Wednesday, November 30, 2011

Ehrlich: Read the Book, Watch the Trial

This is a big week for the remaining inhabitants of Ehrlich world.
The former governor’s new book, Turn This Car Around, will be unveiled at a fundraising event at Michael’s Eighth Avenue in Glen Burnie tomorrow night. Sources tell me that ticket sales are moving at a glacial pace, with only about 150 sold as of this writing. (Update: I have since been informed that, in response to lagging ticket sales, the price per ticket for the main event has been lowered to $100 from $125).

Meanwhile, MD GOP Chairman Alex Mooney has been telling people he expects to sell 25,000 copies of the book.

Thousands of books...150 tickets sold. You do the math.
And, no, I’m not planning to attend. I already have an advance copy of the book thanks to the redoubtable Greg Massoni, who emailed it out to members of the press last week. Thanks, Greg. I knew I could count on you.
I have scanned the book but not yet read enough of it to offer a review. Unlike other local prognosticators, I believe you need to actually read a book before offering an opinion as to its substance. That said, my initial pass reminded me of the importance of proofreading.
In addition to the bookapalooza, the first of two trials stemming from the infamous robocalling incident from last year’s election started this week.
Paul Schurick and Julius Henson – the Leopold and Loeb of Maryland politics – are accused of violating state voter suppression laws. Henson’s trial was pushed back to February; Schurick’s courtroom odyssey is now underway.
I’m far more comfortable being a political handicapper than a jury watcher – Casey Anthony taught me that – so I’m not prepared to predict what Schurick’s fate will be. However, I found two items from this morning’s press coverage of the trial quite interesting.
From the Baltimore Sun: "’What does Julius need to make city turnout stay low?’ campaign political director Bernie Marczyk wrote in a 2:53 p.m. email to Schurick, proposing additional bonuses for Henson if he could keep residents from the polls.”
Ouch, Bernie. Really? “Make city turn out stay low?” "Additional bonuses” for suppressing the vote? Some might call it bad judgment. I regard it as further evidence of  Flintstonian folly by an in-over-his-head Schurick sycophant.
From the Washington Post: Schurick, whose trial began Monday, told an FBI agent that he approved the calls.”
In any event, the trial should take about two weeks before it goes to a jury comprised of seven blacks and five whites.
Some questions continue to nag at me.
Why would Ehrlich’s bookapalooza happen the same week that Schurick’s robocall trial was scheduled to begin? Is this purely coincidental, or is this a low voltage attempt to change the media’s focus from Schurick’s fall to Ehrlich’s rebirth as an author?  
If so, based on the initial coverage I have seen, it ain’t working. In addition to The Sun, The Post, and the other usual suspects, Reuters and NPR are among the national and international outlets who have reported from the trial.
Anyway, maybe these two events will converge, with Ehrlich signing books at the courthouse when he testifies in Schurick's trial. Who knows...maybe someone will show up wearing a rainbow wig and a "John 3:16" tee shirt in keeping with the absurdity of all this.

Stay tuned.

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