Lobbying compensation: Which governmental affairs firms ranked in the Top 15 for Q3

Your quarterly rundown of the best of the rest.

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 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.

No. 6: Rubin, Turnbull & Associates

The team at Rubin Turnbull & Associates is three for three on $2 million quarters this year, new compensation reports show.

The firm led by Bill Rubin and Heather Turnbull filed reports showing it earned at least $1 million lobbying the Legislature and another $1 million lobbying the executive branch. That is the top bracket for firm-level ranges, meaning Rubin Turnbull & Associates could have earned more.

In addition to the named partners, the firm’s third-quarter team included Melissa AkesonJacqui CarmonaErica ChantiKevin ComererJodi Bock DavidsonChristopher FinkbeinerZachary HubbardMatthew Sacco and Sharonda Wright-Placide. They represented 82 legislative clients and 86 executive branch clients during the three months ending Sept. 30.

HCA Healthcare was the most lucrative contract, paying $112,000 overall — $56,000 for legislative lobbying and the same amount for executive lobbying. Four clients followed at the $70,000 level: Carnival Corporation, Florida Crystals, Orchid Cove Health Group and The Richman Group of Florida. Those contracts were split evenly between the two compensation reports.

Based on per-client ranges, Rubin Turnbull & Associates could have earned as much as $2.8 million in Q3. Rubin Turnbull’s median earnings estimate of $2.06 million follows a $2.14 million Q1 and $2 million Q2, putting the firm on track to clear $8 million for the year.

No. 7: Greenberg Traurig PA

The team at Greenberg Traurig represented more than 120 clients and earned an estimated $1.79 million in the third quarter.

The firm’s third-quarter team consisted of Fred Baggett, Roger BeaubienChristian Brito, Gus CorbellaHayden DempseyElizabeth DudekSamantha FerrinFred Karlinsky and Timothy Stanfield.

They 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, Heritage Property & Casualty Insurance Company and Risk Management Solutions. In total, the firm reported earning at least $1 million in the Legislature and could have earned as much as $1.49 million.

Greenberg Traurig’s executive branch report was led by Heritage Property & Casualty Insurance Company at the $45,000 level followed by the Florida Rights Restoration Coalition, Guy Carpenter & Company and McKinsey & Company at the $25,000 level. The firm earned between $500,000 and $1 million lobbying the executive branch, with a median estimate of $680,000.

Overall, Greenberg Traurig earned at least $1.5 million in lobbying fees last quarter. At the top end, the firm could have earned as much as $2.49 million.

No. 8: Corcoran Partners

Corcoran Partners earned more than $1.5 million in lobbying fees last quarter, new compensation reports show.

The firm led by Michael Corcoran represented more than 100 clients during the July-through-September reporting period, collecting $1.08 million lobbying lawmakers and another $568,000 lobbying the Governor, Cabinet and state agencies.

In addition to Corcoran, the third-quarter team included Jacqueline CorcoranMatt BlairHelen LevineBethany McAlisterWill Rodriguez and Andrea Tovar.

The team’s top contract was with Fontainebleau Development, a South Florida-based luxury real estate development company. It paid Corcoran Partners $136,000 in Q3 — $68,000 on each report.

Corcoran Partners’ No. 2 client last quarter was the Florida Optometric Association. The association had a $35,000 legislative lobbying contract and a $35,000 executive branch lobbying contract, for a total of $70,000 in Q3 payments.

The firm’s client roster includes dozens of well-known companies and institutions such as the University of South Florida, Verizon, Walmart, Florida Crystals, Nova Southeastern University and the Philadelphia Phillies, one of many teams that hold spring training in the Sunshine State.

Overall, Corcoran Partners earned at least $1 million in legislative lobbying pay and between $500,000 and $1 million in executive branch lobbying pay, meaning it earned no less than $1.5 million in Q3. Based on per-client ranges, the firm could have earned as much as $2.45 million.

