Floridian Partners Helping Turn Legislative Wheels in Tallahassee
Around the State
Floridian Partners is made up of a team of lobbyists with a wide variety of experience in legislative affairs. Some lobbyists at the firm, like Gary Guzzo, are longtime lobbyists. Guzzo has been working in the business for 35 years.
Managing partner Charlie Dudley has a long history in Florida politics. Like many other high-profile lobbyists in Florida, he got his start when his father, former Sen. Fred Dudley, campaigned for office in 1982. Dudley is also an attorney with experience in communications and administrative law in Tallahassee -- experience he obtained in part through his time working hands-on in the Legislature as an aide to former Rep. Don Reed, who was general counsel for Florida Cablevision. Dudley has been working in lobbying for over 30 years.
These days, he now serves as the general counsel and chief lobbyist for one of Floridian Partners’ top clients, the Florida Cable Telecommunications Association (FCTA).
In lobbying disclosure forms filed with the state for 2012, Floridian Partners had a total of nine lobbyists working in its offices in Tallahassee and in South Florida. Led by Dudley, the lobbying firm banked $1.9 million in legislative lobbying fees in 2012 -- or $207,778 per lobbyist.
Floridian Partners has a wide variety of clientele, from insurance companies, banks and several prominent energy companies throughout the Sunshine State. Some of Floridian Partners’ high-profile clients include Broward Health, Tampa Electric Company (TECO) and Florida Cable Telecommunications Association. All in all, Floridian Partners had 51 different clients in 2012, with the average client retainer coming in at $37,000 per client.
Floridian Partners has grown over the past year and has added two lobbyists this year, bringing the firm's total up to 11 lobbyists working at the firm, with offices in Tallahassee, Miami, Fort Lauderdale and Tampa.
Speaking with Sunshine State News, Dudley said part of what makes his lobbying firm a top shop is the fact that clients can get legal services on top of lobbying services, something not every lobbying firm in Florida offers.
“We have lobbyists who are either attorneys and/or specialists with deep backgrounds in the areas in which they practice,” he explained. “We’re working with clients year-round, and we really understand their business. We understand how the legislative and regulatory environment ... would impact [clients'] business, and we are able to work with them because we have that knowledge. We don’t have to wait on general counsel to help us redraft something or to explain why it’s so critical to our clients’ interests.”
Dudley also said such specialty helps when working with legislative and regulatory staff.
Because of communication with attorneys, "we’re able to work with regulatory and legislative staff on the actual details of [legislative] proposals, and I think that’s something clients really appreciate,” Dudley said.
Reach Tampa-based reporter Allison Nielsen at email@example.com or follow her on Twitter at @AllisonNielsen.
How we rated lobbyists:
Sunshine State News staff and researchers analyzed thousands Florida’s legislative lobbying compensation reports filed within the databases and official records maintained by Online Sunshine and the Florida Lobbyist Registration Office in Tallahassee. In order to determine SSN’s rankings, we considered a combination of three factors: a firm’s total billings, a firm’s average client annual retainer and the sum of a firm’s total 2012 fees divided by the number of lobbyists it employed last year.