They say what happens in Vegas stays in Vegas, but Maryland Democrats are trying hard to ensure that the politics will be waiting for Gov. Larry Hogan when he returns from a meeting of Republican governors.
Hogan left Tuesday to attend the annual Republican Governors Association conference in Sin City. Back home, Patrick Murray, executive director of the Maryland Democratic Party, said the guy who ran as a reformer was just another politician.
“Larry Hogan skipped work today to pal around with Republican insiders, corporate lobbyists and wealthy donors in Las Vegas,” Murray said in a statement. “Most Marylanders can’t blow off work for a week in Sin City, and they deserve a Governor who is as committed to his job as they are to theirs.”
Murray said Hogan “chose a Republican Governors Association meeting in Las Vegas over chairing this morning’s Board of Public Works meeting.”
The email was sent moments before the start of the 10 a.m. Board of Public Works meeting that was chaired by Lt. Gov. Boyd Rutherford, who has sat in at a handful of similar meetings for Hogan while the governor was undergoing chemotherapy treatments for non-Hodgkins Lymphoma.
This isn’t the first criticism leveled at Hogan by the state Democratic Party, but, just two days after Hogan announced his cancer was in remission, the tone of the criticism is more direct.
Murray’s message seemed odd given that the previous governor was heavily involved in the Democratic Governors Association.
Former Gov. Martin O’Malley traveled to California for a similar convention in 2012 and left Lt. Gov. Anthony Brown to chair a Board of Public Works meeting.
So, isn’t this a contradiction?
Murray didn’t see it that way.
“He’s the one who ran as the government reformer,” Murray said. “He said he was going to change how the world worked and the culture of corruption and then he does the same things he was critical of. That’s on him, he set that bar.
“Now that he’s governor, he’s bellying up to the bar like every other politician,” Murray said. “We’re just here to hold him accountable.”