Michael Smith — Cornerstone Government Affairs, LLC

  • Number of Clients: 39
  • Total Amount Clients Paid Firm: $3,910,000
  • Average Amount Each Client Paid Firm: $100,256
  • Number of Fortune 100 Clients: 3
  • Notable Clients: Johnson & Johnson; Microsoft; Centurylink

Smith, vice president at Cornerstone Government Affairs, has represented a wide range of clients, monitoring issues from telecommunications to energy and banking. A top earner among Washington lobbyists, in the first three quarters of 2011, Smith represented 29 clients, who paid the firm $3.9 million. Smith’s top-paying client was the law firm Sprenger & Lang, which paid $500,000 for Smith—a former partner in an international law firm—and colleagues to monitor international issues, including compensation for victims of terrorism. The firm has sought relief for hundreds of terrorism victims and had represented Americans held hostage in Iraq by Saddam Hussein’s regime. Smith’s next top-paying client during that period was Microsoft, which was billed $240,000 for lobbying efforts on issues such as online advertising and broadband stimulus. Johnson & Johnson paid $180,000 for monitoring of federal spending and health care issues. Both Microsoft and Johnson & Johnson are Fortune 100 companies. Other issues that Smith monitors include aviation, banking, oil and gas pipelines, and FAA and TSA reauthorization. He works closely at the firm with lobbyists John Crumbliss, Gregory McDonald, and James Richards—a former chief of staff to Rep. Steve Pearce, R-N.M., and former director of the Office of Intergovernmental Relations at the U.S. Department of Agriculture. Smith also is involved in Democratic politics; he helped with the 1996 Clinton/Gore reelection campaign, worked on Vice President Al Gore’s 2000 presidential campaign, and assisted with the 2004 Democratic National Convention.

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