Richard Heffley

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Richard J. (Rich) Heffley, who operates the lobbying firm Heffley & Associates in Tallahassee, Florida, has served in "behind-the-scenes roles in multiple Republican legislative campaigns." [1][2]

Heffley's lobbying "clients include: U.S. Sugar, AT&T, Tampa Electric, St. Joe Co., Florida Medical Association." [3]

Heffley, who moved from Illinois to Florida in 1990, served as Florida Assistant Secretary of State 1995-1997. [4]

Heffley also shares Strategic, a "Tallahassee telemarketing firm" [5], 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." [6]

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." [7]

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. [8][9]

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. [10]

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." [11]

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." [12]

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

In April 2005, Heffley, identified as a "Government Consultant", contributed $1,000 to former Republican Pennsylvania Senator Rick Santorum's 2006 campaign. [13]

Related SourceWatch Resources

External links