Life and politics from the Sunshine State's best city

“4th Floor Files” talks to Barney Bishop about Steve Bousquet, frozen yogurt and JFK

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This installment of the “4th Floor Files” features Barney Bishop. Here’s the file on Barney.

Significant other? Children? Grand kids?

Shelby Bishop and we’ve been married for 24 years; she is the Executive Assistant to Florida’s Secretary of State for the last five years; before that she worked for 18 years in the Florida House and Senate; no children; two God Daughters:  Katelyn, a senior @ USF and Aubrey Lynn now 17 months old

In 25 words or less, explain what you do.

I first registered as a lobbyist in 1979; I advocate for clients and represent their interests before the Florida legislative and executive branches.

Without using the words Democrat, Independent or Republican, conservative or liberal, describe your political persuasion.

On fiscal matters I believe we must cut spending before raising taxes; on social issues I’m all over the board; on abortion I believe a woman should have a choice; I’m a strong believer in prayer in school, the death penalty and gun rights; on gay issues I’m ambivalent; 

During your career, have you had a favorite pro bono client?

My favorite pro bono client was the Boy Scouts of America.

Three favorite charities.

Barbara Bush Foundation for Family Literacy, Florida Juvenile Justice Foundation and the Innocence Project of Florida.

Any last-day-of-Session traditions?

I wear something pink, usually a pink tie which is customary among many lobbyists on the last day of session

What are you most looking forward to during the 2013 Legislative Session.

The end of the session!

If you could have another lobbyist’s client list, it would be…

GrayRobinson’s client list because it is varied and interesting

Professional accomplishment of which you are most proud?

Becoming President & CEO of Associated Industries of Florida

Lobbyists are often accused of wearing Gucci loafers; do you own a pair of Gucci loafers? If not, why not?

No Gucci shoes, but Allen Edmonds and Johnston Murphy yes; I don’t care for Gucci shoes

Who is your favorite Florida Capitol Press Corp reporter and why?

Steve Bousquet because he has always been a professional and I’ve had a lot of positive interactions with him over the years and when he has been critical of me or my actions he has been fair about it; I’d add that a very close second is Lucy Morgan who I admire for her tenacity and longevity!

Other than SaintPetersBlog.com, your reading list includes…

Sunshine State News because I appreciate the conservative bent and I enjoy reading Nancy Smith’s columns; next is BIZPAC Review, Sayfie Review, Larry Sabato’s Crystal Ball, and the Southern Political Reporter

What swear word do you use most often?

MF

The best hotel in Florida is…

The Breakers because of its inherent beauty, the gorgeous ceilings and the exquisite location; the service is excellent and I know the management

You’ve just learned that you will be hosting a morning talk show about Florida politics. Who are the first four guests you’d invite to appear?

Governor Rick Scott, former Senator Rod Smith, former Speaker of the House Allan Bense and Marian Johnson of the Florida Chamber.

Favorite movie.

My Cousin Vinny because I always wanted to be a lawyer and it’s very funny movie; I love the Brooklyn accents and the characters; the best part of the movie is when Vinny is trying to sleep and he asks the hotel desk manager if the train always comes through very early in the morning;

Before the ‘gift ban’, what was your favorite restaurant in Tallahassee? What is your favorite today?

Before Gift Ban:  Governors Club and the same afterwards; Georgio’s is another favorite along with Avenue, Marie Livingston’s and now Massa

Frozen Yogurt; I love White Chocolate Mousse from TCBY with fresh strawberries but my absolute favorite is ¾ White Chocolate Mouse with ¼ Orange Sorbet which comes out like an Orange Freeze ice cream bar which I have fond memories from my childhood

When you pig out, what do you eat?

Frozen Yogurt; I love White Chocolate Mousse from TCBY with fresh strawberries but my absolute favorite is ¾ White Chocolate Mouse with ¼ Orange Sorbet which comes out like an Orange Freeze ice cream bar which I have fond memories from my childhood.

If you could have dinner with a historical figure no longer living, who would it be? 

John F. Kennedy; I’ve had an obsession with JFK since I was 8 years old and watched the Presidential Debate against Nixon – which is why I became a Democrat; I have a huge collection of JFK books, photographs, a PT-109 tie bar, political buttons, medals, etc.  The best recent book about JFK is Chris Mathew’s Jack Kennedy: An Elusive Hero; importantly I learned two things: that JFK was a conservative to begin with and he had to overcome the suspicions of the Adlai Stevenson’s liberal wing of the party, and second that the then-three Catholic Governors of California, Ohio and Pennsylvania all believed strongly that a Catholic could never be elected President of the USA.

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Peter Schorsch is the President of Extensive Enterprises and is the publisher of some of Florida’s most influential new media websites, including SaintPetersBlog.com, FloridaPolitics.com, ContextFlorida.com, and Sunburn, the morning read of what’s hot in Florida politics. SaintPetersBlog has for three years running been 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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