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Robocall

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By David Zurawik, The Baltimore Sun | November 2, 2010
Old-fashioned reporting and the skilled use of new media helped WBAL-TV score an early and important scoop in election coverage Tuesday night, some 90 minutes before the polls that everyone else was waiting for even closed. WBAL broke the news that robocalls were being made in Maryland telling Democratic voters that Gov. Martin O'Malley, who was up for re-election, and President Barack Obama, who was not, had won. The calls went on to say that no further action was required by Democratic voters — and that anyone receiving the call didn't need to do anything further except stay home and watch the happy results on TV. WBAL first heard of the robocalls through viewer tips called into the newsroom and to reporter Jayne Miller sometime around 6 p.m., when Miller was on the air, according to Michelle Butt, the station's news director.
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NEWS
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.
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NEWS
July 13, 2012
In the weeks leading up to the Maryland gubernatorial election in 2006, the campaign of then-Gov. Robert L. Ehrlich Jr.commissioned and distributed "voter guides" which were, in fact, filled with misinformation. The leaflets falsely implied that Mr. Ehrlich and Republican Senate nominee Michael Steele were Democrats and that they were endorsed by popular Democratic leaders including Kweisi Mfume and Wayne Curry. Four years later, Mr. Ehrlich's campaign manager, Paul Schurick, commissioned robocalls on Election Day in 2010 in primarily African-American districts, informing voters that the Democrats had already won and that they should stay home.
NEWS
Dan Rodricks | February 25, 2014
Hyperchutzpahism is a condition in which an overactive chutzpah gland produces an excessive amount of chutzpah, causing people to be extremely audacious, if not obnoxious, and to cut in line at TCBY. The word, which I just made up, is taken from the Greek (hyper, for overly) and the Yiddish (chutzpah, for boldness or self-confidence.) I'm not a doctor, but I think this is what afflicts Julius Henson, the political operative - hyperchutzpahism. He can't help himself. He's chutzpadik, and not in a good way. Henson was convicted, jailed and fined for his role in the infamous "relax robocall" to suppress votes in the 2010 Maryland general election.
NEWS
December 21, 2011
Sen. Lisa Gladden and Del. Sandy Rosenberg, both Democrats, claim in a letter ("Free speech v. voter fraud," Dec. 18) responding to my op-ed ("Schurick's behavior wrong, but not criminal," Dec. 11) that the 2005 "Voter's Rights Protection Act" outlaws tactics intended to "influence a voter's decision whether to go to the polls to cast a vote. " Then they allow that under the law, political speech is "actionable only when it is false or made with reckless disregard for the truth.
NEWS
By Luke Broadwater, The Baltimore Sun | February 8, 2012
The election fraud trial of veteran political consultant Julius Henson was postponed Wednesday because of the illness of the state's primary investigator in the case. Baltimore Circuit Judge Emanuel Brown postponed the trial, which centers on an Election Day 2010 robocall, until Feb. 23, when jury selection is expected to begin. Prosecutors believe Special Agent John C. Poliks will have recovered enough by then to participate in the trial. Lawyers in the case finished a motions hearing on Tuesday, during which one of three conspiracy charges against Henson was dismissed because Brown deemed it repetitive.
NEWS
By Luke Broadwater, The Baltimore Sun | May 7, 2012
Political consultant Julius Henson returned to the witness stand Monday and placed blame for a controversial Election Day 2010 robocall on a top campaign aide to former Gov. Robert L. Ehrlich Jr. Henson told jurors in Baltimore Circuit Court that he was eating with his granddaughter at a Baltimore McDonald's at 4:42 p.m. Election Day when Ehrlich campaign manager Paul Schurick called him and authorized Henson to arrange the call — which prosecutors...
NEWS
By Luke Broadwater, The Baltimore Sun | February 23, 2012
The election fraud trial of veteran political consultant Julius Henson has been postponed again due to scheduling conflicts. A hearing on preliminary motions in the case, which centers on an Election Day 2010 robocall, is now scheduled for April 10 with the trial expected to start on April 30. The case was postponed earlier this month because of the illness of a state investigator. Henson, 62, faces two counts of conspiracy to violate election laws, one count of election fraud and one count of failing to include a campaign authority line on the call.
NEWS
June 18, 2011
The "robocall" incident tells me that we don't need to look far to find democracies under threat ("Former Ehrlich aides indicted," June 17). Julius Henson, who faces criminal charges for voter manipulation in Maryland's last election cycle, is an African-American man involved in urging African-Americans to stay home because Martin O'Malley had "already won. " Paul Schurick, the other man indicted in the case, is a long-standing political operative who...
NEWS
December 6, 2011
The editors of The Sun clearly would love nothing more than to see any Republican Party officeholder be cast in the light of disgrace, and to have Paul Schurick, longtime aide to former Gov. Robert L. Ehrlich Jr., convicted of criminal wrongdoing would surely suit you just fine. But as Mr. Schurick's trial neared its conclusion, you apparently felt uneasy about a conviction. With the case to go to the jury on Monday, you clearly attempted to improperly influence the jury and published an online editorial on Friday declaring him guilty of criminal conduct involving "political dirty tricks" ("Schurick trial: Mandel as a character witness?"
