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Tuesday, April 28, 2015

Governor Larry Hogan hides in emergency shelter shows up in crises at 5 AM

Governor Larry Hogan says he'll moves his office into Baltimore after the city's April 2015, race riots. In this visible location, he'll have to answer a lot of questions about how his administration intends to build a better city.  

I grew up in Baltimore. It's a city with all the attributes of a world class community. Unfortunately, in my lifetime, I haven't seen Baltimore rise to its potential. Now, the citizens have a chance to create a new Baltimore.  They have the resources, but do they have the willpower to do so?

Maryland's Governor Larry Hogan has never held public office. Well he's up to his ears in challenges now that Maryland's largest city is on the brink of a second incendiary historic episode since 1968, this time under his Republican political leadership.

Governor Hogan waited until Baltimore's Mayor Stephanie Rawlings-Blake called him for help, before responding to the growing race riots after Freddie Grey's funeral. Protocol may require the mayor to call for the Governor to act. Nevertheless, the fact is, Hogan didn't demonstrate compassion when he played a "you call me before I call you" game, especially when such humanitarian need was waiting for his leadership.  Moreover, he issued his order while inside the security of an emergency shelter rather than standing alongside the Baltimore Mayor Stephanie Rawlings-Blake.

Now, Governor Hogan says he'll open an office in Baltimore.  

This is a very good idea. But the office move will be an empty gesture if Hogan's doesn't communicate with the Mayor, in City Hall.  

(I'm wondering if the political environment in the Annapolis State House is so toxic that Hogan prefers to work in the burned out streets of West Baltimore,  rather than stay in his office.)

What I know for sure is that Governor Hogan's lack of elected political experience is clearly not helping Baltimore. He's faced with a racial crises, after Freddie Grey's death, yet he's treating it like a high school principal issuing a school wide detention policy. He issued his emergency order for the National Guard intervention while speaking from an emergency shelter.  His visit to Baltimore, to view the race riot carnage, took place at 5 AM, when there was nobody around to speak to him about what he saw or what he intended to do about the destruction.

Fox News reports:  
Maryland governor promises to protect Baltimore as new looting is reported

(CNN) Maryland Gov. Larry Hogan -- an upstart politician who has never held public office -- is confronting one of the most serious challenges his state has endured in decades.

Just three months into the job (Julie's note - Governor Hogan made sure the public knew he'd only been in office for 90 days when he issued his emergency order....!), the Republican governor is playing a key role in regaining control of Baltimore, his state's largest city, which has been gripped by violence in the wake of the death of a 25-year-old black man in police custody earlier this month. 

Other governors, including Missouri Gov. Jay Nixon, have stumbled in responding to similar violence in their states. Hogan seems determined to avoid a similar fate but the riots exposed tension between the governor and Baltimore's Democratic mayor -- a relationship that will be crucial in the days ahead.

"This is not the Baltimore we know and love," Hogan said during a press conference Tuesday.

Hogan signed an executive order Monday declaring a state of emergency in Baltimore, deploying the National Guard and 5,000 state and local law enforcement officers to the city. The governor had the order ready as early as Saturday when the first signs of unrest began, Hogan's office told CNN.  (Julie's note- this report makes no sense to me. Where's the proof? The Governor can say anything he feels like, but if he really had an executive order ready to use, then he should've called the Baltimore Mayor with this information.)

In an interview with CNN late Monday night, Hogan said he was waiting for a request from Baltimore Mayor Stephanie Rawlings-Blake before declaring the state of emergency and activating the National Guard.

"We've been standing by in preparation just in case the violence escalated—which it did. When the mayor called, we activated," 

When pressed on why he waited to sign the order during an earlier press conference, Hogan suggested that Rawlings-Blake was initially unresponsive to his office's request for action.

"We were trying to get in touch with the mayor for some time," Hogan said. "We are glad she finally called us."

The governor said he had moved his top staff and cabinet from the state capital Annapolis to Baltimore Tuesday in order to direct operations from there.

Prior to the riots, Hogan worked with Rawlings-Blake and Baltimore officials on an economic revitalization program, but has proposed reducing the city's reliance on state aid.

Hogan, 58, vowed to make Baltimore a centerpiece of his economic agenda after his election, telling the Baltimore Sun that he wanted the city to become a "driver of the whole state."

"The city's declining rather than improving," Hogan told the Sun. "We're going to try to turn that around. ... We're basically going to have to find a way to incentivize people to move into Baltimore City."

One of just two Republican governors to be elected in the state since 1969, Hogan enjoyed a surprise electoral victory last November in the traditionally Democratic stronghold, besting Democrat Anthony Brown by 3.8 percentage points.

Hogan, a businessman who led a fiscal policy increase group called "Change Maryland," stunned political circles in deep blue Maryland with his success in last year's mid-term elections. His opponent outspent him four-fold, and Democrats enjoy a majority in both chambers of the state legislature.

While his campaign for the governor's post was Hogan's first foray into elected office, he grew up surrounded by politics. His father, Lawrence J. Hogan Sr., represented Maryland's fifth congressional district for three terms and was county executive of Prince George's County until 1982. The governor's younger brother, Patrick N. Hogan, is a member of the Maryland House of Delegates. (Julie's note - this Fox News article summary makes no sense. It's like saying 'I might not be a doctor but my father was one'.)



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