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Posts Tagged ‘Antonio Villaraigosa’

Does Antonio Villaraigosa’s Edelman Gig Conflict with His Herbalife Gig?

It's just a question.

Yesterday’s announcement that former L.A. mayor Antonio Villaraigosa would join Edelman to advise clients on public policy was interesting on its own, but one detail made it more so: last month the infamous “nutritional products company” Herbalife also hired him as an adviser.

This fact creates a conflict of interest, because venture capitalist Bill Ackman recently hired Edelman to help publicize his accusations that Herbalife is an illegal pyramid scheme in which the vast majority of paying members lose money. Both Villaraigosa and an Edelman spokesman say no such conflict exists, but we don’t see how that could be true considering that the most valuable advice Herbalife could receive from anyone right now concerns escaping the shadow of Ackman’s very public campaign (which, again, is managed by Edelman).

Ackman’s hardly the only one pressing Herbalife: while Villaraigosa praised the company for its “strong presence within the Latino community” when he took the job in September, several major Black and Latino advocacy groups recently called upon California’s attorney general to investigate its supposed misdeeds more thoroughly. In defense of Villaraigosa, Edelman’s global public affairs spokeswoman Katie Burke told the Los Angeles Times that he’s “not coming on board for any specific client or project”, which reads like a classic case of obfuscation.

At any rate, we wouldn’t put money on Herbalife if we had it.

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Former L.A. Mayor Antonio Villaraigosa Joins Edelman on Public Policy

Smile for the camera.

…and the hits just keep coming: Edelman has tapped former Los Angeles mayor Antonio Villaraigosa to work in a “senoir adviser” role in the firm’s global public affairs division. This announcement is interesting primarily for Politico’s description of the role Villaraigosa will play:

Villaraigosa will work mostly for the firm’s corporate clients on issued related to public policy — but he will not lobby. Edelman has no lobbying division or registered lobbying clients.

Instead, he’ll help clients navigate a variety of public policy challenges in the United States and abroad from a public affairs and public relations perspective. He is to be based mostly in Los Angeles.

His responsibilities will obviously go far beyond telling executives that they’re now required to provide health insurance to their employees (and those employees’ same-sex spouses, depending on the state in which they live), and we’d be very curious to sit in on some of those meetings.

One thing is certain: the Edelman gig will be far more productive than Villaraigosa’s other new position as senior fellow at the Bipartisan Policy Center.

Michael Levine, Mayor Villaraigosa Host Huge LA Super Bowl Party

michaelspic.jpg

Hollywood publicist Michael Levine is gathering over 300 stars, clients, journalists, politicos and friends at the home of Dr. Gary Gitnick to chip and dip, and get their ‘Bowl on today.

In addition to Los Angeles Mayor Antonio Villaraigosa, Levine and Gitnick are hosting Gloria Allred, Susan Estrich and former Secretary of State Warren Christopher at their Super Bowl of PR. We spoke to Levine yesterday who told us there will be plenty of screens if people actually want to watch the game. About 30 members of the media are expected.

No word if members of KISS or members of the Jackson family will be there. Readers might recall Levine was one of at least seven former publicists quoted in the media after Michael’s death last summer.

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