A peek behind the curtain

MSNBC’s Chris Hayes had a terrific exclusive yesterday, and if you missed the report, take five minutes to watch the clip.

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Chris and his team obtained a strategy memo from the D.C. corporate lobbying firm Clark Lytle Geduldig Cranford (CLGC), led in part by former aides to House Speaker John Boehner. The document, prepared for the American Bankers Association, a firm client, outlines the kind of coordinated pushback industry lobbyists have in mind in response to the Occupy movement.

It’s an amazing peek behind the curtain. The bank lobbyists make clear that they fear the Occupy protests, believe Democratic gains in 2012 would undermine financial industry power, and would like to invest heavily in a media/opposition-research offensive that would try to discredit both Occupy activists and any Democratic officials who express any sympathy for the movement’s goals.

Indeed, the memo talks openly about aggressive warning shots at progressive Dems — most notably, Ohio Sen. Sherrod Brown (D) — as a way of intimidating other Democratic lawmakers from aligning themselves in any way with Occupy priorities.

Perhaps most amusingly, the CLGC memo alludes to the fact that the bankers would rely on allied surrogates to launch attacks, since no one likes the bankers themselves.

Chris explained towards the end of the segment:

“What’s contained in this short memo are all the most craven, corrupt, and insidious forces of the status quo coming together to squash Occupy. In fact, the document represents just about everything wrong with America in four short pages.

“We have a lobbying firm whose web page glowingly advertises that Sam Geduldig, a former Boehner staffer, ‘knows how to kill legislative threats to his clients.’ Drawing up a battle plan for the financial and its 1% members to use their deep pockets to attack the occupy movement and protect the banks’ financial interests by creating ‘political cover’ for bank-friendly policies.

“And while doing this, they would of course have the help and connections of fellow partner Jay Cranford, who just a few short months ago was working as a policy aide to Speaker Boehner.”

For the record, the American Bankers Association confirmed the authenticity of the strategy memo, but told “Up with Chris Hayes” that the document was unsolicited and not acted on.