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Forum Post: Memo spells out plan to undermine Occupy Wall Street

Posted 3 years ago on Nov. 19, 2011, 1:09 p.m. EST by madeinusa (393)
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By Jonathan Larsen and Ken Olshansky, MSNBC TV

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.

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.”

The memo also suggests that Democratic victories in 2012 should not be the ABA’s biggest concern. “… (T)he bigger concern,” the memo says, “should be that Republicans will no longer defend Wall Street companies.”

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. A third partner, Steve Clark, is reportedly “tight” with Boehner, according to a story by Roll Call that CLGC features on its website.

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,” he said in a statement to "Up."

CLGC did not return calls seeking comment.

Boehner spokesman Michael Steel declined to comment on the memo. But he responded to its characterization of Republicans as defenders of Wall Street by saying, “My understanding is that President Obama is the single largest recipient of donations from Wall Street.”

On “Up” Saturday, Obama campaign adviser Anita Dunn responded by saying that the majority of the president’s re-election campaign is fueled by small donors. She rejected the suggestion that the president himself is too close to Wall Street, saying “If that’s the case, why were tough financial reforms passed over party line Republican opposition?” advertisement

The CLGC memo raises another issue that it says should be of concern to the financial industry -- that OWS might find common cause with the Tea Party. “Well-known Wall Street companies stand at the nexus of where OWS protestors and the Tea Party overlap on angered populism,” the memo says. “…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.”

The memo 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. Wall Street companies “likely will not be the best spokespeople for their own cause,” according to the memo. “A big challenge is to demonstrate that these companies still have political strength and that making them a political target will carry a severe political cost.”

Part of the plan CLGC proposes 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.

The memo indicates that CLGC would research who has contributed financial backing 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.”

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8 Comments


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[-] 2 points by ZenDogTroll (13032) from South Burlington, VT 3 years ago

This is a demonstration of their fear - and our power.

They are sophisticated and highly organized. We should all read this carefully, and understand the strategy behind it.

We should have more information on this effort, and strategize ways to undermine it, and to anticipate the relationship between our actions and their reactions.

In an odd way this is good news.

[-] 0 points by danmi (66) 2 years ago

What is there to fear?? The fact is that OWS does have some good points but it also is carrying around a lot of baggage (drugs, destruction of property both public and private. numerous arrest, rapes, murders, etc) This is what I do not like about this movement. You folks call the Tea Party terrorist but the OWS is the evil ones and that is why the movement is dying a slow death.

[-] 1 points by ZenDogTroll (13032) from South Burlington, VT 2 years ago

just wait till this summer

you'll see how dead the movement is.

If the Justice Dept can't or won't act against lenders and investors who have engaged in fraud and there is clear evidence to act on, you may see protests - right outside their homes.

You'll see activism on creation of a 28th Amendment to end corporate personhood.

You'll see repelican districts clamp down on the Occupy Movement, and that in turn will generate support.

It's gonna be cr4zY

[-] 1 points by shoozTroll (17632) 9 months ago

Libe(R)topians united to smear unwanted activism!!

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[-] 1 points by KnaveDave (357) 3 years ago

"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."

If this is true, then here is a sampling from an article I recently wrote of the kinds of attacks the Occupy Wall Street movement can expect to hear in greater number: (I give the example because avoiding any appearance of fitting those attacks will be key in making sure they don't stick. "Know your enemy.")

The movement is a “growing mob” (House majority leader Eric Cantor) or “shiftless protestors” (The Tea Party Express) or “pure, genuine parasites,” “bored trust-fund kids” (Rush Limbaugh) or is engaged in “class warfare.” “This is a coordinated movement on the part of unions and Obama supporters to distract the American people from the real problem.” (GOP presidential candidate Herman Cain) or the movement is made up of… people who need to “take a shower and get a job.” “There really isn’t a uniform theme here. They don’t know what they want.” (Bill O’Reilly) or “If you put every left wing cause in a blender and hit power, this is the sludge you’d get. It’s basically anti-capitalism, and they want to redistribute the wealth.” (Jesse Watters, FOXnation) “700 left-wing, radical hippie protestors.” “The people [in the movement] take a crap on cop cars and have sex in public.” “It’s a pig pen out there.” ”They’re trust-fund babies.” ”This radicalism is class warfare inspired by leading Democrats.” “Who gets the bailouts? It’s Barack Obama!” (Sean Hannity) “These are the spawn of the worst excesses of the ideological left…. This is manufactured chaos, manufactured crises. It has been since day one, and we’re seeing all of the ugly, wretched, criminal manifestations of it.” (Michelle Malkin) They have even been called… “nuts and lunatics and fascists” (Karl Rove), “demonic loons” (Ann Coulter), and “Radicals, revolutionaries, Communists and Islamists that are working together to destroy Capitalism and the Western way of life. They’re calling for the violent overthrow of the United States government.” (Glenn Beck)

( http://thegreatrecession.info/blog/2011/11/occupy-wall-street-now-unoccupied-but-stronger/ )

Those are the kinds of labels that Republican commentators are putting on the movement in order to TRY to keep their followers from joining the movement. That brings me to another point in the post above:

"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."

Don't let this become viewed as an essentially Democrat movement. The Republican commentators are trying hard to brand the movement because they are afraid that angry Republicans will also side with it. Welcome angry Republican people, even as you battle angry Republican commentators. The people are angry with Wall street. The commentators are angry with Occupy Wall Street and see it as a liberal movement (which they identify as essentially Democrat). Stay non-partisan in your approach. Both Democrats and Republicans have plenty of reason to be angry at the greed and the abuses of Wall Street and the Cronyism between Wall Street and Washington.

--Knave Dave http://TheGreatRecession.info/blog

[-] 1 points by Antibohemian (1) from Bear, DE 3 years ago

I saw that document and would like to ask why is it dated November 24, 2011. Today is only the 19th. Seems like something funky to me.

[-] 1 points by gestopomillyy (1695) 3 years ago

do not believe they will not act on this proposal! prepare the world.

[-] 1 points by ciavlad (85) 3 years ago

Do you want to get rid of cunning people !? Vote petition on the Internet : http://wh.gov/jkl

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