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Maryland Governor Blasts Attorney General Powers Expansion

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Maryland Gov. Larry Hogan (Photo: AP) Maryland Gov. Larry Hogan (Photo: AP)

ANNAPOLIS, Md. (AP) - Republican Gov. Larry Hogan on Friday blasted a resolution empowering the attorney general to sue the federal government without his permission, a measure passed by a Democrat-led legislature concerned that Trump administration policies could hurt Maryland.
    
Speaking on "The C4 Show," Hogan described the resolution swiftly passed by the General Assembly as "horrible" and "crazy." He also took issue with the Maryland Democratic Party's recent announcement that it had hired someone to "manage the party's communications and messaging strategy focused on holding Governor Larry Hogan accountable."
    
Hogan, a popular Republican in a heavily Democratic state, said Democrats have focused for more than a month of the state's 90-day legislative session on meddling in Washington politics and undermining him.
    
"We have 31 different major policy proposals to try to change Maryland for the better, and they've done nothing with any of them and the only two things they've accomplished ... was this crazy changing the rules for the first time since 1864 so they can play politics in Washington, and they've hired somebody full time at the Maryland Democratic Party to attack me," Hogan said.
    
Democrats have expressed concerns that President Donald Trump could hurt Maryland, if the Affordable Care Act is repealed and the federal workforce is reduced. Maryland is home to a large number of federal workers due to its proximity to the nation's capital. Democrats also have voiced worries that Scott Pruitt, Trump's choice to head the Environmental Protection Agency, who was confirmed Friday, could be a threat to cleaning up the Chesapeake Bay.
    
"Maybe Governor Hogan should spend more time working with Democrats in the General Assembly to defend Maryland from Donald Trump's harmful agenda instead of making excuses and playing partisan politics," said Bryan Lesswing, a spokesman for the Maryland Democratic Party who is the recent hire mentioned by the governor.
    
Democrats also have pointed out that attorneys general in more than 40 other states already have the authority to sue the federal government on their own. The resolution does not require Hogan's signature and has taken effect.
    
The governor took particular issue with a separate bill before lawmakers that would allocate $1 million in future budgets to pay for added expenses of lawsuits. He questioned how much money would be "wasted chasing windmills and trying to insert themselves into issues that are not really, should not be in the purview of our state attorney general."
    
Hogan said Democrats have been focused on trying to link him to Trump - even though Hogan opposed the Republican president's candidacy early on and said he did not vote for him.
    
"That's one promise they seem to be delivering on," Hogan said. "They are focused on nothing but politics."

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