Posted by: Ann Corcoran | February 18, 2012

Bob Ehrlich’s former campaign manager gets off lightly for robocall disgrace

More than a disgrace—a crime, and one that will taint the Maryland GOP for years to come.

Before I give you all the news about Paul Schurick’s sentencing hearing this past week, please take a minute to look at this video clip of Julius Henson, the man Schurick apparently hired and paid to produce calls that were clearly meant to suppress black voter turnout on an election day that everyone knew was going to end with an Ehrlich loss before it even began.

Nothing Ehrlich’s team could do once the morning dawned was going to change the outcome that day!

Furthermore, anyone who would hire a Democrat political operative like Henson to have any role at all in a Republican campaign has no common sense and doesn’t deserve to win, or to even walk free.  And, if you are wondering why the MD GOP doesn’t ever make progress and attract new people, it’s because there are still party insiders who see nothing wrong with employing dirty campaign tactics.

One County Central Committeeman told me upon hearing the judge’s decision on former Democrat Shurick:

 I have never had much love for Ehrlich, but with the shenanigans his campaign pulled on election day, I have no more respect for the man, and as far as I’m concerned, I don’t know how he continues to show his face in political circles.  Whether he knew about the robo calls or not, either way, if he was willing to hire people like that to run his campaign, it shows a pretty severe lack of discernment (or concern) into the character of the people advising you.  I find it hard to believe that he didn’t know about the calls in the first place… a campaign manager doesn’t do much without the approval of the candidate.


If you are a new reader and don’t know the background, please visit a previous post when Schurick was found guilty and follow links to earlier posts, here.  And, learn about the “Schurick Doctrine,” a strategy to confuse African American voters, here.

I’m wondering did the MD GOP ever formally repudiate the Ehrlich team’s actions in all of this?  It is not too late if they haven’t.

And, I’ve gotta tell you, I have no idea why the US Justice Department vote section didn’t get involved in this vote suppression  robocall case.  One possible reason is that they don’t go after voter suppression if the one doing the suppressing (Henson) is black (we learned that from Christian Adams).  Or, because some big muckety-mucks like Thomas Perez (a friend of some in the Republican establishment in Maryland) is calling the shots in Justice now.

Here is the news from the Baltimore Sun on Shurick’s sentence.  LOL! I’m not sure what the judge means when he says the sentence, which is extremely light, needs to send a message—what message is this sending?

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.

The sentencing went forward even as Schurick’s attorneys sought a new trial, alleging that the credibility of a key prosecution witness has been undermined. Baltimore Circuit Judge Lawrence P. Fletcher-Hill spared Schurick prison time by suspending a one-year sentence and forgoing fines.

He sentenced Schurick to 30 days of home detention with electronic monitoring, four years of unsupervised probation and 500 hours of community service to be divided equally between areas targeted by the robocalls — Baltimore City and Prince George’s County.

Fletcher-Hill said the sentence needed “to send a message that influence and deceit in elections will not be tolerated. … Even in the most wide-open political campaigns, there are borders that cannot be crossed.”

For a more accurate perspective on what Schurick did, and what Bob Ehrlich didn’t have the guts to do, be sure to read Joe Steffen’s “Irrelevant to all worlds,” at Global Rhetoric where Steffen says of Ehrlich’s written plea to the judge for leniency:

To be blunt, Ehrlich should be ashamed of himself for hinting with a written nod and a wink that it was just a “mistake.” It was a bit more than a mistake…it was a crime, four of them actually, that Paul Schurick was first nailed and now sentenced, on.

Speaking of “being ashamed,” those who showed up in court today fervently supporting Paul Schurick, the Democrat who got nailed while working for a GOP Governor-One-Term-Wannabe-Again, should also feel at least a smidgen of shame. And, unlike Ehrlich, they don’t even have a legacy to be on the lookout for.

As for Ehrlich, his legacy is both intact and in place: A one term Governor cum struggling author and columnist with a Prince of Darkness in his past and a Convict in his present. It doesn’t get any better than that, does it?

And, in case you were wondering, despite his blathering to get everyone to show Paul Schurick some love, Bobby Ehrlich never even bothered to show up for his guy in court today.

He sent his MD GOP establishment lackeys instead.


  1. I don’t know how much Bob Erhlich knew about what his campaign manager’s unethical practices. However, I do know that Bob was pretty clueless as governor. He was like a “file clerk” — passing hard problems of freedom-related issues down to the people that were creating the problems, like the head of the State Department of Education. Former Gov. Shafer, by comparison, would at least give you a personal letter in return; and he seemed to have some sense of responsibility as a human being about the role of governor. I can’t say the same thing about Mr. Ehrlich.
    So, I must say when I hear that Bob is a big backer of Romney, immediate red flags go off in my brain. “Why” is that do you suppose. Then, I see the dirty campaign ads by Mit on Gingrich, for example, and I start to see the same pattern here. hummmm. Mitt looks like such an easy guy to like, he has an even voice tone, and a pleasant smile. Then, I think, doesn’t that remind you a little of another popular political figure of our time? could it be……Barack Hussein Obama? Well, what-d you know. Hello??

  2. Who/what is Prince of Darkness? Sounds ominous!

  3. So in our sanitized, pure-as-the-driven snow, political look at Bobby Haircut, we can believe in the fairy tale that he really had no idea of what was going on with the robo-calls and the election day shenanigans pulled by Schurick and Henson. Uh-huh! But in reality land, a many-time elected official like Ehrlich making this claim can lead to only two answers. One, he was involved and knew he was losing in the early turn-outs and decided to pull out all the stops to win. Which, according to his many claims to be such a ferocious competitor, could be true. Anyone want to believe he was detached enough from his advisors he didn’t know what was going on? Or two, that he never really wanted to run in the first place, being pushed into the race by family and GOP supporters. He was only being a figurehead for the MD GOP, letting his advisors get rich by the party faithfuls’ donations? That outside of the perfunctory GOP club visits and a few haphazard fundraisers, he was content enough being the chosen son of the myopic Maryland GOP, the one who was here to save us. And just by showing up at a GOP Sunday barbecue, telling a few stories about his son’s baseball game, all in Maryland would be OK once he was re-elected. Clap, clap, clap! Knowing Ehrlichs’ cozy relationship with the hierarchy in the paleolithic Md GOP establishent, and their reluctance to do anything other than what they did 30 years ago, this seems totally possible. As for Ehrlich and his legacy to the MD GOP, maybe it’s time for us to put him in the past and move on. Go sell your books and show up on Fox and give us your sage wisdom, Bob. You’ve wasted enough of the hardworking people in Marylands’ time. And I ain’t clapping anymore.

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