A Maryland political operative behind misleading election day robocalls has a long and colorful history of political tricks so dirty that even in Baltimore political consultants “don’t want to even breathe the same air as him.” But a lawyer representing Julius Henson (who has admitted he was responsible for robocalls telling mostly Democratic voters not to bother going to the polls on Election Day) is arguing that his client’s right to free speech protects such tactics.
Henson, a Democrat, was working for former Gov. Robert L. Ehrlich (R) in his campaign against Maryland Gov. Martin O’Malley (D). The political operative has a long history in election shenanigans, much of it in the underbelly of campaigns in Baltimore and Prince George’s County.
Here’s a bit about Henson from a Maryland Gazette story back in 2002:
For years, Henson has plied his unique brand of the craft in Baltimore city, his hometown. Now, however, he is expanding his portfolio like never before. The question is whether he will bring some of the hardball tactics — and baggage — with him.”Some people don’t want to even breathe the same air as him,” a rival political consultant says.
Here’s a great Henson quote, as recounted by a Baltimore Sun columnist: “I put a man in who’s dumb, who’s a liar and lazy. He should be going to prison instead of [political office]. The best people lost. They’re smart, and they worked hard, and they still lost to my guy. ‘Cause I know what I’m doing. And I’ve got 14 candidates this cycle, and I’m gonna go 14 and 0 with them.”
This isn’t the first time Henson has campaigned against O’Malley. The Baltimore Sun recounts how during the 2000 race for mayor of Baltimore, Henson rounded up a few dozen homeless people, gave them a few dollars and sent them on buses to the War Memorial Plaza, where O’Malley was getting an endorsement from Del. Pete Rawlings.