Lobbying compensation: Top 15 firms scoop up millions in Q2 pay
TALLAHASSEE, FLA. 3/1/22-Activity in the fourth floor rotunda is starting to build as the legislature enters the final 10 days of the regularly-scheduled session, Tuesday at the Capitol in Tallahassee. COLIN HACKLEY PHOTO

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A rundown of the top earners in the second quarter.

The state’s biggest lobbying firms may be scooping up well over $2 million a quarter, but there’s still plenty of work to go around for the rest of the lobby corps.

In fact, many of the firms lingering just outside the Top 5 are putting up numbers that could go toe-to-toe with the bluebloods if team size is considered. Here’s a rundown of how the rest of the firms in the Top 15 fared in legislative lobbying revenues last quarter.

But first, a primer. Florida Politics estimates how much firms earn based on the middle number of the per-client ranges they list on their compensation reports. Contracts are reported in $10,000 increments. Compensation reports also include firm-level ranges, which can give outsiders a rough idea of their minimum and maximum earnings.

Florida lobbyists and lobbying firms faced an Aug. 14 deadline to file compensation reports for the period covering April 1 through July 31. Compensation reports for the third quarter are due to the state on Nov. 14.

No. 6: Greenberg Traurig

The team at Greenberg Traurig represented 90 clients and earned an estimated $1.1 million in the first quarter.

The team of Fred Baggett, Gus Corbella, Hayden Dempsey, Elizabeth Dudek, Samantha Ferrin, Fred Karlinsky and Timothy Stanfield submitted a legislative compensation report that was topped by five clients that paid $45,000 apiece: Baptist Health South Florida, Centauri Specialty Insurance, the Florida Association of Court Clerks & Comptrollers and Heritage Property & Casualty Insurance Company and Risk Management Solutions.

A half-dozen other clients were marked down at $35,000 on the legislative side. One of those clients was the Seminole Tribe of Florida, which is still battling the federal government over the new Gaming Compact allowing them to oversee sports betting in the state. The Tribe saw progress on that front this week when the U.S. Department of Interior filed a brief in support of the deal.

Two clients followed at the $25,000 level, and 30 at the $15,000 level. The remainder of Greenberg Traurig’s legislative clients were listed in the up-to-$10,000 range.

The bottom line of the firm’s legislative report shows the firm earned at least $1 million lobbying lawmakers, but the firm may have earned as much as $1.48 million.

No. 7: Metz Husband & Daughton

The eight-member team at Metz Husband & Daughton also posted a $1 million-plus report for Q2.

Warren Husband and James Daughton worked alongside lobbyists Doug Bell, Leslie Dughi, Allison Liby-Schoonover, Aimee Lyon, Andy Palmer and Karl Rasmussen to represent 88 clients, including one who broke through the cap on range reporting.

Amscot Financial paid the firm $51,000 for help in the Legislature. The Tampa-based company is best known for its check cashing and payday loan products, though it offers a range of other financial services such as money orders, wire transfers and notary services.

The firm’s No. 2 client was Attorneys’ Title Fund Services, which paid $35,000. It was followed by 10 clients at the $25,000 level, including Disney and General Motors.

Several well-known brands were also among the 39 clients listed in the $15,000 bracket. They included Avis Budget Group, Bristol-Myers Squibb, eBay, Microsoft, TikTok and StubHub.

The overall range listed on MHD’s report shows it earned at least $1 million in legislative lobbying pay. At the top end, the firm could have earned $1.4 million.

No. 8: Corcoran Partners

The team at Corcoran Partners netted just shy of $1 million lobbying the Legislature last quarter.

Michael Corcoran and lobbyists Jacqueline Corcoran, Matt Blair, Helen Levine, Bethany McAlister, Will Rodriguez, and Andrea Tovar juggled 87 clients during the three-month reporting period, including a pair that crossed the $50,000 mark.

The team’s top contract was with Fontainebleau Development, a South Florida-based luxury real estate development company behind the eponymous Fontainebleau Miami Beach and several other well-known hotels and resorts. It paid Corcoran Partners $68,000.

