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Right paints Occupy movement as menace, ties movement to Democrats

Image has not been found. URL: http://images.coloradoindependent.com/OWSoakland.jpgThe Campaign to Defeat Obama, a political action committee with ties to the Republican Party and the Tea Party Express, has launched a campaign linking Democratic Party lawmakers and President Obama to the Occupy Wall Street movement, which is depicted by the organization as “violent mobs.”

“Barack Obama has been one of the protest mobs’ biggest cheerleaders,” writes Campaign chief and right-wing politics public relations consultant Joe Wierzbicki in a release announcing a new campaign ad.

Wierzbicki points readers to poll data from Quinnipiac suggesting Americans now view the Occupy movement unfavorably.

The new poll finds that support for the violent Occupy Wall Street mobs has fallen further, and since Barack Obama has been one of the protest mobs’ biggest cheerleaders, it spells trouble for him as well….

The mainstream media hasn’t spent much time highlighting this vulnerability for Obama, but that is where you come in. We urgently need your help to raise the money to launch our new TV ad campaign that shows how Democrat leaders shamelessly have championed the Occupy Wall Street mobs that have cost taxpayers millions of dollars and created considerable damage in cities across America.

Look at this picture below and see what the scene was like this week in Oakland, California. Are we going to let these mobs and their Democrat champions do this to America, or are we going to fight back?

The language in the ads and the release is exaggerated and the facts are cherry-picked. The larger narrative strategy of the campaign also comes with some risk.

Voters may not love recent more-aggressive Occupy tactics, but they still sympathize to a significant degree with the main message of the movement, which centers on the need to address the inarguable fact of expanding inequality in the country tied to the finance industry and corporate America and the way the two dominate Washington DC.

Although it’s true recent polls report dipping popularity for the Occupy movement, they also report greater sympathy for the movement than for the Tea Party and much greater sympathy for the movement than for Wall Street and large corporations.

Wierzbicki, however, isn’t looking to provide that kind of context. He’s a longtime pitchman for Republican Party-associated firm Russo Marsh & Rogers. He helped sell George W. Bush’s policies in Iraq and wrote the memo that led conservative establishment figures to backdoor-finance the national Tea Party bus tour during the 2010 campaign season.

Wierzbicki’s 2011 Campaign to Defeat Obama PAC shares a Willows, California, PO Box address with his Our Country Deserves Better PAC and with TeaPartyExpress.org. All three organizations reportedly share the same treasurer as well, a Kelly Lawler, who was a former staff member at the National Republican Campaign Committee.

Still, as political analysts of all stripes will tell anyone who will listen, broader contexts can matter not at all in the world of campaign strategy, which is partly tied to the fact that the public doesn’t always overly concern itself with the work histories of the partisans behind most political media campaigns.

As the “OWS as Democratic Party-backed public menace” ads hit the airwaves, a blogger for the Economist underlines exactly why bad-acting Occupiers might pose a major political problem for Democrats.

“As long as the Occupy movement remains without acknowledged leaders who can credibly distance it from the worst behaviour of its least reasonable affiliates, the movement will increasingly come to be defined by its most egregious episodes.”

The blogger points to CBS coverage from clashes in Oakland.

“You see the problem? Who watches CBS News? Older people. Older people who don’t cotton to this sort of shenanigans and who vote in droves.”

The Massachusetts Republican Party recently launched a nearly identical campaign targeting Democratic Senate candidate Elizabeth Warren as the “matriarch of mayhem.”

Got a tip? Story pitch? Send us an e-mail to tips@washingtonindependent.com

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