Lobbying compensation: Johnson & Blanton clears $1.2M in first quarter

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The firm could have earned as much as $1.5 million.

Johnson & Blanton started 2022 with $1.22 million in lobbying earnings, new compensation reports show.

Led by Jon Johnson and Travis Blanton, the firm’s Q1 team also included lobbyists Diane Wagner CarrDarrick McGhee and Eric Prutsman. They represented more than 80 clients last quarter, tallying $755,000 in legislative lobbying fees and $465,000 in executive branch lobbying fees.

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.

Team J&B’s top legislative client last quarter was Multitype Library Cooperatives, a group that promotes resource sharing between libraries across the state. MLC paid the firm $45,000 for legislative lobbying help and another $15,000 for executive branch lobbying.

Following MLC, Johnson & Blanton’s legislative report showed three principals at the $35,000 level: Advent Health, the Florida Hospital Association and The Fan Freedom Project.

Advent Health is a major health care system that operates in nine states and has a sizable presence in Central Florida, while FHA is a statewide association that represents more than 200 Florida hospitals.

Both stand to benefit from a budget item in the 2022 Legislative Session that directs $125 million to training and recruitment programs addressing the nursing shortage in Florida. According to an FHA analysis last year, Florida will need about 60,000 additional nurses over the next 15 years if the state wants to avoid a double-digit workforce deficit.

Team J&B represents several numerous health care interests and has cultivated a reputation as one of the top health care lobbying firms in the state.

Their roster also included BayCare, DaVita, the Florida Dental Association, the Florida Hospice & Palliative Care Association, the Florida Psychological Association, the Florida Society of Dermatology & Dermatologic Surgery, Independent Living Systems and Moffitt Cancer Center, among others.

The firm also represents several major non-health care companies. They include Bank of America — the second-largest bank in the nation behind only JPMorgan Chase — as well as major business groups such as the Florida Chamber of Commerce and the Florida Retail Federation.

Johnson & Blanton reported earnings between $500,000 and $1 million on their legislation compensation report and between $250,000 and $500,000 on their executive compensation report, meaning they earned no less than $1 million in Q1. If their contracts were at the top end of their reported ranges, the firm could have earned as much as $1.5 million.

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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