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Capital City Consulting pulls in $1.7 million in Q2 lobbying fees

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Capital City Consulting typically ranks among the upper echelon of Tallahassee lobbying corps shops, and it showed no sign of stopping in the second quarter of 2015. According to recently filed state records, the firm brought in an estimated $1.7 million.

During 2015 Q2 — which ran from April 1 through June 30 — CCC represented 86 legislative clients and 88 executive clients among the firm’s seven influence professionals. The highest paying? That would be Las Vegas Sands Corp., which plunked down at least $86,000 in hopes the Legislature will hear it out when they consider expanding gaming. The Paradise, a Nevada-based casino and resort company, also contributed up to $9,999 in executive branch fees for an estimated total of about $91,000 in all.

The gaming giant was far from the only big entity that sought the firm’s counsel. Healthcare company Aetna employed Capital City’s services to the tune of up to $59,999, and Hillsborough County Public Transportation Commission, Palm Beach County Sheriff’s Office and U.S. Chamber Institute for Legal Reform rounded out the firm’s top five clients, accounting for more than $100,000 in compensation all told.

Those eye-popping figures are just the tip of the iceberg. Fully 18 businesses and organizations paid Capital City between $20,000 and $29,999 in the second quarter, combining for at least $360,000. Among them were interests related to health care (Memorial Healthcare Systems, CIGNA), financial services (VISA, American Bankers Insurance Group) and, as always in the world of lobbying, miscellaneous concerns (Anglo-Dutch publishing company Reed Elsevier, Swisher International, and the Everglades Trust).

Higher education interests also made up a substantial part of the firm’s portfolio: New College Foundation, which raises money for the tiny Sarasota liberal arts school, University of Florida Student Government Association, and Florida International University Foundation all counted themselves among the clients represented by Capital City.

The Q2 roster of the firm’s registered lobbyists was familiar to Adams Street watchers: Firm owner Gerald Wester, Nick Iarossi, Kenneth Granger, Ashley Kalifeh, Ronald LaFace and Christopher Schoonover made themselves a ton of money this spring and early summer.

Ryan Ray writes about campaigns and public policy in Tampa Bay and across the state. A contributor to and before that, The Florida Squeeze, he covers the Legislature as a member of the Florida Capitol Press Corps and has worked as a staffer on several campaigns. He can be reached at

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