Lobbying compensation: Johnson & Blanton topped $4.6M in 2022
Johnson & Blanton posts a solid Q3.

Johnson & Blanton-1000x750
Revenues may have hit $7.5M.

The five lobbyists at Johnson & Blanton earned an estimated $4.68 million last year, according to newly filed compensation reports.

Led by Jon Johnson and Travis Blanton, the firm’s 2022 team also included lobbyists Darrick McGhee, Diane Wagner Carr, and Eric Prutsman. The firm also brought on Marnie George midway through the third quarter.

Compensation reports show Team J&B represented 92 clients in the Legislature last year. Those contracts netted an estimated $2.87 million. Executive branch reports list 93 clients and revenues of $1.81 million.

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. Compensation reports also include firm-level ranges, which can give outsiders a rough idea of the minimum and maximum earnings.

Johnson & Blanton reported earning between $500,000 and $1 million lobbying the Legislature in each of its quarterly reports while executive revenues fell into the $250,000 to $500,000 range. Based on those ranges, the firm earned at least $3 million in 2022.

The firm’s legislative compensation reports list five clients that paid $100,000 or more over the course of 2022, with Advent Health taking the top spot at $140,000. It was closely followed by Multitype Library Cooperatives at $135,000. The other three — BayCare, the Florida Engineering Society and the Florida Hospital Association — each paid $100,000.

As indicated by the firm’s top five, the health care industry is Team J&B’s biggest revenue driver. Other clients in the health care space included DaVita, Moffitt Cancer Center, Pfizer and Chrysalis Health.

Several health care provider associations are also listed. A sampling: the Florida Dental Association, the Florida Hospice & Palliative Care Association, the Florida Psychological Association, the Florida Society of Anesthesiologists and the Florida Society of Dermatology & Dermatologic Surgery.

Johnson & Blanton provides counsel and advocacy services in several other sectors as well. Perhaps the best-known company in their portfolio is Bank of America.

The ubiquitous financial institution traces predates the U.S. Bill of Rights, having been founded originally as the Massachusetts Bank in 1784. It has been involved in several mergers and acquisitions over the past two-and-a-half centuries and took its current name after the coupling of BankAmerica and NationsBank in 1998. BOA paid J&B $60,000 for legislative lobbying and $15,000 for executive lobbying.

Another (literal) household name represented by the team is Samsung. After gaining a foothold in the U.S. market in the early days of flat-screen TVs, the company has expanded its stateside offerings to everything from phones to fridges. In addition to being the world’s largest electronics manufacturer, the South Korean “everything company” also ranks as the No. 2 largest shipbuilder, No. 13 largest construction company, and No. 14 largest life insurance company worldwide.

The clients listed on Team J&B’s executive branch reports mostly overlap with the legislative list. Advent Health was also the top-paid contract on that side of the Capitol Complex, chipping in $100,000 last year. The Alliance for Automotive Innovation, BayCare, the Florida Fire Chiefs’ Association, the Florida Society of Anesthesiologists and Gainwell Holding Corp. followed at the $60,000 level.

While median estimates show Johnson & Blanton in the $4.7 million range for last year, the top end of its per-client ranges show it may have earned as much as $7.5 million — $4.3 million in the Legislature and $3.2 million in the executive branch.

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.

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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