Opposition research against former candidate Larry Hogan?
Apparently someone was taking Larry Hogan seriously.
Hogan ended an exploratory bid for governor this month, saying he is convinced former governor Robert L. Ehrlich Jr. (R) will run again.
But before Hogan stood down, a sweeping Public Information Act request was filed with the office of Gov. Martin O'Malley (D), seeking numerous documents about Hogan's tenure as Ehrlich's secretary of appointments.
The request was filed in mid-December by an entity called Public Records Strategies, which lists a phone number and address in the District. The request lists "Taylor" as a contact.
Among the records requested: detailed copies of all expenditures for Hogan's office; copies of all travel expenses incurred by Hogan; all documents related to state-owned vehicles provided to Hogan and his staff; copies of all advances, vouchers and credit card receipts submitted for reimbursement by Hogan and his staff; and copies of available daily calendars or schedules for Hogan.
In sum, it looks like someone was doing campaign-style opposition research on Hogan. But it remains unclear who engaged Public Record Strategies to help them.
"That's not anybody who's working for the O'Malley campaign," said O'Malley campaign manager Tom Russell.
A lawyer for O'Malley's government office wrote back to "Taylor" on Feb. 2, directing him to other agencies for much of the information that was requested.
In an interview, Hogan said he had no idea who was seeking the information.
"They're certainly barking up the wrong tree," he said.
Hogan said he did not have a state vehicle and paid for thousands of dollars in expenses himself.
"I never even put in for a single lunch or dinner," he said. "I just paid for everything out of my pocket."
February 17, 2010; 2:21 PM ET
Categories: 2010 Elections , John Wagner
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