The Washington Post is almost certain to endorse liberal Democrat Anthony Brown for Maryland governor. So it's really no surprise that the paper's news reporters and editors have taken an incredibly light touch when it comes to the lieutenant governor's political liabilities. Chief among them is the disastrous rollout of the state's ObamaCare exchange, which, as I've previously noted, the paper has been careful to report in such a way that downplays Brown's responsibility as outgoing Gov. Martin O'Malley's ObamaCare implementation point man.
The Post turned once again to that template today in Jenna Johnson and Mary Pat Flaherty's below-the-fold Metro front-pager, "Auditors seek data tied to Md. exchange launch." "GOP's Harris, who urged probe, says subpoenas were issued as result," added the subheader. Johnson and Flaherty waited until the 14th paragraph in their 17-paragraph story to note Republican criticism of Brown, and quickly followed that up with a boiler-plate response from a Brown flack:
Later in the day, Harris said the probe reflects poorly on Lt. Gov. Anthony G. Brown, who was tapped by Gov. Martin O’Malley to oversee the implementation of health-care reform in the state and is the Democratic nominee to succeed O’Malley.
“Lt. Gov. Brown was in charge of the exchange,” Harris said in the statement. “Those who wasted and abused taxpayer money, including politicians, must be held accountable.”
A senior aide to Brown said the lieutenant governor’s office was not subpoenaed. In the past, Brown has said that he was responsible for establishing a legislative framework for health-care reform but not for construction of the exchange Web site.
“It’s disappointing that Congressman Harris would mislead the people of Maryland and play political games with a federal investigation,” Brown campaign manager Justin Schall said in a statement. “Neither the Lt. Governor nor anyone in his office has received any communication or requests from the office of the Inspector General or any other federal agency.”