Tag: julius henson

Robo-Call Convict Julius Henson Runs for Md. State Senate

Opening of the State of Maryland legislature Annapolis, Md
Maybe Henson could help these people relax.

For his connection with the infamous “relax” robo-call that apparently sought to discourage black voters from going to the polls in 2010, Julius Henson was fined $1 million, sent to jail for 60 days, and prohibited from political consulting. Henson found a workaround for that last bit; he’s running for office himself.

The aggressive and “indelicate” Henson hopes to represent Baltimore (specifically the 45th district) in the Maryland state Senate, and to do so he’ll have to unseat 20-year incumbent Nathaniel J. McFadden.

Julius Henson Found Guilty of Only One Charge in Robocall Trial


Julius Henson, a political consultant to former Gov. Robert L. Ehrlich’s 2010 campaign, was acquitted Friday on three of the four charges he faced for his part in the “counterintuitive” robocall that went out on Election Day ostensibly to keep likely Martin O’Malley supporters from going to the polls. He was found guilty only of failing to include an “authority line” that would have linked the call to the Ehrlich campaign. Two counts of conspiracy to violate Maryland’s election laws and one count of election fraud failed to stick.

Jury foreman Renee Johnson explained the split verdict: “We, as a people, because we live in a democratic society, we have the choice of believing or not to believe. You choose to believe it, it’s on you.” Granted, I wasn’t present at the trial, but “choosing to believe?!” Is that even a real thing? Does our membership in a democratic society really immunize us against liars? Someone gives you false information, you believe it, and “it’s on you?!” Doesn’t that claim reject the very possibility of fraud, like, at all?

Okay, maybe I should just “relax.”

Henson Relies on “Counterintuitive” Defense in Robocall Trial


I’m not present at the trial of Julius Henson, a political consultant with Republican Robert Ehrlich’s 2010 campaign for governor, over the infamous “Relax” Election Day robocalls he is alleged to have authorized. But from my comfortable, removed vantage point the defense he’s built seems a bit at odds with itself.

According to The Baltimore Sun, Henson testified that the blame lies with Paul Schurick, Ehrlich’s campaign manager who has already been convicted on four counts related to the robocall whose apparent function was to suppress the black Democrat vote. When asked about a plan he wrote to keep black voters from the polls, Henson claimed this was ultimately based on Schurick’s ideas. And that he “tried to send them in another direction, but this is what [the campaign] wanted.”

Okay, fair enough. But how does that square with other parts of his testimony in which he asserts the robocall (which falsely reported that the voting was over and O’Malley had won) was a “counterintuitive” effort to encourage Republicans to get out to the polls?

And how does that hold up with the fact that the robocall was sent out to homes in Baltimore and Prince George’s County, two locations with high percentages of black and Democratic voters?

I guess it’s all just too counterintuitive for me to grasp.

Judge to Allow Conspiracy Defense in Henson Robocall Trial


The election-fraud trial of political consultant Julius Henson — who is in trouble over a robocall that went out on Election Day in 2010 apparently designed to keep black voters from going to the polls — is underway. And his attorney is planning to argue that Henson would not have been indicted had he not begun working for a Republican, namely Robert L. Ehrlich Jr.

It’s kind of a difficult hypothetical, since it seems much more certain that he would not have authorized fraudulent robocalls intended to suppress the black vote had he not been working for a Republican.

Either way, the judge has decided to allow the it’s-a-conspiracy! defense to play out, so it ought to be a pretty interesting trial (I’m predicting a couple “No, you’re out of order!” moments).

Now, I have never been accused of possessing a prodigious legal mind, but it seems to me like a losing argument from the start. Will Henson’s attorney really be able to portray a vindictive Democratic conspiracy vast enough and insidious enough to overshadow — even nullify — what appears to be a clear-cut case of voter suppression?

Ehrlich Campaign Manager Convicted for Shouting "Relax" on Election Day


Paul Schurick, campaign manager to former Gov. Robert Ehrlich Jr., was found guilty on Tuesday of election fraud for his part in the “relax” robocall that went out to 112,000 homes on Election Day 2010.

As you may or may not recall, the robocall urged voters to “relax” because Governor Martin O’Malley and Barack Obama had already been “successful.” “The only thing left is to watch it on TV tonight,” the automated message said.

Schurick’s attorney called the robocall protected “political speech” and the charges “unconstitutional,” in that they violated Schurick’s First Amendment rights. But of course, the right to free speech is not absolute. You can’t shout “Fire!” in a crowded theater, and you certainly can’t lie to voters in an attempt to keep them from the polls.

Schurick could face up to twelve years in prison for these convictions. Julius Henson, political consultant to the Ehrlich campaign and partner in the robocall plan, also faces charges.