Two aides to Maryland’s former Republican Governor Robert L. Ehrlich Jr, were indicted on voter suppression charges last Friday. The two aides, Julius Henson and Paul Schurick conducted over 100,000 robo calls last mid-term elections, telling a predominantly black voting block in Maryland to stay home, because President Obama and the Democratic contender for governor Mr. O’Malley, had already won. The call stated;
“Hello. I’m calling to let everyone know that 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 okay. Relax. Everything’s fine. The only thing left is to watch it on TV tonight. Congratulations, and thank you.”
Well, the call was right about one thing, O’Malley eventually won the election, but the intent of the robocall was as obvious – voter suppression, and for Henson and Schurick’s role in the crime, the indictment awarded them the following;
Julius Henson and Paul Schurick each face three counts of conspiracy to violate Maryland election laws, one count of attempting to influence a voter’s decision and one count of failing to provide an authority line (on campaign material). Schurick also is charged with one count of obstruction of justice.
An arraignment in Baltimore Circuit Court is scheduled for July 18.
The indictment, handed up by a Baltimore City grand jury, came after an eight-month investigation by State Prosecutor Emmet Davitt into tens of thousands of robocalls that went out late on Election Day. A caller instructed voters in Democratic areas to stay home and “relax” because Democratic Gov. Martin O’Malley had already won. In fact, the polls were still open.
And even with this investigation and indictment, multiple Republican governors are trying the same stunt in their states for the 2012 elections. So far this year, six Republican controlled states are racing to carry out more restrictive laws ultimately geared towards voter suppression.
You would think its wise for one to learn from another’s mistakes, but these are Republicans. Their belief system is freedom – to make their own mistakes and decide if they should learn from or repeat their same mistakes again and again. One has to wonder at what point does that kind of freedom turn into just plain stupid?