NEWS
December 31, 2013
     Red Maryland launches our partnership with The Sun .      Red Maryland broadcasts live from Frederick on the night of their municipal election.      Red Maryland had team coverage of the Phil Dacey robocall fiasco.      Lt. Governor Anthony Brown's answers on the state Obamacare exchanges weren't getting any better .      While some gubernatorial candidates skipped it , Red Maryland broadcast live from the Maryland Republican Party Convention and announced our 2013 Award Winners.
NEWS
By Yvonne Wenger, The Baltimore Sun | July 29, 2013
A federal court on Monday rejected political consultant Julius Henson's appeal of a $1 million civil judgment against him for an illegal Election Day robocall. The U.S. Fourth Circuit Court of Appeals upheld a decision that Henson, his company, Universal Elections Inc., and an employee violated the Telephone Consumer Protection Act with a November 2010 automated campaign message to more than 112,000 Democratic voters in Maryland. In the case brought by Maryland Attorney General Douglas Gansler, the state argued that the call was designed to suppress black votes.
NEWS
By Jessica Anderson, The Baltimore Sun | June 3, 2013
Maryland's second-highest court upheld on Monday political consultant Julius Henson's conspiracy conviction in a robocall scheme that prosecutors said was designed to suppress black votes. The Maryland Court of Special Appeals reaffirmed the conviction, writing that the case "presents us with a sad tale. " A judge wrote that Henson "and his collaborators callously attempted to manipulate members of the electorate. " Henson, 64, was found guilty in May 2012 of conspiracy to violate election law by not including an authority line from a robocall used as part of the campaign to elect Republican former Gov. Robert L. Ehrlich Jr. Erhlich lost the election to incumbent Gov. Martin O'Malley, a Democrat.
NEWS
By Michael Dresser, The Baltimore Sun | November 1, 2012
Voters in Maryland's 6th Congressional District have been hearing a familiar Arkansas drawl on the phone this week: It's Bill Clinton calling, letting them know he thinks the world of Democratic candidate John Delaney. All over the state, Marylanders have been receiving robocalls from celebrities and elected officials delivering messages for or against state ballot issues or political candidates. The voices of "Desperate Housewives" actress Eva Longoria and magician David Copperfield tout the advantages of expanded gambling.
NEWS
By John Fritze, The Baltimore Sun | August 27, 2012
The campaign arm of House Democrats began running a series of automated phone calls in Maryland's 6th Congressional District on Monday as part of the its latest effort to tie Rep. Roscoe G. Bartlett to controversial comments on rape made this month by fellow Republican Rep. Todd Akin. "By now, I'm sure you've heard Congressman Todd Akin's unbelievable comments about rape and his outrageous beliefs about women's rights," the call's narrator says, according to a script released by the Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee.
NEWS
July 13, 2012
In the weeks leading up to the Maryland gubernatorial election in 2006, the campaign of then-Gov. Robert L. Ehrlich Jr.commissioned and distributed "voter guides" which were, in fact, filled with misinformation. The leaflets falsely implied that Mr. Ehrlich and Republican Senate nominee Michael Steele were Democrats and that they were endorsed by popular Democratic leaders including Kweisi Mfume and Wayne Curry. Four years later, Mr. Ehrlich's campaign manager, Paul Schurick, commissioned robocalls on Election Day in 2010 in primarily African-American districts, informing voters that the Democrats had already won and that they should stay home.
NEWS
November 30, 2011
The state prosecutor has a long way to go in his effort to prove that former Ehrlich aide Paul Schurick broke the law in the case of the "relax" robocalls that went out to mainly African-American households on election night 2010 in an apparent effort to dissuade likely supporters of Gov. Martin O'Malley from going to the polls. But the evidence presented so far in Mr. Schurick's trial underscores just how stupid and pointless the exercise was. The call, in which a woman told would-be voters to "relax" and watch the returns on TV because Governor O'Malley and President Barack Obama (who was not on the ballot)
NEWS
By Richard J. Cross III | June 20, 2011
Regarding the recent indictment of senior Bob Ehrlich aide Paul Schurick and political hired gun Julius Henson over last year's political robocall scandal, some believe prosecutors should have dropped the matter. The campaign is over, they argue. Pursuing the operatives of a vanquished opponent smacks of sore winner syndrome. While I understand these frustrations, I believe that the robocall stunt warrants appropriate scrutiny, and consequences, for four reasons. •It was hypocritical.
NEWS
By Luke Broadwater and The Baltimore Sun | July 13, 2012
Political consultant Julius Henson on Friday was released a month early from the Baltimore City Detention Center, officials said. Henson was released early because he received jail credits, which inmates can earn for good behavior and for sharing a cell, said Melvin Easley, a jail spokesman. On Tuesday, Henson's attorney, Edward Smith Jr. filed a motion asking jail officials to allow him to visit his elderly mother before she dies. He was sentenced to 60 days in jail on June 13 for his role in a 2010 Election Day robocall that prosecutors said was designed to suppress black votes.
NEWS
By Kevin Rector, The Baltimore Sun | July 10, 2012
Julius Henson, the former political consultant sentenced to 60 days in jail last month for writing a 2010 Election Day robocall that prosecutors said was designed to suppress black votes, has requested his immediate release so that he can visit his elderly mother before she dies. Henson's attorney, Edward Smith Jr., was advised Monday night that Mary Henson had been admitted to the critical care unit of Good Samaritan Hospital in New York, where she was forced to move to live with her daughter after her son, whom she'd previously lived with, was incarcerated, according to court documents.
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