UMBC Chair of Public Policy Donald Norris was quoted Tuesday in an Associate Press article on the conviction of Paul Schurick, political aide to former Maryland Gov. Robert Ehrlich. The article notes that Schurick was convicted of “conspiring to use Election Day robocalls in what prosecutors cast as an effort to suppress black voter turnout during the 2010 gubernatorial election.”
Norris commented that the robocall message was a clearly a misrepresentation of facts intended to discourage voter turnout. “This was free speech in the same sense that lying is free speech and lying is not permitted,” he said. “What they were perpetrating was a fraud.” The AP story was picked up by the Huffington Post, ABC News, Washington Post and several other news organizations.
Update: Norris discussed the ruling and its implications in greater detail on WJZ/CBS Baltimore on December 7 (see video).