Lobbying compensation: Solo shops score in second quarter

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Teamwork can make the dream work for many, but some thrive working solo.

Teamwork can make the dream work for many, but some thrive working solo.

At least that’s the case in the lobbying world.

Lobbying compensation reports for the second quarter are trickling in, and many of the early filers are solo operations. And though their client rosters are significantly shorter than the major Tallahassee firms, their earnings stack up pound-for-pound.

Florida lobbyists report their pay quarterly. The reports disclose how much money lobbyists and lobbying firms receive from their clients in ranges covering $10,000 increments.

Reports for the period covering April 1 through June 30 are due Aug. 14.

Florida Politics uses the middle number of the reported ranges to estimate quarterly pay. That still shows some healthy revenue for even smaller concerns.

Jordan Connors Group

Solo lobbyist Jordon Connors represented 7 clients before the legislative and executive branches last quarter, though he only reported receiving payments from four of them.

All the paid contracts were listed on Connors’ legislative lobbying compensation report.

The City of Stuart topped the list, paying between $10,000 and $20,000 over the three-month stretch. The City of Pahokee, MTC Management & Training Corporation and Villages of Hope of Palm Beach County paid an estimated $5,000 each, though they could have netted Connors as much as $10,000 apiece.

In addition to the paid contracts, Place of Hope, the Torrey Pines Institute for Molecular Studies and WBF Florida Properties III were listed on the reports.

Using median figures, Connors earned $30,000 for the quarter. The top-end estimate comes in at $50,000.

Paul Hawkes

Hawkes’ one-man show netted an estimated $45,000 from his eight clients in the second quarter.

His reports show median earnings of $25,000 for his efforts lobbying the Legislature.

That cash came in from five clients who paid an estimated $5,000 apiece: the Dixie County School Board, the Florida Greyhound Association, Marsy’s Law for All, the Safety Net Hospital Alliance of Florida and UF Health Jacksonville.

The retinue was similar on the executive side, less the Florida Greyhound Association. Again, each of those clients generated $5,000 for Hawkes when using median figures.

Had each of Hawkes’ clients maxed out their contracts, he could have earned up to $90,000 for the quarter — $50,000 lobbying the Legislature and $40,000 lobbying the Governor and Cabinet.

Jeff Kottkamp

Kottkamp’s new compensation reports show up to $50,000 in receipts between April 1 and June 30.

The former Lt. Governor represented a quartet of clients during the quarter. His efforts were focused solely on legislative lobbying.

Two of those clients — ALM Media and the FLABOTA Legislative and Educational Fund — were marked down in the $10,000 to $20,000 pay bracket. Meanwhile, Antonel Second Corp. and the Florida Greyhound Association each paid up to $10,000 in lobbying fees.

If each of Kottkamp’s four clients paid the middle number in their reported ranges, the solo shop would have pulled in $40,000.

Screven Watson

Watson’s operation, Screven Watson & Associates, grossed as much as $190,000 in the second quarter.

The bulk of that money — $160,000 — was earned lobbying the Legislature. Watson’s Q2 legislative report shows 16 clients, 10 of which produced a payday. The top client on the list was U.S. Sugar, which accounted for up to $40,000 of the second-quarter rake.

The Florida Medical Association, Florida Power & Light Company and the Seminole Tribe of Florida followed in the $10,000 to $20,000 range.

Six more clients were in the up-to-$10,000 bracket: ALM Media, the City of Clewiston, the Florida Beer Wholesalers Association, Florida Professional Firefighters, the Village of Wellington and Watershed Technologies.

Watson’s executive report featured three paid contracts, each bringing in as much as $10,000. Those funds came from the City of Clewiston, U.S. Sugar and the Village of Wellington.

If median figures are used, the reports indicate $125,000 in earnings for the quarter.

Drew Wilson

Drew Wilson covers legislative campaigns and fundraising for Florida Politics. He is a former editor at The Independent Florida Alligator and business correspondent at The Hollywood Reporter. Wilson, a University of Florida alumnus, covered the state economy and Legislature for LobbyTools and The Florida Current prior to joining Florida Politics.


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