Lobbyists Bring in Big Bucks to Influence Legislature: Series Preview

By: Allison Nielsen | Posted: May 30, 2014 3:55 AM
Florida Capitol

Visitors to Florida’s Capitol see them on the fourth floor, briefcases in hand, a sense of urgency in their stride. In fact, lobbyists are everywhere.

During the annual legislative session, hundreds poured into Tallahassee, all in hopes of pushing their clients’ agendas through statewide and national channels. Florida’s lobbyists are an essential part of our political culture, the cogs that keep the wheels turning in the Sunshine State’s legislative machine.

For their work, lobbyists rake in the dough. Estimates showed lobbying fees topped $15 million in the first quarter alone, and in some years fees can easily exceed $100 million. 

Some lobbyists say they barely get any sleep because they’re working so much. But they don’t seem bothered by it. They live and breathe “the process.” Each day is an opportunity to tackle a new obstacle, whether it’s popping into a member of the Senate or House of Representatives’ office or meeting with a large business.

They represent a wide variety of clients, from small businesses and organizations to large corporate entities and local governments. With such a large client base, hundreds of millions of dollars flow into the lobbying industry every year, and the total is only getting larger.

In October, Sunshine State News brought readers a closer look at the top lobbying firms in the Sunshine State. Now, we will take a second look at Florida’s influencers and see who the top dogs are in the state’s lobbying profession.

Reach Tampa-based reporter Allison Nielsen at or follow her on Twitter at @AllisonNielsen. 

Comments (2)

1:34PM MAY 30TH 2014
Most lobbying reports are either inaccurate, inflated, or underreported based on a number of factors. Take the reports with a grain of salt.
9:17AM MAY 30TH 2014
So, where is the second look?

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