On Friday the New York Times reported that Jeffrey Shockey, aide to [sw: Jerry Lewis]’ (R-CA) Appropriations Committee, received a $1.9 million buyout from his previous employer, the lobbying firm of Copeland Lowery, that was contingent on the future success of his former clients. The Times article reported that “the firm waited to see how much money the clients he signed paid the firm in 2005 to determine the full payment.” So Shockey’s severance package was to be determined by the success of his former clients in obtaining earmarks from the committee where Shockey was employed. Josh Marshall summed this up perfectly over the weekend:

In other words, Shockey didn’t just have a continuing financial interest in Copeland Lowery to the extent he needed them to make enough money to honor their buy-out agreement. His income was still directly tied to how much his ‘former’ clients paid the firm in 2005 — while he was working as a congressional staffer. … Who took over Shockey’s client list when he returned to government service? Well, when Shockey left Copeland Lowery, Copeland Lowery turned around and hired Shockey’s wife Alexandra, who also used to work for Lewis. And in an email to Copley News Service’s Jerry Kammer back in December, Alexandra “acknowledged that her client roster includes some of her husband’s old clients.”

I continue to marvel at how these guys get their spouses involved in these schemes. Every single one of these scandals, whether it be the Jack Abramoff scandal or [sw: William Jefferson], involves spouses making money off of corrupt schemes.