SILVER SPRING, Md. - Maryland Attorney General Doug Gansler is calling on Lt. Gov. Anthony Brown to explain in greater detail why the state's health exchange website has been so troubled.
Gansler, who is battling Brown for the Democratic nomination in the governor's race, went in the offensive Monday at his campaign headquarters in the latest foray in a vigorously contested primary race.
"The Affordable Care Act is an extraordinarily important piece of legislation for our state - and Maryland has completely botched it," said Gansler in a statement. "Lt. Governor Anthony Brown, the person put in charge of the exchange - according to his own website - has spent his time running for governor instead of running the exchange rollout, and now he's hiding behind executive privilege and won't release his emails.
"In order to fix this mess, the legislature must know how it was created, and the people of Maryland deserve to know; they deserve a full accounting and full transparency."
Brown is scheduled to testify before two legislative committees on Tuesday on emergency legislation to enroll people in health care plans who could not get through the website.
Brown has been a focus of criticism for the rollout because he played the role of point man on its implementation in Maryland and the website, in which $170 million was used to help develop the exchange.
"It is not enough to put on your campaign website that you are in charge, you have to get the job done," said Del. Jolene Ivey, who is Gansler's running mate. "I am hearing from constituents daily that they cannot get onto the website and they are afraid of not getting healthcare. They, we, need answers from the Lt. Governor so we can get this fixed," added Ivey.
Brown spokesman Justin Schall released the following statement in response to Gansler's comments.
"Once again, Doug Gansler sounds just like a Republican attacking health care reform," said Schall in a statement. "Instead of working with the legislature and the governor's office to offer practical solutions, he is simply trying to score cheap political points to further his own political ambition.
"Lieutenant Governor Brown is also concerned, but the difference is he remains focused on doing everything in his power to get as many Marylanders enrolled in a quality affordable healthcare plan as quickly as possible."
The Associated Press contributed to this story