2014 Legislative Session Winner: Southern Strategy Group

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The SSG army of two dozen lobbyists descended on the Capitol this March and showed little interest in taking prisoners this session.

It routinely saw in the Capitol corridors lobbyists from their far-flung Florida network including those from Miami, Tampa, and Orlando, in addition to the usual platoon of Tallahassee regulars.

And, this firm tackled some of the biggest issues under the twin domes, including those tied to healthcare, gaming, sports franchises, insurance, public safety, and education.

SSG also seemed to fully use the talents of itsr most recent high-profile hire, former budget chief Jerry McDaniel, to shepherd through nearly three dozen appropriation items.

Notable wins for SSG included a rare high-profile defeat of the NRA on the issue of concealed weapons in emergency evacuations, a $5 million premium tax break for Fidelity, a rewrite of the state’s ticket laws for Disney, a new process for professional sports franchises to apply for a sales tax credit, the creation of a new expressway authority in Central Florida, and a closely watched knife fight with a rival lobbying firm over an important appropriation.

 As a bonus, the political world got to track SSG’s maneuverings on Twitter where its 1000+ followers got a daily glimpse into the world of Tallahassee power lobbying.

Peter Schorsch is the President of Extensive Enterprises and is the publisher of some of Florida’s most influential new media websites, including SaintPetersBlog.com, FloridaPolitics.com, ContextFlorida.com, and Sunburn, the morning read of what’s hot in Florida politics. SaintPetersBlog has for three years running been 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.