Anti-Corruption Watchdog Blasts Lobbying Firm for Planned Attack on Occupy Wall Street

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Group details lobbying firm’s clients, campaign contributions

Sends warning to the one percent in Washington: “Whether they like it or not, change is coming to America”

Washington, D.C. – Following the expose by MSNBC this morning that banking lobbyists Clark, Lytle, Geduldig & Cranford pitched a smear campaign about the Occupy Wall Street protests to the American Bankers Association, watchdog Public Campaign Action Fund released research about the firm’s clients and issued a stern warning to big money players who have rigged the system.

The lobbying firm has made $8.5 million from lobbying in the past five years, according to data compiled by the group from the nonpartisan Center for Responsive Politics’ website, including lobbying for the American Bankers Association, the US Chamber of Commerce, the Investment Company Institute, Verizon, and AT&T, among dozens of others.

MSNBC’s Chris Hayes’ exclusive report this morning revealed that the lobbying firm is proposing a detailed plan to set the stage to undermine the Occupy movement because the protests “[have] the potential to have very long-lasting political, policy and financial impacts on the companies in the center of the bullseye.” The memo, strangely dated “November 24, 2011,” describes the biggest problem facing Wall Street firms is not if the Democrats adopt the movement; it’s if the Republicans abandon Wall Street.

“This memo from the big banker’s lobbyists is exactly the kind of politics that we need to dismantle in Washington,” said David Donnelly, national campaigns director of Public Campaign Action Fund. “Wall Street banks, their lobbyists, and their campaign-donating CEOs are afraid of this movement to hold them accountable for what they did to America’s economy.

“Whether they like it or not, change is coming and to try to stop it places them at odds with the 99 percent of Americans who don’t have a strong voice in Washington or who can afford to give a large contribution to a politician,” Donnelly continued.

A partial list of the lobbying firm’s clients and amounts they received over the past five years shows significant businesses and associations:

Client

Payment 2007-2011

American Bankers Association

$710,000

American Institute of CPAs

$550,000

AT&T

$170,000

Bloomberg LP

$201,000

Electronic Payments Coalition

$540,000

Investment Co Inst

$540,000

Mastercard

$320,000

US Chamber of Commerce

$598,500

Verizon

$250,000

The four principal lobbyists at the firm have donated $452,250 over the past five years to federal candidates and political party committees. The lionshare of that funding has gone to Republicans (95.3 percent) with just a small amount (4.7 percent) donated to Democrats.

Lobbyist

Donated 2007-2011

Steve Clark

$147,350

Jay Cranford

$1,750

Sam Geldudig

$295,950

Gary Lytle

$43,300

Two of the lobbyists – Cranford and Geldudig – worked for House Speaker John Boehner (R-Ohio).

“These four lobbyists have made themselves into poster children for the one percent who think they own Washington,” said Donnelly. “If there’s something that belongs to all of us it’s our democracy, and we won’t let them control it anymore. It’s time to Occupy Democracy by advancing policies and ideas that give voice to the 99 percent of us like the Fair Elections Now Act.”