Maryland Governor Plays Damage Control After Official Promises Amazon a 'Blank Check'
The office of Maryland Gov. Larry Hogan (R) on Wednesday backed away from comments made by his transportation chief that the state has promised Amazon.com a “blank check” for transportation improvements to lure the company’s second headquarters to Montgomery County.
“Obviously Secretary [Pete K.] Rahn misspoke,” said Doug Mayer, Hogan’s communications director. “The transportation portion of the Amazon incentive package will include targeted investments in both transit and roads that will be financed over at least 10 years. It will be funded fully and appropriately.”
Hogan, who is seeking reelection, took the unusual step of contradicting a member of his senior leadership team apparently out of concern that offering a “blank check” did not fit with his oft-stated positions favoring fiscal responsibility and opposing tax increases.
Rahn, who declined to discuss his comments further Wednesday, raised eyebrows Tuesday when he told state senators during his agency’s budget hearing that Maryland will “provide whatever is necessary to Amazon when they need it. . . . For all practical purposes, it’s a blank check.”