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Senate President Thomas V. "Mike" Miller
Senate President Thomas V. Mike Miller Jr.

Hogan chastised for using social media to gin up angry voters

What started as a call to action by Gov. Larry Hogan following a vote to override a veto has resulted in legislators receiving a slew of angry calls and emails including a message to one senator that finished with a wish for his daughter and wife to be raped.

Senate President Thomas V. Mike Miller Jr. called on Hogan to end the practice in a more than 10-minute commentary from the rostrum during a meeting of the Senate Friday morning.

“We’ve been subjected to some of the most vicious hate mail you can possibly imagine,” Miller said. “One senator out there got a message saying they hope his wife gets raped. That kind of stuff, that kind of nonsense.”

Staffers said the call, made by an unidentified man, was made to Sen. John Astle, D-Anne Arundel County. In that call, the unidentified man said he hoped Astle’s wife and daughter were raped and murdered. Astle does not have a daughter.

Miller went on to read some of the other emails including one that began “Dear sir, you’re an idiot.”

“We have a very perceptive individual,” Miller said commenting on the opening line.

“What kind of an idiot are you? If you want to give the right to vote to the person who raped your neighbor just so you can remain in office, you do not deserve to represent the people of Charles, Calvert or Prince George’s Counties. You should resign in disgrace and leave the state for parts unknown,” Miller said quoting from the email to his office.

“I have to wonder where the heck your head is but I think I know,” Miller quoted from another email. “You liberal Democrats are the scourge of a functioning society.”

Another read “you must need the votes of murderers, rapists and pedophiles to stay in office.”

Many of the emails Miller read, while angry, stuck to typical disgruntled voter messages criticizing the votes taken and lawmakers for being out of step with the electorate or for making the state less desirable to live in. Miller on two occasions stopped to point out spelling or grammatical errors in the electronic missives.

Miller called on Hogan to dial down the rhetoric following votes saying “ten pieces of hate mail before the vote” wasn’t out of bounds.

“We need to continue to avoid the pin pricks that precede the cannon shots,” Miller said. “This is a pin prick. If you want a cannon shot, it’s going to come later on in the session and we don’t need that.”

Hogan Wednesday reposted an image from the Change Maryland Facebook page that listed the names of 29 senators, all Democrats, who voted to override the governor’s veto of a bill that would make felons still on parole and probation eligible to vote.

The post reads: “These are the partisan senators who voted to ignore a majority of Marylanders and allow current felons to vote. Contact them here.”

Change Maryland is the campaign arm of the governor.

Douglass Mayer, a spokesman for Hogan, said he would not comment on the actions of the campaign but acknowledged that the governor had also shared the post on his official account.

“After listening to the talk on the Senate floor this morning, it sounds like a number of senators are very mad that people outside of Annapolis now know what’s happening inside of Annapolis,” Mayer said. “If these good senators don’t want their constituents to be upset with them, they should stop voting in favor of bills that they (voters) absolutely despise.”

“If the argument they’re making is that we need less transparency and less accountability in governing and legislating, then they need to take a good, hard  look in the mirror and decision about who are they really serving here in Annapolis,” Mayer said.

Mayer said Hogan does not approve of threatening messages.

“Of course the governor condemns words of violence,” Mayer said. “But this isn’t a conversation about that. It’s a conversation about accountability and transparency.”

Mayer said Miller wants to play by rules in which nothing is ever discussed once a vote or decision is made, while Miller himself is frequently critical of Hogan.

“If those are the rules, why does everyone keep talking about the Red Line? Why is (Miller) talking about GCEI? Why did he have a press conference with (House Speaker) Busch this summer about GCEI? Under those rules, we’re not going to talk about anything the governor does. The governor believes in transparency and accountability and that’s never going to change.”

A number of Republican senators Friday were quick to rebuke the messages.

“Even our side gets the hate mail from groups when they think we vote the wrong way on an issue and they call us idiots,” said Sen. J.B. Jennings, R-Baltimore and Harford Counties and Senate Minority Leader. “It’s the individuals that sent the email that aren’t being an adult. I don’t blame the governor for that hate mail coming in, it’s just, he spoke, he said what he felt. It’s the individuals that are the ones who are wrong in their tone and how they conducted themselves.”

Sen. Andrew Serafini, R-Western Maryland, said the messages “disgusted” him and called on Maryland residents to temper their comments.

