Business & Lobbying

K Street heavyweights were among clients of newest senator

Sen. Carte Goodwin (D-W.Va.) had a thriving law and lobbying
practice prior to his appointment to the upper chamber, according to his
financial disclosure report.

Goodwin, who rose to power as general counsel and confidant
of West Virginia Gov. Joe Manchin, represented some of the biggest names on K
Street in 2009 and 2010 as a partner at Goodwin & Goodwin, his family’s law
firm in Charleston, W.Va.

{mosads}The West Virginia Democrat listed heavyweight clients such
as the Pharmaceutical Research and Manufacturers of America (PhRMA), Verizon
and Yum Brands on his financial disclosure form. He worked for 24 different
clients at Goodwin & Goodwin from February 2009 to July 2010 and earned $376,319.

The financial disclosure report provides an initial peek
into the finances of a young Democrat whose political career might only be

Manchin appointed Goodwin to the Senate in July after Sen.
Robert Byrd (D-W.Va.) passed away. Goodwin will leave the Senate at year’s end,
but many observers expect him to run for higher office in the future. 

Manchin is favored to win a November special election to
replace Goodwin in the Senate, but the West Virginia governor is facing a stiff
challenge from Republican businessman John Raese.

Goodwin performed “legal services” at the Charleston firm,
including “gov’t relations” and “merger & regulatory process,” according to
his form. In compliance with ethics rules, the new senator listed all clients
that had paid him in excess of $5,000 in 2009. 

Pursuant to his partnership share, Goodwin will receive
compensation from the firm for his services through July 2010 as well as retain
his pension benefits.

One of Goodwin’s aides noted the senator is no longer
receiving any compensation from former clients.

According to his report, Goodwin helped PhRMA with “appellate litigation,”
worked for Citigroup Global Markets, Inc., on “litigation & settlement” and
advised Verizon Services Corp. on “merger & regulatory process.” He also
performed government relations work for business software maker SAP and Yum
Brands, Inc., the global restaurant company.

Goodwin also did government-relations work for three
different consulting and lobbying firms: Policy Studies, Inc., in Denver,
Colo., Legacy Consulting in DeQueen, Ark., and National Strategy in Washington,
D.C. Because they are not listed on his disclosure
form, it’s unclear for which clients retained by those firms Goodwin was
subcontracted to work.  

Goodwin & Goodwin is registered to lobby the West Virginia government,
according to state records. For 2009 through 2010, the firm lobbied for clients
such as the Alliance of Automobile Manufacturers, the American Petroleum
Institute and Verizon Wireless.

Goodwin and the Charleston firm have never registered to lobby the federal
government, according to records on file with the Senate. 

Along with his legal and lobbying work, Goodwin was vice chairman of the board
of directors for the Polymer Alliance Zone, a West Virginia trade association that
represents the plastics industry. 

Goodwin comes from a prominent West Virginia family that is well connected in
legal and political circles. 

His uncle, Joseph R. Goodwin, is a federal district judge, and his late father,
Steve, was a board of governors chairman for West Virginia University. His
wife, Rochelle, worked on Sen. Jay Rockeller’s (D-W.Va.)
2008 election campaign and serves as his state director. 

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