Larry Hogan to become next Md. governor

21 Jan 2015 | Author: | No comments yet »

Advocates want governor out of lifer parole decisions.

Republican Larry Hogan is poised Wednesday to become Maryland’s 62nd governor, ushering in a new stretch of divided government in which he promises to slow spending and cut taxes. Larry Hogan, an Anne Arundel County businessman who ran on a promise to “change Maryland,” will become Maryland’s 62nd governor Wednesday in a noontime ceremony at the State House in Annapolis.Advocates for the rehabilitation of prisoners are calling on state lawmakers to eliminate a requirement that Maryland’s governor sign off on any parole recommendation for an inmate serving a life sentence.Maryland Gov.-elect Larry Hogan will be introduced at Wednesday’s inauguration by another blue-state Republican governor — New Jersey’s Chris Christie, whose enthusiastic embrace of Hogan during the campaign helped propel his underdog victory. “They’re two peas in pod, and they hit it off,” Schriefer said. “They immediately agreed that there were some of the same dynamics at play in Maryland that Christie had dealt with when he ran in 2009.” Christie defeated Jon S. A coating of up to an inch of snow, perhaps mixed with some cold rain, is expected in Annapolis, starting sometime in the morning and continuing until after Hogan’s noon speech, according to The Washington Post’s Capital Weather Gang. “The biggest issue is going to be the weather tomorrow,” said Sam Cook, director of Annapolis facilities for the state Department of General Services, as he surveyed preparations for the outdoor ceremony that he said were otherwise proceeding swimmingly.

Every single day during the campaign—in every community, in every neighborhood, doesn’t matter if they were white or black or Democrat or Republican—people came up to me and said, `I’ve never voted for a Republican in my life but I’m voting for you because I desperately want to see Maryland go in a different direction.” Hogan: “Well, at least for a little more than a year, it was pretty much seven days a week, 18 hours a day. It’s a place where virtually no one — certainly not Brown, the state’s outgoing lieutenant governor — predicted he would be in June, when he trounced his opponents in a bitter Democratic primary. Martin O’Malley to free convicted killers even when Maryland Parole Commission has approved their release, the activists are also urging incoming Gov. Although he is the son of a former congressman who lives in a sprawling waterfront home, Hogan prefers to describe himself as a small-business owner who as a kid worked at Ocean City amusement parks for $1.35 an hour.

But Brown squandered a sizable party advantage and lost in November to Republican businessman Larry Hogan, halting a fast-rising and ambitious political career. Hogan, who made tax cuts a rallying cry of his upset win in November, has offered few specifics about his agenda, leaving Democrats eager to hear more about his plans. I’ve been a lifelong Marylander who was concerned about the direction we were heading and I thought the real people from the real world ought to get into politics and make a difference.” Hogan: “They’re excited. Among those speaking at an Annapolis news conference Tuesday organized by the American Civil Liberties Union of Maryland were former lifers who were freed by the courts after repeated parole applications had been denied. “Obviously it’s politics,” said Stanley Mitchell of Prince George’s County, who spent almost 35 years behind bars for murder before being released as a result of a Court of Appeals decision about improper jury instructions years ago. “Everybody hopes this new governor does something different.” Gov.

He has said almost nothing about what policies he will pursue, although he has raised questions about long-planned rail projects, farming regulations and the state’s response to the heroin epidemic. Then they will move outside, where both are scheduled to give remarks that should set the tone for a return to two-party rule in Maryland, where Democrats maintain a dominant hold on both legislative chambers.

He must close an inherited $750 million budget shortfall, and he has pledged to work with Democrats in the legislature to implement his pocketbook-minded agenda. Brown (D) — also flush with money, and also lackluster in the polls. “Nobody expected him to be elected in an overwhelmingly Democratic state,” Hogan said of Christie. “We sort of have that in common.” Christie campaigned with Hogan four times, signaling to GOP donors across the country that the state was in play.

The new governor is expected to speak in broad strokes Wednesday, but he has promised to outline his first budget proposal the following day, which should give a strong indication of his priorities. Glendening, like Schaefer a Democrat, adopted a “life means life” approach and granted no paroles in eight years in office except for medical reasons. Starting Thursday, Hogan will unveil a budget proposal that will aim to bridge a $750 million revenue shortfall and, advisers say, take the state in a more austere direction after eight years of Democratic rule. They’re really excited and looking forward to it and I can’t wait to get them over to the government house and have our first family dinner.” Hogan: “We’re not going to raise taxes.

He said he was proud of his efforts to expand health care in the state, which he called a success despite the botched rollout of the online insurance marketplace; initiatives that helped military veterans; and his oversight of state efforts to prepare for a round of base alignments early during his first term. Hogan has cautioned that some cuts will be painful — and lawmakers from the majority party are nervously watching to see who will feel that pain. “Everything is in the wait-and-see mode, but the waiting is almost over,” said Anne R. Jennifer Hafner, a researcher at the Maryland State Archives, said the last time there was significant snow during an inaugural address was in 1979, when former Gov.

That’s what my entire campaign was about and an overwhelming majority of Marylanders throughout the entire state—Republicans, Democrats and Independents—agree with that message. A former delegate from Prince George’s County, Brown has told several associates he might be interested in lobbying in Annapolis — a potential challenge, given his lack of close ties to the incoming Republican administration and a widespread feeling of disillusionment among Democratic lawmakers after his general-election defeat. He’s punctual, nearly always arriving to events early and then killing time by chatting about his yo-yo-ing weight, his 2-year-old granddaughter and the news of the day. They want dramatic changes.” Carter: “What is it about you—about Larry Hogan the individual—that made him get elected besides the things you’ve talked about? Many in his party say he ran a lackluster campaign, too focused on issues such as guns and abortion that he and his advisers thought could be damaging to Hogan.

