What Hogan Taketh Away, He Returneth

In today’s installment of our semi-regular series, “How are area politicians fucking up the D.C. Metro system this week?”, we find that Maryland’s Republican governor, Paul Hogan, after privately going so far as to argue that one line of the Metro system should be privatized (cuz conservatives gotta conservative. Or something), has now boomeranged back in the other direction (boldface mine):

Maryland Gov. Larry Hogan (R) upended the regional debate over Metro funding Monday by offering to give the transit system an extra $500 million over four years if Virginia, the District and the federal government all do the same.

Hogan’s proposal, made in a letter delivered Monday morning to Virginia Gov. Terry McAuliffe (D) and D.C. Mayor Muriel E. Bowser (D), narrowed their differences over funding and appeared to increase chances that the region could agree on a plan.

But it remains to be seen whether the other three parties — especially Virginia and the federal government — will go along.

Hogan’s action marks a dramatic reversal from his position in a contentious, closed-door, regional summit two weeks ago. There, Hogan shocked McAuliffe and Bowser by saying Maryland would not give Metro any additional funds beyond what it already contributes each year. He said the agency eats up an excessive portion of Maryland’s transportation spending and that he would not raise taxes to give it more…

Hogan’s about-face appears prompted partly by the intense criticism his earlier opposition drew, both from other regional actors and from a strongly worded editorial in The Washington Post headlined, “Larry Hogan to Metro: Drop Dead.” Hogan is expected to seek reelection next year, and an anti-Metro stance could hurt him in vote-rich Montgomery and Prince George’s counties.

It should still hurt Hogan. Don’t think for a moment he’ll help the more urban, Democratic counties. He won’t. Marylanders, don’t let him play you.

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