“Corcoran Partners is truly blessed to have such a wonderful and talented team and an amazing list of clients that have put their trust and confidence in our firm,” said Michael Corcoran, the firm’s namesake founder. “At CP we treat every client as an extension of our work family and strive to meet and exceed their expectations each and every day.”

No. 9: The Advocacy Group at Cardenas Partners

Al Cardenas and the team at The Advocacy Group represented 100 clients in the third quarter, earning an estimated $1.53 million in pay.

In addition to Cardenas, the Q3 lobbying team included Slater BaylissChristopher ChaneySteve SchaleStephen ShiverSarah Suskey and Jeffrey Woodburn.

Its top legislative clients for the quarter were Insurtech company Benefytt Technologies and Rising Phoenix Holding Company, the parent company of disaster management firms Tidal Basin and Tidal Basin Caribe. Each paid $35,000 for the quarter.

The Tidal Basin Group also showed up at the $35,000 level on TAG’s executive branch report alongside AFIMAC Global and Paylt. Other notable clients on the firm’s reports include Disney, Waymo, AT&T, Duke Energy, the Florida Hospital Association and the Independent Colleges & Universities of Florida.

Based on median estimates, TAG earned $755,000 lobbying the Legislature and $770,000 lobbying the executive branch.

Overall, The Advocacy Group reported earnings between $500,000 and $1 million on both of its reports, meaning it earned at least $1 million and may have earned as much as $2 million in the third quarter.

No. 10: Metz Husband & Daughton PA

The nine-member team at Metz Husband & Daughton earned an estimated $1.44 million in Q3.

Warren Husband and James Daughton worked alongside lobbyists Doug Bell, Andrew Dick, Leslie Dughi, Allison Liby-Schoonover, Aimee Lyon, Andy Palmer, and Karl Rasmussen to represent more than 90 clients.

One of those clients, Amscot Financial, broke through the cap on range reporting by paying 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 No. 2 spot also belonged to a financial services company — American Express. The credit card and banking powerhouse paid $35,000 for legislative lobbying and $5,000 for executive branch lobbying. Other well-known brands were also listed on MHD’s reports. They include Avis Budget Group, Bristol-Myers Squibb, eBay, Microsoft, TikTok and StubHub.

Based on median estimates, MHD earned $1 million in the Legislature and $440,000 in the executive branch.

The overall range listed on MHD’s report shows it earned between $500,000 and $1 million in legislative pay and between $250,000 and $500,000 in executive pay, meaning it could have earned as much as $1.5 million in Q3.

No. 11: Smith Bryan & Myers

The seven lobbyists at Smith Bryan & Myers earned an estimated $1.34 million in Q3.

Led by Matt Bryan and Jeff Hartley, the firm’s roster includes Teye CarmichaelDavid DanielThomas GriffinLisa Hurley and Jim Naff. They represented 83 clients during the July-through-September reporting period.

The top of SBM’s legislative compensation report showed four clients that paid $25,000 apiece — the Family Law Section of the Florida Bar, the Florida Thoroughbred Breeders’ and Owners’ Association, GLP FLA and JM Family Enterprises.

Another 30 legislative 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.

The firm’s executive branch report listed the same clients though most paid slightly less for executive help. DJI Technology and GLP FLA were the top contracts on that report, with each valued at $25,000.

Based on median estimates, SBM earned $760,000 lobbying the Legislature and $580,000 lobbying the Governor, Cabinet and state agencies.

SBM reported earnings between $500,000 and $1 million on each report, meaning it earned at least $1 million last quarter and had a top end of $2 million.

No. 12: Johnson & Blanton

Johnson & Blanton finished the second quarter with $1.21 million in earnings.

Led by Jon Johnson and Travis Blanton, the firm’s Q1 team also included lobbyists Marnie GeorgeDarrick McGhee Sr. and Eric Prutsman. They represented 86 clients last quarter.

Team J&B’s top legislative client last quarter was Multitype Library Cooperatives, which paid $45,000. Advent Health and the Florida Hospital Association followed at the $35,000 level.

