Lobbying firm proposes plan to undermine Occupy Wall Street

MSNBC’s Chris Hayes, host of Up w/ Chris Hayes, has obtained a memo from lobbying firm Clark Lytle Geduldig & Cranford to the American Bankers Association which lays out a plan to undermine the Occupy Wall St movement.

The memo proposes that the ABA pay them, CLGC, 850k to conduct what they call opposition research on OWS. Using this research they would then build “negative narratives” about the protests and any politicians who show support for them. The memo also asserts that Democratic victories in 2012 would be detrimental for Wall Street and points to specific races in which Wall Street would benefit from Republican victories. It also states that an even bigger concern than Democratic victories would be that Republicans would no longer defend Wall Street companies.

Another issue that CLGC sees as a concern is that The Tea Party and Occupy Wall St may find common ground. According to the memo “OWS protestors and the Tea Party overlap on angered populism..This combination has the potential to be explosive later in the year when media reports cover the next round of bonuses and contrast it with stories of millions of Americans making do with less this holiday season.”

CLGC outlines a 60-day plan to conduct surveys and research on OWS and its supporters so that Wall Street companies will be prepared to conduct a media campaign in response to OWS as Wall Street companies “likely will not be the best spokespeople for their own cause,”.

Part of the proposed plan is to do “statewide surveys in at least eight states that are shaping up to be the most important of the 2012 cycle.”

Specific races listed in the memo are U.S. Senate races in Florida, Pennsylvania, Virginia, Wisconsin, Ohio, New Mexico and Nevada as well as the gubernatorial race in North Carolina.

Research would also be done on who has contributed financially to OWS, noting that, “Media reports have speculated about associations with George Soros and others.”

“It will be vital,” the memo says, “to understand who is funding it and what their backgrounds and motives are. If we can show that they have the same cynical motivation as a political opponent it will undermine their credibility in a profound way.”

Two of the memo’s writers , partners Sam Geldudig and Jay Cranford, have worked in the past for House Speaker John Boehner, R-Ohio. Cranford joined the firm this year after serving as Boehner’s assistant to policy, while Geldudig joined before Boehner became speaker. A third partner, Steve Clark, is reported to be a close associate of Boehner.

Jeff Sigmund, an ABA spokesperson, confirmed that the association got the memo. “Our Government Relations staff did receive the proposal – it was unsolicited and we chose not to act on it in any way,”




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