WASHINGTON -- A lobbying firm has prepared a memo offering advice to its Wall Street clients to help them manage any political fallout from Occupy Wall Street, warning that Republicans may turn on big banks, at least in public, altering the political ground for years to come. It is one of the first clear signs that the movement may be starting to trouble the moneyed elite.
The memo, first reported by MSNBC's Chris Hayes, host of the show "Up with Chris Hayes," was written by the firm Clark, Lytle, Geduldig, Cranford and addressed to one of its Wall Street clients. It runs four pages long and is set to be sent on Thanksgiving.
The first two graphs of the memo, provided by MSNBC to The Huffington Post, express angst over the idea that the movement could mean "more than just short-term discomfort for Wall Street firms" and has "the potential to have very long-lasting political, policy and financial impacts on the companies in the center of the bullseye."
The paragraphs read in full:
Leading Democratic party strategists have begun to openly discuss the benefits of embracing the growing and increasingly organized Occupy Wall Street (OWS) movement to prevent Republican gains in Congress and the White House next year. We have seen this process of adopting extreme positions and movements to increase base voter turnout, including in the 2005-2006 immigration debate. This would mean more than just short-term discomfort for Wall Street firms. If vilifying the leading companies of this sector is allowed to become an unchallenged centerpiece of a coordinated Democratic campaign, it has the potential to have very long-lasting political, policy and financial impacts on the companies in the center of the bullseye.
It shouldn't be surprising that the Democratic party or even President Obama's re-election team would campaign against Wall Street in this cycle. However the bigger concern should be that Republicans will no longer defend Wall Street companies -- and might start running against them too.
The lobbying firm, a high-powered shop with an array of clients from across the political spectrum, declined to comment. On its website, the firm notes that it "combines sophisticated high-level strategic thinking with robust ground-level relationships established over decades with key members of Congress and their staff, Administration officials."
Joshua Stephens, who has participated in the occupy movement in New York City, says the memo worries might be misplaced or potentially obsolete. "The danger is not whether or not politicians will defend these institutions. My fear wouldn't be that," he said. "My fear would be that the politicians that come to their aid will be increasingly irrelevant...That's the real threat and that's where things are going."
Watch the "Up with Chris Hayes" segment on the memo below:
Ryan Grim contributed reporting to this story.