Maryland Attorney General Douglas F. Gansler has moved to fine a GOP political consultant to former Gov. Robert L. Ehrlich Jr. (left) for thousands of false calls to suppress the vote in the recent governor’s race to help out Ehrlich. Republican political consultant Julius Henson and his company Universal Elections sent out thousands of calls to convince Democratic voters to stay at home by telling them that they had already won the election. Also named is employee, Rhonda Russell, who reportedly taped the message — which Gansler alleges violated the Telephone Consumer Protection Act by not identifying who was behind the messages.
The calls were made to benefit Ehrlich and are detailed in a civil action in federal court. The state is seeking $500 for each violation or $60 million for each of the defendants.
It was the Baltimore Sun who tracked the calls to the Pennsylvania-based company, which was paid by the Ehrlich campaign. The campaign denounced the tactic after it was disclosed in the Baltimore Sun.
In the Robo call, Russell allegedly stated “Governor O’Malley and President Obama have been successful. Our goals have been met. The polls were correct and we took it back. We’re OK. Relax. The only thing left is to watch it on TV tonight.”
Henson is quoted as saying (rather dubiously) that the calls were not designed to discourage Democratic voters but to trigger interest among Republican voters to go to the polls. Wouldn’t it have been better to say “Hey, Ehrlich is going to lose if you don’t vote”? The complaint notes that no Republicans were identified on the list of 112,000 used for the Robo calls.
It would be interesting to see who else hires Henson.
Source: Baltimore Sun