Six lobbying firms in the million-dollar club

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Bolstered by huge paydays from some clients, at least six lobbying firms collected $1 million or more in legislative lobbying fees between April 1 and June 30, newly filed reports show.

The reports do not detail the exact amounts of money the firms earned. But in some cases, clients paid them six-figure fees during the quarter — and in many cases they received $50,000 or more from clients.

As an example, the lobbying firm Southern Strategy Group reported receiving $104,000 from Blue Cross and Blue Shield of Florida and $68,000 from Mosaic Fertilizer, both of which have major interests in the Legislature.

Similarly, a firm headed by prominent lobbyist Ronald Book reported earning $100,000 from the Florida High School Athletic Association and $75,000 from the car dealer Auto Nation, the records show. Lawmakers this year considered — and ultimately killed — a controversial bill that targeted the athletic association for major changes.

As another example, the firm Tsamoutales Strategies reported earning $400,000 from Honeywell International, $162,000 from Harris Corp. and $87,000 from International Speedway Corp., which runs NASCAR tracks including Daytona International Speedway.

Along with Southern Strategy, Book and Tsamoutales Strategies, the firms Ballard Partners, Capital City Consulting and GrayRobinson PA also had reported as of midafternoon Thursday that they hauled in $1 million or more from legislative lobbying during the quarter. The reports were due Thursday, though it was not immediately clear how many remained to be added to a state website.

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