Tags: Scandal | lanny davis

Lanny Davis: Scandals Will Continue as Long as There is Appetite for Them

By    |   Thursday, 26 Mar 2015 11:39 AM

Political scandals will continue to erupt as long as voters provide a receptive audience for them, powerful Washington attorney Lanny Davis, special counsel to former President Bill Clinton said in an opinion piece for The Hill on Thursday.

"This scandal machinery and the politics of personal destruction will continue so long as we voters provide a receptive audience," said Davis, "Isn't it time for all of us in both parties who care about decency and truth and a better politics in our country to say, 'enough?' "

Voters welcome scandal headlines and negative campaign ads, said Davis, when they are about politicians in the opposite party, but denounce such scandals for people in their own parties, and he admits that it might be "naive" to hope that things could be different.

Davis recalled how, in 1999, he wrote a book describing his experiences as White House special counsel dealing with "bogus controversies revved up by Republican congressional committees and described as 'scandals' by the media."

The largest of those was the Clinton's investment in the Whitewater land deal, and for the next eight years, two independent counsels spent more than $50 million to conclude there was "insufficient evidence" that Clinton or his wife, Hillary, had committed any crimes.

However, the media's over-hyping of scandals is not to one party or the other, he said, pointing out that Democrats pressed investigations against former President Ronald Reagan's first Secretary of Labor Raymond Donovan, who ended up being acquitted of fraud.

And now, the scandal machine is in full force in the growing scandal over former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton and her use of private email servers while she was in office, he said.

Such scandals are "not about one particular party being more partisan or more willing to misuse congressional investigations than the other. It is not about an ideological press corps out to get one political party or the other."

Instead, the focus on scandals are embedded into politics, said Davis, and "all of us in the process — Democrats and Republicans, journalists and lawyers, not to mention a public ready to assume the worst about politicians — have combined to produce rot, horrible rot. There are no clean hands here — certainly not mine."

Davis is now principal in the Washington, D.C., law firm of Lanny J. Davis & Associates, executive vice president of strategic communications firm Levick, and the author of a recently published book, "Crisis Tales: Five Rules for Coping with Crises in Business, Politics, and Life."

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Political scandals will continue to erupt as long as voters provide a receptive audience for them, powerful Washington attorney Lanny Davis, special counsel to former President Bill Clinton said in an opinion piece for The Hill on Thursday.
Scandal, lanny davis
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2015-39-26
Thursday, 26 Mar 2015 11:39 AM
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