Lobbying compensation: The Advocacy Group nets $1.6M in Q1
With nearly 70 clients, The Advocacy Group brought in some solid 1Q numbers.

The Advocacy Group at Cardenas Partners
The firm may have earned as much as $2 million.

The Advocacy Group at Cardenas Partners crossed $1.6 million in earnings last quarter, according to newly filed compensation reports.

The seven-person team led by Al Cardenas represented close to 100 clients during the Jan. 1 through March 31 reporting period, tallying $850,000 in pay in the Legislature and another $780,000 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.

Lobbying compensation reports also list overall earnings in broad ranges. TAG’s Q1 reports each landed in the $500,000 to $1 million bracket, meaning the firm earned no less than $1 million.

In addition to Cardenas, the TAG team includes Slater Bayliss, Chris Chaney, Steve Schale, Stephen Shiver, Sarah Suskey, and Jeff Woodburn. In Q4, their efforts resulted in the firm earning the No. 8 spot in overall revenues. They held on to the spot in Q1.

The firm’s legislative compensation report lists 83 clients. The top contract was Gigly, a platform that allows gig workers — such as rideshare drivers and others — to purchase benefits packages that typically aren’t offered to people who are classified as contractors. It paid the firm $45,000 for help in the Legislature.

Benefytt Technologies and Rising Phoenix Holding Corporation followed at the $35,000 level. Benefytt, another high-tech insurance outfit, primarily engages in insurance marketplace development and operations. Rising Phoenix is the parent company of disaster preparedness and recovery company Tidal Basin.

Several well-known companies were peppered in further down on the reports, such as Anheuser-Busch, Disney, Waymo, Anthem, AT&T and Duke Energy.

A handful of local interests also retained the firm, such as the Okaloosa County Commission, Miami-Dade County Clerk of Courts, and the City of Ocala.

The firm’s executive report listed 93 clients, with Cano Health, FocusPoint International, H4 Capital Partners, Paylt and Tidal Basin Group splitting the top spot at $35,000 apiece.

Overall, TAG earned at least $1 million in Q1 and may have earned as much as $2 million.

Florida lobbyists and lobbying firms faced a May 15 deadline to file compensation reports for the period covering Jan. 1 through March 31. Compensation reports for the second quarter are due to the state on Aug. 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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