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The Pawns of Politics: Where Is My Patronage?

The Pawns of Politics: Where Is My Patronage?

Peter Grear

Educate, organize and mobilize -- For more than a year leading up to the recently completed General Elections, I’ve written about Voter Suppression, gerrymandering, the Black vote and voters.  

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Thurgood Marshall College Fund Focuses on Developing Black CEOs

Thurgood Marshall College Fund Focuses on Developing Black CEOs

Developing Black CEOs

According to research conducted by Richard Zweigenhaft, a psychology professor at Guilford College in Greensboro, N.C., though Blacks account for more than 13 percent of the U.S. population, 

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Verbal Abuse in the Workplace: Are Men or Women Most at Risk?

Verbal Abuse in the Workplace: Are Men or Women Most at Risk?

Abuse in the Workplace

There is no significant difference in the prevalence of verbal abuse in the workplace between men and women, according to a systematic review of the literature conducted by researchers at the Institut universitaire de santé mentale de Montréal

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The Decision to Handle Rejection

The Decision to Handle Rejection

Rev. Manson B. Johnson

The Big Idea: Endurance is the key to achieving challenging goals in life.“Man’s rejection can be God’s direction.  God sometimes uses the rejection of hateful people to move us to a new place or assignment–where we wouldn’t have thought of going on our own.  

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How to Turn Personal Obstacles into Triumphs

How to Turn Personal Obstacles into Triumphs

(StatePoint) Everyone faces setbacks in life.

While those personal obstacles can lead to disappointing outcomes, they can also be harnessed into personal motivators, say experts. 

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Subscribe to Get GDN Print Edition

Subscribe to Get GDN Print Edition

Print Subscription

 Greater Diversity News (GDN) is a statewide publication with national reach and relevance.  We are a chosen news source for underrepresented and underserved communities in North Carolina.  

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Election Day Robocall: Attorney General Files Suit for $168 Million Penalty Claim

Written by Featured Organization on 19 November 2010.

An Election Day robocall sent to Democratic voters in the state of Maryland telling them to “relax” and that the election was over—an apparent attempt to get them to stay home and not vote—has been traced back to Universal Elections, a company hired by Republican Robert Ehrlich’s gubernatorial campaign.

Julius Henson, owner of Universal Elections, took responsibility for the calls.
“Universal Elections made the call and it was my decision to make the call,” Henson said. “It’s really nonsensical that [the complaint about the call] is coming from the people who won by 14 points and were leading by 14 points for more than a week.”
The call was placed through the Pennsylvania-based company robodial.org. That company said the call was placed through an account maintained by Rhonda Russell, an employee for Universal Elections.

“I’m calling to let everyone know that Governor O’Malley and President Obama have been successful,” the woman’s voice on the call said. “Our goals have been met. The polls were correct and we took it [the governor’s office] back. We’re ok. Relax, everything is fine. The only thing left is to watch on TV tonight. Congratulations and thank you.”

Word of the call spread as the polls closed on Election Night, outraging many of the state’s prominent Democrats, who saw it as an attempt to curtail late Democratic support and give Republicans an edge. Among those Democrats who denounced the call was Prince George’s County, Md. Executive-elect Rushern Baker.

“I am shocked by the news of a robocall targeting residents of Prince George’s County intended to dissuade voting earlier this evening,” Baker said in an election-night statement. “This isn’t dirty politics, it’s un-American. I hope those behind this call are investigated and exposed for their attempt to suppress everyone’s right to cast a ballot.”

Baltimore Mayor Stephanie Rawlings-Blake was quick to denounce the calls in a statement released last week. “I was deeply troubled to hear this misleading robocall targeting Baltimore City residents urging them to relax and stay home as if the election was over and the polls have been closed,” Rawlings-Blake said. “Sadly, this [is the] kind of gutter politics that we have come to expect from Bob Ehrlich and the Republican Party.”

Henson said that the call did not explicitly urge Democrats who hadn’t voted yet to stay home.

“The call was counterintuitive,” he said. “We felt that the people who’d already gone and voted were voting for the opposition and the people who had not voted, and because they hadn’t voted, were mostly likely not going to vote for the incumbent. We were trying to get them [Republicans] to go to the polls and vote.”

“It never said ‘don’t vote’ or anything like that,” Henson continued. “It was an attempt to get to voters who were not going to vote and it was a lot of them because they didn’t like their choice - the incumbent.”

Andy Barth, spokesman for the Ehrlich campaign, did not comment on the issue. Henson did not comment regarding his connection to the Ehrlich campaign.
Raquel Guillory, a spokeswoman for the attorney general’s office, confirmed that an investigation into the call is underway.

“It is deeply troubling that an operative working for Bob Ehrlich’s campaign was responsible for this shameful and illegal attempt to deceive Maryland voters,” Maryland Democratic Party Chair Susan Turnbull said in a statement. “We hope the Ehrlich campaign will fully disclose their role in this unfortunate episode and cooperate fully with any ongoing investigations in the matter. The right to vote is precious in a democracy and anyone who attempts to deny that right to citizens should be prosecuted to the full extent of the law.”

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