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Local government specialists at William Peebles’ firm rake in $310K in Q2 lobby fees

The two-lobbyist governmental relations firm William J. Peebles PA, operated by the firm’s namesake along with John Wayne Smith, reported earning more than $300,000 during the second quarter of 2015, according to recently submitted compensation reports.

The boutique shop’s list of clients heavily tilted toward local government clients: nearly all of the Peeble’s 22 legislative and 21 executive lobbying clients were municipalities or related entities.

The City of Tampa and Florida Municipal Insurance Trust were the highest-paying of the firm’s legislative clients, contributing between $20,000 and $29,999 for representation in Tallahassee.

Tampa, which Mayor Bob Buckhorn recently said did better in the 2015 budget than expected given Gov. Rick Scott‘s zealous veto pen, also paid up to $9,999 for executive lobbying.

All told the city governments of Cape Coral, Gainesville, Kissimmee, Orlando, St. Petersburg, Tallahassee, and Winter Park employed Peeble’s influence services for a total of nine major cities who chose the firm to represent them in Tallahassee.

The Florida League of Cities is a client as well, though the firm did not report receiving compensation this quarter from the association.

Florida Municipal Electric Association, Florida Municipal Power Agency, Florida Redevelopment Association, Islamorada Village of Islands and Metroplan Orlando were also among the firm’s most significant clients, combining to account for an estimated $75,000 of the firm’s totals for the period from April 1 to June 30.

Peebles also took in an estimated $310,000 – led by $30,000 in fees from the City of Tampa and Florida Municipal Insurance Trust – plus $120,000 from his Peebles & Smith shop, both alongside John Wayne Smith

State law requires lobbying firms to submit compensation reports quarterly. They are permitted in most cases to simply report an approximate range of client compensation — e.g. $1 to $9,999 — in lieu of the specific dollar amount.

Written By

Ryan Ray covers politics and public policy in North Florida and across the state. He has also worked as a legislative researcher and political campaign staffer. He can be reached at

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