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. Other health care companies and associations on the reports include DaVita, the Florida Dental Association, The Florida Hospice & Palliative Care Association, the Florida Psychological Association, the Florida Society of Anesthesiologists, the Florida Society of Dermatology & Dermatologic Surgery, Independent Living Systems, Moffitt Cancer Center, Pfizer and Wellpath. Each paid $15,000 for legislative lobbying and most paid an additional $5,000 for executive branch lobbying.

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.

Median estimates show Team J&B earned $730,000 lobbying the Legislature and $475,000 lobbying the executive last quarter.

The bottom line of Johnson & Blanton’s reports show earnings between $500,000 and $1 million in the Legislature and between $250,000 and $500,000 in the executive, meaning the firm may have earned as much as $1.5 million.

No. 13: Floridian Partners

The seven-person team at Floridian Partners collected $1.03 million in lobbying fees last quarter.

Lobbyists Jorge ChamizoCharles DudleyGeorge FeijooCory GuzzoGary Guzzo, Toby Philpot and Melissa Ramba represented 77 clients in the second quarter.

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.

Five clients followed at the $25,000 level. They included Allstate Insurance Company, Florida Gulf Coast University, the Florida Insurance Council, Total Wine & More and Rocket Central.

The firm’s highest-paying executive branch clients were Centene Corporation and Maximus, both at the $35,000 level, followed by Milliman and the National Council on Compensation Insurance at $25,000 apiece.

Other well-known clients represented by Floridian Partners last quarter include 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 in the Legislature and the $250,000 to $500,000 range in the executive, meaning the firm may have earned as much as $1.5 million.

No. 14: PooleMcKinley

The five-person team at PooleMcKinley earned $1 million even, according to median estimates.

Will McKinley, Angela Dempsey, Fred Dickinson, Erik Kirk and Sophie Smith represented 54 clients in the third quarter, earning $500,000 in the Legislature and $500,000 in the executive branch.

The firm’s top client in the Legislature was Seminole Hard Rock Digital, a digital gambling platform owned by the Seminole Tribe of Florida. It paid $35,000 for the quarter.

It was followed by nine clients in the $15,000 range. They included Comcast, CrowderGulf, Handshake, Hertz, Information Systems of Florida, the Motion Picture Association, NIC, Raytheon Technologies Corporation and the Seminole Tribe.

LexisNexis Risk Solutions shared the top spot with Seminole Hard Rock Digital on the executive branch report. Both were listed at the $35,000 level. The same cohort of $15,000 contracts in the Legislature repeated at that level on the executive report.

Both of PooleMcKinley’s reports list an overall range of $500,000 to $1 million in earnings, meaning the firm earned at least $1 million last quarter.

No. 15: The Legis Group

The Legis Group rounds out the top 15 with an estimated $860,000 in Q3 lobbying pay.

Lobbyists Doug Holder, Rob SchenckPatrick Bell, Michael Fischer, and Susan Goldstein represented more than 50 clients last quarter, earning $820,000 in legislative pay and another $40,000 in executive pay.

The firm’s legislative report included two massive contracts, both related to the team’s effort to get claims bills through the Legislature.

The first was with Christeia Jones, whose three young sons were seriously injured in a 2014 crash caused by a Florida state trooper. Lawmakers approved paying the $17 million settlement she had been awarded in court. The Legis Group received $375,000 for their assistance.

The second was with the family of a boy who was severely disabled while under treatment at a Miami-Dade County public health care facility. The Legislature approved a $5 million claims bill, and The Legis Group was paid $250,000 for helping the family secure those funds.

The remainder of the firm’s clients were listed in the $5,000 and $15,000 brackets. They include several advocacy organizations and charitable causes, such as the Dan Marino Foundation, the Jacksonville School for Autism and K9 Partners for Patriots.

Overall, The Legis Group reported earnings between $500,000 and $1 million in the Legislature and up to $50,000 in the executive branch, meaning the firm could have earned as much as $1.05 million in Q3.

Staff Reports


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