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Posted at 10:49 AM ET, 12/ 9/2010

Report: Ehrlich says robocalls not in his 'purview'

By John Wagner

Thumbnail image for Ehrlich hand.jpgFormer Maryland governor Robert L. Ehrlich Jr. (R) said an anonymous election-night robocall for which a campaign consultant of his has taken responsibility was "done outside of my purview," according to a report in the Capital of Annapolis.

Ehrlich's comments, which followed an appearance this week at a Republican Club meeting in Anne Arundel County, are the first time he has offered anything but a "no comment" on the controversy, which has generated a complaint in federal court and other investigations.

The calls, apparently concentrated in heavily Democratic jurisdictions, told voters that Gov. Martin O'Malley (D) had won and suggested they could "relax" and stay home, even though the polls were still open.

Julius Henson, a political consultant whom Ehrlich's campaign paid more than $111,000 this year, later took responsibility for the calls. Henson said the calls were "counterintuitive" and designed to motivate Ehrlich supporters to go to the polls.

According to the Capital, Ehrlich -- who lost Nov. 2 to O'Malley by more than 14 percentage points -- also reiterated to the District 32 Republican Club that he has no plans of running for public office again.

"For us, Maryland is a closed chapter," he said.

By John Wagner  | December 9, 2010; 10:49 AM ET
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Bob Ehrlich paid for the calls. Therefore Julius Hensen was an agent of Bob Ehrlich. If Ehrlich was displeased with Hensen's work then the Republican needs to hold the contractor accountable.

Things go wrong in any campaign. The important thing is to take responsibility for our mistakes. Ehrlich failed to properly oversee his contractor.

Posted by: Hellmut | December 9, 2010 11:00 AM | Report abuse

Maryland dodged a bullet in this election.

Posted by: krickey7 | December 9, 2010 12:01 PM | Report abuse

I guess the buck doesn't stop at Ehrlich's desk. Blame someone else. GOP playbook page 57. At least he didn't fallback to page 12 and declare "voter fraud".

Posted by: jckdoors | December 9, 2010 12:05 PM | Report abuse

So were are to believe Ehrlich paid this man a large sum of money to just do whatever he wanted, without having to clear it with Ehrlich and with no specifics from Ehrlich as to what he actually had to do?

Either Ehrlich is a criminal liar, or extremely incompetent and a complete failure at running a campaign in his name.

Posted by: MarilynManson | December 9, 2010 12:33 PM | Report abuse

just like he didn't have anything to do with the brochures he put out in 2006. Look around in Prince George's @ the Republican players that were obviously missing during Ehrlich's campaign. (Hint: minorities)

Posted by: agwilson1399 | December 9, 2010 12:51 PM | Report abuse

The length of time it took him to comment on this matter is in itself suspicious.

Posted by: jgllo | December 9, 2010 2:08 PM | Report abuse

No way it didn't get a quick verbal approval, plausible deniability check,
green light from the top and a nod.
Should have vociferously condemned the tactic but did not.

Lame is as lame does.

Posted by: RealityCheck29 | December 9, 2010 2:26 PM | Report abuse

Note what Ehrlich did not say: He did not say that he didn't know about the robocalls. He did not say that he didn't *order* the robocalls.

He just said that he wouldn't take responsibility for the robocalls. But we already knew that.

Posted by: pundito | December 9, 2010 11:46 PM | Report abuse

"For us, Maryland is a closed chapter," Ehrlich said.

Hopefully for state and federal law enforcement, Ehrlich is an open investigation.

Posted by: MarilynManson | December 10, 2010 10:17 AM | Report abuse

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