Julius Henson: Forget The Sun, I want the people's endorsement [Letter]

June 18, 2014

The role and responsibility of the news media is to accurately inform the public without bias. Unfortunately, these are not the characteristics The Baltimore Sun has exhibited toward me before or during my run for office. Repeatedly the news source has misinformed and misguided its readers about the charges and more importantly the ruling in the case against me in the 2010 Ehrlich robocall case. Despite the prosecutor's best attempts, a jury simply convicted me of the misdemeanor of failing to include an authority line on an automated telephone call.

It was Paul Schurick, former Gov. Robert L. Ehrlich Jr.'s campaign manager who was convicted of felonies of trying to influence votes through fraud, failing to identify the source of the call as required by law and two counts of conspiracy to commit those crimes, yet he received no jail time or even ridicule by the media.

The Sun also continues its false allegation that I suppressed the black vote, which was a prosecution theory dismissed by the jury.

Each election year, The Sun's editorial board endorses candidates it believes are best to represent the state and its districts. But what qualifies this board to tell constituents who is better suited and committed to fight for their interests in Annapolis? Do any of the members of this board live in the 45th district? The candidate the paper endorses, Sen. Nathaniel McFadden (who unlike me, did not complete the paper's candidate survey), is touted as the number two man in the Senate, but how have the 45th district and its residents benefited from his esteemed status in the General Assembly? Simply put, they has not. Where I lie my head down every night, neighborhoods are plagued with high unemployment, homicides, non-fatal shootings, infant mortality, health issues, trash, rats and failing schools that lag behind Baltimore City, which lags behind the state.

I have done more for my Berea-Eastside community in my two years as association president than Mr. McFadden has done in his 20 plus years in office. It was I and committed association members who brought a computer lab to the Fort Worthington Recreation Center to teach youth and seniors computer skills and give students Internet access to perform research for school work and job applications. I am the one in my truck driving around the district assisting his neighbors, especially senior homeowners, with trash removal and lawn maintenance. I also fought to close down liquor stores and reject applications for more liquor licenses in East Baltimore.

Will The Baltimore Sun ask 45th district residents the last time they saw Senator McFadden in their community outside of an election year? Will its writers research how the people who live in Lauraville, Madison-Eastend, Oliver, Belair-Edison, Hamilton and Arcadia feel about what their current senator has done to improve the safety, health, economics and education of their neighborhoods?

My campaign workers and I go door-to-door talking to the people in the 45th district hearing their concerns and assisting where possible. Senator McFadden can have the endorsement of The Baltimore Sun, I seek the endorsement of the people because that's the only one that counts.

Julius Henson, Baltimore

The writer is a Democratic candidate for state Senate in the 45th District.

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