Mr. Rutherford's criticism of the O'Malley/Brown administration's handling of the exchange was, likewise, more sophisticated. Rather than repeating words like "failure" and "incompetent," as Mr. Hogan is wont to do, he noted that the General Assembly, at the administration's behest, exempted the exchange from normal procurement rules, so there was no bidding either for the company that was initially supposed to build the exchange and for the one that was hired to fix it. The latter, he said, was owned by a company that had donated heavily to the Democratic Governors Association, which is now spending hundreds of thousands of dollars on attack ads on Mr. Brown's behalf. "I was involved in procurement on both the federal level and [at the Maryland Department of General Services]," Mr. Rutherford said. "There's something fishy there."