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One-man lobby shops do nicely in 2015 Q2

in Statewide/Top Headlines by

For many political pros, influencing state lawmakers in Tallahassee is more of a side gig. And for some of them, it’s a highly profitable one.

For instance: Republican attorney and curator of Sayfie Review Justin Sayfie took in an estimated $25,000 between April 1 and June 30 from just three executive and two legislative lobbying contracts.

City of Hollywood in Broward County sent an estimated $10,000 Sayfie’s way for work on the 4th floor and the executive “plaza level,” as did Google, which you may have heard of. Sentry Data Systems chipped in around $5,000 as well for representation before state agencies.

Screven Watson is better known for his role as a Democratic-leaning consultant and campaign manager, but he does a good bit of statehouse advocacy as well: between his 10 legislative lobbying clients Watson took in some $100,000 in 2015 Q2.

Watson’s top-paying client was easily U.S. Sugar, which compensated him with between $30,000-$39,999 in lobbying fees. Collier Resources, Florida Medical Association and Seminole Tribe of Florida also paid handsomely for the Blue Dog Democrat’s advice within the Process, combining for an estimated $45,000 in invoices last quarter.

Democratic operative Steve Schale spent 2014 helping push U.S. Rep. Gwen Graham across the goal line and coming close to helping Charlie Crist do the same — but with lawmakers back in Tallahassee this spring and summer, Schale took his talents to the Capitol.

Schale earned an estimated $55,000 representing just five legislative clients: AT&T, Mosaic Fertilizer and Disney, which pitched in between $10,000-$19,999 each for his services, as well as Florida Hospital Association and Intuition Ale Works, on whose behalf Schale helped “Free the Growler.”

Solaris Consulting, owned by solo practitioner David Bishop, last quarter did pretty well himself, too, for a part-time lobbyist: Tampa-based advertising firm PP+K and Florida Greyhound Association combined to contribute some $20,000 to Bishop’s ledger book between executive and legislative influence work.

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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