So my recent blog entry about Paul Schurick’s new role with a small, Washington, DC-based public affairs firm generated a lot of feedback.
Most of this came from people confused by Schurick’s use of the term “of counsel” to describe his new role. Many people seem to believe this term is not applicable outside of a law firm environment (it isn’t). Other didn’t know that Schurick was a lawyer (he’s not).
Additionally, since I published that blog entry, other questions have surfaced about some of the claims made in Schurick’s biography on the Capitol Management Initiatives website.
At issue is the following contention: “Schurick successfully integrated communications and policy development as a Chief of Staff and Communications Director for two Maryland governors, a big city mayor, and a Member of Congress.”
I can’t speak to Schurick’s role in the Schaefer political universe as I was not a part of it. But, based on my own experiences in Ehrlich world, I see three problems with this statement.
First, Schurick never served as Ehrlich’s gubernatorial chief of staff.
As Schurick’s own archived biography on the Maryland Manual website indicates, Schurick served as Ehrlich’s gubernatorial Communications Director from 2004 through January 17, 2007. Two men – Steve Kreseski and Chip DiPaula – held the position of chief of staff at different times.
Second, Schurick never served as Ehrlich’s congressional chief of staff, either. That position was held by Steve Kreseski during the entire eight years Ehrlich was in the House of Representatives.
Third, Schurick states that he was Ehrlich’s congressional “communications director.”
According to the Maryland Manual website, Schurick held the titles of “Political Director and Communications Director” for Congressman Ehrlich from 1997 through 2000. I served as Ehrlich’s congressional press secretary from January 1995 through August 1998. While Schurick may have received the title of congressional “Communications Director” at some point after I left, he didn’t have it during the time our service to Ehrlich overlapped. In fact, The Baltimore Sun’s Bill Zorzi filed a story announcing Schurick’s hire on October 27, 1997. In it, he describes Schurick’s role as “political director.”
Schurick’s Capitol Management biography is a study in both hyperbole and hagiography, and I could probably have a lot more fun with it were I to go through it line by line. But, that would be gratuitous. As Ronald Reagan said, “Facts are stubborn things,” so I will stick with those.