Correcting the Record: Lanny Davis public affairs clients (Domestic and Foreign)
“What I do for a living is crisis management, So people ask me, am I sorry that I defend people that are in trouble having a hard time getting the facts out? No. Is that a controversial line of work? Yes. But I think I have the ability to get facts out and do it successfully. It means sometimes I’m part of the controversy because I’m trying to help.” — Lanny J Davis
Foreign Government Representation
For a little more than a year (2010-11), Mr. Davis worked closely with State Department West African Bureau and U.S. Ambassador to Equatorial Guinea (EG), an oil rich country, to assist the president who asked for help transitioning to a transparent democracy that protected due process and human rights. The speech he wrote for the president, delivered before the world’s media at a forum in Cape Town, South Africa in June 2010, is attached (see link). The broad political, legal, and economic reform program spelled out in detail in that speech was endorsed in a public letter by Novel Peace Prize Laureate, Archbishop Desmond Tutu of South Africa (see link). See also letter to NY Times by Lanny Davis.
Letter to NY Times by Lanny Davis
For 10 days in December 2010, Mr. Davis represented the Washington D.C. Ivory Coast Embassy and Ambassador and worked closely with the West Africa Bureau of the State Department to facilitate a phone call from President Obama to the defeated president of Ivory Coast to try to persuade him to avoid bloodshed and make a peaceful exit from office.
When the defeated Ivory Coast president refused to accept a phone call from President Obama, Mr. Davis resigned 10 days later after beginning his representation of the Ivory Embassy and the Washington DC Ambassador (see link).
On January 1, 2011, the official spokesman of the US State Department, P.J. Crowley, publicly acknowledged that Mr. Davis’ role was “helpful,” issuing the statement to Politico.com. See link to Statement by P.J. Crowley.
Honduran Business Council
In July 2009, Mr. Davis represented the Honduran Business Council and testified publicly before the House Western Hemisphere Subcommittee on their behalf. He criticized the illegal deportation of then President Emmanuel Zelaya but also supported a reconciliation solution based on principles of the rule of law and due process. See link to testimony here.
Both the Democratic Chairman of the Subcommittee, Rep. Eliot Engel (D.-NY) and the Republican ranking member, Rep. Connie Mack (D.-Fla)” praised the constructive positions presented by Mr. Davis on behalf of the Honduran Business Council. Mr. Davis continued to work with the State Department towards a peaceful solution and fair and free elections scheduled in a few months to elect a new President, which did in fact occur.
In 2010, Mr. Davis advocated on behalf of Martek, Inc., of Columbia, Maryland, which provided infant formula companies two food supplements: essential polyunsaturated fatty acids DHA and ARA, naturally occurring in mother’s milk. Mr. Davis advocated a “pro-choice” position in Congress for poor women to have access — if they so choose, because of an inability to breast feed their babies or otherwise — to subsidies to purchase infant formula. Mr. Davis opposed a legislative proposal that would have banned the sale of DHA and ARA pending completion of a study by the Department of Agriculture. Mr. Davis accurately stated that if this amendment were passed, poor women would be deprived of the same choices that were available to wealthier women who could purchase infant formula without federal subsidies. His position was supported by liberal Rep. Carolyn McCarthy (D-NY) and the nutritional value of DHA and ARA for young infants is supported by many scientists and scientific organizations, such as the World Health Organization.
In 2010 and 2011, Mr. Davis represented two entities opposing specific federal regulation targeting for-profit colleges: The Coalition for Educational Success, a group composed of several companies that own and operate for-profit higher education colleges in the U.S., and the National Black Chamber of Commerce. These clients did not overlap, but both dealt with the same interests. Mr. Davis’s representation consisted of assembling relevant facts about for-profit colleges and then both distributing them to and lobbying relevant political actors to make all of the information on the subject known. The facts revealed major inaccuracies in a report by the Government Accountability Office and flaws in the logic of the “gainful employment” rule being considered by the U.S. Department of Education that would have unintended consequences that would adversely affect minorities and low-income families. Consistent with all of his representation, Mr. Davis’s work focused on making all the facts known. In this capacity, he wrote several op-eds on the subject, in which he disclosed his position with the for-profit college interests, and co-wrote a white paper with the National Black Chamber of Commerce detailing the flaws of the “gainful employment” rule.