Photo by STAN HONDA/AFP/Getty Images
The banking lobby has a new message for the Occupy movement: don’t mess with our money.
A well-known financial services lobbying firm based in Washington has come up with a plan that would funnel close to $1 million in funds towards undermining the Occupy Wall Street and other Occupy protests.
According to MSNBC's "Up With Chris Hayes," lobbying firm Clark Lytle Geduldig & Cranford sent a memo to the American Bankers Association with an outline for the plan, which suggests, among other things, doing “opposition research” on the Occupy movement in order to help construct “negative narratives” about protesters and the politicians who support them.
The memo states, according to MSNBC, that wins by Democrats in 2012 elections would be detrimental to Wall Street firms — and suggests specific races in which Republicans would be more friendly to the financial industry. If Democrats fully embrace the movement, the memo says, “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.”
Another part of the memo — authored with the help of two former aides of House Speaker John Boehner (R-OH) — reportedly frets that the Occupy movement and the Tea Party movement might actually find common ground and become even more politically potent by joining forces.
In a somewhat ironic statement, the memo also suggests uncovering and outing who might be funding the protests: “If we can show they have the same cynical motivation as a political opponent it will undermine their credibility in a profound way.”
A spokesperson for Boehner declined to comment on the memo but noted that President Obama has had a larger windfall of campaign contributions from Wall Street than anyone running for office. On “Up With Chris Hayes,” Obama campaign advisor Anita Dunn said the majority of the president’s money filling re-election coffers actually comes from small donors.
The American Bankers Association told “Up With Chris Hayes” in a statement that the memo was unsolicited and that the ABA had not acted upon receiving it. Nonetheless, the memo suggests that the financial sector’s lobbying industry is beginning to take the Occupy protests seriously enough to consider fighting back, and using large sums of cash in the process.
Meanwhile, after an eventful week, Occupy protesters are still involved in more public confrontations — like getting casually pepper-sprayed in the face by police.