Lobbying compensation: The Advocacy Group collected $1.2M in Q3 pay

cardenas partners
The firm could have collected as much as $2 million.

The Advocacy Group at Cardenas Partners notched $1.2 million in lobbying pay last quarter, new compensation reports show.

The firm led by Al Cardenas represented more than a hundred clients for the July through September reporting period, collecting $515,000 in pay lobbying the Legislature and another $665,000 lobbying the Governor and Cabinet.

Lobbyists and lobbying firms report the pay they receive from each client in ranges, each covering $10,000 increments. Florida Politics uses the middle number of those ranges to estimate pay.

Firms also give a range for their overall earnings. The Advocacy Group’s reports each show between $500,000 and $1 million in earnings, meaning the firm earned no less than $1 million overall last quarter and may have earned as much as $2 million.

The Q3 team at TAG included Cardenas and lobbyists Slater Bayliss, Christopher Chaney, Steve Schale, Stephen Shiver, Sarah Suskey and Jeffrey Woodburn.

The cohort listed 79 clients on their legislative compensation report, with health insurance tech company Benefytt leading the way in the $35,000 pay bracket.

Eckerd Kids, the Florida Hospital Association and Disney followed at the $25,000 level. A score more chipped in $15,000 apiece while the balance each sent about $5,000 to the firm.

TAG’s executive branch report showed 101 clients, most of which also appeared on the legislative report.

Volume wasn’t the only difference maker between the two reports — the executive sheet was crowned by five $35,000 clients. The set included Access DX Lab, Aliera Healthcare, Paylt, Plexos Group and Tidal Basin Group.

Though the health care industry dominates The Advocacy Group’s client roster, the firm has diversified with principals anchored in communications, tech, logistics, energy, transportation and media. Some of the notables: AT&T, IBM, TECO Energy, the Tampa Port Authority, JetBlue and Film Florida.

TAG is one of a handful of Florida lobbying firms that consistently earns more than $1 million a quarter. The Q3 performance showed no slump, matching reports from the past couple of years and putting it on pace to meet or beat $4.5 million in pay this year.

Florida lobbyists and lobbying firms faced a Nov. 14 deadline to file compensation reports for the period covering July 1 through Sept. 30. Compensation reports for the fourth quarter of 2020 are due to the state in mid-February.

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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