Lobbying compensation: Boutique firms are ‘little but fierce’

To paraphrase the Bard, the state’s small influence firms may be but little, but they’re still fierce.

To paraphrase the Bard, the state’s boutique influence firms may be but little, but they’re still fierce.

Lobbying compensation reports for the third quarter are starting to trickle in. Florida lobbyists report their pay quarterly. Reports for the period covering July 1 through Sept. 30 are due Nov. 14.

The reports disclose how much pay lobbyists and lobbying firms receive from their clients in ranges covering $10,000 increments up to $50,000, after which the exact amount of pay must be reported.

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

Capitol Solutions

Lobbyist Patrick Bell of Capitol Solutions earned an estimated $200,000 last quarter across a dozen clients in the legislative branch and the same number in the executive branch.

Bell earned the majority of his third-quarter haul lobbying the Legislature, pulling in an estimated $130,000.

The top paid client on that report was Sumter County, which paid $15,000 for his services between July 1 and Sept. 30. The rest of the sheet showed up with an estimated $5,000 apiece.

Sumter County showed up at the same pay level in the executive branch report, followed by 11 clients in the up-to-$10,000 pay range.

Several other county and municipal clients showed up Bell’s Q3 report, including the Calhoun County School Board, the Liberty County School Board and the cities of Apalachicola, Belleview, Blountstown, Chattahoochee and Marianna.

In all, he may have earned $250,000 last quarter.

Cynergy Consulting

The two-person team at Cynergy Consulting earned as much as $200,000 in lobbying fees last quarter, new compensations reports show.

Cynthia Henderson and Lauren Claire Whritenour represented 20 clients in all, pulling in an estimated $85,000 lobbying the Legislature and another $75,000 lobbying the Governor and Cabinet.

CIOX Health was their most lucrative for the reporting period, chipping in an estimated $15,000 in legislative lobbying fees and another $5,000 in executive fees.

The remainder of the duo’s clientele showed up in the up-to-$10,000 pay range. Among them were some familiar names, such as AECOM, Atria Senior Living Group, Epic Pharmacies, and red-light camera company American Traffic Solutions.

In all, Cynergy earned as much as $100,000 in legislative lobbying fees and could have earned the same amount lobbying the executive branch. The firm earned no less than $100,000 in the third quarter.

Enwright Rimes Consulting

Newly filed compensation reports show lobbying firm Enwright Rimes Consulting earned an estimated $105,000 in lobbying fees during the third quarter.

Named partners Randy Enwright, James Rimes and lobbyist Clay Barker represented four clients in Q3, pulling in an estimated $35,000 in legislative lobbying fees and another $70,000 in executive branch lobbying fees.

The legislative sheet included Scott’s Miracle-Gro Company and the U.S. Chamber Institute for Legal Reform at the $15,000 level followed by Conservatives for Clean Energy at $5,000.

Those clients showed up at the same level on the executive compensation report. That report was led by New Ventures Fund, which paid the trio an estimated $35,000 in Q3.

If each contract hit top dollar, Enwright Rimes Consulting may have earned as much as $140,000 last quarter. They earned no less than $70,000.

Jeff Kottkamp PA

Jeff Kottkamp and lobbying partner Barney Bishop pulled in an estimated $110,000 across 10 lobbying clients in the third quarter.

Newly filed reports show the pair earned $70,000 lobbying the Legislature and another $40,000 lobbying the Governor and Cabinet. If each of their clients maxed out, they may have earned as much as $160,000.

Small Business Pharmacies Aligned for Reform led off their legislative report, paying an estimated $25,000 in fees last quarter. It was followed by ALM Media at the $15,000 level. A half-dozen other principals were marked down in the $0 to $10,000 pay bracket.

Their eight paid executive lobbying clients were all in the up-to-$10,000 bracket.

Other clients included the B.E.A.C.H.E.S. Foundation Institute, BGD Zellwood, the Florida Structural Engineers Association, the Lehigh Acres Fire Control and Rescue District and Triangle Capital.

Jordan Connors Group

Solo lobbyist Jordan Connors earned as much as $50,000 in lobbying pay in Q3.

Connors, through the Jordan Connors Group, showed five paid lobbying contracts for the July-through-September reporting period.

The City of Stuart was the biggest of the set, contributing $15,000 toward the quarterly haul. It was followed by four principals in the $5,000 range: City of Pahokee, City of South Bay, MTC Management & Training Corporation and Villages of Hope of Palm Beach County.

