Norcross Defends Priebus

David Norcross, former chairman of the New Jersey Republican party, defends Reince Priebus against an onslaught of recent attacks in an e-mail to the Republican National Committee. Here’s the e-mail:

Dear RNC Members,

As you know, someone has been inundating Member’s inboxes with attacks against all candidates in the RNC Chairman’s race.  It’s unfortunate that these attacks continue – they are childish and inappropriate.  In particular, we have seen the same 3 untrue charges slung against Reince time and time again.  As a lawyer in a large law firm, and someone who deeply cares about the RNC and its future, I want to set the record straight.

First untrue charge:

That Reince’s law firm somehow supports Obamacare because one of the firm’s over 200 lawyers gave a presentation or suggested in material that Obamacare could likely survive a constitutional challenge under the Commerce Clause.  = FALSE

Second untrue charge:

That Reince was a part of an Economic Stimulus Recovery team, and that Reince advised clients and worked for clients to secure stimulus funds.  = FALSE

Third untrue charge:

That many years ago Reince was involved in an eminent domain case which allegedly dealt with taking property from an owner.  = FALSE


Reince’s law firm has over 200 lawyers.  As a lawyer, I know that law firms represent a wide array of clients on thousands of different issues.  Each lawyer acts independent of one another and it is common for lawyers to hold different viewpoints on aspects of law.  While a single lawyer or small group of lawyers in Reince’s law firm may believe that Obamacare may be legal, it is ridiculous to attribute that view to the law firm in its entirety and even more ridiculous to attribute that view to Reince directly.  Reince has been clear on his stance against Obamacare from day one.

Large law firms often have practice groups that focus on different aspects of legal representation.  Sometimes, firms attribute a particular attorney to a practice group in error.  The fact that Reince’s law firm website listed Reince as being associated with a stimulus-focused practice group in error, does not mean that Reince represented clients associated with that practice group. In fact, when the issue was brought to the attention of the law firm, they immediately took the information down because it was inaccurate.  This isn’t devious or improper; it’s what you do to correct a mistake.

The firm’s records show that Reince never represented clients regarding stimulus money nor worked to secure stimulus money for any clients.  Even the Managing Partner of the firm released an official statement confirming all of this.

The allegation referencing Reince’s involvement with an eminent domain case is false and misleading.  The actual issue in the case was whether a tenant (not the owner!) which leased spaces in the owner’s parking lot was entitled to have those parking spaces replaced by the City of Milwaukee at a different location.  In fact, the actual issue in the case that Reince worked on did not even deal with the taking of the owner’s property through eminent domain.

Lastly, I know that Reince’s law firm is one of the primary Republican law firms in Wisconsin.  Even well before Reince became a member, his law firm was representing the interests of Republicans.  The firm represented Scott Walker, Tommy Thompson, Republican members of the state legislature, Bush/Cheney, Republican Congressional candidates, conservative judges, and many other Republican candidates and interests.  It was Reince’s law firm that represented Republican interests and sued the Wisconsin Government Accountability Board over ballot security and voter fraud issues.  Additionally, for decades Reince’s firm represented the Republicans in redistricting against the Democrats!

To attempt to paint Reince in a liberal light because of others at a large law firm or an improperly referenced case is simply nonsense.

These claims need to be put to rest.

Thank you,

David Norcross

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