Lobbying compensation: Johnston & Stewart posts $818K in Q1
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The firm is on track to beat its 2021 earnings total.

The three-person team at Johnston & Stewart Government Strategies continued its revenue growth streak in the first quarter, notching an estimated $818,000 in lobbying pay.

Named partners Jeff Johnston and Amanda Stewart worked alongside lobbyist Anita Berry to handle the needs of nearly 50 clients in the first quarter. Their efforts produced $568,000 in receipts for legislative lobbying and an additional $250,000 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.

Johns Hopkins All Children’s Hospital nearly doubled the cap on range reporting, paying the firm $98,000 for legislative lobbying alone. It paid another $45,000 for executive branch lobbying work for a grand total of $143,000.

The St. Petersburg-based hospital was one of many facilities that stood to lose millions of dollars in funding with the elimination of the so-called “critical care fund.” However, its losses were offset by the creation of a new pot of money to enhance payments to freestanding children’s specialty hospitals — Johns Hopkins is one of only three such separately licensed facilities in the Sunshine State.

Following Johns Hopkins, the legislative report shows three clients in the $25,000 range: Gulfstream Park Racing Association, Humana Medical Plan, TECO Energy. TECO, the parent company Tampa Electric Company, also chipped in $15,000 in executive branch lobbying pay, making it the firm’s No. 2 client overall.

Several major national corporations are scattered throughout Johnston & Stewart’s compensation reports.

American Airlines is among the heavyweights. By nearly every measure — fleet size, passengers carried, and revenue passenger miles — the company ranks as the largest airline in the world. It paid Johnston & Stewart $20,000 in all, with $15,000 of it marked down on the legislative compensation report.

Charter Communications was another industry leader on the sheet. The internet and cable television provider serves more than 26 million customers in the United States and is second only to Comcast in terms of customer base. Johnston & Stewart collected $20,000 from the company, including $15,000 for legislative work.

Johnston & Stewart’s legislative report listed an overall pay range of $500,000 to $1 million while its executive report showed earnings between $100,000 and $250,000. Based on those figures, the firm earned no less than $600,000 last quarter.

Its median earnings estimate, meanwhile, represents a significant increase from its average quarterly rake last year, which measured in at about $677,000.

Florida lobbyists and lobbying firms faced a May 15 deadline to file compensation reports for the period covering Jan. 1 through March 31. Compensation reports for the second quarter are due to the state on Aug. 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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