any vote against him is raaaaaaaaacist. I doubt Marylanders want a change so they will vote the clown into office and face higher taxes to pay for his mistakes.

    With voters like this…what else can you expect…?

    Given the demographics of the state a Republican has little chance of becoming governor particularly when all the Liberals in Maryland can really feel good about themselves for voting for a black guy, his ineptness not withstanding.

      Spiny Norman in reply to MarkS. | June 29, 2014 at 3:05 pm

      They voted for an attractive, but woefully incompetent black man for President twice. Lack of accomplishment, or even a record of outright failure, is no obstacle to Democrat political success. Yep, it’s all about racial demographics.

      David Gerstman in reply to MarkS. | June 29, 2014 at 3:29 pm

      MarkS – Bob Ehrlich did it twelve years ago. True, he didn’t get re-elected despite an approval rating over 50%. He also won against a woefully inept former Lieutenant Governor.

If Maryland were to elect a Republican as Governor – or Senator – it would signal a seismic level shift in public opinion.

The “deep blue” states like MD, NY, CA, RI, and CT have shown great tolerance over the years for Democratic incompetence and corruption. If we begin to make breakthroughs in statewide races in such states, the country may fairly be said to be turning back to the right.

But close doesn’t count. Only winning counts.

Of course, if this comes at a time of deepening division within the GOP itself, the shift may be for naught. Remember that Lincoln didn’t even win 40% of the popular vote in 1860, but against a divided Democratic Party it was enough for an Electoral majority.

    That’s really hard with the large voting block made of federal employees. I know a lot of them and they live in a different world from regular folks: they have a good salary, job security, a lot of benefits…they just like things the way they are…

At least one of Red Maryland’s editors is on Larry Hogan’s payroll. RM has suffered a series of embarrassments during this campaign, from denying they were paid by the candidate they endorsed, to being dropped from the Baltimore Sun, to even offering to slant their news coverage and opinions to those who pay ad space.

So keep in mind that when Red Maryland says something, it’s coming from the Hogan campaign.

Also, Hogan is an “Echo, not a choice” candidate who spent the last five years campaigning on an “O’Malley sucks” platform with nothing positive.

People I talk to expect a 40-point knock-out, I expect to be helping clean up the mess caused by this campaign for years.

The bottom line is that “O’Malley sucks.”
It’s succinct, correct, and addresses directly the problem point.
He’s hostile to business and the working man. He sees every problem as a tax opportunity. He’s taxing the rain that falls on our heads now, for Christ’s sake. All Brown offers is more of the same.

Businesses and people with an ‘entrepreneurial spirit’ are leaving Maryland BECAUSE of O’Malley and his ilk. Brown is O’Malley’s mini-me. Half the people polled in this state said that they’d leave if they could. Maryland will continue to hemorrhage until it’s Government becomes more friendly to business.

To say that Hogan has offered nothing positive is disingenuous.

Hogan is demonstrably business friendly and this is a primary point of his platform. At this point, it’s all that really matters. Until productivity of this state is turned around we’ll see nothing but continued creative taxation and further flight of business from the state… a downward spiral.