Top Democratic Lobbyists Targeted by Protesters

Posted May 17, 2010 at 11:35am

The Service Employees International Union and National People’s Action targeted Democratic lobbyists Tony Podesta and Steve Elmendorf with more than 1,000 protesters outside their offices Monday morning.

The morning protests came before a noon rally at McPherson Square, where 2,000 people protested the government bailouts of huge financial firms.

The protesters were generally well-behaved, holding signs that read “Stop Wall Street Greed” and chanting “this is what democracy looks like” outside Podesta’s G Street Northwest office.

Both Podesta and Elmendorf are large donors to the Democratic Party and represent financial services clients. Podesta, founder of Podesta Group, lobbies on behalf of Wells Fargo and Bank of America. Elmendorf, founder of Elmendorf Strategies, counts the Consumer Bankers Association, the Financial Services Forum, Citigroup and Goldman Sachs as clients.

Albert Marshall, a construction inspector from Oakland, Calif., said this trip is very emotional. Marshall, who was set to speak before the crowd at the McPherson Square rally, lost his home after fighting to keep it for two years. He had a mortgage with Wells Fargo.

“You have to speak out,” Marshall said. “If you don’t, you won’t get any help.”

Monday’s actions came after nearly 1,000 people demonstrated at the Chevy Chase homes of the top lobbyists and government affairs officials of Bank of America and JP Morgan Chase.