Brian Ballard’s interesting Friday

in Statewide/Top Headlines by

When a lobbyist represents approximately 180 different clients, as Brian Ballard currently does according to FloridaLobbyist.gov, it’s not unusual for a combination of these clients to show up in the headlines of the day.

However, on Friday, an unusually high number of interests repped by Ballard Partners made their way into the news, making for a very interesting day for the firm.

The day began with firm client Amazon offering same-day delivery in the Tampa Bay area. And it ended with the Tampa Bay Lightning, a client because of the firm’s work for team owner and developer Jeff Vinik, winning a Game 7 playoff against the New York Rangers to make it to the Stanley Cup Finals.

Clients Harris Corp. and Uber also made it in the news, as the former faces a new competitive threat from Airbus, while the latter asked to have its issues considered during the upcoming Special Session of the Florida Legislature. 

Two of the biggest political stories on Friday created a roller coaster for the firm.

One moment the firm learns of Orlando City Soccer’s decision to privately fund construction of a new stadium, which possibly damages the chances of clients Daytona International Speedway and Jacksonville Jaguars to attract taxpayer support for its projects.

Five minutes later, a Florida appeals court ordered state regulators to award a license for slot machines to a facility located 25 miles west of Tallahassee. The ruling could have a wide impact because voters in Lee, Brevard and Palm Beach counties as well as the North Florida counties of Hamilton and Washington have approved similar referendums. Guess who represents the race track in Palm Beach — the Palm Beach Kennel Club — which is likely to benefit from this ruling? That’s right, Ballard Partners.

“While I was reading a report from our lawyers about the slots decision,” Ballard told FloridaPolitics.com, “I got a call about Orlando walking away from the stadium deal.”

“An interesting Friday to say the least,” said Ballard.

Material from the Associated Press was used in this post.

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.