ML strategies adding Baddour to its Boston lobbying practice

BOSTON (STATE HOUSE) – One of the state’s powerhouse lobbying and consultant firms plans next month to add to its roster that already includes a former governor and U.S. senator as Steve Baddour will join ML Strategies as senior vice president of government relations.

Baddour, a former state senator from Methuen who left politics to join the law firm of McDermott, Will & Emery in 2012, will follow in the footsteps of former Gov. William Weld. Weld left McDermott, Will & Emery’s New York practice seven months after Baddour joined the firm in Boston to return to Massachusetts at ML Strategies.

“I feel like a proud papa, here,” Weld told the News Service on Monday, indicating he had been discussing the move with Baddour for awhile.

Baddour, a conservative Merrimack Valley Democrat who was deeply involved in setting state transportation policies for nearly a decade, plans to start at ML Strategies – the lobbying arm of the law firm Mintz Levin – on Sept. 1. He hopes to bring with him many of the clients he works with in his current position, including Staples, State Street, John Deer, AT&T, athenaHealth and Beacon Health Strategies.

“It was a difficult choice. I have a lot of respect for the folks here at McDermott, but the platform at ML is just much larger and when you have Bill Weld and Mo Cowan and Steve Tocco knocking on your door, it’s hard to say no,” Baddour said.

Cowan, the one-time chief of staff to former Gov. Deval Patrick who served as interim U.S. Senator from Massachusetts, said Baddour was one of the senators who would sometimes walk across the portico from the Senate to his office and knock on the back window to talk.

“We could be straight shooters with one another. I enjoyed sparring with him and look forward to having him on the team,” Cowan said.

Baddour plans to take Dan Connelly, legislative counsel at McDermott Will & Emery and former chief counsel at the Senate Ways and Means Committee, with him to ML Strategies.

Cowan said Baddour will be one of four people, including himself, Weld and R.J. Lyman, with “dual citizenship” at ML Strategies and Mintz Levin, where Baddour will also work as of counsel to the law firm.

“For us, it’s just a chance for him to continue that important work on our platform,” Cowan said. “Frankly, he’s been very successful with Dan and we see a lot of great opportunity here. We’re looking to continue to grow and grow stronger.”

Weld said that over the past year he has worked with Lyman to develop an energy and development and infrastructure practice that will be a “tongue and groove fit with Baddour’s experience” in transportation from his days on Beacon Hill.

“The guy loves to go elephant hunting, which is a great pleasure to have on your team,” Weld said, adding, “Elephants are large clients, not necessarily Republicans.”

Copyright 2015 State House News Service

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