“I’m going to challenge the people in my constituency because I’ve gotten some of these same things,” Serafini said. “I’m very sorry that you got these and I’m really disgusted that that’s happening to your family. We have to call our people in our state and our communities. We must be better. We must hear all people’s points. It’s ok to disagree but it’s not ok to be disagreeable. I’m going to say as a person of faith we need to look at the heart of the people and we have to challenge them to think of others first. Think of how you would like to have that and hopefully we can turn that conversation around.”

Miller, during his comments, said Hogan’s social media messages drive the emails.

“It’s the angry tone that spurs them up. Both sides have segments that are off far to the left and far to the right.”

Miller compared it to ranchers in Oregon who were part of a 41-day standoff with the federal government.

“It’s just mean-spirited vicious people,” Miller said, adding that he has had to have his personal mail monitored in the last year.

“My wife gets Christmas cards, she thinks they’re Christmas cards but it’s pornography — hate pornography,” Miller said. “It’s directed to your house. It’s never happened before and it comes from hate social media. You get people angry and you anger them and anger them and you keep ginning it up.”

28 comments

  1. although i do not agree with the nasty e-mails ,i can,t help but think it came from somebody whos mother,wife,and or daughter was raped,robed,and or murdered, u are here to represent the will of we the people and the majority of Marylanders were for governor Hogans veto, and u played partisan politics and pissed on us, like the sign in the china shop says u broke u bought it !!!! and if u think your feelings are hurt now wait till election time

  2. I use this word loosely, Mr. Miller, Mr. Busch the wrath that you in the Democratic party are receiving was brought on by you. You and your fellow democrats continue to ignore the people you represent on a continuous bases. You Mr. Miller and Mr Busch are career politicians getting rich of of the working class. I despise you both and have not one ounce of respect for either of you. If this was the wild west the people would hang you both. You both are low life scum and lower then whale dung. The best thing you both could do for this state is resign and leave. I’m a good hard working person like most and you and you party are doing everything you can to kick me down. Well, I’ve had it with the MD. politics and will be moving out of this TAX TAX heavy state this year. I love this state and have lived here all my life but can not live here any longer do to the policies that the Democratic party inflicts on Marylanders. I wish nothing but bad things to both of you. When you die may you both burn in hell.

  3. Maryland politicians need to remember they work for the people. It’s something they haven’t done in a very long time.

  4. Esteemed Senator, while I too am not one to go in for threats and nasty emails, what you are seeing is the anger of your constituency. Blame social media for an informed public who now has more visibility into your actions. Maybe you should listen.

  5. No excuse for this type of despicable behavior, that being said it is no reflection on the governor who is just trying to be transparent. If you are a criminal tried aND found guilty you lose rights and should not be eligible to vote…EVER

  6. You are going to get a few wingnuts in any email deluge. A thousand rational and angry or disagreeing citizens write and phone for every wingnut who does. Hogan is NOT “ginning up angry voters” he is keeping citizens aware of state business, laying out what he’s attempting to do in detail, inviting our input to what he’s attempting, and letting citizens know what kinds of obstacles he is encountering that may prevent his success. The Senate President is only speaking for those who don’t like that citizens are being informed and that they are objecting to, or agreeing with, the actions of these legislators, contacting them directly about it, and indicating that they will vote on election day based on what these legislators do or do not do. I know State Senator Pinsky was not amused when I contacted him to let him know that felons on probation should complete probation, as was the law, before their voting rights are restored. He evidently feels he knows better than all of us who wrote to him (was there a large pool of felons begging to vote?) and so he voted to over ride Hogan’s veto. And so, when he comes up for re-election I will consider his vote and cast my vote accordingly. I will also let everyone I know read the email exchange I had with him. He seems to believe that because these people “work and pay taxes” that they have the right to vote. Of course, paying taxes has nothing to do with having the right to vote but try to tell HIM that if you want to hear crickets. So. My message to the Maryland legislators is to stop whining and painting yourselves as victims and get busy doing the work you were elected to do.

  7. Miller finally says something that I agree with-

    Miller went on to read some of the other emails including one that began “Dear sir, you’re an idiot.”
    “We have a very perceptive individual,” Miller said commenting on the opening line.

    -the person that wrote the letter is perceptive about Miller being an idiot, and Miller being the idiot that he is, agree with the writer.

  8. I was a lifelong resident of Md. & a retired. BaCoPoluce Officer. I am now a resident of the Myrtle Beach area. What lead me to move was the actions of O’Malley & the sickening partisanship of Md. Legislators. I thought maybe it might ease with the election of Gov. Hogan. But I see the old adage is still very true, “You Can’t Fix Stupid”. Allowing incarcerated criminals to vote is the most ridiculous thing any right minded Law Maker could ever do. My heart goes out to all law abiding citizens of Md. Your Law Makers are foolish ASSHOLES!!

