Julius Henson still knows no shame.
The Republican campaign consultant, who along with Paul Schurick masterminded the robocalls used in the 2010 gubernatorial race by then-Gov. Robert L. Ehrlich, Jr.'s campaign for reelection, was convicted back in May of conspiracy for failing to include the all-important authority line in writing the script for the calls that were sent out. The calls, which proudly said that "Governor [Martin] O'Malley and President Obama have been successful", and that voters should "...relax", encouraging them to watch the action "... on TV tonight", were one of the earliest and most glaring examples of smaller-market voter suppression in recent history.
Now, halfway into a 60-day jail sentence, which he probably could have avoided had he not decided to rail against the prosecution in court after his conviction, decrying their work as "patently unfair" and "... a witch hunt from the start", Henson's lawyer Edward Smith filed a motion yesterday for his immediate release from prison, so that he can see his dying mother, who reportedly was admitted to a New York hospital's critical care unit. When asked by the court to show medical records of Henson's mother's condition, his lawyer couldn't help himself, calling the request "high-handed and harsh."
That a Black man would become the face of voter suppression in the State of Maryland is one thing. That this same individual would use the alleged condition of his mother to avoid paying his debt to the voters he attempted to disenfranchise is a clear, unmistakable indicator of his very rotten character.
100,000 voters in both Baltimore City and the Washington, DC suburb of Prince George's County received that robocall. Both regions are historically strong Democratic AND African American voter groups, which means that Julius Henson committed the very heinous, unforgivable crime of attempting to take his own people out of the voting process. Given the current national political climate, in which Republican-led states are rolling out some of the foulest and most repressive forms of voter suppression aimed squarely at minorities and other groups with things at stake in November, Julius Henson represents just how low the GOP is willing to stoop in their attempt to win elections by any means necessary.
In committing these crimes, Julius Henson has revealed himself to be far more dangerous than the hardest of drug dealers. By threatening the institution of the ballot box, which was forbidden to us for centuries by slavery and institutional, law-sanctioned bigotry and only granted to us within the last 50 years, Henson's actions are crimes against the very principles and freedoms those before us fought, bled and died for young men like me to have.
As was shown when Michael Steele (Ehrlich's lieutenant governor during his term) was made chairman of the Republican National Committee right after the election of Barack Obama to the Presidency, and the bomb-throwing antics of monsters like Allen West, the Republican Party has absolutely no problem in using Blacks against their own people. For Julius Henson to neither see that nor take any responsibility for his wrongdoing is reprehensible on a level that no judge could prescribe sufficient sentence for. Julius Henson's name will forever be synonymous with other traitors who sought to subvert and prevent the will of the American people.
Henson should remain in prison. His sentence was not nearly long enough for what he truly deserves, and if he cannot handle 60 days for his crimes (which was a year, but the judge suspended all but 60 days), he should have never committed his crimes. Should he and his lawyer not think it beneath them to produce his mother's medical records, and he begins to show the remorse for his actions that would have saved him jail time (it worked for Paul Schurick!!), then some consideration should be given. However, if he continues to blame everyone but himself for what he did, as he has shown a considerable penchant for, then let him sit right where he is.