Former Baltimore mayor/current Maryland governor/hottie Martin O'Malley (D) has won the Maryland gubernatorial race against Bob Ehrlich (R), his predecessor as governor. New evidence has emerged linking Ehrlich's staff to a suspicious "robo-call" operation targeted at registered Democrats. 50,000 citizens received automated telephone calls telling them to "relax", that O'Malley was comfortably in the lead, and that "the only thing left is to watch TV tonight". The Baltimore Sun newspaper said the tactic "was widely interpreted as an effort to suppress voter turnout in heavily Democratic Baltimore, and it prompted an immediate outcry." The scheme was devised by a company called Universal Elections, which was employed by the Republican Ehrlich campaign. The campaign is now scrambling to distance itself from the broadly-denounced tactic. In early 2005, while Ehrlich was governor of Maryland, an aide spread false rumors that Martin O'Malley was unfaithful to his wife, prompting O'Malley and his wife to hold a press conference to denounce the rumors and the partisan politics. Bob Ehrlich denied he had anything to do with the damaging rumors. In 2006, while previously running for re-election as governor, Ehrlich was widely criticized for creating an "Official Democratic Voter Guide" (he's a Republican) and distributing it mainly in black and low-income neighborhoods. It featured check marks next to Ehrlich and numerous Democrats for other offices, implying that Ehrlich was a Democrat and/or that the featured Democrats endorsed him. The brochure cover showed only black Democratic candidates for office. Thousands of these misleading voter guides were distributed by homeless Philadelphians who were paid and bused into Maryland by the Ehrlich campaign. What is it with these scorched-earth tactics by Republicans? Are they all taking ethics notes from Karl Rove?