Manchin's Close Ties To The Goodwins Should Give Voters Pause this Election Year... by HuntingtonNews.Net
An Editorial written by HuntingtonNews.Net on April 16, 2012 suggests the connections between Senator Joe Manchin and the Goodwin family asks the question is strategic political favoritism and the 'good ole boy' system in WV? According to the below HNN article, it does.
In 2010, voters rewarded then Governor Joe Manchin with the prize many Governors across America seek: a trip to the U.S. Senate. But that trip may be one that is more of a short, two-year excursion after the voters here realize how some people use government to advance themselves, not the state as a whole. Yes, every political leader has supporters and friends. No one contests that. But Manchin has an unusually close relationship with a single family, the Goodwin family of Jackson County. How the Goodwin lawyer brothers, Joe Bob and Steve, parleyed their little Ripley law firm into a booming practice during the Rockefeller Administration is a story best left for another day. Suffice to say that the Goodwin's improved their circumstances greatly by backing Democratic horses from Rockefeller to Bob Wise to Manchin.
Joe Bob became a federal judge, the ultimate plum appointment for an attorney. Steve Goodwin went on to become the Chairman of the WVU Board of Trustees. As the Goodwin brothers' fortunes rose over the past thirty years, West Virginia's overall economic picture declined. Who wants to locate a business in a land where if you aren't on the Governor's inside circle, you don't get much help? Nobody blames the Goodwins for the whole economic picture, of course. However, they certainly were a symptom of our overall political/economic health. They were right there, serving everyone who was responsible, three failed Democratic Administrations who served their special interest groups to the neglect of the public at large.
When one sees just how many of the Goodwins have been rewarded by being given a place at the public trough, one might say that they are the first family in West Virginia to become a special interest group all of their own. Labor, the WVEA, and the UMWA must all regard the Goodwins with envy. Now a second wave of Goodwins have come on the scene. In addition to Kay Goodwin, Joe Bob's wife, serving as Secretary of Education and the Arts in the Manchin Administration, her nephew, Carte, served as Manchin's legal counsel. At the same time, Carte Goodwin's first cousin, Booth Goodwin, was serving as U.S. Attorney for the Southern District of WV.
Now, watch closely, you won't want to miss this little trick... A sitting Governor, whose administration is under investigation by the U.S. Attorney's office, appoints the first cousin of the U.S. Attorney to the highest post in the land? Only in Joe Manchin's West Virginia. When Manchin's administration was under a lengthy federal investigation by the U.S. Attorney, Manchin was engaged in a special election to replace the late U.S. Senator Robert C. Byrd. With the federal investigation looking tough, with the request for extensions and rumored findings, whom did Manchin appoint to Byrd's seat until the special election? Another Goodwin.
Was Manchin's choice an esteemed Democratic leader, a statewide known quantity that would command respect as a worthy successor to Byrd? No, he kept it all in the family. Manchin chose the obscure 36-year-old Carte Goodwin, the first cousin of the U.S. Attorney Booth Goodwin. Few could figure out how Carte Goodwin got the nod for this estimable position. In hindsight, it all becomes more clear. When West Virginians, across the political spectrum, wake up to just how they've been played by people like Joe Manchin over the years, they will take the U.S. Senate seat away from him and give it to someone who knows what a public trust is really all about.
2012 could be the year as Manchin faces re-election to the full six-year term. The days of old timey politics with regional Boss Hoggs running the show need to come to a close this year, so that the next generation of West Virginians can inherit a better situation. We are supposed to have a government, in Lincoln's words, "of the people, by the people, and for the people," not of, by, and for the Manchin's of this state.
Family dynasties have never been the American way.
End of HNN Editorial...
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HNN April 16, 2012 Editorial