Bank Lobbyists Outline Attack On Occupy Wall Street To 'Undermine' Protests

Occupy Bloomberg Mansion

Photo: Robert Johnson — Business Insider

One high profile DC lobbying group has pitched the American Bankers Association (ABA) to launch an $850,000 campaign to discredit the Occupy Wall Street (OWS) movement, and smear politicians sympathetic to the cause.MSNBC reports Clark Lytle Geduldig & Cranford, already the lobbying group for the American Bankers Association, Koch Industries, and MasterCard, urged the ABA to perform “opposition research” on OWS so that it could build “negative narratives” about the protest and its supporters.

The four page memo sent to ABA warns the protests could undermine support for Wall Street from both political parties and mentions specific states where the 2012 election outcome could harm the banking industry.

The memo says if the OWS movement becomes a focal point in the Democratic campaign, “This would mean more than just short-term political discomfort for Wall Street firms. If vilifying the leading companies of this sector is allowed to become an unchallenged centrepiece of a coordinated Democratic campaign, it has the potential to have very long-lasting political, policy and financial impacts on the companies in the centre of the bull’s-eye.”

Dated November 24, the memo said it could present survey data, and plans to use the information, in two months. The unsolicited offer was apparently rejected, but hints the OWS movement may be seen as a significant force in next year’s elections.

The memo went on to say: “It may be easy to dismiss OWS as a ragtag group of protesters but they have demonstrated that they should be treated more like an organised competitor who is very nimble and capable of working the media, coordinating third party support and engaging office holders to do their bidding. To counter that, we have to do the same.”

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