|May 13, 2010|
|Carnival of Protest Set for 'K Street'|
|By Kevin McCauley|
|Washington lobbying firms might want to lock their doors on May 17 when the great "Showdown in America" road show rolls into D.C. |
That's the day when activists vow to descend on "K Street," ground zero of the lobbying community, and bash lobbyists/PR firms for their alleged role in thwarting reform of the financial system.
According to the showdowninamerica.org site: "Corporate lobbyists representing the big banks paved the way to deregulate Wall Street and are now standing in the way of reforms that would protect people and strengthen our economy."
The Showdown people are targeting lobbying outlays made by bailed-out institutions such as Citigroup ($4.9M in lobbying fees within nine months of its bail-out), JPMorgan Chase ($4.2M in nine-month fees), Bank of America ($3.6M), Wells Fargo ($2.5M) and Goldman Sachs ($1.8M).
The K Street showdown follows a Wall Street rally on April 29 that featured new AFL-CIO boss Rich Trumka, who wanted to know "how much longer will we allow the spirit of greed to continue to drive us into economic holes?" There was a brief "occupation" of the lobbies of buildings of JP Morgan and Wells Fargo. Organizers of the Wall Street demo claim more than 10,000 people took part, but the NYPD says 6,000 was more like it.
Whatever the number, the Wall Street demo received media coverage from CNN, CNBC, New York Times, Bloomberg and Associated Press.
New York Magazine focused on the good nature of the crowd, reporting the activists "acted more like participants in a parade or a pageant than an unruly mob. There were floats and costumes."
The carnival hits K Street next week.
This blogger trusts the Showdown people will have some more fun and spotlight the work of former Majority Leader and presidential candidate Dick Gephardt, whose Gephardt Group Government Affairs reps Goldman; ex-Senators John Breaux and Trent Lott (Citigroup), plus Democratic heavyweights Glover Park Group (American Bankers Assn.) and Podesta Group (Wells Fargo).
The Showdown is a project of the AFL-CIO, Service Employees International Union, Jobs with Justice and National People's Action,a Chicago-based coalition of community organizers that must take some pride having the Organizer-in-Chief in the White House.
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