Cartoonist, lobbyist in spat over Gbagbo

May 13, 2011 at 10:12 AM
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WASHINGTON, May 13 (UPI) -- A Washington lobbyist targeted in "Doonesbury" for representing Ivory Coast's deposed ruler is dueling with cartoonist Garry Trudeau.

In the May 6 "Doonesbury," the shady character Duke is told by his son, Earl: "Remember that big Ivory Coast account we lost to Lanny Davis Associates? Davis bailed! Dictators are just too toxic now. If this keeps up, we'll have the dirtbag space all to ourselves."

Davis demanded a correction, saying he was working to ease Laurent Gbagbo out of power and then dropped him, Politico reports.

Trudeau responded Thursday: "I think it's fair to say that Gbagbo didn't send you $300,000 to arrange his own exit. Indeed, he murdered countless countrymen trying to avoid exactly that outcome. You may frame your resignation as a gesture of principle if you'd like, but most people know a face-saving exit strategy when they see one."

Davis replied with an e-mail laying out what he called "verifiable facts" indicating he did not defend Gbagbo but was trying to arrange his peaceful exit, cleared his deal with the State Department and quit after Gbagbo wouldn't take a call from President Barack Obama.

Davis says he took $150,000 to pay his expenses and put the other $150,000 to an escrow account for the new Ivorian government.

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