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Hogan accuses Brown of lying in campaign ads

ANNAPOLIS — Republican Larry Hogan said Thursday that ads by his Maryland gubernatorial opponent Lt. Gov. Anthony Brown are “filled with absolute lies” and called on the Democrat to pull them from the air.

Hogan said the ads misrepresent his views on abortion, background checks on guns, tuition increases, tax policy and pre-kindergarten.

Asked if he was flatly calling the lieutenant governor a liar, Hogan replied: “Yes. I am.”

“Each of Anthony Brown’s campaign ads are completely false, and they’re filled with absolute lies,” Hogan said at his campaign headquarters in Annapolis.

Brown’s campaign stood firm behind the television commercials.

“I understand why Hogan is afraid of Marylanders finding out the truth about his extreme conservative agenda, but we stand behind the ads 100 percent — Hogan can’t hide from his own words,” said Justin Schall, Brown’s campaign manager.

Hogan said an ad misrepresents his position on abortion by saying he wants to ban them even in cases of rape and incest. Hogan said while he personally opposes abortion, he has never opposed it in cases of rape and incest. He also said he would not attempt to repeal abortion rights if he is elected governor, because voters decided the issue in Maryland in 1992.

“For him to try to scare women by misrepresenting and blatantly lying about me and my position is disgraceful,” Hogan said.

Members of the Maryland Democratic Party distributed handouts in front of Hogan’s headquarters citing a newspaper article from 1980, when Hogan’s father — a former Prince George’s County executive — proposed an executive order banning abortions in county-owned hospitals, except to prevent the death of the mother. They also cite comments at the time from Hogan, who was an aide to his father, expressing support for the order.

But Hogan said Brown’s ad mischaracterizes him as opposing a woman’s right to choose even in the case of rape and incest.

“That’s an absolute lie,” Hogan said. “It’s not my position now. It’s never been my position in my entire life.”

Hogan also took issue with an ad that says he wants to give tax breaks to rich corporations at the expense of schoolchildren. Hogan, who has been focusing his campaign on financial issues, supports cutting the corporate income tax from 8.25 percent to 6 percent — a move state analysts say would add up to roughly $300 million in the first year. Brown is proposing to make pre-kindergarten universal in Maryland by the end of his first term. Hogan said while he supports pre-kindergarten, he doesn’t believe the state can afford it now.

Hogan also spoke out against an ad criticizing him for opposing background checks on gun purchasers.

“I’ve been pushing for instant point-of-sale background checks and us joining the federal instant background check system,” Hogan said.

Hogan also denounced an ad blaming him for college tuition increases during former Gov. Robert Ehrlich’s tenure. Hogan served as appointments secretary during Ehrlich’s administration from 2003 to 2007.

“It’s an absolute lie,” Hogan said.