The latest chapter of “4th Floor Files” talks with Agustin Corbella, director of the Government Law & Policy practice for Greenberg Traurig’s Tallahassee office.
Gus Corbella advocates for a number of industry leaders such as the Florida Hospital Association, AT&T, National Vision, the Satellite Broadcasting & Communications Association and the Seminole Tribe of Florida. His resume also includes a range of political roles, including senior adviser for John McCain’s presidential campaign, chief of staff for the Florida Senate president and director of staff for both the House and Senate Majority Offices.
Here’s the file on Gus Corbella:
Significant other? Children? Grand kids?
My wonderful wife of 16 years, Tanya, and the coolest son on the planet, Miles (11).
In 25 words or less, explain what you do.
I help provide safe passage to my clients through the dense jungles of government.
Without using the words Democrat, Independent or Republican, conservative or liberal, describe your political persuasion.
I believe in fiscal prudence and in social libertarianism. Spend my money wisely and live and let live.
If you have one, what is your motto?
During your career, have you had a favorite pro bono client?
The Florida film and entertainment industry. It is comprised of incredibly talented and dedicated individuals who are committed to growing this creative and economically powerful industry in our state. I’m proud to help with their efforts.
Three favorite charities.
Children’s Miracle Network at Shands Hospital, the USO and the Opening Nights Festival
Any last-day-of-session traditions?
Wearing a green tie and having a celebratory drink or three with my brothers and sisters in arms after the gavel comes down.
What are you most looking forward to during the 2015 legislative session?
If you could have another lobbyist’s client list, it would be…
I’ve got the best clients I could ever wish for, many of whom I’ve been privileged to represent for the length of the nearly 11 years I’ve been lobbying. That said, my brother Chris Dudley’s office is directly across the street from mine, so him bringing me any potentially conflicted clients would be a very short walk over for him.
Professional accomplishment of which you are most proud?
Having served as chief of staff of the Florida Senate, as well as the staff director of both the House and Senate Majority Offices. I was proud to work with and lead some of the most dedicated people in this business. The best is yet to come, though.
Lobbyists are often accused of wearing Gucci loafers; do you own a pair of Gucci loafers? If not, why not?
Italians make great shoes, some of which I own, but Gucci loafers are not in my repertoire.
Who is your favorite Florida Capitol press corp reporter and why?
Mary Ellen Klas, Steve Bousquet, Matt Dixon, Jim Saunders, Gary Fineout,. So many great political reporters here in Tally, it is hard to narrow it to just one. They should all aspire to fill the sneakers of Lucy Morgan.
Other than SaintPetersBlog.com, your reading list includes…
The New York Times, The Wall Street Journal, Sayfie Review and my Twitter feed. Esquire magazine whenever I’m at the beach.
What swear word do you use most often?
The one my iPhone keeps trying to replace with “ducking.”
What is your most treasured possession?
I try not to assign value to material things. I treasure my family and my friendships.
The best hotel in Florida is…
The Watercolor Inn and Resort in South Walton County. If there is a heaven on Earth, Highway 30-A runs through it.
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?
Jeb Bush, Jack Latvala, David Johnson and Steve Schale.
When Harry Met Sally. I was preparing to move to New York City when it first came out, and it reminds me of all the excitement that I felt at that time in my life. Some of the funniest dialogue ever written, too. I would be remiss, however, as the Chairman of the Florida Film & Entertainment Council, if I did not also say any movie that is filmed in Florida!
Before the ‘gift ban,’ what was your favorite restaurant in Tallahassee? What is your favorite today?
Before the gift ban, it seems everyone would go to the Silver Slipper. However, the best restaurant in Tallahassee is…40 minutes north in Thomasville, GA. I love Liam’s. The Governors Club is also a special place.
When you pig out, what do you eat?
If you could have dinner with a historical figure no longer living, who would it be?
Not a day goes by that I don’t think of Jim King. I miss him so much. Serving him during my legislative career was one of the greatest honors of my life. I’d kill to have one more dinner with him, and I’d ask him to do as he used to ask us: leave his watch behind when he stepped away from the table, so I could make sure he’d come back again.