Tsamoutales Strategies’ slide in lobbying revenues coincide with audit threat

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Florida’s new auditing rules for lobbyists was bound to have a ripple effect through the business, resulting in a few casualties — or at least a handful of big-name Adams Street firms left battered and bruised.

One such victim seems to be Tsamoutales Strategies, with its four-person lobbying team headed by founder and President Frank Tsamoutales, which suffered a big hit in revenue during the first quarter of 2014 — the first reporting period subject to random audits of compensation reports.

Despite the substantial drop in revenue, Tsamoutales Strategies still brought in almost $790K in the first quarter of 2014 with a client list of 34 legislative and 37 executive principals.

The firm’s Q1 2014 estimated maximum earnings are $404,981 in legislative fees, $384,982 for executive advocacy — for a total of up to $789,963. That’s more than 45 percent down from the same time last year, when it was $625,989 each in legislative and executive — for a total of up to $1,251,978.

Tsamoutales’ Q1 earnings also pale against the final quarter of 2013, where revenues were $552,987 each for executive and legislative services, totaling $1,105,974— a nearly 30 percent plunge. It certainly does not bode well for a Tallahassee lobbying house leading into the first crucial weeks of the legislative session.

With five experienced lobbyists—headlined by big names such as Tsamoutales and former state Senate President Mike Haridopolos, as well as consultants Amy Bisceglia, and Sarah Sanders — the bar is set high for a revenue slide like that not to cause a bit of alarm.

Tsamoutales’ biggest payday in Q1 was Gainesville nonresidential building operator/developer Butler Enterprises, with a huge $125,000 check for legislative services, and another $125,000 for executive. Butler represents a quarter of the firm’s income.

Second on the list is medical testing giant Quest Diagnostics Incorporated, which gave a much more down-to-earth $39,999 maximum apiece for legislative and executive advocacy. Next comes Tampa-based interior door manufacturer Masonite Corporation, which provided up to $29,999 each for legislative and executive services.

At the maximum $19,999 level are a trio of companies, each chipping in for both legislative and executive lobbying:

  • Evidence-Based Associates, a state-based juvenile justice system reform group
  • International Speedway Corporation, which went to the legislature this year looking for state funds to upgrade the Daytona International facility
  • Space Florid, the Independent Special District to promote Florida’s sustainable space industry

Also giving Tsamoutales up to $19,999 for executive services in Q1 was the Cystic Fibrosis Foundation.

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.