Lobbyists Draw Bead on Occupy Wall Street


No group has profited more from the status quo than the fast-growing political lobbyist industry, which is now drawing a bead on the Occupy Wall Street movement as it seeks to shake loose new money from Wall Street.

The lobbying firm of Clark-Lytle-Geduldig-Cranford (CLGC) recently sent a $850,000 proposal to the American Bankers Association for a political effort to counteract the pro-democracy protesters. The document, which was obtained by the  MSNBC program “Up w/ Chris Hayes,” is a perfect illustration of the big banks contemptuous attitude toward the faltering middle class and the manner in which it’s enabled by the Machiavellian world of Washington, D.C.

Lobbyists don’t have a principled position against the pro-democracy movement. They’re all about the Benjamins and OWS is the best way to scare some out of the U.S. Chamber of Commerce, the Koch Brothers and their well-heeled ilk. Nothing sells like fear when your dealing with a far right that is increasingly detached from reality and insulated from their own countrymen and women.

That’s one of the risks the rich and powerful run when they surround themselves with paid lackeys and punish any staffer with the temerity to question them. Like Michael Jackson, the big bank CEOs just can’t seem to get enough of their drug of choice and refuse to employ anyone who suggests they’re overdoing it. In their case that drug is sucking the middle class dry like a giant tick.

The CLGC proposal offers to conduct “opposition research” on Occupy Wall Street and build “negative narratives” about the movement and its political supporters. It warns that a Democrat alliance with OWS “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.”

The bigger concern is that OWS may prompt the banking industry’s Republican supporters to run for cover and stop defending Wall Street, according to the memo.

“It shouldn’t be surprising that the Democratic Party or even President Obama’s re-election team would campaign against Wall Street in this cycle,” the memo says. “However, the bigger concern should be that Republicans will no longer defend Wall Street companies – and might start running against them, too.”

In other words, if the big banks don’t start undermining OWS they may reach a point where they’re no longer able to buy their way out of trouble by throwing money at the Congressional hookers that work the pay-to-play political game in Washington, D.C.

Oh, the horror.

The saddest aspect of the memo is that it never suggests that Wall Street bankers should change their ways and begin conducting themselves honorably. It never suggests they should act as if they’re part of the same country as the middle-class Americans they have relentlessly exploited the past 30 years. Instead, the memo is all about how they can preserve a predatory business stance that is so clearly finished.


Because that’s what CLGC thinks they want to hear. The firm has close ties to the financial services industry and two of its principals were once staffers for House Speaker John Boehner, R-Ohio.

Presumably, there are dozens of similar proposals floating around Washington, D.C.

To understand why all you have to know is that lobbyists are in the business of making money, not change. They succeed when they get a payday.

Jeff Sigmund, an ABA spokesperson, confirmed that the association got the memo, according to Up w/ Chris Hayes.

“Our Government Relations staff did receive the proposal,” Hayes said in statement. “It was unsolicited and we chose not to act on it in any way.”