Via The Globe and Mail, a report by The Associated Press: Haitian government hires lobbyist to influence U.S. on rebuilding issues. Excerpt:
The Haitian government has hired a one-time Clinton administration official seeking to influence U.S. officials who pledged $3 billion after a 2010 earthquake devastated the impoverished nation’s capital.
Walter Corley, a former U.S. trade official, said Wednesday that he has been focusing on efforts to stem a cholera outbreak since he was hired by Haiti in April on a one-year contract that pays $5,000 a month.
“That’s one area I’ve been focused on,” Mr. Corley said by telephone. “The big thing ... is working on cholera.”
Mr. Corley said he has discussed the cholera epidemic with members of Congressional Black Caucus, including Democratic Reps. John Conyers of Michigan and Maxine Waters of California.
Disclosures filed with the U.S. Justice Department also show a former Haitian presidential candidate and Haitian manufacturers have hired lobbying firms in Washington.
Haiti’s government is paying Corley to have discussions with members of Congress, the Obama administration and philanthropic groups “aimed at gaining political and financial support” for Haiti, according to disclosure reports.
Paul Altidor, the Haitian ambassador to the United States, confirmed in an email that Corley was hired by the government as an adviser on matters related to the U.S. Congress including the Congressional Black Caucus.
Mr. Corley, a Detroit native, helped manage the 1992 Wisconsin presidential primary campaign for Bill Clinton. After Clinton took office, he was named trade ombudsman for the U.S. Customs Service, responsible for ensuring that all federal trade laws were enforced at more than 300 land, sea, and border ports of entry.
After leaving office, Mr. Corley founded COR Logistics, a Detroit freight company, which he ran between 2000 and 2008.
Mr. Corley was in Haiti at a high-end hotel above Port-au-Prince when the earthquake struck on Jan. 10, 2010, working on a proposal to the Haitian government to convert ocean water into fresh water using solar power.
“I was at ground zero, Karibe Hotel, during the quake and witnessed firsthand the impact and destruction,” he wrote a few days later.
Mr. Corley told The Associated Press on Wednesday that cholera remains an issue as Haiti heads into the height of the hurricane season.
The waterborne disease has sickened more than a half million Haitians, making it the biggest cholera outbreak in the world.