Life and politics from the Sunshine State's best city

“4th Floor Files” talks to Claudia Davant about her new office, the valets at the Gov’s Club, and Jim King

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The latest installment of “Fourth Floor Files” features Claudia Davant. Her clients include Broward County, the City of Fort Lauderdale and the Everglades Foundation. Here’s the file on Claudia.

Significant other? Children? Grand kids?

Engaged!  To über lobbyist Dave Ericks

And I have an English Mastiff named Dali – she is one BIG kid

In 25 words or less, explain what you do.

“I talk for a living.”  (See my favorite movie below)

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

Lions and Tigers and Bears!  Oh my!!!  I try and keep my politics to myself.  And a few close friends of course.

If you have one, what is your motto?

“Never engage in a battle of wits with an unarmed man.” – Winston Churchill

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

Xerox/ACS

Three favorite charities.

1)      the cute valet at the Gov Club

2)      my own legal defense fund

3)      I prefer to focus on one charity at the time and tend to support local or locally driven charities.  Last year I supported a project that was run by a girl from Tallahassee who joined the Peace Corp and was stationed in Suriname.  We helped her raise the funds to provide clean drinking water to a small community that had previously been drinking from a dirty river near their village.  You can see the results on her blog jmctravels.blogspot.com.  Amazing how much progress has occurred.

Any last-day-of-Session traditions?

Me and several very close but catty friends get up on the fifth floor and give out secret awards.  The Scarecrow award – as in “if he only had a brain” is my favorite.

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

Working from our gorgeous newly renovated building at 205 S. Adams St! 

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

My own.  I love my clients.  Having my own firm means I get to pick my clients and I only have ones I enjoy, trust and believe in.

Professional accomplishment of which you are most proud?

I was chosen to be the Florida AfterSchool Network Champion of the Year in 2012 – I got my award in Washington, DC at the Breakfast of Champions and had my picture on a Wheaties Box!  Super cool.

Lobbyists are often accused of wearing Gucci loafers; do you own a pair of Gucci loafers? If not, why not?  No because dudes wear loafers girls wear “flats” but I wear mostly heels – some Gucci, some Prada, some Chanel…I embraced my shoe addiction long before I became a lobbyist.

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

Marc Caputo.  Because he too is irreverent.

Other than SaintPetersBlog.com, your reading list includes…

New York Times – but lets be serious its mostly for the Style section.  And this time of year mostly bills and amendments.

What swear word do you use most often?

It rhymes with ducker.

What is your most treasured possession?

Having my very own table at Clydes!

The best hotel in Florida is…

The Brazillian Court in Palm Beach. Chef Daniel Boulud makes an amazing room service burger.

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?

Carl Hiassen, Joe Scarborough, Debbie Wasserman Schultz and Lenny Curry. 

Favorite movie.

Thank You for Smoking.  Satirical comedy about lobbyists.  Too funny.

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

I am a lobbyist. The “gift ban” didn’t affect where I eat.  I still love Shell’s Oyster Bar.

When you pig out, what do you eat?

Eating is cheating.  I prefer grape juice.

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

Senate President Jim King.  I miss my friend.

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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