Friday, May 13, 2011

Robocalls: The Return

For those of you who might have missed it, John Wagner of the Washington Post had this item Wednesday about a topic which has not any media attention for a while:  The ongoing investigations into the so-called robocall scandal during Maryland’s 2010 gubernatorial elections.
As far as I can remember, the last ink this topic received was last December, when former Governor Ehrlich addressed it in comments he made to the online Patch newspaper.  This occurred shortly after state investigators raided the home of Julius Henson, the political consultant who acknowledged responsibility for fielding the calls. Since then, I have heard various rumbling as to who the investigators may have spoken to, and who they may or may not be targeting.  But those investigating this matter have remained eerily silent since their holiday visit to Henson’s home.
The most interesting facet of this latest development is the fact that Henson’s attorney refers to TWO grand juries – one state, one federal – looking into this matter.  As the media widely reported, Henson is facing federal civil penalties potentially totaling $56 million because the 112,000 robocalls lacked the required authority line. But this is the first indication that a federal criminal investigation is underway as well.
So how long will it take for the other shoe(s) to drop? Who knows? But it is clear that, recent silence notwithstanding, this crisis in search of a communicator is not going away anytime soon.
In the meantime, one has to wonder...who is paying all these legal bills? Presumably everyone who has been contacted by the FBI or the state investigators has lawyered up.

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