The No. 2 spot belonged to Merlin Law Group, a Tampa-based law firm that represents property owners in insurance claim litigation nationwide.

The Florida Optometric Association, one of the belligerents in the long-running “Eyeball Wars,” as well as The Big Easy Casino, a South Florida gaming venue, each chipped in $35,000 for the quarter.

Several major corporations — including some Fortune 500 companies — were listed further down on the report. Walmart, Verizon and Coca-Cola are but three examples.

Corcoran Partners’ overall range show it collected between $500,000 and $1 million in legislative lobbying fees, and contract sizes indicate it was closer to the ceiling than the floor.

No. 9: Rubin, Turnbull & Associates

Lobbying firm Rubin, Turnbull & Associates tallied an estimated $886,000 in legislative lobbying fees during the reporting period.

Led by Bill Rubin and Heather Turnbull, the firm represented 78 legislative clients in Q2 and reported earning between $500,000 and $1 million for its efforts.

In addition to the named partners, Rubin Turnbull’s second-quarter team included Melissa Akeson, Jacqueline Carmona, Erica Chanti, Jodi Bock Davidson, Chris Finkbeiner, Zach Hubbard, Matthew Sacco and Sharonda Wright-Placide.

Their legislative report listed 78 clients. HCA Healthcare was at the top on the list with $56,000 in pay, which exceeds the cap on range reporting.

Agriculture powerhouse Florida Crystals and Charter Communications, the No. 2 cable TV and internet provider behind only Comcast, followed at the $35,000 level alongside The Richman Group of Florida and Twelvetrees Three.

Other major companies represented by Rubin Turnbull & Associates include health insurer Aetna, cruise giant Carnival Corporation, both of which paid $25,000 for the quarter.

No. 10: Smith Bryan & Myers

Smith Bryan & Myers rounded out the top 10 with an estimated $815,000 earned lobbying the House and Senate.

Led by Matt Bryan, the firm’s roster includes Teye Carmichael, David Daniel, Thomas Griffin, Jeff Hartley, Lisa Hurley and Jim Naff. They represented 84 clients in the Legislature, where they earned during the April-through-June reporting period.

The top of SBM’s legislative compensation report showed two clients that paid $35,000 apiece — the Hillsborough County Commission and JM Family Enterprises.

Three clients followed at the $25,000 level, including The Family Law Section of the Florida Bar, which led the opposition to this year’s alimony reform bill, which was vetoed by the Governor in late June.

Another 30 contracts measured in at $15,000. Several of those companies hailed from the health care industry, including the Florida Health Care Association, the Florida Hospital Association and Johnson & Johnson.

Other notable clients at the $15,000 level last quarter included the National Football League, Publix and the University of Florida.

Overall, SBM reported between $500,000 and $1 million in incomes lobbying the Legislature. Per-client pay ranges indicate it may have come close to the upper limit.

No. 11: Anfield Consulting

The half-dozen lobbyists at Anfield Consulting entered the cracked the top-15 with second-quarter earnings of $725,000.

The report filed by Al Balido, Frank Bernardino, Rosanna Manuela Catalano, Brett Cyphers, Natalie Fausel and Edgar Fernandez lists 56 contracts, with their representation of claims-bill client Kareem Hawaribeing the most lucrative.

In 2010, a 13-year-old Hawari was wrestling in a school tournament in Osceola County. His opponent slammed him to the mat and Kareem suffered brain damage, according to a relief bill that sought $3.5 million in compensation. It was approved in the 2022 Legislative Session.

The Polk County Commission and WSP showed up at the $35,000 level with an additional seven clients dishing $25,000 to the lobbying firm in Q2.

That set included the Indian River County Commission, Premier Manufacturing Products, Resource Environmental Solutions, Sea and Shoreline and Thriller Tours. Despite the Halloween-esque name, the latter client offers speedboat tours of the Miami area.

Anfield Consulting reported earning between $500,000 and $1 million for the quarter. Top end estimates show it may have earned as much as $940,000.

No. 12: Johnson & Blanton

Johnson & Blanton finished the second quarter with $660,000 in legislative earnings.

