Life and politics from the Sunshine State's best city

“4th Floor Files” talks to Chris Moya about charter schools, cowboy boots, and reading The Atlantic

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The latest installment of the 4th Floor Files features Chris Moya. His clients include Charter Schools USA, Palm Beach County, and State Farm. Here’s the file on Chris.

Significant other? Children? Grand kids?

Liz (wife), Aidyn (9) Sam& Jake (2)

In 25 words or less, explain what you do. 

We are a full service consulting firm involved in analyzing what the clients needs are, advising on how best to go about attaining victory, providing access at all levels of business to business and government institutions and advocating on our clients behalf once a clear definition of victory has been agreed upon.  

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

Due to family history I have a clear understanding of what happens when government attempts to involve itself in the ever increasing number of roles best left to the individual. The government, which governs least, governs best. Essentially, you leave me alone; I leave you alone.

If you have one, what is your motto?    

Always do the right thing, it will impress a good portion of the people and surprise the rest. And, that which will not defend itself will not be defended.

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

I prefer to keep what I do pro bono private.  I believe part of the pro bono work is not drawing attention to it.              

Favorite charities.              

Boys and Girls Club and The National Shooting Sports Foundation.

Any last-day-of-Session traditions?       

Since the passing of Jim King, and the birth of my youngest children, I tend to go home a lot earlier than ever before. But I do listen to the theme from Sopranos or Firestarter on the drive into work. They get me pumped up.

What are you most looking forward to during the 2013 Legislative session?       

The debate over public school student funding, essentially we have two school systems now: the district-run public schools and the public charter school system.  The debate over how the state can allow for public charter school students to receive less funding simply because their mother or father exercised parental choice is beyond me. When you consider the public charter school system is over 64 percent minority, the issues transcends politics and becomes a civil rights issue. As the first member of my family born in the United States, I take this issue pretty serious.  The debate will be high level and impacts for years to come.

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

Mine. For better or worse I have never been very good at being someone else.  We have always focused on having marquee clients and giving attention to a select few rather than having a slew of clients with little to no worldwide impact.

Professional accomplishment of which you are most proud?    

Changing the way a DCF program was funding education, or rather not funding. The Juvenile Incompetent to Proceed Program at DCF serves youth who have committed a crime but do not meet the level of competence to aide in there in defense. Essentially these have always been DJJ kids but they did not receive year-round school funding like a DJJ program would because it was housed at DCF. The youth in this program would regress tremendously when schooling was suspended for the summer. I made it my personal mission to make sure this was rectified and some very special staff and a former education committee chairman made sure it was fixed the first time it was brought to their attention.  It has been funded ever since and the kids spend less time in the program than ever before, get on with trial faster and move on with their lives.

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

I wear cowboy boots every day. One pair is over 20-years old. They were my dad’s and when he stopped wearing them I basically inherited them. They have been resoled twice and are the most comfortable things I own.

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

OTHER THAN YOU? I always liked Bill Cotterell as he was never afraid to write from different perspectives.  Dave Royse has always impressed me with his ability to take all his own opinions and emotions out of the writing and not be influenced by what opinions other reporters have on an issue. His writing is his own.

Other than SaintPetersBlog.com, your reading list includes…  

The Atlantic, by far the best periodical in our country, maybe even the world. I read a lot and almost always non-fiction. Most recently I read A Nation of Outsiders, about America’s fascination with the idea of the “rebel” and how every one from the radical religious right to the most liberal thinkers have at some point played the role of outsider or rebel.  Also recently read Universal Rights by Richard Thomson Ford.  It’s an analysis on how certain human rights policies around the world, while well intended, have the opposite effect of what was intended. Anything By Christopher Hitchens

What swear word do you use most often?         

Mother*&%!

What is your most treasured possession?           

My children and yes they are a possession, at least for another 9-16 years or so.  Also a watch my grandfather came to America with when my family was forced to flee Cuba. It is the only thing in my family has that predates 1962 when we came to the U.S.

The best hotel in Florida is…     

I am old school so I still love the MayFair In Coconut grove. But it’s hard to beat the service and vibe at Hard Rock Hollywood on any given night.

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?               

Miami-Dade Mayor Carlos Gimenez, because he is a NO BS mayor who calls it like he sees it and that’s a rare quality nowadays. House Speaker Will Weatherford because being speaker of the Florida House of Representatives is just the beginning for this Libertarian-leaning Republican phenomenon.  Barry Richard because of the man’s intellect, historical perspective and life experiences, and Sen. Jack Latvala because he would keep all of the other guests on their toes.      

Favorite movie.                               

I’m a movie buff so its hard to pick just one, top three are City Hall with Al Pacino, Goodfellas, and the Godfather Part 2, basically any movie where Al Pacino gets to scream at the top of his lungs.

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

Silver Slipper, because there’s a lot of history in that place, including one House member diving out a window on a dare. Too many memories there with King and others that can never be relived. Now I like 101 and Avenue.

When you pig out, what do you eat?

Piggy’s BBQ brisket platter double order of 14 hour slow roasted all American red meat.

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

The Prophet Mohamed just to ask him is this really what you had in mind? Your religion has conquered over a quarter of the world’s population and seems Hell bent on either converting or destroying the other three quarters. 

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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