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Hogan the pro-pollution candidate for governor

Mayor Catherine Pugh and Gubernatorial candidate Ben Jealous walk around West Baltimore and talk to residents. (Luke Broadwater, Baltimore Sun video)

Many know the NAACP president version of Ben Jealous, but I’m glad the world is finally getting to see his true colors — as a venture capitalist (“Many know Ben Jealous, NAACP president. Meet Ben Jealous, venture capitalist,” Aug. 30). After drawing criticism from Gov. Larry Hogan’s camp for “lacking financial sense,” Ben Jealous has painted a picture of what Maryland could look like if we “put our money where our values are.”

From enhancing health care access to improving conditions for the incarcerated, if voters can expect to see the same innovation and values displayed in his policy making, we’d be in luck. By stark contrast, Marylanders have seen the role that Governor Hogan believes business should play in the moral fabric of our state. His “open for business” mantra seeks to maintain, if not worsen, the status quo through handouts for polluting, dangerous industries. Just after begrudgingly supporting the ban on fracking, he approved a fracked-gas pipeline being built under the Potomac River. He facilitated a $100 million deal with AltaGas to proliferate fracked-gas infrastructure across the state.

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While touting his commitment to “save the bay,” Mr. Hogan has taken hundreds of thousands of dollars in campaign contributions from factory farming companies destroying the Eastern Shore. These industrial poultry operations are the number one contributor to pollution in the Chesapeake Bay. Marylanders, this hypocritical policy making only spells bad news for our health and environment. It’s time for a governor who will seek to ensure that our state’s businesses contribute, not harm, our communities. Vote Ben Jealous.

T.J. Cook, Baltimore

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