10 Facts on Lobbying Firm Trying to Discredit Occupy Wall Street

According to an exclusive by “Up with Chris Hayes” on MSNBC on Saturday, November 19, 2011, Clark Lytle Geduldig & Cranford (CLGC), a Washington, D.C. lobbying firm, authored a memo detailing the rationale and a proposal to smear the Occupy Wall Street movement. The memo was sent to the American Bankers Association (ABA). It’s instructive to look additional clients CLGC lobbies for and the relationships the firm has with powerful players in Washington, and that they drafted this memo for the ABA shouldn’t preclude that they are approaching other clients with similar requests.

Fact 1. Corporate lobbying firm Clark Lytle Geduldig & Cranford made $8.475 million lobbying from 2007-2011. Their clients include a who’s who of major corporate special interests.1

Fact 2. The firm’s principals have given a significant amount to politicians over the past five years. The four principals who signed the memo to the ABA contributed $452,350 to federal candidates and parties, with 95 percent donated to Republicans. One of them, Sam Geduldig, has given nearly $300,000 himself since 2005.2

Fact 3. The firm was hired by Koch Industries to lobby for them in Washington as the public scrutiny heightened around David and Charles Koch’s political agenda and spending. Koch paid CLGC $20,000 to lobby on an Agriculture appropriations bill.

Fact 4. CLGC has received $710,000 in lobbying fees from the ABA and another $70,000 in fees from the Financial Services Roundtable since 2007. The banking and the financial services associations led the charge to bailout the banks, which CLGC lobbied for in 2008.

Fact 5. The firm lobbied on behalf of the Financial Services Roundtable and the ABA for the Defund ACORN Act.

Fact 6. Geduldig hosted a fundraiser for GOP presidential candidate Mitt Romney on October 26, 2011.3

Fact 7. Two of the firm’s principals, Geduldig and Jay Cranford, used to work for House Speaker John Boehner.

Fact 8. The US Chamber of Commerce paid CLGC $598,500 over the past five years for lobbying services.

Fact 9. Bloomberg LP spent $201,000 on CLGC’s lobbying services since 2008. Bloomberg LP is the partnership established by New York City Mayor Mike Bloomberg. The firm lobbied on banking related matters for Bloomberg.

Fact 10. CLGC lobbied against the DISCLOSE Act, which would have exposed secret corporate money in elections, on behalf of their client the Organization for International Investment. The client has paid them $72,000 since 2009.

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1. Lobbying amounts, bills lobbied on, and campaign finance figures from the nonpartisan Center for Responsive Politics website, opensecrets.org