Led by Jon Johnson and Travis Blanton, the firm’s Q1 team also included lobbyists Diane Wagner CarrDarrick McGhee and Eric Prutsman. They represented 80 clients last quarter.

Team J&B’s top legislative clients last quarter were Advent Health and the Florida Hospital Association.

Advent Health and FHA 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. Both paid J&B $35,000 for the quarter.

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

The firm also represents several major non-health care interests, such as Bank of America, the Florida Chamber of Commerce and the Florida Retail Federation.

The bottom line of Johnson & Blanton’s report shows it earned between $500,000 and $1 million in Q2. Using the top end of per-client ranges, the firm could have earned the full $1 million.

No. 13: Becker & Poliakoff

Becker & Poliakoff also reported $660,000 in legislative lobbying revenues across its 75 contracts.

The team of Ellyn Bogdanoff, Bernie Friedman, Jose Fuentes, Yolanda Cash Jackson, Jason King, Max Losner, Nicholas Matthews and LaToya Sheals handled a pair of contracts in the $35,000 range.

The first was Miami’s municipal government and the other was Vertex Pharmaceuticals, a Boston-based company that is a component of the S&P 500 and the Nasdaq 100.  Atlantic Sapphire USA, Bethune Cookman University, Florida Memorial University and Homesafe1st followed at the $25,000 level.

Two dozen other principals were listed in the $10,000 to $20,000 pay range, including a cohort of local governments in South Florida such as the city governments for Cape Coral, Lauderdale Lakes, North Lauderdale and South Miami.

Some recognizable names were also listed among Becker’s set of up-to-$10,000 clients. They included AT&T, Florida Poly and the Safety Net Hospital Alliance of Florida.

Becker’s legislative report fell into the $500,000 to $1 million range. Based on per-client ranges, the firm could have earned as much as $940,000.

No. 14: Floridian Partners

The six-person team at Floridian Partners earned an estimated $655,000 lobbying the legislative branch last quarter.

Lobbyists Jorge ChamizoCharles DudleyGeorge FeijooCory GuzzoGary Guzzo and Melissa Ramba represented 74 clients in Q2.

Two $35,000-level clients topped their report: the Seminole Tribe of Florida and Florida Internet & Television, a statewide trade association that represents several telecommunications providers including Charter Communications, Comcast and Cox.

A half-dozen clients followed at the $25,000 level. They included Allstate Insurance Company, Florida Gulf Coast University, the Florida Insurance Council, Hart InterCivic, Total Wine & More and Rock Central.

Other well-known clients on their list included Anheuser-Busch, Anthem, the Associated Industries of Florida, the Florida Realtors, Liberty Mutual, Uber, Duke Energy and U.S. Sugar.

Floridian Partners’ overall earnings fell within the $500,000 to $1 million range, with their top end estimate coming in at $880,000.

No. 15: The Mayernick Group

Frank Mayernick, Tracy Mayernick and Rob Johnson represented 53 clients in the House and Senate last quarter, pulling in an estimated $605,000 in legislative lobbying pay.

The trio represented 53 clients in the Legislature. The biggest payday came from Burrell Diversified Investments, which paid $35,000 for the quarter. Alkermes, Citrus Health Network, the Florida State University Foundation, HCA Healthcare and The Home Depot each provided The Mayernick Group with $25,000 in retainers.

Just over half of the clients on the firm’s legislative report were listed in the $10,000 to $20,000 range. The set included major corporations such as AT&T as well as a handful of statewide professional groups such as the Florida Behavioral Health Association, Florida Health Care Association and Florida Medical Association.

Other notable names on the list include Anheuser-Busch Companies and bestbet Jacksonville, a gaming outlet that offers poker, simulcast wagering and other pari-mutuel fare.

Firm-level ranges show The Mayernick Group earned between $500,000 and $1 million in the Legislature. The firm’s top-end estimate for Q2 is $810,000.

Staff Reports


One comment

  • Joe Corsin

    August 20, 2022 at 9:10 am

    Every one of them crooks and should be shot.

Comments are closed.


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