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Robocall Trial: Political Consultant Blames Ehrlich Campaign For Legally Required Omissions

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Derek Valcourt 370x278 Derek Valcourt
Derek Valcourt began working at WJZ in September 2002. His first major...
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BALTIMORE (WJZ)—He was hired to help Bob Ehrlich win his campaign for governor. Now political consultant Julius Henson faces trial for his role in those controversial Election Night robocalls.

Derek Valcourt spoke with Henson about the case.

The blame game continues. In his trial, Ehrlich’s campaign manager Paul Schurick blamed Henson for the legal problems with the robocall.  Now Henson is blaming Ehrlich’s campaign for those same problems.

Henson admits he wrote the now infamous Election Night robocall that suggested to 112,000 registered Democrats that they need not vote because Governor Martin O’Malley had already won.

“The call did not say don’t vote.  The call did not say that the election was over,” Henson said.

The robocall also never contained the legally required tag line identifying that it was really from the Ehrlich campaign.

Henson told WJZ on Tuesday that he blames Ehrlich’s campaign for that omission.

“I told them to put a tag on it. They refused.  I sent the tag to someone else to get a second look.  They still refused.  So why am I responsible for a decision that was not mine to make?” Henson said.

In opening statements, his defense attorneys told the jury Henson had been thrown under the bus and was left holding the bag by the Ehrlich campaign for the robocall that he insists was not intended to suppress voter turnout.

“I said all along the purpose of the call was to motivate people to go vote, and the state put on a witness that said they did exactly that,” Henson said.

But prosecutors say suppressing votes was Henson’s idea and intention all along. They say Henson should be held accountable along with Ehrlich’s already convicted campaign manager Paul Schurick.

On Wednesday, the jury will hear from the woman whose voice can be heard in that robocall. Henson’s employee Rhonda Russell will take the stand.  She has been granted immunity in exchange for her testimony.

Henson faces two charges related to the lack of an authority line on the robocall and two charges related to voter fraud

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