Robocalls


Sun coverage: Election Day robocalls
On Election Day in November 2010, voters in Baltimore City and Prince George's County received automated "robocalls" telling them to stay home and "relax" because Gov. Martin O'Malley had already won re-election. In fact, the polls were still open. Two campaign operatives working on the campaign of former Gov. Robert L. Ehrlich Jr., top, were charged with ordering the calls. Political consultant Julius Henson, bottom left, and campaign manager Paul Schurick, bottom right, were charged with conspiracy to violate Maryland election laws, attempting to influence a voter's decision and failing to provide an authority line on campaign material. Schurick was convicted of four counts including election fraud on Dec. 6, 2011.

Julius Henson ordered to pay $1 million for 2010 election robocall

Julius Henson ordered to pay $1 million for 2010 election robocall

Political consultant Julius Henson must pay the state $1 million for putting out 112,000 robocalls intended to discourage black voters from going to the polls on Election Day 2010, a federal judge ruled Tuesday.  Read more ...

Henson election fraud trial over 'relax' robocall postponed

Henson election fraud trial over 'relax' robocall postponed again

The election fraud trial of veteran political consultant Julius Henson has been postponed again due to scheduling conflicts.  Read more ...

Schurick will not serve jail time in robocalls case

Schurick will not serve jail time in robocalls case

Saying the offenses strike at the "values of this nation," a judge sentenced Paul E. Schurick, the campaign manager of former Gov. Robert L. Ehrlich Jr., to home detention and community service Thursday for approving automated Election Day telephone calls to keep black voters from the polls.  Read more ...

Henson robocall trial postponed

Henson robocall trial postponed

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.  Read more ...

Henson trial to begin after judge declines to dismiss case

Henson trial to begin after judge declines to dismiss case

Jury selection is expected to begin Wednesday in the election fraud case against veteran political consultant Julius Henson after a Baltimore judge rejected a defense request to throw out the charges.  Read more ...

Citing 'free speech,' attorney seeks dismissal of charges against Henson

Citing 'free speech,' attorney seeks dismissal of charges against Henson

A defense lawyer asked a Baltimore judge Monday to throw out election fraud charges against veteran political consultant Julius Henson, arguing that Henson was exercising his right to free speech when he composed a misleading Election Day robo-call.  Read more ...

Ehrlich paid $168,000 for Schurick lawyers

Ehrlich paid $168,000 for Schurick lawyers

Former Gov. Robert L. Ehrlich Jr. used $168,000 of leftover campaign funds to pay for defense attorneys for Paul Schurick, his longtime aide who was convicted on charges of electoral fraud rising out of Ehrlich's failed run against Gov. Martin O'Malley in 2010.  Read more ...

Schurick guilty of election fraud in robocall case

Schurick guilty of election fraud in robocall case

A Baltimore jury Tuesday found Paul Schurick, former Gov. Robert L. Ehrlich Jr.'s campaign manager, guilty of fraud and related charges for his role in an Election Day 2010 robocall — a decision hailed by government watchdog groups who say that for too long dirty tricks have tainted Maryland politics.  Read more ...

Schurick trial: Robocall no mere 'faux-pas'

Editorial: Robocall no mere 'faux-pas'

The conviction of Paul Schurick, the aide to former Gov. Robert L. Ehrlich Jr., on charges of election fraud is a sad end to a long career in Maryland politics. Mr. Schurick served this city and state long and well (much of it under the auspices of the late William Donald Schaefer), and it is a shame that the good he has done is now overshadowed.  Read more ...

Pictures: Key figures in Election Day robocalls

Pictures: Key figures in Election Day robocalls

Former Gov. Robert L. Ehrlich Jr.'s top aide, Paul Schurick, is on trial in Baltimore Circuit Court, facing one count of conspiracy and one count each of election fraud and obstruction of justice related to robocalls that went out on Election Day. Prosecutors say they were an illegal attempt to suppress voter turnout in black communities.  Read more ...

PDF: Documents in Schurick robocalls case

PDF: Documents in Schurick robocalls case

Click here to download the file if you cannot see it below.  Read more ...

Schurick's attorney says robocall was a 'faux pas,' not a crime

Schurick's attorney says robocall was a 'faux pas,' not a crime

The attorney for former Gov. Robert L. Ehrlich Jr.'s campaign manager made his final pitch to a Baltimore jury Monday, arguing that his client, Paul Schurick, simply made a "mistake" when he authorized an Election Day 2010 robocall that prosecutors say was designed to suppress black votes.  Read more ...

Schurick takes witness stand, denies plan to suppress black vote

Schurick takes witness stand, denies plan to suppress black vote

The embattled former campaign manager for Robert L. Ehrlich Jr. took the witness stand in his own defense Friday, denying that he planned a last-minute Election Day effort last year to suppress the black vote in Baltimore and Prince George's County in a desperate push for Ehrlich to regain the governorship.  Read more ...

