Lobbying compensation: Corcoran Partners posts another Top 10 report in Q2
Image via Corcoran Partners.

Corcoran Partners
Michael Corcoran and Co. took the No. 7 spot on Florida Politics' leaderboard.

Corcoran Partners cemented itself as one of Florida’s Top 10 lobbying firms last quarter, reporting more than $2.3 million in earnings.

Founding partner Michael Corcoran and the team of Matt Blair, Jacqueline Corcoran, Samantha Sexton Greer, Helen Levine, Bethany McAlister, Will Rodriguez and Andrea Tovar represented more than 100 clients in Q2.

Those contracts netted Corcoran Partners an estimated $1.5 million in legislative lobbying pay and an additional $804,000 in executive branch earnings. Both reports represent a quarter-over-quarter boost for the firm, with overall earnings increasing by about 17% from Q1.

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.

Fontainebleau Development was the firm’s top client for the quarter. The South Florida-based luxury real estate development company behind the eponymous Fontainebleau Miami Beach and several other well-known hotels and resorts paid $68,000 for legislative lobbying work and the same amount for executive lobbying.

The Florida Optometric Association followed Fontainebleau on the client roster with a combined $120,000 in payments — $60,000 on each report — to take the No. 2 spot overall.

The association has long battled ophthalmologists in what’s known as the “Eyeball Wars.” The 2023 Legislative Session saw ophthalmologists come out on top with the passage of a bill that essentially bans anyone but medical doctors and osteopathic physicians from using the word “physician” in their advertisements and daily interactions with patients.

Corcoran Partners also represented the American Kratom Association, which was party to another high-profile policy push last Session. Earlier this month, lawmakers passed a years-in-the-making measure that would ban the sale of products made from the consumable plant to people under 21. The legislation was supported by most kratom industry groups, especially as an alternative to potential bans on the substance proposed in recent years.

Other top-paying clients included Kabompo Holdings and The Big Easy Casino. Another of the firm’s six-figure clients was Maria Garcia. The Clearwater woman relied on Corcoran Partners to convince lawmakers to allocate $2.8 million to pay off the balance of a settlement she was awarded after a Pinellas County school bus hit and rolled over her before continuing its route.

The measures are known as claims bills or “relief acts” and are intended to compensate a person for injuries or losses caused by the negligence or error of a public officer or agency. Without legislative approval, individuals can only receive $200,000 in a settlement with the state, regardless of the overall award.

Many claims bills take years to make their way through the Legislature, and some never do. Legislation approving the payment (SB 4) was signed by Gov. Ron DeSantis in June. Corcoran Partners is one of the more successful firms in getting claims bills through the Legislature and despite state law allowing firms to skim up to 25% off the top of the recovered funds, the firm rarely does — the $113,000 reported by the firm represents a relatively light 4% commission.

Based on median earnings estimates, Corcoran Partners earned the No. 7 spot among all lobbying firms on Florida Politics’ leaderboard. Its $2.33 million haul was about $300,000 higher than its Q1 total. Top-end estimates show the firm may have earned as much as $3.31 million.

Florida lobbyists and lobbying firms faced an Aug. 14 deadline to file compensation reports for the period covering April 1 through June 30. Compensation reports for the third quarter are due to the state on Nov. 14.

Peter Schorsch

Peter Schorsch is the President of Extensive Enterprises and is the publisher of some of Florida’s most influential new media websites, including Florida Politics and Sunburn, the morning read of what’s hot in Florida politics. Schorsch is also the publisher of INFLUENCE Magazine. For several years, Peter's blog was ranked by the Washington Post as the best state-based blog in Florida. In addition to his publishing efforts, Peter is a political consultant to 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.


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