Top Menu

John Boehner and the Lobbying Firm Planning to Undermine Occupy Wall Street

Visit msnbc.com for breaking news, world news, and news about the economy


This story puts the 1% in perspective, but also how dangerous the national Occupy movement is seen to be to insiders and establishment players. The plans by a connected lobbying firm to undermine the power building in Occupy is the latest example of how uncomfortable the protesters are making corporate players.

From Chris Hayes, who broke the story on his MSNBC weekend show:

A well-known Washington lobbying firm with links to the financial industry has proposed an $850,000 plan to take on Occupy Wall Street and politicians who might express sympathy for the protests according to a memo obtained by the MSNBC program “Up w/ Chris Hayes.”

The proposal was written on the letterhead of the lobbying firm Clark Lytle Geduldig & Cranford and addressed to one of CLGC’s clients, the American Bankers Association.

CLGC’s memo proposes that the ABA pay CLGC $850,000 to conduct “opposition research” on Occupy Wall Street in order to construct “negative narratives” about the protests and allied politicians. The memo also asserts that Democratic victories in 2012 would be detrimental for Wall Street and targets specific races in which it says Wall Street would benefit by electing Republicans instead.

From the Public Campaign Action Fund we get more details of the lobbying firm behind the Occupy smear campaign, Clark Lytle Geduldig & Cranford.

A partial list of the lobbying firm’s clients and amounts they received over the past five years shows significant businesses and associations:

Client

Payment 2007-2011

American Bankers Association

$710,000

American Institute of CPAs

$550,000

AT&T

$170,000

Bloomberg LP

$201,000

Electronic Payments Coalition

$540,000

Investment Co Inst

$540,000

Mastercard

$320,000

US Chamber of Commerce

$598,500

Verizon

$250,000

The four principal lobbyists at the firm have donated $452,250 over the past five years to federal candidates and political party committees. The lionshare of that funding has gone to Republicans (95.3 percent) with just a small amount (4.7 percent) donated to Democrats.

Lobbyist

Donated 2007-2011

Steve Clark

$147,350

Jay Cranford

$1,750

Sam Geldudig

$295,950

Gary Lytle

$43,300

Two of the lobbyists — Cranford and Geldudig — worked for House Speaker John Boehner (R-Ohio).

Ah yes, the revolving congressional door strikes again and as usual the 99% are the target.

You’ll recall the other day I did a piece about how the right was trying to undermine Occupy Wall Street, with negative PR bubbling up as a result. Smearing the Occupy protests is critical to dislodging the movement from its righteous moorings, making it unseemly to be part of what’s being felt by the 99%, which is represented in the protests, even if people cannot relate to the protesters themselves.

The message Occupy is carrying resounds.

What Chris Hayes unearthed points to something far bigger and reveals just how successful the Occupy protests have been, with the threat of their power growing seen as a threat.

Afflicting the comfortable is always a good thing, but it’s never easy and usually ugly.

That a powerful and connected lobbying firm couldn’t figure out any way to respond to the protesters except to smear the people peacefully demanding economic fairness says something fundamental about what’s going on in this country today.

It’s party of why there are Occupy protests in the first place.

, , , , , , , , , ,

Comments are closed.
.... a writer is someone who takes the universal whore of language
and turns her into a virgin again.  ~ erica jong