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Jim Smith

Southern Strategy Group earns more than $2 million for legislative lobbying in Q2

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Southern Strategy Group remains one of the top government affairs firms in the Sunshine State. The Tallahassee-based firm reported second quarter median compensation of more than $2.1 million for its legislative services. Those median earnings mean the firm will once again be among the Top 3 earners in the state. Firms must file compensation reports each quarter, and the most recent reports were due Sunday. The reports list a firm’s clients, and typically include compensation ranges. One of the firm’s…

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Chris Hand: Jim King’s legacy still holding court

in Apolitical/Top Headlines by

After Jim King became Florida Senate President in late 2002, he did something that today might seem radical on both sides of the aisle: He elevated members of the other party. Just a few weeks earlier, Florida Republicans had reached a new zenith in their political ascendancy. For the first time in modern history, not a single Democrat would serve in the governorship, Cabinet, or legislative majority. Though Democrats had won the last two U.S. Senate elections, and had battled…

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Southern Strategy Group already at more than $7 million in 2015 lobbying fees

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As Southern Strategy Group grows its empire around the country, it continued to post gaudy lobbying figures in Tallahassee: The firm collected an estimated $3.1 million in consulting fees last quarter, according to a compensation report submitted Friday. SSG took in some $2.3 million from 241 legislative lobbying clients and reported $800,000 in fees from 242 executive branch contracts. The highest-paying contracts during the period between the April 1-June 30 were with Miami-based nursery and Charlotte’s Web license hopeful Costa…

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Martin Dyckman: Winner-take-all winner could be Donald Trump

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Our next president may well owe the office to arrogant billionaires or be one himself. Meanwhile, The New York Times reports that fewer than 400 families account for nearly half the $388 million already invested in that election still more than a year away. Did America shed blood to be rid of monarchy only to have it come to this? And yet the vast moral and political corruption unleashed by the U.S. Supreme Court’s confusion of free spending with free…

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John Thrasher inaugurated as FSU president

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A handful of lawmakers broke away from the state Capitol Tuesday afternoon to attend the inauguration of John Thrasher as Florida State University’s 15th president. Thrasher earned two degrees from the university but his path to the presidency began in 1986 when he was elected to the Clay County School Board. From there Thrasher embarked on a career where he became one of the more powerful figures at the state Capitol. As speaker of the Florida House he worked with…

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Charlie Crist appoints Steve Yerrid as special counsel for oil-spill response

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Fron the Orlando Sentinel: Gov. Charlie Crist Wednesday evening signed an executive order appointing Tampa lawyer Steve Yerrid as Florida’s special counsel handling the Deepwater Horizon oil-spill response. Yerrid is an LSU graduate who was part of Florida’s legal ”Dream Team” assembled by Gov. Lawton Chiles in 1995 to launch a landmark lawsuit against Big Tobacco. The move is the latest step Crist has taken toward potential litigation to recover economic losses incurred by the oil spill. He has also tapped two former state…

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Jim Smith endorses Pam Bondi for attorney general

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Today, former Attorney General Jim Smith announced his endorsement of Pam Bondi for Attorney General, citing her experience as a key reason for his support. Smith is largely recognized as one of the most competent Attorney Generals in Florida’s history and has bipartisan respect statewide. He will join former Governor Bob Martinez, former First Lady Mary Jane Martinez, and former Ambassador to the Bahamas Ned Siegel as honorary statewide co-chairs of the Bondi Campaign. “Pam is conservative and without a…

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