Richard Richards: A Conversation on Ethics

The last three years, I've had the opportunity to create a documentary film on Richard Richards, a well respected figure in American politics. The film focuses on Richards honestly and integrity in an arena that, since the founding of the United States, had been filled with candidates and office holders willing to sacrifice one’s integrity and ethics for a vote. 

We still have about a month of post-production left, but I wanted to share a short clip from the film and a few photos of Richards' career. 

After beginning a political career in Utah, Richards was hired by the Republican National Committee. He was key player in the Nixon campaigns, organizing a grassroots effort called "The Neighbor to Neighbor Program."  However, by January 1971, forces within the Nixon administration had been active for months in covert efforts to stop the leaking of classified information.  Their goal was to protect the president’s reputation and keep potentially harmful information from jeopardizing the 1972 campaign.  Part of these operations included minimizing the RNC’s role and centralizing control in a new committee called The Committee to Reelect the President, or CREEP, as it was later derisively called.  Richards was invited to join the Committee at its highest level, but he smelled trouble. He refused the job.

After beginning a political career in Utah, Richards was hired by the Republican National Committee. He was key player in the Nixon campaigns, organizing a grassroots effort called "The Neighbor to Neighbor Program."  However, by January 1971, forces within the Nixon administration had been active for months in covert efforts to stop the leaking of classified information.  Their goal was to protect the president’s reputation and keep potentially harmful information from jeopardizing the 1972 campaign.  Part of these operations included minimizing the RNC’s role and centralizing control in a new committee called The Committee to Reelect the President, or CREEP, as it was later derisively called.  Richards was invited to join the Committee at its highest level, but he smelled trouble. He refused the job.

By mid 1975, Richards was asserting an opinion that wasn’t aligning with many others in his camp.  During the months leading up to the 1976 presidential elections, he was the only state GOP chair to endorse Ronald Reagan instead of the incumbent Gerald Ford.  Four years later, Richards would play a prominent role in the Reagan team's 1980 campaign for the presidency. His success would lead to an appointment as National Republican Party Chairman by Ronald Reagan.

By mid 1975, Richards was asserting an opinion that wasn’t aligning with many others in his camp.  During the months leading up to the 1976 presidential elections, he was the only state GOP chair to endorse Ronald Reagan instead of the incumbent Gerald Ford.  Four years later, Richards would play a prominent role in the Reagan team's 1980 campaign for the presidency. His success would lead to an appointment as National Republican Party Chairman by Ronald Reagan.

While attending college, Richards worked alongside his father as a sign painter. At Reagan's 1980 victory party, a banner on the stage was accidentally painted without George Bush's (Reagan's Vice Presidential candidate) name on it. Richards was able to locate some paper and brushes and hand painted a new banner for the event.

While attending college, Richards worked alongside his father as a sign painter. At Reagan's 1980 victory party, a banner on the stage was accidentally painted without George Bush's (Reagan's Vice Presidential candidate) name on it. Richards was able to locate some paper and brushes and hand painted a new banner for the event.