The Maryland state Senate delivered a big victory on voting rights a few days ago when it overrode Governor Larry Hogan’s veto of a bill that restores the right to vote for felons who are currently out of prison on probation or parole. The governor’s reaction to that defeat has some members of the legislature very upset.
Maryland is one of those states with big contrasts in politics, from the staunchly conservative “Eastern Shore” and western Maryland, to the very liberal areas around Baltimore and Washington D.C. Democrats control the legislature, and the Republican Hogan is only the second GOP governor of the state since Spiro Agnew.
Following the veto override, Hogan took to Facebook via his page “Change Maryland” to complain about the senators who voted against him, with this post:
As a result of that post, some of the senators on the list received some over the top hate mail, according to state Senate President Mike Miller. Miller told the Baltimore Sun that within a short time after the post went on Facebook, one of the senators received a phone call in which the caller said he hoped the senator’s wife and daughter were raped.
Miller said that the senators of both parties generally get along well together. He said that after a vote, disagreement is put aside and they move on to the next issue. But Hogan decided to stir the pot, just a week after delivering a State of the State address where he called for a bipartisan approach to governing.
Hogan spokesman Doug Mayer offered a typical Republican comment in response to Miller. He said this about the senators’ concern over the messages they have been receiving:
If they’re upset, if they don’t like the fact that their constituents are upset with the votes they’ve taken, maybe they should vote a different way.
Of course, that’s incredibly disingenuous, as it is hard to say whether the people who are leaving the threatening comments for Democrats are actually their constituents. Given how the right wing operates, it is entirely possible that at least some, maybe even most, of the comments are coming from people who don’t even live in the state, let alone in a particular senator’s district.
Some senators bristled at Hogan’s suggestion that their vote was partisan and not in sync with the views of Marylanders. Baltimore Democrat Nathaniel McFadden said that in his case, his constituents overwhelmingly support his vote.
Hogan had better tread carefully because Maryland is an overwhelmingly blue state. If he ruffles enough of the wrong feathers, he may find that he suffers the same fate as Maryland’s last Republican governor, Robert Ehrlich, who was voted into office in 2002, and shown the door four years later.
Featured image via Facebook