Number of lobbying firms earning at least $500,000 jumped up this year

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Some lobbying firms had a banner legislative season newly filed compensation reports show, reports Gary Fineout.

The number of lobbying firms earning at least $500,000 a quarter to lobby the Florida Legislature shot up during the first three months of this year.

A year ago four firms reported making $ 1 million or more during the first quarter, while seven firms reported earning at least $500,000.

This year the number of firms that reported hitting the million-dollar mark held steady — but those earning at least a half-a-million dollars jumped up to 11.

An analysis of the first quarter lobbying compensation reports show that the total amount paid to lobbying firms was at least $33.8 million — which itself is higher than the first quarter of 2010. Lobbying firms do not report an exact amount, but instead report totals in ranges.

One of the firms that saw its compensation totals jump wasThe Rubin Group, the firm led byWilliam Rubin, a long-time lobbyist and friend ofGov. Rick Scott. A year ago The Rubin Group represented 20 clients and reported earning between $250,000 and $499,000.

The four firms that earned at least $1 million were the firm ofRon Book,Southern Strategy Group,Smith & Ballard and the law firm ofGrayRobinson.

The firms that earned at least $500,000 besides The Rubin Group were: The law firm ofColodny, Fass Talenfeld, Karinksy & Abate,Corcoran & Johnston, Dutko Worldwide LLC,Floridian Partners LLC, the law firm of Foley & Lardner, the law firm ofFowler White Boggs,Johnson & Blanton, the law firm ofPennington Moore Wilkinson Bell & Dunbar,Smith Bryan & Myers, and The Advocacy Group at Cardenas Partners.

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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.