Today, as lobbyists and elected officials congregated at the State House for the State of the State, they were greeted by an unusual sight: a big chicken delivering a giant, false check to Governor Hogan. The joke check for “buckets of money” was made out to Larry Hogan from ‘Big Chicken’, with a memo to “Protect Industry Profits”. In Maryland, the poultry industry has been known to make huge campaign contributions to both candidates and parties. Hogan is no exception: in 2014, one of the nation’s largest poultry suppliers steered $250,000 to a group funding an ad campaign to support him.
Immediately upon taking office, Hogan delayed and weakened regulations on the poultry industry, including manure regulations set in motion by his predecessor, Governor Martin O’Malley.
This stunt at the State of the State called on Hogan to fulfill his campaign promise to work for Eastern Shore residents, who suffer from higher rates of asthma, lung disease, and certain types of cancer than the rest of the state.
Advocates and Eastern Shore community members urge the Governor to support the common sense piece of legislation, the Community Healthy Air Act, which would require Maryland Department of the Environment to monitor air emissions at poultry factory farms in order to determine if there are detrimental public health impacts for surrounding communities.
“Hogan made a promise to people on the Shore that they’d have a seat at the table in Annapolis, but it seems that what he really meant was that big poultry would have a seat,” said Meg Robbins, Maryland Organizer, Food & Water Watch. “Gov. Hogan finally has the chance to live up to his campaign promise to the Shore by supporting the Community Healthy Air Act. We urge him to do it.”
Local governments on the Eastern Shore have been unwilling to address community concerns, and therefore citizens are counting on the Maryland General Assembly and Governor Hogan to take action. The joint hearing in the Assembly (HB 26) is scheduled for Wednesday February 7th.
“Maryland chicken farmers were watching the 2014 governor’s race closely when one of the nation’s largest poultry suppliers steered $250,000 to a group funding an ad campaign to support Republican candidate Larry Hogan,” the Washington Post reported on January 2, 2018.
“When I was sworn in as Governor, I said that the Shore was no longer going to be forgotten or neglected in Annapolis, that you’re going to have a seat at the table and somebody down there that’s fighting on your behalf each and every day. That’s what our administration is trying to do,” Governor Hogan said at a Lower Shore Press Conference, Feb. 13 2017.
“The Modern Campaign-Finance Loophole: Governors Associations”, Susan Pulliam and Brody Mullins. The Wall Street Journal. 29 December 2017. https://www.wsj.com/articles/the-modern-campaign-finance-loophole-govern...
“Democrats slam Hogan over RGA donation from poultry company”, Fenit Nirappil. The Washington Post. 2 January 2018.
“Important Factory Farm Legislation Introduced in Maryland: Now Let’s Get to Work”, Food & Water Watch https://www.foodandwaterwatch.org/news/important-factory-farm-legislatio...