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| Guest Columnist | Harry M. Covert | Jason Miller | Ken Kellar | Patricia A. Kelly | Cindy A. Rose |


As Long as We Remember...

August 6, 2018

The Hogan Show

Richard B. Weldon Jr.

We're nearing the end of a four-year run of one of the most incredible performances by a state chief elected official in our state's history.


Beginning with a long-shot victory over an entrenched political dynasty, the Larry Hogan Show has captivated viewers and pundits for its feel-good underdog plot, it's impressive economic outcomes, and the image turnaround for an entire state, not just the same old jurisdictional biases from the past.


Maryland has always been the beneficiary of our proximity to the federal workforce in Washington, DC. The suburbs of Montgomery, Howard, Anne Arundel, Prince George’s counties, and even our own Frederick County, serve as the home for a higher-than-average percentage of government agency employees. That fact used to serve as an antidote to economic downturns.


It also helped build an almost insurmountable advantage for Maryland's Democrat Party, often referred to as a 2-1 margin. That might even be a conservative estimate. Couple that with urban populations that have traditionally supported Democrats for public office, and the bias was both strong and consistent.


Prolonged political dynasties often result in really bad political outcomes, and Maryland has been living proof. From the entrenched liberal politicians came a string of predictable (and predictably bad) policy positions.


 – Increased broad-based and targeted taxes 43 times


 – the loss of 8,000 companies due to corporate and personal

    relocations, driven by tax hikes, fee increases and

    burdensome regulations


 – the loss of 100,000 jobs, also attributable to the bad policy

    choices cited above


Despite these indicators of future economic failure, state executive and legislative leaders made a full court press in 2014 to elect Anthony Brown, the lieutenant governor under outgoing (and term-limited) Gov. Martin O'Malley. The O'Malley Administration had either created or encouraged the tax-and-spend, anti-business regulatory environment that brought Maryland's economy to the brink of collapse.


In comes real estate broker/developer Lawrence J. Hogan, Jr. Following in his beloved father's footsteps, Larry Hogan exuded confidence – and more importantly – accessibility. Suffice to say that Larry Hogan has never met an enemy. His warm handshake and pat on the shoulder converts strangers into friends, no matter where or why.


Candidate Hogan promised to "Change Maryland," and it was both a promise and a mission. He selected a bi-partisan cabinet, and he challenged all state workers to join him in transforming agencies into customer-focused, results-driven change machines.


Even a scary bout with non-Hodgkin’s lymphoma couldn't hold this happy warrior down. He fought through periods of intensive chemotherapy by holding meetings with senior staff in his hospital room, encouraging them to leave stacks of paperwork for him to get through on off hours. He also walked the halls of the pediatric cancer treatment wing, making friends with the children also going through long and painful treatment regimens.


He governs with a heretofore unseen integrity, He doesn't sacrifice personal ethics for party favor. When President Donald Trump does or says things that don't sit well with Governor Hogan, he expresses that thought. Otherwise, the two have worked together on issues of significance, including the devastating floods in Ellicott City and the mass casualty shooting at the Capital Gazette in Annapolis.


So, let's chat about results. Most politicians would prefer to avoid an analysis of their promises. Not so Larry Hogan.


1. He and his team have eliminated 850 state regulations that were found to hindering, or limiting, job creation, or economic expansion


2. He cut or reduced 250 fees, mostly fees that had grown out of legislative interference with the private sector


3. For the first time in history, he reduced highway, tunnel and bridge tolls by $316M. Yes, million! And if your next question is does that mean the state will do less to improve infrastructure? No, it doesn't. There is more road, highway and bridge work going on now than ever before.


4. How's he done on taxes? Glad you asked! The Hogan Administration has cut taxes four years in a row, to the tune of $1.2B. That's billion with a B! Money being returned to the pockets of Marylanders who then reinvest in their businesses and families


5. His policies have led to the creation of over 100,000 jobs, restoring employment levels statewide to record-setting percentages


Most recently, at a quarterly meeting of the National Governor's Association (NGA), all 50 governor's elected Larry Hogan as the Vice Chair of the NGA. If he is re-elected governor, Larry Hogan will become the chairman of the NGA during a presidential election year.


Maryland voters have a stark choice awaiting them in November of 2018. They can embrace the work ethic, integrity, determination and proven results of the Hogan Administration, or take a chance on the economic socialism and utopian vision without structure offered by Democrat candidate Benjamin Jealous.


By all accounts, it seems as though Maryland voters really love The Hogan Show, and will likely opt for a four-year renewal come this November.


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