WASHINGTON (Reuters) - The Occupy Wall Street movement
is a big enough problem for U.S. banks that they should pay for opposition research into the political motives of protesters, said a firm that lobbies for the industry.
Clark Lytle Geduldig & Cranford
, a Washington-based firm, proposed the idea in a memo to the American Banking Association
, an industry group which said on Saturday that it did not act on the idea.
The four-page memo outlined how the firm could analyze the source of protesters' money, as well as their rhetoric and the backgrounds of protest leaders.
"If we can show they have the same cynical motivation as a political opponent, it will undermine their credibility in a profound way," said the memo, according to a copy of it on the website of TV news channel MSNBC, which first reported on it.
The memo is from Clark Lytle Geduldig's four name partners. Two of them, Sam Geduldig and Jay Cranford, are former aides to House of Representatives Speaker John Boehner, a Republican.
Using shorthand for Occupy Wall Street, the memo said:
"It may be easy to dismiss OWS as a ragtag group of protesters but they have demonstrated that they should be treated more like an organized competitor who is very nimble and capable of working the media, coordinating third party support and engaging office holders to do their bidding. To counter that, we have to do the same."