Womble Carlyle Gains Direct Access to Governor's Mansion

Governor Beverly Perdue's son, Garrett, has landed a plumb job lobbying for Womble Carlyle. Yes, that Womble Carlyle. They, of course, act like there's nothing to see here and we should just move along.

"While he'll have an office in Raleigh and will be working with Gov. Hunt, he won't be doing any lobbying in Raleigh," said Russell Thomas, a spokesman for the law firm.

Yeah, well, I have a question for you, Russell. How many (almost) fresh out of law school lobbyists do you hire? Since graduating law school at UNC in 2004 Garrett has worked briefly as an associate at Womble Carlyle, for two years with a commercial real estate firm and then full time campaigning for dear old mum. He also did a stint as a defendant in a law suit. I'll give it to the guy. He sure does know how to pack a lot of "experience" into a few short years.

Maybe, just maybe, he is a brilliant young man with a gift for lobbying/influencing people. I actually have heard from a source that he is a "nice young man." Maybe he has all the qualities that will help him successfully lobby for clients. I'm happy that in this economy, with law firms reducing their work force and with K-Street firms thinning out, Garrett Perdue landed a job as a lobbyist for Womble Carlyle. Good for him.

Here's the problem. Garrett Perdue has access to Governor Bev Perdue like no other lobbyist in the world. He has her ear 24/7/365. She will take his calls no matter what time of day or night. That's how moms are. We have to take their word for it that they won't talk business in the privacy of their mother-son conversations. We have to trust that Garrett Perdue won't glean important information about the state's business during a visit with mom and then use that information to benefit his clients and Womble Carlyle. We have to trust that a young man who has gone from associate/lawyer to broker to campaigner to lobbyist in 4-5 years has the good judgment to separate his personal access to his mother from his professional life.

That's a lot of trusting we're being asked to do. So, this calls for a bright hot spotlight. We- all of us - have to keep an eye out for actions taken by the Governor that benefit clients of Womble Carlyle. We also have to use a tremendous amount of discretion and thoughtfulness, because many W-C clients would more than likely benefit by actions of our legislature/governor without the name of Garrett Perdue on their list of lobbyists. We are looking for that needle in a haystack - the case that doesn't otherwise make sense.

We are looking for the case that gets discussed when there is no record of Governor-lobbyist contact. We are looking for the case that gets discussed during mother-son time at family get-togethers and holiday celebrations. This poses an even bigger problem. Next Thanksgiving, how the heck are we going to get the turkey to wear a wire?


I don't have a problem with lobbyists

I honestly do not. I have a problem with lobbyists who have unprecedented access to our governor.

Vote Democratic! The ass you save may be your own.

Maybe he'll become the new lobbyist for Xe

Lord knows Blackwater will be looking for cover in Raleigh. And with WCSR already piled onto the war-profiteering train, there could be gold in them thar shills.

Think it's a little bit of an overreaction

Mr. Perdue is covered by the Professional Responsibility and Ethics of the NC Bar. There are clear conflict on interest rules that he would have to follow or else risk endangering his law license...

Of course that's right

but it sure seems a little cozy.

How would we react if Pat McCrory was governor and one of his sons (don't even know if he has kids) signed on with state's leading (to my knowledge) law firm as a lobbyist.

I'd at least raise an eyebrow, wouldn't you?

That's what Betsy is doing. As well she should. We all should.

That is a great question.

If an action by any politico is close to what I consider the "ethical line", the truest way I have to test the balance of my own reaction to that action is to imagine switch the party designation of the pol and see if I'm still as tolerant or intolerant of the offending deed. It's a good way to keep the partisan-knee-jerk part of my liberal-Democrat head on an even keel.

Yeah, I'd be very unhappy about it if it were a Republican's kid who got that job.

"They took all the trees and put them in a tree museum Then they charged the people a dollar 'n a half just to see 'em. Don't it always seem to go that you don't know what you've got till it's gone? They paved paradise and put up a parking lot."

no kids for MPP

His gene pool will end when he dies.

Bar Ethics? Now that is funny when it comes to Politics!

Mr. Perdue is covered by the Professional Responsibility and Ethics of the NC Bar. There are clear conflict on interest rules that he would have to follow or else risk endangering his law license...*Phillip Hunter Gilfus,

The Bar is nothing but a tool of the establishment and a clear and present danger to the first amendment when it comes to politics......

" All lawyers are equal before the Consitution except some lawyers are more equal than other lawyers and citizens."


Bar none

I don't recall any NC Bar Ethics hiccups after Womble attorneys bundled checks for Jim Black via Sandy Sands. We're talking different metrics.

You are so sweet and naive

I'm sure Mr. Perdue is a really great and wonderful kind of guy, Phillip. The fact is. I don't know that. I don't know him.

What I do know is that the time to raise any doubts is before we find out that not only does someone not have much of a conscience, but he or she doesn't give a rat's behind about the "Professional Responsibility and Ethics of the NC Bar." I know, I know...we absolutely never hear stories about lawyers swindling money from clients, hiding evidence, committing perjury, violating codes of ethics or breaking the law....but it is bound to happen some day.

Vote Democratic! The ass you save may be your own.

Take off the blinders Phillip

This is a direct payment by a lobbying firm to a member of the family of the Governor (for a position that he would not obtain without that connection). I am lifelong Democrat, supported Perdue and am sick to my stomach over this.

The only way to be okay with this is either to not care about good government or let it slide because of partisanship. Based on your tag, I am assuming that it is the latter.

And as stated before, the State Bar rules are ineffective, especially in the lobbying context.

We need high standards

That's what I appreciate about this blog. We need to hold fellow Democrats to high standards. I hope this message gets to the Governor.

Oh come on he will be working

Oh come on he will be working for the greatest democratic nc governor in history! Jim Hunt