- The Washington Times - Sunday, September 22, 2002

ANNAPOLIS (AP) A group working to gather votes for Lt. Gov. Kathleen Kennedy Townsend and other Democrats abruptly dropped a political operative Friday night after he called U.S. Rep. Robert L. Ehrlich Jr. a Nazi in an interview with a reporter.
Julius Henson was wooed by Mr. Ehrlich's and Mrs. Townsend's campaigns for his ability to turn out black voters. But an agreement to hire him was scrapped hours after he told a reporter for The Washington Post that Mr. Ehrlich, the Republican nominee for governor, is opposed to blacks, schools and old people.
Mike Morrill, a spokesman for Mrs. Townsend's gubernatorial campaign, sought Friday night to clarify reports in The Washington Post and the Baltimore Sun that Mr. Henson was a would-be employee of Mrs. Townsend.
"The Townsend campaign never hired Julius Henson period," he told the Associated Press.
Instead, Mr. Henson was in discussions with the state Democratic Party's coordinated campaign, Mr. Morrill said. Discussions were cut short when the campaign heard of Mr. Henson's remarks, Karen White, director of the coordinated campaign, told The Washington Post.
"We will not be able to consider Mr. Henson for employment at this time," she said.
Earlier in the day, Mr. Henson told a reporter in a telephone interview: "Bobby Ehrlich is a Nazi. His record is horrible, atrocious. In Prince George's County, we'll define him as the Nazi that he is. Once we do that, I think people will vote for Kathleen Kennedy Townsend."
Townsend's campaign spokesman, Peter Hamm, disavowed Mr. Henson's remarks, calling them "insensitive and irresponsible."
Mr. Henson accused Mr. Ehrlich of voting to cut education spending and funding for Head Start classes. In the early 1990s, Mr. Henson said, Mr. Ehrlich tried to stop "black people from moving to Baltimore County" as part of a federal initiative to close public housing and move residents to more prosperous neighborhoods.
"He should be running in Germany in 1942, not Maryland in 2002," Mr. Henson said.
U.S. Rep. Albert R. Wynn, Maryland Democrat, recommended Mr. Henson to the coordinated campaign and said he is encouraging Miss White to reconsider the decision to drop him.
"I think she should keep him," Mr. Wynn said. "Perhaps an apology to Mr. Ehrlich is in order."
In the governor's race four years ago, Mr. Henson helped portray Republican nominee Ellen R. Sauerbrey as a right-wing conservative opposed to civil rights. The tactic helped generate a record percentage of black voters, who cast ballots for Mrs. Townsend and Gov. Parris N. Glendening.
The Associated Press wasn't able to reach Mr. Henson late Friday, and he refused comment when contacted by the Baltimore Sun.

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