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

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The firm may have earned as much as $1 million.

The three-person team at Johnston & Stewart Government Strategies continued its strong revenue streak in the third quarter, notching an estimated $730,000 in lobbying pay, reports show.

The reporting period saw the firm take in $505,000 lobbying the Legislature and another $225,000 lobbying the Governor and Cabinet.

The firm’s third-quarter team included named partners Jeff Johnston and Amanda Stewart as well as lobbyist Anita Berry. 

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 minimum and maximum earnings.

Johnston & Stewart’s legislative compensation report shows 52 clients topped by four that paid $25,000 during the July-through-September reporting period: Gulfstream Park Racing Associations, Humana Medical Plan, Liberty Dental Plan and TECO Energy. An impressive 21 clients paid $25,000 each for services, including interests in health care, education, travel, communications and others. 

The firm’s executive branch report showed the same number of  clients, including top client TECO Energy, which paid out $15,000. The remainder paid $5,000, including the American Association of orthodontists, the American Heart Association, Amplify Clearwater, which serves as the Clearwater Chamber of Commerce, Charter Communications, the Coalition of Ignition Interlock Manufacturers, the Florida State University Foundation, and others. 

American Airlines is possibly the best-known company on Johnston & Stewart’s client sheet. It ranks as the largest airline in the world by nearly every measure — fleet size, passengers carried, and revenue passenger miles.

The firm reported earning between $500,000 and $1 million in the Legislature and between $100,000 and $250,000 in the executive, meaning it earned no less than $600,000 in Q3. The firm could have earned as much as $970,000 — $720,000 in the Legislature and $250,000 in the executive — based on the top end of per-client ranges.

Johnston & Stewart has offices in Tampa and Tallahassee. It is a full-service government relations firm that, in addition to lobbying, provides business development and campaign strategy  services.

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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