Person

Jeff Ricchetti

Organization:

Ricchetti Inc

Jeff Ricchetti is the co-founder and head of the left-of-center lobbying firm Ricchetti, Inc. [1]

Ricchetti’s older brother, Steve Ricchetti, is a former lobbyist and longtime Democratic staffer. His recent appointment as a counselor to President Joe Biden has drawn criticism and concerns about the potential influence of corporate interests and lobbying on the Biden administration through Jeff Ricchetti. [2]

Early Career

After graduating from Miami University in Ohio and the Georgetown University Law Center, Jeff Ricchetti practiced corporate law for eight years at Waldheger, Coyne, and Associates and McDonald, Hopkins, Burke, and Haber. [3]

Lobbying Career

In 1998, Ricchetti co-founded Ricchetti and Associates with his brother, Steve Ricchetti, and former Federal Communications Commission (FCC) staffer Jay Heimbach. [4] The firm only operated for one year, in which 12 clients paid $1.4 million for lobbying services. The clients included Steve Ricchetti’s former employers Allied Corp and Blue Cross Blue Shield, which paid $373,000 together. [5] At the end of 1998, Ricchetti and Associates was purchased by Podesta and Associates, the lobbying firm founded by former White House Chief of Staff John Podesta. [6]

From 1998 until 2000, Jeff Ricchetti worked for Podesta and Associates. Both Ricchettis also briefly worked for the lobbying firm Public Strategies Washington, though Steve Ricchetti left to join the Clinton administration. [7][8][9]

From 2000 through 2001, Ricchetti operated as an independent lobbyist. In 2001, Jeff and Steve Ricchetti founded another lobbying firm, Ricchetti, Inc., along with Jay Heimbach and former Clinton administration staffer Lisa Kountoupes. [10][11]

Ricchetti Inc. earned between $2 and 3 million in revenue from 2001 to 2009, before declining to between $1.5 and 2 million from 2010 to 2012. The firm’s clients included AT&T, General Motors, Fannie Mae, Pfizer, and the University of Chicago. [12] In 2012, Steve Ricchetti left Richetti Inc. to work for then-Vice President Joe Biden. [13] Jeff Ricchetti has remained with the company since its founding. [14]

Biden Presidency

Shortly after his election, President Joe Biden appointed Steve Ricchetti, Jeff’s brother, as a personal counselor in the administration. The appointment has drawn criticism over concerns that Jeff Ricchetti may lobby on behalf of his clients and have undue influence over his brother and the Biden administration. [15]

As of May 2021, Jeff Ricchetti has 13 clients, including Amazon and GlaxoSmithKline. While 11 of these companies were already clients in 2020, Ricchetti’s firm picked up two new clients after President Biden’s. [16] One new client is TC Energy, the Canadian energy company behind the construction of the Keystone XL Pipeline. TC Energy paid Ricchetti $90,000 for lobbying services, though President Biden ultimately rejected calls to resume construction of the pipeline. [17]

Amazon continued its employment of Ricchetti Inc. with a $90,000 payment to lobby Congress on the COVID-19 response and the federal minimum wage. In public disclosures, Ricchetti has acknowledged lobbying the Biden administration on behalf of medical companies Horizon Therapeutics and Vaxart Inc, both of which paid $80,000. Vaxart’s lobbying efforts have been directed towards attempting to legalize an oral vaccine, presumably for the COVID-19 pandemic. Ricchetti’s other new client, General Motors, paid $40,000 to Ricchetti Inc for lobbying on tax and subsidy issues with electric cars. [18]

In the first quarter of 2021, Ricchetti Inc quintupled its revenue compared to the previous year, earning $820,000 in revenue. This was the firm’s best first quarter since the beginning of the Obama administration. [19]

Political Contributions

Jeff Ricchetti has made 527 reportable donations to federal candidates and political action committees since 1998, totaling over $350,000. In 2021, he donated to U.S. Senator Catherine Cortez Masto (D-NV), U.S. Senator Jeff Merkley (D-OR), U.S. Senator Maggie Hassan (D-NH), U.S. Senator Bob Casey Jr. (D-PA), the Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee (DCCC), and others. [20]

