Hats off to Clark Lytle Geduldig Cranford for recognizing that Occupy Wall Street movement is more than a “ragtag group of protesters,” but rather a potent force to be reckoned with.
The Washington lobbying firm may not be too happy that its proposal to the American Bankers Assn. to counter OWS and potential Democratic allies was leaked to MSNBC’s “Up w/Chris Hayes” and is now posted on the Internet. It shouldn't be too hard on itself. The leaked report provides an invaluable public service, illustrating the huge chasm that exists between bankers/lobbyists and the 99 percent.
In making its $850K pitch to the ABA for a 60-day campaign, there's no mention of building a bridge between bankers and OWS, or even initiating any sort of outreach. It’s hardball all the way. CLGC opts for the classic “opposition research” program and calls for shadowy monitoring of social media outlets--so skillfully used by OWS--to discredit activists.
On the oppo front, CLGC is looking for OWS links to George Soros or like-minded lefties to find political motives or a shred of fraud. If CLGC can show OWS having the “same cynical motivation as a political opponent it will undermine their credibility in a profound way,” says the pitch. A proposed deliverable: construction of “fact-based negative narratives of OWS for high impact placement to expose the backers behind this movement.”
According to the CLGC proposal, “social media platforms offer an excellent opportunity to anticipate future OWS tactics and messaging as well as identifying extreme language and ideas that put its most ardent supporters at odds with mainstream America.” The ABA, however, isn’t advised to engage online with OWS. Rather, it is to stalk OWS backers via “sophisticated monitoring and analytical tactics” in a bid to gain “exceptional political intelligence.” The mission is to turn the social media tables on OWS.
CLGC warns that populism stirred by OWS on the left and Tea Parties on the right are a potent mix that may trigger an explosion against Wall Street, especially when the media soon begin to report the next round of bonuses and contrasts them to the “stories of millions of Americans making do with less this holiday season.”
Banks, according to the lobbying firm, are not the best spokespeople for their own cause. A big challenge is to “demonstrate that these companies still have political strength and that making them a political target will carry a severe political cost,” according to the pitch. An ad campaign could work to “combat OWS messages and provide cover for political figures who defend the industry.”
The ABA received the memo but decided not to act upon it. That could signal some small hope for creation of a positive dialog between both sides. In an ideal world, banks and OWS would be occupied in positive discussion.
On the down side: Jay Cranford and Sam Geduldig were top aides to House Speaker John Boehner, leading one to think that a new spirit of bipartisanship isn't going to break out on Capitol Hill any time soon.