Easter Weekend is brought to you by these lobbyists and political associations
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Easter golden decorated eggs stand in a row on white background. Minimal easter concept. Happy Easter card with copy space for text. Top view, flatlay.
Happy Easter!

Easter 2023 will be one for the record books.

Not because it’s a five or zero — for believers, the 2,000th Easter is about a decade away — but because shoppers are expected to shell out more than ever to celebrate the holiday.

A recent survey conducted by the National Retail Federation estimates 81% of Americans will spend an average of $192.01 to celebrate the Christian holiday — that’s a $25-per-person bump over Easter 2022.

In total, retailers are expecting the weekend to net them $24 billion. Part of the gap is due to inflation, but not all of it.

More than half of those surveyed said they planned to do their shopping at discount stores. That’s good news for Target and Walmart, both of which have shelves overflowing with baskets, plastic eggs, chocolate bunnies and the weird plastic grass nobody wants but everybody gets.

With customers checking out in droves, Target and Walmart have little time to focus on the goings-on in Tallahassee — they have teams for that.

Target’s contract lobbyists include John HarrisJoseph SalzvergRobert Stuart and Jason Unger of GrayRobinson. Walmart is represented by Mike CorcoranJacqueline CorcoranMatt BlairSamantha Sexton Greer, Bethany McAlister, Will Rodriguez and Andrea Tovar of Corcoran Partners.

This year marks the seventh in a row that Easter is in April. That streak will end thanks to the complex rules governing its spot on the calendar — it’s pegged to the first Sunday following the paschal full moon, which is the full moon that falls on or after the spring equinox.

If you don’t know what that means, well, you don’t need to. That’s what calendar apps are for. Google is behind the most commonly used calendar in the world. At the end of 2021, it was estimated that more than 500 million people relied on the service to schedule meetings, remember birthdays, and presumably figure out the approximate date Jesus Christ and/or his associates moved a rock.

Many of those Google Calendar users live in Tallahassee, including the tech giant’s lobbying team, which features Brian BallardBradley BurlesonJustin Sayfie, and Amy Young of Ballard Partners; Bill Rubin, Heather Turnbull, Erica Chanti and Zachary Hubbard of Rubin Turnbull & Associates; and Carlos Trujillo, James Card, Tom DiGiacomo and Brennan Garcia of Continental Strategy.

Of course, there are alternatives. The biggest is produced by Apple, a company named after the fruit that, according to 17th Century poet John Milton, is responsible for mankind needing a savior in the first place. Before you smash your iPhone to smithereens, remember that Milton knew about as much you do about divinely influenced xeriscaping. Odds are the forbidden fruit was actually a fig, which is somehow worse.

Alas, Apple has a presence in the capital city as well. Its lobbying team: Paul MitchellGeorge AndersonBrian BautistaEdgar CastroRachel ConeMary DeLoachNelson DiazChris DudleyMercer FearingtonDavid Hagan, Nicole KellyKaris LockhartJames McFaddinSeth McKeelSydney RidleyErin RockDavid SheppClark SmithMonte Stevens and Sheela VanHoose of The Southern Group.

According to NRF, nine out of 10 shoppers plan to purchase candy on Easter. Obviously, candy is packed with sugar. Less obvious, U.S. Sugar probably has a hand in the healthy stuff you pile into your shopping cart — the company grows enough fruit and vegetables to feed millions of Americans each year.

Dozens of lobbyists represent the agricultural powerhouse, including the teams at Ballard Partners, The Southern Group, Floridian Partners, The Mayernick Group and GrayRobinson, among others.

The mutilation of chocolate bunnies typically follows an actual meal. According to Delish, lamb is the most traditional of Easter eats, though ham comes in a close second. No matter which you prefer, it will likely be purchased at Publix — the grocery store of choice for most Floridians.

Though it’s one of the largest corporations in Florida, Publix’s lobbying team is what the Bard would describe as “small but mighty.” It consists of just five members: in-house lobbyist Thomas Culligan as well as contract lobbyists Matt BryanTeye CarmichaelJeff Hartley and Jonathan Rees of Smith Bryan & Myers.

For those who don’t feel like spending Sunday in the kitchen, there are plenty of restaurants that will be happy to seat you. The Florida Restaurant & Lodging Association could give you a list of options — the trade group represents every facet of the industry, from diners to fine dining.

Who represents them? Quite a few lobbyists, including Jim DaughtonWarren HusbandDoug Bell, Leslie Dughi, Allison Liby-SchoonoverAimee Diaz LyonAndy Palmer and Karl Rasmussen of Metz Husband & Daughton.

Egg hunts and hearty meals may be on the agenda for Sunday, but Friday, Saturday and Monday are reserved for travel. Those within a couple of hours of their family’s gathering place will pump some gas and buckle up.

When you head to the pump, there’s a decent chance it’ll be a RaceTrac. The Atlanta-based company operates 670 gas stations nationwide, with nearly 250 in the Sunshine State. With a vested interest in Florida, they’ve tasked Lori Killinger and Chris Lyon of Lewis Longman & Walker to keep an eye on things in the Legislature.

If the drive is a little long, it might be better to snag a last-minute plane ticket (good luck with that). And many of those who choose to take off rather than roll out will find themselves aboard an American Airlines or Delta flight.

Repping American Airlines has Jeff Johnston, Amanda Stewart and Anita Berry of Johnston & Stewart Government Strategies in the jump seat, while Delta Air Lines’ Tallahassee flight crew includes Nick Iarossi, Ron LaFace, Maicel Green, Andrew KetchelJared Rosenstein and Chris Schoonover of Capital City Consulting.

While Delta and American are the icons of commercial air travel, they aren’t the only ones with a presence in the Capitol complex — a fleet of other companies are just as concerned with getting travelers to their destination ahead of the Easter Bunny’s arrival.

Southwest Airlines has Rubin Turnbull & Associates in its corner. The JetBlue crew is staffed by Slater BaylissChristopher ChaneySteve ShaleStephen Shiver and Sarah Busk Suskey of The Advocacy Partners.

However you plan to celebrate, take a moment to enjoy the long weekend. Happy Easter!

Peter Schorsch

Peter Schorsch is the President of Extensive Enterprises Media and is the publisher of FloridaPolitics.com, INFLUENCE Magazine, and Sunburn, the morning read of what’s hot in Florida politics. Previous to his publishing efforts, Peter was a political consultant to dozens of congressional and state campaigns, as well as several of the state’s largest governmental affairs and public relations firms. Peter lives in St. Petersburg with his wife, Michelle, and their daughter, Ella. Follow Peter on Twitter @PeterSchorschFL.


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    April 8, 2023 at 9:33 am

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    April 8, 2023 at 1:09 pm

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  • Earl Pitts American

    April 9, 2023 at 9:21 am

    Good morning America,
    Great compilation of on point and usefull information Peter!
    Thank you Sir for getting what Florida, The USA, and the world needs out here in a public forum so everyone can make informed intelegant decisions on general politics, how the system works, and make up their minds on what kind of future they want for themselves, their beloved families, and the direction of future government.
    Thank you again,
    Earl Pitts American

Comments are closed.


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