Revolving doors

Rick Holmes

The revolving door keeps spinning at Nixon Peabody.

Last year, state Rep. Jim Vallee abruptly quit his elected post to join Nixon Peabody to work in real estate and “government relations,” which means lobbying his former colleagues (as soon as the law allows).

A  week ago, Scott Brown gave up his political career to take a job in “government relations” with Nixon Peabody. Theoretically he could run for office again, but lobbyists don’t tend to become candidates.

Now Gerry Leone has joined the parade. Next month he’ll go from prosecuting criminals as Middlesex DA to defending them in Nixon Peabody’s “government investigations and white collar defense” department.

I guess I don’t begrudge these guys the money, and I have no reason to believe they delivered favors while in office that were rewarded with their cushy new jobs.  I do wish Vallee and Leone had served out the terms they were elected to before going for the gold.

A more outrageous revolving-door story: When Jack Lew went to CitiGroup, the bank wrote into his contract a $500,000 bonus should he leave the firm to return to government service.  A bonus for staying with a company is typical; a bonus for leaving is pretty strange – unless the motivation for the hire was to cement a friendship with the future Secretary of the Treasury.