Life and politics from the Sunshine State's best city

“4th Floor Files” talks to Chris Carmody about Bono, his obsession with Nick Iarossi and the Gators

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This installment of “4th Floor Files” features GrayRobinson’s Chris Carmody. His clients include Associated Builders & Contractors of Florida, Darden Restaurants, and the Orlando Magic. Here’s the file on Chris.

Significant other? Children? Grand kids?

Wife, Lauren.  I am a lucky guy.  We have been married for almost six years.  She is from Tallahassee, so I credit all my lobbying success to her.

In 25 words or less, explain what you do.

Like a lawyer in the courtroom, a client needs someone to advocate on their behalf.  I try to do that in the halls of Tallahassee.

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

Live within your means, and don’t tell others how to live within theirs.

If you have one, what is your motto?

Be prepared.

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

I really like the band U2, and I would be honored to represent Bono in Tallahassee.

Three favorite charities.

IDignity Orlando

Boy Scouts of America

Bridges of America

Any last-day-of-Session traditions?

On day sixty, I always head to the fifth floor rotunda balcony (usually after lunch) and take in the view of the fourth floor rotunda bustling with lobbyists, legislators, media, citizens, cabinet members, etc.  The 60 days of session are long, and it is that moment of reflection that allows you to appreciate the great system of government we have and also (hopefully) the successes we have achieved for our clients.  Plus, the Capitol buzz is at its peak, and is a sight worth seeing.

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

A surplus.  Seriously, that may sound selfish for our clients, but I do feel for our legislators that have had to cut for the last five years.  I am not saying that they should spend it all, but I hope that they are not faced with the prospect again of cutting programs in our state that our senior citizens and indigent so vitally need.

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

Nick Iarossi.  I am not even sure who he represents, but I assume they are helping him buy all those fancy clothes.  He may be the best dressed person in the Capitol, with all due respect to Representative Tobia.

Professional accomplishment of which you are most proud?

My first session as a lobbyist, I served on the Sunrail team.  As an Orlando native, I was proud to see our community (Democrats and Republicans) rally in support of a much-needed infrastructure project.  In addition, because it was so high profile, I learned a lot from many of the senior lobbyists on the team.

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

Wait? We can wear pajamas to the Capitol?

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

Who doesn’t love Troy Kinsey?

Other than SaintPetersBlog.com, your reading list includes…

Wall Street Journal, Orlando Sentinel, Sayfie Review, EDSBS and Bill Simmons.

What swear word do you use most often?

What kind of ______ question is this?

What is your most treasured possession?

Gator Season Tickets

The best hotel in Florida is…

The Waldorf Astoria in Orlando is pretty amazing.  But, let’s not count out the Courtyard Marriot on Apalachee Parkway.  HD TVs in the room and free wifi.

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?

Chancellor Frank Brogan, Speaker Will Weatherford, President Don Gaetz and Governor Rick Scott.  Let’s have a frank discussion about how we can take our State University System to the next level.  I think we will see this conversation take place this session, but it is something that our talk shows should be covering.  We can’t sustain the current model that bases funding on enrollment. 

Favorite movie.

Probably Braveheart.  But, if I am flipping channels and Rocky IV is on TNT, you better believe I am going to stop what I am doing and watch Rocky single-handedly take down the Evil Empire.

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

I was in law school before the gift ban.  If I am in the Capitol area (walking distance), I enjoy the offerings of 101.  If I have a car, I’d drive to Orlando and go to Season’s 52.

When you pig out, what do you eat?

Barbecue.

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

Thomas Edison.  Between him and Henry Ford, they were the Steve Jobs and Bill Gates.

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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