Lobbying compensation: Rubin Turnbull enters Top 5 with $3M quarter
Bill Rubin and Heather Turnbull.

rubin turnbull 2
The firm has rocketed up the rankings over the past two years.

The team at Rubin Turnbull & Associates has been hovering just outside of the Top 5 in lobbying pay rankings for a year, but it broke through in the first quarter of 2023.

The firm led by Bill Rubin and Heather Turnbull has topped $2 million in quarterly pay throughout 2022 and the trend carried past New Year’s, with new compensation reports showing an estimated $2.96 million in earnings.

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.

Rubin Turnbull’s legislative lobbying report lists 100 clients that paid the 11-member firm a combined $1.51 million in Q1. The 21st Century Family Empowerment Council accounted for about 10% of the total — it was marked down for $150,000.

HCA Healthcare also exceeded the cap on range reporting with $61,000 in payments, as did the Hemp Industry Trade Association, which paid $50,000 in retainers.

The first quarter included part of the 2023 Legislative Session, which saw lawmakers advance a bill that was broadly opposed by the hemp industry. Though ultimately successful, the legislation (SB 1676) was strippedof onerous THC caps and a controversial ban on synthetic-derived cannabinoids before it crossed the finish line.

Florida Crystals, Orchid Cove Health Group and The Richman Group of Florida followed in the $35,000 bracket. Rubin Turnbull listed 15 contracts valued at $25,000 a pop; 29 worth $15,000 each; and 37 priced at the $5,000 level.

The firm’s executive branch report featured a near-identical roster and, unlike many other firms, the clientele largely paid the same for Rubin Turnbull’s help lobbying the Governor and Cabinet as they did to retain them for legislative lobbying work.

The only major absence was the 21st Century Family Empowerment Council, which didn’t sign on for executive branch work. The top spot instead went to HCA Healthcare, again at $61,000. Nomi Health followed at $60,000 while the Hemp Industry Trade Association cut another $50,000 check.

Rubin Turnbull’s extensive client sheet lists heaps of major corporations, including many that are large enough to be S&P 500 components. A portion of the set: Carnival Corporation, Charter Communications and Southwest Airlines. Another client, the professional services firm Deloitte, would undoubtedly be on the list if it were a publicly traded company.

And just for good measure, Rubin Turnbull also represents S&P Global, the ultimate arbiter of what companies are included in the eponymous stock index.

In addition to the names on the shingle, the firm’s first-quarter lobbying team featured the named Melissa Akeson, Jacqui Carmona, Erica Chanti, Kevin Comerer, Jodi Bock Davidson, Christopher Finkbeiner, Zachary Hubbard, Matthew Sacco and Sharonda Wright-Placide.

In addition to per-client ranges, lobbying firms are required to disclose overall pay in broad ranges. Both of Rubin Turnbull’s compensation reports were in the top bracket of $1 million or more. If revenues were near the upper end of per-client ranges, the firm could have earned as much as $3.88 million in Q1.

Like other firms in its new peer group, the Q1 haul represents a substantial bump from recent quarters, though the gain here was more robust than most — Rubin Turnbull’s revenues floated in the vicinity of $2.25 million for most of last year before jumping by nearly a third to start 2023.

Florida lobbyists and lobbying firms faced a May 15 deadline to file compensation reports for the period covering Jan. 1 through May. 31. Compensation reports for the second quarter are due to the state on Aug. 14.

Peter Schorsch

Peter Schorsch is the President of Extensive Enterprises and is the publisher of some of Florida’s most influential new media websites, including Florida Politics and Sunburn, the morning read of what’s hot in Florida politics. Schorsch is also the publisher of INFLUENCE Magazine. For several years, Peter's blog was ranked by the Washington Post as the best state-based blog in Florida. In addition to his publishing efforts, Peter is a political consultant to 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.

One comment

  • Dont Say FLA

    May 23, 2023 at 11:04 am

    Lobbyist sounds like a great job for Rhonda after he doesn’t Resign to Run and doesn’t even get the GOP nomination and his term as Fleur Duh Gub’ner ends. By all appearances they must want to be a lobbyist working for Disney. That is why Rhonda picked the fight, so they can offer Disney to end the fight for a handsomely compensated lobbying job for Rhonda, and Mrs Rhonda can play Ursula in the next remake of Little Mermaid. No, Mrs Rhonda, you do not get to play a princess. That is for your bedroom, and to be keep private between you and your bzz bzz bzzzzer.

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