By: Matthew Pipkin, Columnist
The most recent Gonzales poll came out last Monday, and its results were quite compelling. Governor Larry Hogan stands with a commanding 18-point lead going into the final month of campaigning before the election on Nov. 6. In this age of hyper-polarization, it’s mind-boggling to see that 35 percent of registered democrats in Maryland say that they will be voting to re-elect a Republican governor. How could this have happened? Well, look no further than the snake oil salesman that strolled into town from California to be the democratic gubernatorial candidate, Mr. Ben Jealous. His extravagant ideas have real-life consequences to them, and so far, it seems like Marylanders just are not buying them.
And why should they? Maryland is doing very well right now, with nearly every economic indicator increasing from the “spend and tax” days of the O’Malley administration. Hogan has rejuvenated a poor Maryland economy, bringing it back from the cusp of despair to a more reliable place to start and operate a business. Working with Comptroller Peter Franchot, Hogan has used executive measures to cut the red tape, fees and regulation that constricted Maryland business growth for far too long. Jealous’ attacks on Hogan for Virginia’s job growth are unwarranted, as he has not able to reduce taxes with the stout democratic supermajorities in the State House. Even with this burden on his back, Hogan was able to help create 100,000 jobs in Maryland over the course of his four-year term.
With Maryland doing as well as it is, why make such a radical change in the direction for the state? According to Jealous, now would be the most opportune time to double the state budget. His ideas of Medicare-for-all at the state level and free college tuition for all public universities and colleges sound wonderful, or at least until you have to pay the bill. How are we supposed to pay it? Well, how about we simply release roughly 1/3 of the prison population in Maryland (including violent offenders) and pray that legalizing marijuana will hopefully cover everything. Even if either of these things happen, they will not come close to covering all the programs that Jealous has brought to the table. At the end of the day, it will be the taxpayers of Maryland who will be stuck with the bill.
These ideas presented by Jealous are not just over the top; they are downright dangerous. Even when I ignore to discuss his personal issues as a candidate, these risks alone that Jealous is willing to take should be enough to disqualify him as a viable candidate for the governorship. Hogan has done an excellent job serving as a counterweight to the state house, bringing balance and bipartisanship back into the limelight in Maryland. My plea to everyone reading this: if it has to be only one Republican you are voting for this midterm, make sure it’s for Hogan.