Ehrlich, Steele, Mandel vouch for Schurick's honesty

Ehrlich, Steele, Mandel vouch for Schurick's honesty

A bipartisan group of high-profile politicians took the witness stand Thursday to vouch for the honesty and integrity of Paul Schurick, a key Ehrlich campaign adviser, who faces charges of election fraud stemming from a 2010 Election Day "robocall" that prosecutors allege was designed to suppress black votes.  Read more ...

Schurick trial: Mandel as a character witness?

Editorial: Mandel as a character witness?

Former Ehrlich aide Paul Schurick's defense in the case of a campaign robocall telling voters to "relax" and not go to the polls appears to center on the idea that he is an honest man of integrity. So one of the marquee witnesses on his behalf is: former Gov. Marvin Mandel?  Read more ...

Documents show matter-of-fact approach to suppressing black votes

Documents show matter-of-fact approach to suppressing black votes

State prosecutors rested their election fraud case Wednesday against a top aide to former Gov. Robert L. Ehrlich Jr. after introducing matter-of-fact campaign documents addressing a plan to suppress African-American votes.  Read more ...

Prosecutors: GOP 'robocall' plan to suppress black votes hatched on hectic Election Day

Prosecutors: GOP 'robocall' plan to suppress black votes hatched on hectic Election Day

A plan by former Gov. Robert L. Ehrlich Jr.'s campaign manager to suppress black votes in Baltimore and Prince George's County was hatched shortly before 3 p.m. on a desperate, hectic Election Day last year, prosecutors alleged Tuesday in Baltimore Circuit Court.  Read more ...

Jury selected in robocall case

Jury selected in robocall case

A Baltimore jury will hear opening statements Tuesday in a criminal case filed against a former gubernatorial aide charged with violating election laws by allegedly orchestrating a campaign to suppress black votes.  Read more ...

Election robocalls trial postponed after judge recuses himself

Election robocalls trial postponed after judge recuses himself

The trial of a veteran political operative, charged with violating election laws by sending out robocalls on Election Day last year that suggested voting was over, was postponed Tuesday after the only judge available to hear the case recused himself.  Read more ...

Ehrlich aides plead not guilty in robocalls case

Ehrlich aides plead not guilty in robocalls case

Two campaign aides to Republican former Gov. Robert L. Ehrlich Jr. pleaded not guilty Monday to charges that they violated election laws last fall by ordering Election Day robocalls to Democratic homes in predominantly African-American areas that suggested the vote was over.  Read more ...

'Relax' robocalls civil and criminal cases to proceed

A federal judge ruled Thursday that a civil complaint about allegedly fraudulent robocalls made on behalf of gubernatorial candidate Robert L. Ehrlich Jr.'s campaign may proceed at the same time as state criminal cases.  Read more ...

Op-ed: Other states need a lesson from Md. on robocalls

Op-ed: Other states need a lesson from Md. on robocalls

On Election Day 2010, with the polls still open, computers placed calls to 112,000 voters in predominately African-American precincts in Baltimore City and Prince George's County with an unusual message: "Relax" and stay home. The recorded message did not identify the calls' sponsor; essentially, it told voters that Gov. Martin O'Malley had won and they did not need to vote.  Read more ...

Paul Schurick: Facing charges with buzz-cut, goateed style

Paul Schurick: Facing charges with buzz-cut, goateed style

Is it just me, or is Paul Schurick looking a lot cooler now that he's on the hot seat?  Read more ...

Ehrlich campaign robocalls could provide ammo for Democrats

Ehrlich campaign robocalls could provide ammo for Democrats

The Ehrlich campaign's alleged effort to keep blacks from voting last November could have the opposite effect for years to come, according to political observers who said indictments over the automated phone calls would become election-season fodder for Democrats.  Read more ...

Ehrlich aides indicted in robocalls case

Ehrlich aides indicted in robocalls case

Two longtime political operatives who worked last year on the gubernatorial campaign of Republican former Gov. Robert L. Ehrlich Jr. were indicted Thursday and charged with ordering deceptive automated phone calls intended to suppress votes on election night.  Read more ...

Editorial: Robocall indictments: The cost of dirty tricks

Editorial: Robocall indictments: The cost of dirty tricks

Last November on Election Day, thousands of Maryland residents received automated phone calls assuring them that Democratic Gov. Martin O'Malley had already won his race for reelection against former Republican Gov. Robert L. Ehrlich Jr. The calls urged listeners to "relax" and stay home to watch the outcome on TV rather than go out and vote — even though the polls were still open.  Read more ...

In the robocall grand jury's waiting room: Ehrlich campaign lawyer

In the robocall grand jury's waiting room: Ehrlich campaign lawyer

Someone called to testify Wednesday before the grand jury looking into the Ehrlich campaign's deceptive Election Day robocalls tells me Towson attorney Robert B. Green was in the waiting room, offering to consult with any witnesses connected to the campaign. I phoned Green, and his partner, David B. Irwin, took the call. “My firm represents the Bob Ehrlich for Maryland Committee, that’s what I can tell you,” said Irwin, a former federal prosecutor and white-collar criminal defense lawyer. “I have 4,000 ways to say, ‘No comment,’" he added. "I’ve been doing this for 30 years.”  Read more ...

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