Two hot-button issues help lobbyist Louis Betz rake in 130K in fees

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In the first quarter of 2014, Louis Betz & Associates found itself engrossed into two legislative controversies facing the Tampa Bay region — red-light cameras and the battle between tech company Uber and Hillsborough County taxi companies.

With the lobbying team of founder Louis Betz and Travis Mitchell, the firm took in nearly $130K in fees in Q1 2014. Reported earnings were a maximum of $129,990 for legislative advocacy.

Among the firm’s 20 legislative and 15 executive clients, the largest checks came from red-light camera vendor American Traffic Solutions, Inc., who faced a firm (yet ultimately unsuccessful) push by the Florida Senate to ban RLCs statewide.

Another client was the Tampa Taxi Coalition, which also had limited success in the Legislature when lawmakers decided to keep the status quo on limousine regulations in Hillsborough County, temporarily holding off the expansion of popular on-demand towncar service Uber in Florida.

Each of the two of Betz’s top Q1 clients — joined by Texas-based Waste Management, Inc. — gave the firm up to $19,999 in legislative lobbying fees.

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.