When Democrat Governor Gina Raimondo’s lead PR guy, Mike Raia, left government employ recently, many a politics-watcher wondered what giant leap into uncharted territory he might be taking. Well, now we know:
The governor’s former communications director is joining the Providence-based ad agency NAIL Communications to lead its new public relations-oriented shingle, NAIL[PR].
Mike Raia, who stepped down from Gov. Gina Raimondo’s administration as of Feb. 1, announced his new job as NAIL[PR]’s managing partner Wednesday. The firm will do PR work and strategic communications, Raia said.
Looking at the state’s transparency portal reveals quite a coincidence. It turns out that NAIL Communications has done very well with government contracts under the Raimondo administration, with $39,500 in fiscal year 2016, $121,475 in 2017, and $223,805 in 2018, with the bulk of that last year coming straight from the Department of Administration, with no programs or subprograms listed.
Per state law, Raia will “recuse” from contracts with Rhode Island’s executive branch for a year, which leaves him plenty of time to work alongside his former boss once again before she moves on to whatever’s next.