Why Florida lobbyists may be better off than their Yankee peers

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Reviewing the latest data on lobbying compensation in the state of New York, state and local lobbyists were compensated $191 million in 2013, according to the state’s Joint Commission on Public Ethics. A total of $210 million was spent on overall lobbying activity at the state and local level.

Compare that with what was spent in Florida. According to Aaron Deslatte of the Orlando Sentinel, $226 million was spent in 2013 to lobby Florida’s legislative and executive branches. 

In other words, in the 3rd largest station in the country, $210 million was spent on lobbying; in the 4th largest state, $226 million was spent on lobbying. But that’s not the complete picture.

Consider that the dollar figure about how much is spent to lobby in New York includes what is spent at both the state AND the local level, including New York City. The $226 million price tag Deslatte arrived at does not include any of the money spent to lobby in the local political hotbeds of Florida, such as Miami-Dade. Undoubtedly, there are tens of millions of dollars spent just on lobbying South Florida’s city and county governments. Just ask Ron Book about all that.

Moreover, New York’s state budget for 2014 is $132.6 billion, whereas the state of Florida’s budget will likely come in at around $74 billion. So in New York, there’s less money being spent to lobby a state government with nearly twice as much money to dole out as in Florida. What fun is that?

Rarely does anyone in Florida get to rub a Yankee’s nose in how well they are doing compared to their colleagues from up North, but in the case of the lobbying profession, Floridians may just be better off than their peers in New York. 

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.