By: Tam Doan, PCAF's Deputy Research Director
On Saturday, MSNBC reported on a memo written by lobbyists at Clark Lytle Geduldig & Cranford for their client the American Bankers Association on ways that the Occupy Wall Street movement could be discredited.
Sam Geduldig, the memo author with the heftiest campaign contribution history (he has given $295,950 since 2007) has a long history of linking the interests of the financial sector to the work of Congress, according to Public Campaign Action Fund analysis of data from the Center for Responsive Politics and news reports.
- In addition to working for House Speaker John Boehner (R-Ohio), Geduldig also worked for then House Majority Whip Roy Blunt (R-Mo.) and former Rep. Mike Oxley (R-Ohio), all in senior advisor roles and mainly on financial services issues.
- Geduldig flew around on the dime of entities such as the American Bankers Association when he was on staff with Blunt. (Pamela Brogan, “Private money pays for Blunt's staff to travel around the globe,” Gannett News Service, July 7, 2006, accessed on Nexis.com)
- Along with other Blunt aides, he contributed $500 to disgraced and convicted former House Majority Leader Tom DeLay’s (R-Texas) legal defense fund. (“Aides Make Contributions To DeLay's Defense Fund,” National Journal’s CongressDaily, April 26, 2005, accessed on Nexis.com)
- Based on his work for Oxley and the House Financial Services Committee, he faced scrutiny as part of an investigation in 2003 into whether the Investment Company Institute was pressured into firing its lobbyist, Julie Domenick, in order to replace her with a Republican.
- His wife, Courtney Geduldig, is a senior lobbyist for the Financial Services Forum. She previously worked for the Senate Banking, Housing and Urban Affairs Committee, Sen. Bob Corker and the US Treasury. She is also a former lobbyist for the Consumer Bankers Association.
- In his comments to the press, Geduldig clearly talks about the games played in DC and the connections lobbyists have, though he believes “Being corrupt isn't something that 16,000 federally registered lobbyists have cornered the market on."
- When Geduldig joined up with long-time colleague Steve Clark to launch their lobbying practice, he and his friends felt this was a natural move, particularly given his relationships and his work with coalitions that included financial sector interests. Bruce Josten, executive vice-president of the U.S. Chamber of Commerce said, “Sammy's not just plugged in. He does the plotting, the strategizing.” Nick Calio, who until recently was a top lobbyist for Citigroup, appreciated how Geduldig “kept everybody informed.” Geduldig himself felt the move would be “more entrepreneurial" than “joining a trade association or other in-house job.” (Tory Newmyer and Kate Ackley, “Lilly's a Lobbyist; Geduldig Heads to K Street,” Roll Call, December 11, 2006, accessed on Nexis.com)