Having been around the horn with Lanny Davis too many times to count, I’m somewhat surprised by my feelings about this. I’m actually disappointed in the guy. From Salon:
Last April, when Democratic lobbyist Lanny Davis was hired by the government of Equatorial Guinea, he declared himself the “reform counsel” for the longtime dictator of the sasmall, oil-rich African nation. Davis’ fee was $1 million per year plus expenses, and he and his client, President Teodoro Obiang Nguema Mbasogo, promised widespread reforms and a new respect for human rights.
But today, human rights advocates who track Equatorial Guinea tell Salon that nothing has changed there and that Davis appears to be engaged in little more than a whitewashing exercise designed to rehabilitate the image of the Obiang regime on the international stage. And despite a direct promise by Davis to a reporter in June that political prisoners in Equatorial Guinea would be released, that has not happened.
Davis, a former Clinton administration official who recently launched a new public relations firm called Davis-Block, is still retained on the Obiang account. That’s in contrast to his work for the former president of Ivory Coast, who was also accused of human rights abuses and with whom Davis severed ties last week after scrutiny from Salon and others.
And, I should say, kudos to Salon.