October 20, 2014

Influence

Florida's Biggest Lobbyists: Turning Up the Heat

Amy Keller | 5/12/2011
Capital
[Photo: Colin Hackley]

While Washington lobbyists reported record revenue in 2010, Florida's influence industry registered a dip in activity last year. Interest groups, governments and business interests spent $112.5 million to lobby the Florida Legislature in 2010 — a 3.6% decrease from 2009 that most in the industry attribute to corporate belt-tightening in a poor economy. Spending on executive branch lobbying, reported separately, ranged from $152 million to $227 million.

The 10 most highly compensated lobbying firms in Florida took in between $32 million and $67 million in 2010. That amounted to 21% to 30% of total spending on lobbying in the state last year, according to a Florida Trend analysis. Because lobbyists file compensation reports with fees listed in ranges, the firms are ranked on the following pages based on their averages.

Brian Ballard, managing partner of the state's top-earning firm, Smith & Ballard, says lobbying budgets are a good leading economic indicator because they're often the last thing to be cut when companies scale back and the first thing to be reinstated when companies are feeling more confident about the future.

» Florida's Biggest Lobbyists: #10 - #6

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