That was then. This is now.

Let’s pretend.

Say you were a certain high-ranking city employee, and you made some controversial decisions in your official capacity, for the benefit of certain private interests. Suppose these certain moneyed interests told you what fine executive material you were. Suppose they said that they’d be happy to have you on their team when your contract ran out. So with one eye on your obligation to the taxpayer, and another on your golden years, you made some decisions that were questionable.

An uproar erupted, and when your contract ran out, the brouhaha hadn’t subsided. The enthusiasm that those certain moneyed interests had shown for you when you were in a position to help seemed to have faded. The long conversations that you used to enjoy with the principals gradually devolved into, “Let me get back to you,” and “Now’s not a good time,” and eventually they weren’t taking your calls, and the messages you left with their secretaries weren’t returned.

“Later,” was one of the last things they said to you. “Let’s let this thing cool off. How would it look if we hired you now?”

You had imagined a different outcome. You’d foreseen a bright future for you and your assistants. Now, they were pariahs. Because they believed in you, they’d torpedoed their chances of future employment in the public sector, and the local private sector wasn’t as lucrative as the public trough, not by a long shot.

What would you do?

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