References

  1. “Lobbying Firm Profile: Ricchetti & Assoc.” Open Secrets. Accessed April 28, 2021. https://www.opensecrets.org/federal-lobbying/firms/summary?id=F224612&cycle=1998. ^
  2. Evers-Hillstrom, Karl. “Biden-linked lobbyist quintuples Q1 revenue under new president.” Open Secrets. April 20, 2021. Accessed May 13, 2021. https://www.opensecrets.org/news/2021/04/biden-linked-lobbyist-quintuples-q1-rev/. ^
  3. “Jeff Ricchetti.” Finseca. Accessed May 13, 2021. https://www.finsecaelection2020.org/agenda/speakers/873568. ^
  4. “Ricchetti, Jeff.” Open Secrets. Accessed May 13, 2021. https://www.opensecrets.org/revolving/rev_summary.php?id=74225. ^
  5. “Lobbying Firm Profile: Ricchetti & Assoc.” Open Secrets. Accessed April 28, 2021. https://www.opensecrets.org/federal-lobbying/firms/summary?id=F224612&cycle=1998. ^
  6. Barron, James. “Public Lives.” January 12, 1999. Accessed April 28, 2021. https://www.nytimes.com/1999/01/12/nyregion/public-lives.html. ^
  7. “Ricchetti, Steve.” Open Secrets. Accessed April 28, 2021. https://www.opensecrets.org/revolving/rev_summary.php?id=19155. ^
  8. “Ricchetti, Jeff.” Open Secrets. Accessed May 13, 2021. https://www.opensecrets.org/revolving/rev_summary.php?id=74225. ^
  9. “Jeff Ricchetti.” Finseca. Accessed May 13, 2021. https://www.finsecaelection2020.org/agenda/speakers/873568. ^
  10. “Ricchetti, Jeff.” Open Secrets. Accessed May 13, 2021. https://www.opensecrets.org/revolving/rev_summary.php?id=74225. ^
  11. “Jeff Ricchetti.” Finseca. Accessed May 13, 2021. https://www.finsecaelection2020.org/agenda/speakers/873568. ^
  12. “Lobbying Firm Profile: Ricchetti Inc.” Open Secrets. Accessed April 28, 2021. https://www.opensecrets.org/federal-lobbying/firms/summary?cycle=2001&id=D000037088. ^
  13. “Lobbying Firm Profile: Ricchetti Inc.” Open Secrets. Accessed April 28, 2021. https://www.opensecrets.org/federal-lobbying/firms/summary?cycle=2001&id=D000037088. ^
  14. “Ricchetti, Jeff.” Open Secrets. Accessed May 13, 2021. https://www.opensecrets.org/revolving/rev_summary.php?id=74225. ^
  15. Evers-Hillstrom, Karl. “Biden-linked lobbyist quintuples Q1 revenue under new president.” Open Secrets. April 20, 2021. Accessed May 13, 2021. https://www.opensecrets.org/news/2021/04/biden-linked-lobbyist-quintuples-q1-rev/. ^
  16. “Lobbyist Profile: Jeff Ricchetti.” Open Secrets. Accessed May 13, 2021. https://www.opensecrets.org/federal-lobbying/lobbyists/summary?cycle=2021&id=Y0000041222L. ^
  17. Evers-Hillstrom, Karl. “Biden-linked lobbyist quintuples Q1 revenue under new president.” Open Secrets. April 20, 2021. Accessed May 13, 2021. https://www.opensecrets.org/news/2021/04/biden-linked-lobbyist-quintuples-q1-rev/. ^
  18. Evers-Hillstrom, Karl. “Biden-linked lobbyist quintuples Q1 revenue under new president.” Open Secrets. April 20, 2021. Accessed May 13, 2021. https://www.opensecrets.org/news/2021/04/biden-linked-lobbyist-quintuples-q1-rev/. ^
  19. Evers-Hillstrom, Karl. “Biden-linked lobbyist quintuples Q1 revenue under new president.” Open Secrets. April 20, 2021. Accessed May 13, 2021. https://www.opensecrets.org/news/2021/04/biden-linked-lobbyist-quintuples-q1-rev/. ^
  20. “Individual contributors: Jeff Ricchetti.” Federal Election Commission. Accessed May 13, 2021. https://www.fec.gov/data/receipts/individual-contributions/?contributor_name=jeff+ricchetti. ^
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