Before Danny Diaz was brought on to manage Jeb Bush’s presidential bid, he waged a different state-by-state campaign: helping the pharmaceutical industry keep cough medicine used in homegrown meth labs available to customers through over-the-counter purchases.
FP1 Strategies, a company co-founded by Diaz, has been touted in the media as an A-list campaign consulting firm retained to elect an array of GOP politicians. But Diaz and his firm have also been involved in a range of behind-the-scenes lobbying battles on behalf of business interests. Records show, for instance, that his firm has been engaged to defend genetically modified foods and to wage a public relations war against farmworkers and other low-income workers agitating for better wages.
The homegrown meth fight, in which Diaz’s drug company clients won repeated legislative battles over a three year period, is a case in point.
In 2011, legislators in West Virginia, one of the states hardest hit by methamphetamine addiction, set out to return decongestant pseudoephedrine (PSE) cold medicines to prescription-only status. Those include Claritin-D, Allegra-D and Zyrtec-D. It was a position favored by public health advocates, Sen. Joe Manchin, D-W.V., and local law enforcement agencies.