Lobbying compensation: Rubin Turnbull & Associates banked $1.6M in Q3
Bill Rubin and Heather Turnbull.

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Health care clients anchored the seven-figure quarter.

The team at Rubin Turnbull & Associates banked an estimated $1.6 million in lobbying fees last quarter, according to newly filed lobbying compensation reports.

The firm’s Q3 team included founder Bill Rubin, managing partner Heather Turnbull and lobbyists Melissa Akeson, Erica Chanti, Jacqui Carmona, Jodi Davidson, Christopher Finkbeiner and Matthew Sacco.

It was also the first full quarter since the firm brought on Zach Hubbard, a former staffer in the Governor’s Office and one-time legislative aid to St. Petersburg Republican Sen. Jeff Brandes. He was the second major get for the fast-rising firm this year, following the addition of Carmona in February.

The nine lobbyists handled the needs of 87 clients, pulling down $791,000 in the Legislature and $871,000 in the executive branch.

Florida Politics estimates lobbying pay based on the middle number of the per-client ranges firms list on their compensation reports. Contracts are reported in $10,000 increments up to $50,000.

HCA Healthcare was the anchor client, cutting a $56,000 check for legislative lobbying and matching it in the executive branch. The multi-billion-dollar health care company, which recently began rebranding its Sunshine State facilities as HCA Florida Healthcare, owns nearly 200 hospitals and tenfold more smaller facilities, such as freestanding emergency rooms.

The health care industry is one of the top moneymakers for Rubin Turnbull. In addition to HCA, the firm reps two massive health insurers: Aetna and Molina Healthcare. The former, a subsidiary of CVS, is one of the top-5 largest health insurers in the country.

The firm also represents direct health care company Nomi Health, which signed an executive branch-only deal worth $60,000 a quarter.

Still, the second-largest contracts in Rubin Turnbull’s portfolio are with sugar company Florida Crystals and The Richman Group of Florida, a top-10 apartment rental company. Both showed up with $35,000 on each report, or $70,000 total.

Carnival showed up at the $50,000 level. The cruise ship giant has had a rough go during the pandemic but is on the rebound and has resumed sailings from Florida — in July it debuted its largest-ever ship, the 1,130-foot Carnival Mardi Gras, at Port Canaveral.

Higher education clientele included Florida International University, Nova Southeastern University, University of Miami, the University of South Florida and Western Governors University, all of which paid a combined $30,000 for Rubin Turnbull’s help in Q3. The firm also received $10,000 from the University of North Florida.

In addition to per-client numbers, lobbying compensation reports list overall incomes in broad ranges. Rubin Turnbull & Associates reported receipts between $500,000 and $1 million on each report, setting an earnings floor of $1 million and a $2 million upper limit.

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 are due to the state on Feb. 14.

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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