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Ron Book’s shop hauls in over $2 million in Q2 lobbying fees

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The lobbying practice led by longtime Adams Street fixture Ron Book continued to net some of the largest earnings figures in all of Florida lobbying last quarter: His firm took in $2,015,000 in lobbying fees, according to estimates based on a compensation report submitted Tuesday.

The Ronald L. Book PA firm led by its namesake had a legislative client list that counted 97 interests and accounted for some $1.73 million in lobbying fees. Book’s executive practice — still larger than most firms by itself — listed 69 clients, all of whom paid rates within the $1-$9,999 range, for an estimated total of $285,000.

The firm’s largest contracts were doozies — Performance Title Services and Title Clerk Consulting Co. both paid a whopping $100,000 in fees between April 1 and June 30 for representation from a man so tied in with the Legislature you’d think he was a member, were it not for his psychedelic ties.

Book listed five additional clients that paid more than the $49,999 level that allows firms to report in ranges as opposed to specific sums: Auto Tag Management Group ($60,000), First Service Residential Florida ($60,000), Miami Project/Buoniconti Fund to Cure Paralysis ($55,000), Altria Client Services and its Affiliates ($50,000), and Florida High School Athletic Association ($50,000).

Southwest Florida Enterprises paid within the top reporting range at an estimated $45,000, while Atlantic Pacific Communities and Gold Coast Beverage Distributors ponied up between $30,000-$39,999 each for legislative lobbying.

Some 14 groups and interests paid the next-highest amounts reported, between $20,000-$29,999. Those included the City of North MiamiCity of Tallahassee,  Florida Taxicab AssociationGEO Group, Keiser University and Miami’s Jackson Memorial Hospital. Those firms or institutions accounted for an estimated $350,000, again a figure larger than many small and mid-sized firms reported during 2015 Q2.

Fellow governmental relations consultants Rana Brown and Kelly Mallette worked alongside Book to help manage the influence industry behemoth.

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.

Ryan Ray writes about campaigns and public policy in Tampa Bay and across the state. A contributor to FloridaPolitics.com 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 ryan@floridapolitics.com.

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