Tuesday, November 09, 2010

Atterbeary Linked to Ehrlich Voter Suppression Robocaller

The Baltimore Sun has reported that former District 18 House candidate Vanessa Atterbeary employed Julius Henson, the campaign operative who was responsible for voter suppression robocalls for Bob Ehrlich in Baltimore. The Sun says Henson has “a history of rough-and-tumble campaign tactics” and links him to what happened this summer in District 18.

The Sun refers to Vanessa Atterbeary’s misleading mailer in which she inaccurately claimed to have the support of several elected officials. We reprint an excerpt from her mailer below.

Six of these officials denied endorsing Atterbeary or permitting their images to be used in her literature. None of these officials confirmed their support for her. Atterbeary herself blamed a “printing error” and said, “That should not have gone out.” MPW first commented on the mailer on August 30. Atterbeary paid Universal Elections, one of Henson’s companies that later made the suppression robocalls, $19,000 for “direct mailing by mail house” on August 26.

The mailer was not the only noteworthy event during the primary. Atterbeary’s campaign made illegal robocalls, covered the district with illegal signs as early as May, received a warning from the Town of Kensington and damaged voters’ cars. During this period of time, Atterbeary paid Henson’s companies – Universal Elections and Politics Today Inc. – $79,489.99. Those payments accounted for 62% of her total campaign spending through 8/27/10.

She may have paid Henson even more but her pre-general election campaign finance report is more than two weeks overdue.

Disclosure: The author is the Treasurer of the District 18 Democratic Team.