  9. I am sorry you are getting hateful emails but I would like to welcome you to the 21st century where political discussions happen online and people see it everyday. These people voted for you for years because what the decisions you made did not greatly impact their lives, but now we are starting to feel the pain and social media allows us to be informed on our cell phones. I was upset about that vote but I am more upset about increasing a budget for an Art Centre by 1.5 million, 3 times more than originally requested. If your constintuents can’t spell look in the mirror, many went to school while you were in office. It is only going to get worse if you don’t decide to work with the govenor to make Maryland great. Govenor Hogan has proved he is out to help ALL of Maryland, please tell us your goals.

  10. Gee Mike if you think he taped into angry voices on this one issue just what is it going to take to wake you up. You just don’t get it you can no longer inflict your will on the rest of the state. Governor Hogan is NOT to blame for those angry voices, you are! It is you and the others who have made them angry. I hope you really intend to do good by your service, but you have lost all assemblence of common sense.

  11. Richard MacWilliams

    I agree with Mr. Devoe. The Democrats have run this state and had their way for years with partisan politics. Now with Hogan in office you are angry that the citizens are speaking up. You went against the will of the majority of our citizens and now do not seem to understand why we are upset. Social media is full of politics good and bad, get used to it. No the bad is not acceptable but social media gives transparency to many citizens that did not have that before.

  12. No Mr. Miller. You and your cronies get people angry. I’m glad Change Maryland is posting issues and voting records. The fact that your votes don’t reflect the majority of Marylanders gets people angry. There’s nothing hateful in their messages. You should read the comments on Change Maryland.

  13. Did it ever occur to Mike Miller that learning the news of how one’s elected officials are voting (against their constituents) has made them angry. Information is power and now just maybe, and finally, some of the career politicians will be voted out of office if their votes are not reflective of their citizens wishes as opposed to along party lines. I say keep the information coming Mr. Hogan and let the citizens decide who is doing a good job and who needs to go.

  14. Talmadge Shifflett

    The Previous administration in Maryland was one reason I left Maryland after 62 years of living there. Maryland had been rolling down hill for a number of years. Some of the County governments are right behind them. They are following in Obama’s foot steps. I was thrilled to hear Maryland got rid of some of the problem. They just didn’t get rid of enough. I hope Marylanders are finally waking up to the failed Socialist experiment in Maryland. The lowering of morality didn’t help either. Good luck Maryland. A once great state can be great again if the people will only keep their heads out of the sand.

  15. If you cannot stand the heat—–we will vote you out of the kitchen. We are tired of you not respecting our wishes and we will make changes come election time!!!!

  16. The liberal Democrats in the Maryland House and Senate, many who wouldn’t necessarily be there but for the over-the-top, non-sensical gerrymandering of this state, aren’t used to anyone standing up to them and telling them to actually DO THEIR JOB which is to represent the citizens of Maryland, and not be mean, nasty, back-biting men and women who vote the party line regardless of what the citizens of Maryland – THEIR EMPLOYERS – want them to do!

  17. Sheila Nimmerrichter

    Is it really possible that those elected officials are so out of touch with their constituents that they are missing the ground swell of anger that swept Larry Hogan into office in the first place ? Really? We are totally teed off at the crap you have visited us with…Rain tax? None in Virginia or Delaware..$100 vehicle titles? $10 in Virginia and $35 in Delaware…not to mention tags at 2-3 times the cost. And the list goes on…dang right you have angry people here..enriching yourself and picking our pockets…Governor Hogan has simply helped to assemble “We the people”…watch out next election..NO seats are safe

  18. What a shame. All of these politicians have been operating under cover of their closed little Annapolis world and with full compliance of the main media outlets. So now we hear of all the ridiculous things they are voting for and we see through the fog for a Change. Boo Hoo, have you guys seen the vitriol from your side? The Left wing has more nuts and fruits than Trader Joes and they all think they are a crusader. The lucky thing for Mike and company is that most of the normal people work and have lives. But here’s something else, most of these guys did not win by that much in the last election, and the people have proven that a reasonable man can be elected even if the voter rolls say he is outnumbered. Imagine if this anger actually moved a few of these guys into retirement! Hmmmm, that might be just the Change we need.

  19. I don’t agree with the nasty emails or phone calls, but it seems to me that adults should ignore these. Instead we have Miller trying to make out the opposition as “idiots” when he is the one who restricts our God given right to protect our wives and daughters.

