WASHINGTON – 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:
American Bankers Association
American Institute of CPAs
Electronic Payments Coalition
Investment Co Inst
US Chamber of Commerce
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.
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.
Taylor Marsh’s new e-book, The Hillary Effect – Politics, Sexism and the Destiny of Loss, the view from a recovering partisan, has been chosen by Barnes and Noble as one of 4 books in the launch of “NOOK First” Featured Authors Selection. Marsh is a veteran political analyst and commentator. She has reported from the White House, been profiled in the Washington Post, The New Republic, and has been seen on C-SPAN’s Washington Journal, CNN, MSNBC, Al Jazeera English and Al Jazeera Arabic, as well as on radio across the dial and on satellite, including the BBC. Marsh lives in the Washington, D.C. area. This column is cross posted from her new media blog.