The executive sheet showed the same clients but no income, leaving the total at $35,000 according to median estimates.

Louis Betz & Associates

The two-man team at Louis Betz & Associates recorded $65,000 in lobbying pay across 16 clients last quarter, new compensation reports show.

Louis Betz and Travis Mitchell earned most of the haul lobbying the Legislature. Their compensation report for the chamber shows seven paid contracts, including two in the $10,000 to $20,000 pay range.

The top clients were American Traffic Solutions and Waste Management of Florida. A quintet followed in the $5,000 pay bracket.

The executive report showed another $10,000 in pay — $5,000 apiece from the City of Temple Terrace and the Crisis Center of Tampa Bay.

Other clients listed on Betz’s reports include Covanta Energy, Linebarger Goggan Blair & Sampson, and Mindshare Technologies.

Louis Betz & Associates could have earned as much as $110,000 last quarter if each of their clients paid the maximum amount in their reported ranges.

The P5 Group

The P5 Group notched an estimated $300,000 in lobbying pay last quarter.

New compensation reports show an even split between legislative and executive branch earnings for Meghan Hoza, Ken Pruitt and Mark Pruitt, with each report listing median earnings of $150,000.

The trio juggled 21 clients in the Legislature, including five that paid an estimated $15,000 each during the third quarter. The list: Alzheimer’s Community Care, Florida Atlantic University, Florida Crystals Corporation, Pediatric Associates and Sky King Fireworks.

The same set showed up in the same compensation bracket on The P5 Group’s executive branch report.

A dozen-plus other clients were listed in the $5,000 range, including several health care interests. Among them were Charlotte Behavioral Health Care, Envision Healthcare Corporation, Jupiter Medical Center, Tampa General Hospital, TeamHealth and US Acute Care Solutions.

The P5 Group could have earned as much as $500,000 in lobbying pay last quarter. The firm earned no less than $200,000.

Paul Hawkes

Solo lobbyist Paul Hawkes chalked up $35,000 in lobbying pay last quarter — $20,000 in the legislative branch and $15,000 in the executive.

Hawkes represented nine clients in all, though only four contributed to his bottom line.

Paid contracts on his legislative lobbying report included Amplify Education, the Dixie County School Board, Marsy’s Law for All and the Safety Net Hospital Alliance of Florida. Each contributed $5,000 toward the quarterly total.

The executive roster was the same, minus Amplify Education. Again, all were listed in the up-to-$10,000 pay range.

 If Hawkes’ contracts hit their max, he could have earned as much as $70,000 in fees in the third quarter.

Screven Watson & Associates

Screven Watson & Associates posted $150,000 in third-quarter earnings, tallying up $120,000 in legislative pay and another $30,000 in executive branch earnings.

Screven Watson managed that total came in across 15 clients.

U.S. Sugar led off the legislative report with $35,000 in retainers and it showed up with another $5,000 on the executive report, making the Clewiston-based corporation Watson’s most lucrative contract.

The legislative report featured some other notable names, including Comcast, the Florida Medical Association, Florida Power & Light and the Seminole Tribe of Florida. Each contributed $15,000 toward his total.

His executive compensation report listed four paydays, with Robert Reynolds & Associates taking the top spot with $15,000 in pay. The City of Clewiston, U.S. Sugar and the Village of Wellington followed at the $5,000 level.

Watson may have earned as much as $170,000 lobbying the legislature and up to $50,000 more lobbying the Governor and Cabinet. He earned no less than $110,000.

Sunrise Consulting Group

New compensation reports show Shawn Foster and Sam Wagoner of Sunrise Consulting Group reeled in $215,000 last quarter.

The duo juggled 21 clients during the three-month reporting period, pulling in an estimated $165,000 in legislative lobbying fees and tacking on another $50,000 in the executive branch.

Their legislative lobbying report showed a crowd of clients at the $15,000 level, including the Clean and Sober Recovery Center, Everbridge, the Florida Bail Agents Association, the Hernando County School Board, Pasco Hernando State College, the School District of Manatee County and Volusia County Schools.

Many of the same clients were marked down in the $5,000 range on the firm’s executive report, which also listed Catapult Learning, the Florida Academy of Pain Medicine, Hernando County, Youth and Family Alternatives.

All told, Foster and Wagoner could have earned as much as $300,000 in fees last quarter — $250,000 in the Legislature and $50,000 in the executive.

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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