  20. Ann-Marie Matthews

    The politicians are angry because we the people are being informed and we have had enough of promises that are beneficial not for Marylanders but for politicians who get into office and then give the people who put them in office the middle finger. So, hello, we live in an age with social media, thankfully, now we know what you guys are up to and will remember those of you that need to be replaced on the next election cycle. Very happy governor Larry Hogan is the governor of this great state and you guys are being exposed, this is a very good thing.

  21. It’s very refreshing to see the House and Senate being held accountable for their actions. I live in a state where the Governor is making up the rules as he goes. I think Maryland has got a fantastic leader now in Governor Hogan, and the transparency in government is great. I wish we had that here. Social media is at the forefront, gentlemen (and I use that term loosely). You did something against what your constituents wanted, and were called out on it. It’s going to continue to happen, so get used to it. While I don’t condone the violence in some of the emails, I think it’s time that you wake up and smell the coffee. Take the emails to heart. Your constituents are disappointed in you, and are letting you know. The Karma Bus is coming, so you need to get with the program or take the bus pass!

  22. Senator Mike Miller along with his outdated 80s Def Leppard hair-do is an angry, arrogant, anti-gun, power hungry, socialist, and a traitor to the citizens of Maryland. You aren’t as well liked in Maryland as you might think you are you clueless idiot. You would sell your own mother’s soul for a vote. Working middle class people of Maryland have way less money in their pockets thanks to you, so yeah we’re angry. Fix YOUR issues instead of crying about it. Remember, they still hang traitors in this country, so tread lightly. Also remember this traitor, you work for US, not the other way around.

  23. Of course things are now in an uproar. Hogan is doing exactly what the citizens of Md want and we stand with him. We voted to change the crap that was going on in Annapolis. Don’t like the heat get the hell out and let the Gov. Reclaim the state and what the people want, obviously what you want hasn’t worked for many years.

  24. I am impressed with the Work Gov Hogan has done
    Happy he has stayed true to his promises and like that he speaks about issues on social media I am a Democrat who voted for Gov Hogan He was the first Republican I ever voted for in my life I liked his character thought he was honest and trusted when he said he wanted to get Maryland back on trac ! I am close to being retired and had planned to leave this state of high taxes murders and drug crimes !
    Gov Hogan said wait if I get in office we will make Maryland better I’m giving him that chance. Me Miller I can tell you in all honesty if Maryland doesn’t return to less taxes less crime and a better Moral compass there will be a mass exit of Senior Citizens like myself , who leave Baltimore Md
    I believe that’s a pretty high percentage of tax paying dollars Maryland will no longer see
    The Democratic Party is loosing ground because they are not listening to what the citizens of Maryland want and don’t want
    Law abiding hard working people of Maryland are tired of being squashed into the dirt by the boots of politicians who aren’t listening to them on both sides of the democratic. Party and the Republican Party
    If you want a job in politics learn to listen to the citizens your representing!

  25. As a parolee, I am happy these Democrat senators voted to restore my right to vote. They will certainly get my vote for reelection as well as the votes of my friends and family.

  26. Marylander’s like millions across America are fed up places like Annapolis and Washington. Democrats and Republicans alike have thumbed their noses at the electorate. They get what they have coming. Busch and Miller along with the Democrats from Montgomery, Prince George’s and Baltimore City have ramrodded Marylander’s for years and I do not feel sorry for them in the least. Even the incivility ‘reportedly’ displayed in the e-mails is an example of the frustration if the citizenry. Annapolis ain’t gonna get it. They are going to bitch but they ain’t gonna get it.

    I stand with the Governor and his effort to rally Maryland.

  27. We are an affluent family that lived in md for 45 years. Kingsville to be exact.Loved the state hated O’Malley and the liberals. I suppose they win again. I admit they beat us to. We sold our beautiful home took every penny out of md banks as well as the countless dollars we joyfully invested in to the states economy every year and moved permanently to the myrtle beach south carolina. Can not believe we waited as long as we did.finally fiscal responsibility. We will NEVER RETURN. I have countless MD neighbors with the same story so its kind of like being home again without idiots like miller and busch. Oh yea here I am allowed to protect my family outaide the house. I legally carry a gun. So long suckers get out while you still have your shirts.i certainly did. Sorry you’re left with the mess Hogan. Good luck you’ll need it

  28. If these LIBERAL JACKWAGONS can’t stand the heat they need to get out of Maryland Politics!

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