Heffley, who moved from Illinois to Florida in 1990, served as Florida Assistant Secretary of State 1995-1997. 
Heffley also shares Strategic Direction.com, a "Tallahassee telemarketing firm" , with "former Florida GOP executive director Randy Enwright. [The firm] has been paid more than $2.2-million since 1996 for work on Republican races." 
Conflicts of Interest
Heffley "[c]ame under fire in 1997 as [Florida] assistant secretary of state for publicizing his boss, Sandy Mortham, at state expense." 
Heffley was appointed to the Florida Elections Commission by Governor Jeb Bush. From at least 1999 to 2003, Heffley served on the Commission while at the same time lobbying the State Legislature. 
On September 10, 2001, Heffley was appointed by the President of the Florida Senate to the Digital Divide Council, a "newly created group [which] discussed plans to provide opportunities for citizens to access the use of information technology, as well as providing economic resources and training to at-risk members of society that are without these critical tools." Heffley, identified as a "representative of the IT industry in Florida," counts AT&T among his clients. 
In fall 2001, Governor Bush's planned outsourcing of the state's human resources system in a "seven-year, $280-million deal" to Cincinnati company, Convergys Corp.—"a company best known for its work in handling national billing for major wireless phone companies"—faced possible delay or might even be "killed", the Palm Beach Post reported.
Convergys, "which already had a full roster of qualified lobbyists, had hired another one -- Richard Heffley. He is a friend of Bush who also worked as a consultant to the Republican Party of Florida. ... Within weeks, the deal was back on." 
The Miami Herald reported in 2002 or 2003 that, although Convergys had only contributed $500 to Bush's campaign, Heffley's Strategic Direction had "received almost $1.2 million from the state GOP since 2000 as a political consultant." 
On October 4, 2002, the Palm Beach Post reported that Heffley, while a member of the Florida Elections Commission, "urged the panel to investigate" Democratic gubernatorial candidate Bill McBride. Heffley then owned "a business that received $20,000 from the GHP, rent[ed] office space at state party headquarters and list[ed] as one of his clients" then Florida Governor Jeb Bush, who was running for re-election against McBride.
Additionally, the Post reported that Heffley "also once had as a client Tidewater Consulting, whose president served as the GOP lawyer at the 8/15 hearing that reversed the FEC staff's finding that McBride had done nothing illegal. Heffley was one of 2 commissioners who pushed the panel to investigate television ads supporting McBride. Heffley did not disclose his financial ties to the GHP at the meeting." Also, campaign records "show[ed] that Heffley's 'Strategic Direction' political phonebank received $20,654 from the GHP in 2001."
In 2006, "[to] receive taxpayer subsidies under the Florida law, all [Florida gubernatorial candidate] Charlie Crist had to do was spend less than $20-million in his race for governor. The final expenditure numbers are in, and he did just that. But Crist came awfully close to $20-million in shattering all previous records for a statewide race in Florida," the St. Petersburg Times reported. "Crist's biggest last-minute expenditure was $361,000 to Strategic Direction, [Heffley's] Tallahassee telemarketing firm."
Political Campaign Contributions
Related SourceWatch Resources
- Lucy Morgan, "South Florida senator faces huge campaign fine. A South Florida senator is fined $1,000 for each of 311 violations of the campaign finance law," St. Petersburg Times, November 8, 2001.
- "short stories," Sisyphus Shrugged Blog, September 28, 2002.
- "Florida Elections Commissioner is on the GHP Payroll," Palm Beach Post (Democrats.com archived articles on Jeb Bush), October 4, 2002. Scroll down to article.
- Adam C. Smith, "Union claims 4 on elections panel biased. The FEA argues that the panelists' GOP ties disqualify them from hearing its McBride-related case," St. Petersburg Times, October 8, 2002.
- Chuck Murphy, "Much of the business of state government has gone private. Bush's push to privatize services will have an impact long after he leaves office. While some moves have drawn praise, others have wound up in court," St. Petersburg Times, October 31, 2002.
- Drew, "Privatization is a racket," So Far, So Left Blogspot, July 18, 2003.
- "The new breed," St. Petersburg Times, March 7, 2004.
- "Gov. Bush fills another post with another lobbyist," St. Petersburg Times, March 21, 2004.
- Florida: Compensation List Page, Lobbyist Registration Office, Legislative Branch Lobbying Report for January 1-March 31, 2007.
- "The (almost) $20-million man," The Buzz Blog/St. Petersburg Times, February 6, 2007. Heffley info in comments section.
- Lucy Morgan, "No coffee, but stay at waterfront resort just fine. Here's how it works: Lobbyists give to the Republican Party, which picks up the tab," St. Petersburg Times, February 25, 2007.
- Mrs. Panstreppon, "Free Enterprise Coalition: GOP Vanishing Act," TPM Cafe, May 27, 2007.