Two longtime assistants who worked last year for former Maryland Gov. Robert Ehrlich on his 2010 bid for re-election, have been accused of trying to suppress the vote among black Democrats during the campaign.
Paul E. Schurick, 54, one of Ehrlich’s most trusted aides, and Julius Henson, 62, a paid consultant, have been charged with a string election law violations stemming from an automated call that was placed to more than 110,000 Democrats in Baltimore and Prince George’s County, according to a Washington Post report.
The 33-page indictment – obtained online by Washington Informer – states that "the plan centered on what was termed the "Schurick Doctrine," which was designed to promote confusion, emotionalism and frustration among African Americans focused in precincts where there were high concentrations of [the black] vote."
In the automated message which was recorded in a woman’s voice, callers were reportedly told that: "Hello. I’m calling to let everyone know that Gov. 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."
In addition, Henson, who is African American, accepted $111,000 from the campaign for "community outreach services" to suppress the black vote, according to the online site, Daily Kos.
There has been no indication that Ehrlich was involved.
"I believe in the rule of law. I believe in my friend and colleague, Paul Schurick," Ehrlich said in a recently released statement. "I hope a fair resolution is reached as quickly as possible for both Paul and Mr. Henson."