Lieberman staffer to lead new lobby shop

Ex-Sen. Joe Lieberman’s (I-Conn.) former chief of staff will spearhead the Washington-based lobbying efforts of Kasowitz Benson Torres & Friedman.

Clarine Nardi Riddle will launch the firm’s government affairs practice and Washington office, the firm announced on Wednesday, about one week after Lieberman joined the firm's New York office. The two would be working on issues together, the firm said.

Federal records show Kasowitz Benson Torres & Friedman, a law firm with offices nationwide, has not previously had federally registered lobbyists.

“Clarine’s extensive political and legal experience will be an invaluable asset to our clients who seek counsel in navigating a range of matters involving the intersection of business and government,” Marc Kasowitz, the firm’s founding and managing partner, said in a statement.

Lieberman told the Wall Street Journal this month that he had no plans to ever lobby his former colleagues, but the door is left wide open for Riddle, who will serve as counsel at the firm. Though ethics rules stipulate she may not lobby staff or members of the Senate for one year, she is still able to talk to individuals in the House of Representatives or the executive branch.

“I am eager to apply my knowledge and experience to help companies and individuals advocate for legislative and policy changes that protect and expand their businesses,” Riddle said in a statement.

From 1989 to 1991, she served as Connecticut’s first — and only — female attorney general. Riddle also became the first attorney general from the state to testify before the U.S. Supreme Court.

“We look forward to developing our government affairs practice under her guidance, and also underscoring the importance of strong women leaders at the firm,” Kasowitz said.

Riddle remains an active member of the organization No Labels, which aims to bring Democrats, Republicans and Independents together to solve federal policy problems. She is a co-founder of the group, which lists Jon Huntsman and Joe Manchin as its national leaders.