Richard Licht, Gov.-elect Chafee’s pick to run the Department of Administration, is best-known as a former lieutenant governor and twice-failed U.S. Senate candidate. “This is the deputy governor,” Chafee said in introducing him this morning, according to WRNI’s Ian Donnis, who was first with the scoop that Licht had gotten the nod.
But considering the scope of Licht’s new job – akin to being the state’s chief operating officer – what’s more interesting to me are his many years as a powerful Smith Hill lobbyist. A cursory look at the secretary of state’s lobbying reports shows Licht has lobbied on behalf of the following firms and organizations since 2005:
- Bank of America
- Beacon Mutual Insurance
- Chicago Title Insurance
- Compass Group
- Fidelity Investments
- Lamar Advertising
- National Assn. of Real Estate Investment Trusts
- Providence Civic Center Authority
- Rhode Island Airport Corporation (T.F. Green)
- Rhode Island Builders Association
- Rhode Island Health Care Association
- Rhode Island Higher Education Assistance Authority
- Ridgewood Renewable Power
- Tufts Health Plan
- Wyndham Vacation Ownership
Lobbying sure is lucrative. Licht is getting $6,000 a month from Tufts and $5,000 from Ridgewood – which wants to build a big power plant at the Central Landfill – to advocate on their behalfs at the Statehouse, according to his disclosures. (Also, why do the Rhode Island Airport Corporation and Higher Education Assistance Authority, which are quasi-public agencies, employ a lobbyist?)
Licht donated more than $12,000 to state-level politicians during the last election cycle, according to campaign finance records. But he didn’t give a dime to Chafee, contributing $900 to his Democratic opponent Frank Caprio instead.
Other beneficiaries of Licht’s largesse were House Speaker Gordon Fox, Senate President M. Teresa Paiva Weed, Lt. Gov. Elizabeth Roberts, Secretary of State Ralph Mollis, Treasurer-elect Gina Raimondo, Providence Mayor-elect Angel Taveras – and Cranston Mayor Allan Fung, a Republican.
For more on Licht, check out his official biography on the website of his law firm, Adler Pollock & Sheehan. And for more on the tangled web between the Chafee and Licht families, check out Ian Donnis’ post.
Update: The Projo took a quick look at Licht’s lobbying career back in 2007, a year before Tillinghast Licht LLP shut down.
(image credit: Adler Pollock & Sheehan)