Lobbying compensation: Johnston & Stewart nets $730K in Q3

Johnston Stewart0501 (Large)
The 2-year-old firm represents nearly 50 clients.

The three-person team at Johnston & Stewart earned an estimated $730,000 in lobbying fees last quarter, according to compensation reports filed this week.

Named partners Jeff Johnston and Amanda Stewart launched the firm two years ago, and alongside lobbyist Anita Berry they have since built a portfolio of nearly 50 clients.

Reports for the quarter ending Sept. 30 show those principals shipped the firm at least $500,000 for help in the Legislature and another $230,000 for executive branch lobbying.

Florida Politics estimates lobbying pay based on the middle number of the per-client ranges firms list on their compensation reports. Contracts are reported in $10,000 increments up to $50,000.

Johnston & Stewart most lucrative Q3 contract was with the Hillsborough County Sheriff’s Office, which paid $60,000 overall — $45,000 on the legislative report and another $15,000 in the executive.

Tampa Bay-area interests also occupied the No. 2 and No. 3 spots on the firm’s report.

Johns Hopkins All Children’s Hospital, the St. Petersburg teaching hospital dually associated with Johns Hopkins University and the University of South Florida, paid the firm $40,000 between the two compensation reports. TECO Energy and subsidiary Tampa Electric Company, which serve more than 800,000 customers across Hillsborough, Polk, Pasco and Pinellas counties, also chipped in $40,000.

The firm represents major national corporations as well. They include Fortune 500s such as health insurer Humana, American Airlines and Charter Communications. Other majors include multinational pharmaceutical companies Novo Nordisk and Purdue Pharma.

Statewide associations also make up a sizable portion of Johnston & Stewart’s client base.  The slate includes the Florida Alliance for Healthy Communities, the Florida Consortium of Public Charter Schools, the Florida Council for Behavioral Healthcare, the Florida Horsemen’s Benevolent & Protective Association, the Florida Independent Glass Association, the Florida Occupational Therapy Association and the Florida State Massage Therapy Association. Each paid a combined $10,000 for the quarter.

Lobbying compensation reports also list ranges for overall earnings. Johnston & Stewart’s reports show it earned between $500,000 and $1 million in the Legislature, indicating the sum of per-client medians may be on the low end of their actual earnings. The firm also claimed between $100,000 and $250,000 in executive branch pay.

Florida lobbyists and lobbying firms faced a Nov. 14 deadline to file compensation reports for the period covering July 1 through Sept. 30. Compensation reports for the fourth quarter are due to the state on Feb. 14.

Drew Wilson

Drew Wilson covers legislative campaigns and fundraising for Florida Politics. He is a former editor at The Independent Florida Alligator and business correspondent at The Hollywood Reporter. Wilson, a University of Florida alumnus, covered the state economy and Legislature for LobbyTools and The Florida Current prior to joining Florida Politics.



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