Ebola Czar Vanishes from Democracy Alliance Website

Ron Klain no longer listed as a trustee for Third Way

Health workers wearing protective gear wait to carry the body of a person suspected to have died from Ebola, in Monrovia, Liberia
October 20, 2014

Third Way, a progressive think tank with ties to the Democracy Alliance, has removed newly appointed Ebola czar Ron Klain from its website, following a Washington Free Beacon report.

The Free Beacon reported Friday on Klain’s status as a trustee for Third Way, and his past experience lobbying on behalf of a drug company that was accused of denying life-saving drugs to dying cancer patients.

The choice of Klain to head the administration’s emergency response to Ebola was criticized as a political move. Klain is a political operative with no medical experience and a former advisor to former Vice President Al Gore, Vice President Joe Biden, and President Barack Obama.

Third Way claims to be the voice for the "vital center," though the group advocates for immigration reform, gun control, and a "credible alternative to neoconservative security policy."

Third Way is also listed on the Democracy Alliance’s "Progressive Infrastructure Map," which includes organizations that are "politically active and progressive," and "strategically significant."

Third Way received a special note of appreciation from the Democracy Alliance for playing "instrumental roles in building a stronger, more integrated progressive infrastructure."

On Friday, Klain was listed as a member of Third Way’s Board of Trustees, with a biography that noted Kevin Spacey portrayed him in the HBO movie "Recount."

"He gained national notice as General Counsel for the Gore Recount Committee in 2000, in recognition of which he was selected as one of National Law Journal’s ‘Lawyers of the Year,’ and portrayed by Academy Award winner Kevin Spacey in HBO’s film ‘RECOUNT,’" a biography of Klain had read on the group’s website.

Klain’s name and bio have since been removed from Third Way’s website.

Screen shot of Third Way website with Klain removed from Board of Trustees
Screen shot of Third Way website with Klain removed from Board of Trustees


Klain joined Third Way’s board in 2011, with co-founder and President Jonathan Cowan also praising Klain for being played by Spacey.

"And while we have a very distinguished Board, no one else has played such a significant role in American politics that they have been portrayed in a movie by an Oscar winner," he said.

Klain said he was "delighted to be playing an active role with an organization that I believe in."

Klain was still active in the organization as of June, when he produced a memo for Third Way on debate prep strategies for Democrats.

Requests for comment from Third Way were not returned by publication of this story.