Lobbying compensation: Corcoran Partners among Top 10 firms with $6.6M year
Image via Corcoran Partners.

Corcoran Partners
The team led by Michael Corcoran may have earned nearly $10M.

The team at Corcoran Partners filed another $1.5 million-plus compensation report in Q4, closing out a year that saw them climb into the Top 10 lobbying firms by revenue.

Founding partner Michael Corcoran worked alongside Jacqueline Corcoran, Matthew Blair, Helen Levine, Will Rodriguez, and Andrea Tovar year-round. Former Florida Department of Education Chief of Staff Bethany Swonson McAlister joined the firm’s roster in June, providing a boost to the firm’s second-half effort.

The sum of Corcoran Partners’ quarterly compensation reports shows the crew pulled down $4.37 million in the Legislature and $2.27 million in the executive branch for a grand total of $6.64 million.

“We are proud of the team of talented professionals we have assembled at Corcoran Partners who we believe are the best in the business. Each and every one of us are grateful to our clients who place their trust and confidence in us each and every day,” Blair said.

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.

Firm filings list more than 100 legislative clients, including a dozen that paid the firm $100,000 or more to ply state Representatives and Senators.

Corcoran Partners’ most lucrative contract overall 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.

Fontainebleau paid $272,000 in legislative lobbying fees. It was marked down for the same amount on Corcoran Partners’ executive reports, making it by far the firm’s top client.

Coming in at No. 2 was the Florida Optometric Association, which paid $140,000 in legislative lobbying fees last year. The Florida Optometric Association is one of the belligerents in the long-running “Eyeball Wars,” with the other being the Florida Society of Ophthalmology. The association matched with another $140,000 for executive lobbying.

Corcoran Partners’ six-figure clients in the Legislature included a pair of household names.

One was Walmart, the progenitor of the big-box discount store. Since its founding as Walton’s Five and Dime, the Arkansas-based company has grown to employ 2.3 million people across more than 10,000 locations located in two dozen countries. It sent Corcoran Partners $100,000 for legislative lobbying work.

The other was Verizon, which traces its roots back to the Bell System. Since cleaving off as Bell Atlantic, the company has absorbed numerous telecom providers such as GTE and its Baby Bell sibling NYNEX to form what is now the the largest wireless carrier in the U.S. Some additional trivia: Verizon is a portmanteau of “veritas” and “horizon.” Make of that what you will.

The firm also represented several education interests in 2022, including the University of South Florida at $160,000 combined, Nova Southeastern University at $80,000, Florida Atlantic University at $20,000. In the K-12 arena, Corcoran Partners has contracts with Miami-Dade County Public Schools, which ranks as the No. 4 largest school district in the country.

Corcoran Partners reported earnings in the $1.5 million range each quarter, but the firm potentially earned more — maximum estimates show the team may have netted as much as $5.9 million lobbying the Legislature and $3.8 million lobbying the executive for an overall take of $9.7 million.

Florida lobbyists and lobbying firms faced a Feb. 14 deadline to file compensation reports for the period covering Oct. 1 through Dec. 31. Compensation reports for the first quarter are due to the state on May 15.

Peter Schorsch

Peter Schorsch is the President of Extensive Enterprises Media and is the publisher of FloridaPolitics.com, INFLUENCE Magazine, and Sunburn, the morning read of what’s hot in Florida politics. Previous to his publishing efforts, Peter was a political consultant to dozens of congressional and state campaigns, as well as several of the state’s largest governmental affairs and public relations firms. Peter lives in St. Petersburg with his wife, Michelle, and their daughter, Ella. Follow Peter on Twitter @PeterSchorschFL.


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