Earlier today as I perused Myiq2xu’s post on union influence at Occupy Boston, I was drawn to a name mentioned in the link to the Politico story: Doug Forand. The Politico article is on the March on Mansions protests planned for NYC earlier today. I make it a habit of googling names I come across in news articles, especially if it’s part of a larger, on-going story the media is following. You can often uncover interesting histories and flesh out networks by doing this. Doug Forand was quoted extensively in the Politico article, and labeled “the spokesperson for 99 New York, the coalition which organized the protest.” He was erroneously called “Occupy Wall Street spokesman,” in an earlier edition of the story (no note about the revision on the article, either). That’s what originally caught my eye.
It turns out that Doug Forand, the resident of Brooklyn whose name is becoming quickly associated with news reports of the OWS protests, is a partner at Red Horse Strategies, LLC, the consulting firm that has been credited with the Democrats rise to power in 2008. According to the public statement at the firm’s founding, Forand was described thusly:
Doug Forand has over ten years experience leading campaigns and working in the New York State Government. Most recently, he served as Deputy Chief of Staff and Director of the DSCC under Senate Minority Leaders David Paterson and Malcolm Smith. In 2002, he was the campaign manager for Alan Hevesi’s winning 2002 Comptroller campaign and served as Director of Intergovernmental Affairs for Comptroller Hevesi following his election.
So now Doug Forand has joined forces with and become spokesperson for “99 New York,” which I can’t find much on except for this Firedoglake report, which describes it as “UnitedNY, Strong Economy for All Coaltition (sic), NY Communities for Change, the Working Families Party and a bunch of other community organizations.” According to some conservative websites, the Working Families Party has been busted hiring protesters for Occupy Wall Street. Red Horse is not listed among those groups, but the report is not a journalists article and it may be publicly identified with the group. I don’t know. As I said, there’s not a lot of info on the group online, except for them being cited and quoted in news articles.
What I do want to know is why is a guy, who is up to his neck in electing Democrats like Forand is, suddenly trying to organize the kind of confrontational street theater operations like we saw last year with unions and Bank of America executives, and again this year with unions and Republican state senators in Wisconsin? And why is he using Occupy Wall Street to do it? Something is definitely stinking here.