Former White House press secretary Ari Fleischer will help the Susan G. Komen foundation deal with its decision to halt grants to Planned Parenthood and the subsequent PR disaster, according to the Washington Post.
Fleischer served under the Bush administration and later became a CNN contributor.
Komen, the nation’s leading breast-cancer charity, had planned to halt their partnership with Planned Parenthood Federation of America (PPFA) because Rep. Cliff Stearns (R-FL) had called for an investigation of the organization. But after a public outcry, Komen reversed its decision.
Komen’s founder and CEO, Nancy G. Brinker, has said that the charity would “never bow to political pressure.” But critics accuse Komen of doing just that.
The liberal blog has Think Progress revealed that Fleischer had personally interviewed candidates for the position of “Senior Vice President for Communications and External Relations” at Komen last December.
During at least one interview, Fleischer made Komen’s relationship with Planned Parenthood a major topic of discussion.
Think Progress noted that Fleischer has been critical on Planned Parenthood in the past. But there is no proof that he had any role in Komen’s initial decision to halt grants to the organization.
Komen has also hired Ogilvy Public Relations to deal with the PR fallout.
A subsidiary of the company, Ogilvy Government Relations, was the the 6th largest lobbying firm in the United States in 2010. The company has donated to both to Republican and Democratic candidates.