Ballard Partners took home a whopping $3.8 million in consulting fees last quarter, according to estimates based on recently submitted compensation reports.
The Adams Street juggernaut led by Brian Ballard, a top Tallahassee Republican and former chief of staff to Gov. Bob Martinez, handled some $2.2 million in business from 176 legislative lobbying clients as well as $1.6 million from 174 executive branch clients.
The firm’s sprawling balance sheets were buoyed by six-figure contributions from four clients whose fees exceeded the $49,999 figure, beneath which reporting comes in ranges rather than specific dollar amounts.
Resorts World Miami paid Ballard $164,000 for representation between April 1 and June 30, followed by Automated Healthcare Solutions at $150,000, U.S. Sugar Corp. at $106,000 and contractors International Atlantic, who tendered $104,000 for advocacy in Tallahassee.
Other top-paying clients on Ballard’s choice roster included Brevard County-based radio giants Harris Corp., Tampa General Hospital and Uber Technologies, which each paid between $40,000-$49,999 for legislative lobbying plus between $20,000-$29,999 for executive representation, for an estimated total of $70,000 each during Q2.
The notoriously tricky world of regulatory lobbying was a lucrative vein of business for the firm. Global Tel*Link, GTECH Corp., Investment Corp. of Palm Beach, Jacksonville Transportation Authority and Signal Safe, Inc. each paid between $30,000-$39,999 for advocacy on the Capitol’s Plaza Level, where they appealed to Cabinet officers and state agency officials.
Some of the heaviest-hitting interests in Florida politics and government chose Ballard for its statehouse advocacy. Florida Power & Light — the state’s public-private electric utility ubiquitous in Tallahassee when it comes to energy issues — Walgreens, Xerox, AstraZeneca, David Beckham and the NFL’s Jacksonville Jaguars were all among the firm’s clients last quarter.
Municipalities also flocked during Q2. Broward, Polk and Martin counties counted themselves Ballard clients, as did City of Boca Raton, City of Boynton Beach, City of Delray Beach, City of Marathon, City of Palm Beach Gardens, City of Pembroke Pines, and City of Port St. Lucie.
Ballard had 17 influence professionals managing the firm’s massive client list. They included former state Rep. Chris Dorworth, Jan Gorrie, Monica Rodriguez, Wansley Walters and William Turbeville.
State law requires lobbying firms to submit compensation reports quarterly. They are permitted in most cases to simply report an approximate range of client compensation — e.g., $1-$9,999 — in lieu of the specific dollar amount.