Tuesday, February 15, 2011

Thither goest Johnny Protocols

The Other Side staff had been perplexed for months over the absence of former ‘favorite son’ goobernatorial candidate John (Johnny Protocols, or JP) in the news, leaving us to wonder and speculate on just what he might be cooking up in the way of future plans.  It was hard for us to accept that a man of such ambition would simply drift away on the outgoing tide, as it were, so we assumed some sort of image rehabilitation might be going on.

Finally, we have some news on his return to prominence, and right here in our local area.  It turns out Richardson is bringing his legal talents and political experience to Moncure & Barnicle in Topsham, a firm about half the size of the one he was a member of in Portland for years and years. 

The item in The Ostrich did not go so far as to mention the name of his prior firm, which seems traditional in business section “people on the move” items, so we can only wonder whether the separation was cordial, or in fact had taken place years ago when his political career became all-consuming, if headed for the toaster.

The press notice says:

Richardson will work in legal and governmental relations, as well as on business and economic development.

The first part of that seems an obvious focus, as he looks to make use of all those Augusta based friendships and connections he’s built up over the years. The change in the complexion of Augusta, however, might make things a bit dicier than they would have been if Democrats had continued to run the place.  (‘Legal and governmental relations’ is often the euphemistic cover for lobbying.)

As to ‘business and economic development,’ we confess that we had not thought of that as a legal specialty.  Until we recalled how much our economy these days is dominated by political entrepreneurship as the successor to market entrepreneurship.

The latter is the old fashioned model of ‘find a need and fill it and you can succeed.’  The former is the modern-day pursuit of political favor, tax incentives, grants, ‘investment,’ tailored legislation, and any other governmental influence and advantage that can be secured as the state increasingly intervenes in and distorts the operation of the free market.  Think Angus King and his wind power friends, and the suitors of the MRRA shopping for deals.

Seems like a perfect match for JP’s experience base, especially since his new firm is “actively involved in community organizations such as Midcoast Regional Redevelopment Authority in connection with the BRAC Closure of Naval Air Station Brunswick.”  Ah, the memories of Jim Horowitz and Oxford Aviation come flooding back, causing  tears to form as we type.

And then we recall the recent move to Maine by JP’s great buddy and fellow business developer F. Lee Bailey, as reported on here.  Suddenly, it all begins to make sense.  That post included this passage:

Well, there you have it.  A story you can’t make up.  Bailey’s ‘partner’ Elliott is a former official at Maine’s Department of Economic and Community Development, headed by Johnny Protocols (Richardson) until he decided to run for Governor in 2009.

And so, as spring approaches, we wait anxiously to see whether the ‘stars’ are in fact ‘aligning’ to stimulate the blossoming of a glorious new collaboration to supercede the stinkweeds of their past efforts.  (If you’re not into astrological metaphors, think of it as ‘ducks getting in a row.’  Quack, quack.)

Better stock up on your allergy pills, faithful readers.  It could be a new strain of pollen will be causing irritation in the coming months.

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1 comment:

  1. Politics, and Local Politics, become curiouser and curiouser, as we attach to the news that the MRRA is or was to be bi-partisan, and John chose to go with Moncure & Barnicle,who's senior partner is on the board of MRRA. Where will the confidential information stop...or will it?