Musical entertainment will be provided by the Bowie State Choir, the DeMatha High School Chorus and the Navy Glee Band, according to a Hogan spokeswoman. He granted clemency to three in 2012, but has approved no non-medical paroles While the activists who gathered Tuesday pinned some of their hopes on Hogan, their principal aim was to pass legislation that would take the governor out of the decision entirely.

Under legislation sponsored by four members of the Baltimore delegation — two in the Senate and two in the House — Maryland would join the majority of states that leave the decision to release lifers to parole authorities alone. “These individuals have paid their debt to society,” said Sen. Cathy Vitale (R-Anne Arundel), who said she was excited about the state’s return to a two-party government. “It won’t be the first day it snowed and it won’t be the last day it rains but it certainly will be the beginning of a bright day in Maryland.” He compared his plight with that of a farmer. “You can have the best farmer, with the best understanding of agriculture, and the best fertilizer, the best seed, the best equipment and the best farmhands,” Brown said. “But if the weather doesn’t cooperate, that farmer simply will not get the yield that they want.” Donald F.

Hogan says he tries to have “a little softer edge” than his friend from just up the interstate. “I’m not quite as mean — I haven’t told anybody to sit down and shut up.” But he and Christie share a respect for straight talk and a deep love of the boardwalk — be it in Ocean City or on the Jersey Shore. “He said every year he does a boardwalk tour . . . he gets to hug a lot of sweaty, sandy, oily people and take pictures,” Hogan said. “I told him that I’m going to do the boardwalk tour, too. I listened to the concerns of people from all across the state who felt disconnected from Annapolis and what I heard over and over again from them was, `Thanks for being here. McFadden. “And in many instances we said to them, ‘You have life with the possibility of parole if you do X, Y and Z. …’ Then politics comes along and says ‘I am not letting you out.’ That is not right.” The ACLU appeal came on the day O’Malley’s commutation of the sentences of the four remaining death row inmates became official. But not just the boardwalk, we’re going to try to go all over the state every year.” Christie, who last year led the Republican Governors Association, also attended the gubernatorial inaugurations this month of GOP primary power brokers Nikki Haley (S.C.) and Terry Branstad (Iowa). Attorneys for one of those convicted killers, Jody Lee Milles, promptly filed a motion in Queen Anne’s County Circuit Court challenging O’Malley’s action, saying the governor does not have the power to change a death sentence to life without parole.

Inaugural attendees who don’t land a spot of the weather-protected podium could be in for a cold experience sitting on one of the roughly 1,600 chairs set out on Lawyers Mall. Hogan has additional festivities planned into the weekend, including a low-dollar “people’s celebration” on the Eastern Shore on Saturday evening. Reflecting on his tenure, he said two broad initiatives meant the most to him: efforts to reduce domestic violence, a cause he took on after his cousin was killed by an estranged boyfriend; and a successful campaign to shrink the number of children living in foster care. “Those are the two things, in terms of touching my heart, really making me feel good about what we did,” said Brown, himself an adoptive parent. “In any down days that I may have felt during the last two months, I look in the mirror and I think about those two things in particular, and I start to smile.” Madaleno Jr. (D-Montgomery), vice chairman of the Senate Budget and Taxation Committee, said the budget will start to make real for citizens what Hogan has spoken about in general terms for months. “He said, ‘Yes, let’s cut spending.’ . . .

Hogan served as Ehrlich’s appointments secretary, a post that involved steering thousands of people into state jobs and slots on boards and commissions. When he turns around and it’s education funding and tuition starts going up and projects that have broad public support are getting axed, we’ll see how people feel. Because they will say, ‘Well, I was all for cutting spending — but not that spending.’ ” Hogan loves to be involved in the nitty-gritty — never more than when tending to the Facebook page for his cherished Change Maryland, a grass-roots organization he founded to “organize, inform and energize average Marylanders to fight back and to bring some much needed fiscal restraint and common sense to Annapolis.” In the early days, Hogan spent hours on Change Maryland’s Facebook page, studying which of his posts received the most comments and likes.

Through his campaign, he contended a dramatic shift was needed to improve Maryland’s business climate and to halt what he said was an exodus of companies and residents from the state. But he still occasionally monitors the page to get a sense of what people are saying. “It’s sort of like old-fashioned, grass-roots politics — but on steroids for the modern era,” he said. He has met a series of prominent Democrats for breakfast, lunch, dinner and coffee since the election — always careful to post a chummy photo afterward on Facebook. His ultimate loyalty, he said, is to the people who elected him. “Every bill or action that crosses my desk will be put to a very simple test,” Hogan said at an economic-development conference Thursday in Annapolis. “Will this action make it easier for families and businesses to stay and prosper in Maryland?

He has given lengthy interviews to conservative radio shows and small-town newspapers that endorsed him, often turning down requests from larger outlets or national news organizations that don’t regularly cover his state. After the Baltimore Sun’s editorial board named Hogan “Marylander of the Year,” he sat down with reporters from that paper for a lengthy session. When confronted by a Washington Post reporter who had also been seeking an interview, he laughed and said: “You didn’t name me ‘Marylander of the Year.’ ” As governor, Hogan will lead a bureaucracy of 50,000 employees and manage a budget of about $40 billion. Skeptics, and those frustrated by his refusal to articulate policy proposals before taking office, say they don’t know how he will do it. “He doesn’t have a voting record.

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