Several union-backed groups began an attack Tuesday on lobbyists for the big banking companies, releasing a report that details their efforts during the financial crisis and features photos of dozens of them.
The report by the Public Accountability Initiative, Service Employees International Union's Banking and Finance Campaign and the Campaign for America's Future was unusually personal, listing lobbyists by name and their current and former employers.
According to the report, lobbyists for six big banks — Goldman Sachs Group Inc., Bank of America Corp., JPMorgan Chase & Co., Citigroup Inc., Morgan Stanley and Wells Fargo & Co. — have spent an estimated $1.4 million per day to lobby Congress and close to $600 million since the bailout of Bear Stearns in March 2008. The report is the kick-off to a campaign by the union groups against bank lobbyists.
On May 17, they will hold a rally in Washington outside of bank lobbyists' offices. Afterward, the groups plan to lobby against politicians who have taken money from large banks.
Citi responded by disputing the group's assertion that it employs 55 lobbyists. Instead, it said, it employs 37 in-house lobbyists, plus consultants. "Our government relations department serves as a link between the businesses and government, advocating policies and positions that shape the operating environment," said a Citi spokeswoman.