MSNBC posted details this weekend of a memo from a lobbying firm that lays out an $850,000 plan to discredit Occupy protesters and the politicians who support them:
[Lobbying firm] CLGC’s memo proposes that the [American Bankers Association] 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.
Why would Wall Street want to pay lobbyists to smear the protesters? To protect the banks’ interests:
According to the memo, if Democrats embrace OWS, “This would mean more than just short-term political discomfort for Wall Street. … It has the potential to have very long-lasting political, policy and financial impacts on the companies in the center of the bullseye.”
Unsurprisingly, the lobbyists who wrote the memo were former Congressional employees:
Two of the memo’s authors, partners Sam Geduldig and Jay Cranford, previously worked for House Speaker John Boehner, R-Ohio. Geduldig joined CLGC before Boehner became speaker; Cranford joined CLGC this year after serving as the speaker’s assistant for policy.
The bankers association said the memo was unsolicited and never acted upon, but it’s a clear example of the kind of political tactics that are used to distort our political system. The most influence and the best PR campaigns go to the groups that can pay the most money.
And increasingly, that money is coming from the banking sector, reports the Sacramento Bee:
The money banks spend on lobbying is on pace to reach a record high again this year as the industry battles to weaken or repeal hundreds of rules being crafted by federal regulators.