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[UPDATE w/ video] Origin of Fake Election-Night Robo-Calls Confirmed

Published: Nov 5, 2010 by Will Urquhart Filed under: Elections Views: 1373 Tags: elections, 2010 elections, robo-calls, fake robo-calls
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Last Tuesday, election day, some voters in Maryland were listening to a robo-call telling them that "Governor O'Malley and President Obama have been successful. Our goals have been met." That evening, we received a recording of the call in question, which you can hear for yourself:



Julius Henson, a political operative who worked for former Maryland governor Robert L. Ehrlich Jr. (R), took responsibility Friday for an anonymous election-night robocall in the state that suggested Democratic voters "relax" and stay home even though polls still were open...

The involvement of Henson was first reported on the Web site of the Baltimore Sun. The Sun reported that the call was ordered by Rhonda Russell - an employee of Henson's political consulting firm, Universal Elections - and facilitated by the Pennsylvania-based company Robodial.org.

This is nothing new for Republican campaigning. Karl Rove is famous for having impersonated a volunteer in order to steal campaign stationary and spread fake invitations around promising "free beer, free food, girls and a good time for nothing."

Anti-choice activists create "crisis pregnancy centers" that masquerade as medical offices, when in actuality they are nothing more than activists organizations.

In Virginia this year, someone broke into a Periello campaign office on election day morning and stole walksheets and GOTV literature. According to Lowell Feld of Blue Virginia, "The thieves then intentionally distributed materials identifying polling locations to the wrong neighborhoods." 

Oh yeah, and then there's this from the Baltimore Sun:
[Susie] Turnbull noted that Ehrlich had been accused in 2002 of distributing brochures depicting him and notable black leaders that read, "Democrats for Ehrlich," when the leaders had not backed Ehrlich's candidacy. In 2006, he was accused of busing homeless people from Philadelphia to distribute fliers that again falsely suggested he was supported by black Democratic leaders.
But no one explains this better than Chris Hayes:

The state's Attorney General's office investigating the matter and says that in Maryland robo-calls are required by law to identify who they are from.



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