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“It strains common sense that when employers are giving employees who are about to enter government work these huge bonuses, that there isn’t a hope that there will be influence and access,” say Jessica Levinson, a professor at Loyola Law School in Los Angeles, who compared the bonuses to how special interests seek access to politicians using campaign donations. “I think the main gist of the payment is the same,” notes Levinson. “It’s: ‘I hope when I’m pushing a piece of legislation, you’ll remember me with fondness.’”
At least eight financial firms, including Goldman Sachs and Morgan Stanley, have had employment policies that provide executives with financial incentives to join the government. The bonuses on Capitol Hill appear so routine, law professor Jessica Levinson noted, “This is becoming the way we do business.”